Aiko reunites with ‘Wildflower’ co-star in ‘Prima Donnas’
STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky Calderon (The Freeman) - August 23, 2019 - 12:00am

Award-winning actress-turned producer Iza Calzado is feeling upbeat with the historical film “Culion,” penned by Ricky Lee and directed by Gawad Urian winner Alvin Yapan.

“It puts some kind of pressure on us acting out our roles but most of the time, we just feel ecstatic acting our scenes,” said Iza during a dinner break interview while in location in Culion, Palawan.

The actress said the excitement comes not only because the script was written by Ricky Lee but because there is a good feeling that they are part of a meaningful and important project.

“It is a story that needs to be told. That’s how all of us felt here in Culion,” said Iza. “Every scene we do is like a page taken from history. When I did a scene where I was giving birth, one of the cast members told me she couldn’t help but cry because she felt the pain and the anguish. We are putting things in their proper perspective.”

Of course, part of the excitement in doing “Culion” is being paid, shooting on location, reading the marvelous script of Ricky Lee and seeing everything unfold as Direk Alvin Yapan sees it in his vision.

What adds up to the excitement, said Iza and her co-stars Meryl Soriano and Jasmine Curtis-Smith, is the three of them working together for the first time in a monumental project.

“At the center of all this is that we are telling the story of the people of Culion. We need to tell their story,” said Iza.

The three ladies there were kind of noisy when they first set foot in Culion. But after visiting the museum where they learned about Culion’s history and struggle, they became silent and were driven to tears.


Ms. Aiko Melendez was with ABS-CBN for nine years and two of her shows in the Kapamilya network were “Bagani” and “Wildflower” for which she won several best supporting actress awards.

She returns to the the Kapuso network via the afternoon prime soap titled “Prima Donnas” where she plays the main kontrabida.

She is thankful to ABS-CBN for the nine years she spent with them. Since the network has no new project for her yet, Aiko asked permission to accept the offer from GMA-7 and her wish was granted.

“They know that I am a single mother and I have two kids that I am sending to school so they understand. In the future, I can always go back to the Kapamilya network and work with them again. I made sure I didn’t burn bridges. I still have a good relationship with them. My being here in GMA is like a homecoming because here was where I started in ‘Bubble Gang.’ My last soap here was ‘Basahang Ginto’ ten years ago.”

She is playing the role of Kendra in “Prima Donnas” where she is reunited with Wendell Ramos, who played her husband in “Wildflower” two years ago.

“I’m happy to work again with Wendell who plays Jaime. I am obsessed with him and I’d do everything to get him, even to the extent of killing his wife Glaiza de Castro. I’m also excited to be directed for the first time by Gina Alajar, who I respect so much as an actress. I’m sure, I am going to learn a lot from her as a director,” said Aiko.

She said she prayed hard to have a project after the elections. She became busy during that period because she helped campaign for her boyfriend Jay Khonghun, who won as vice governor of Zambales. She is thankful to the Lord for answering her prayers since an offer from GMA came for her to play the kontrabida role in “Prima Donnas.”


Local LPG company South Pacific, Inc. (SPI) reported a 48 percent increase in its revenue during the first six months of 2019, citing impressive growth in sales and client patronage from its operation. While several companies experienced a slump during the first two quarters of the year, SPI saw its net income surge in the first half compared to the same period last year. SPI president Jun Galingay attributes the huge uptick in revenues to several factors.

According to Golingay, they have increased their customer base by 22 percent which has positively impacted in their sales volume. But the robus 1H performance was also the end result of factors beyond numbers. Golingay cites SPI’s prompt and reliable customer service as key in making the business grow. Add to that, Golingay said, is the timely and accurate planning of product procurement. Golingay said its core client spend increased to 37 percent as of June 2019 compared to the first half of 2018.

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