Freeman Cebu Entertainment

The rebirth of Bea Alonzo

Vanessa Balbuena - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —   “Surreal” was how A-list star Bea Alonzo described that day back in July when what seemed far-fetched for her,  much more to the public, happened via her much talked-about transfer from her former home of ABS-CBN to GMA Network.

GMA’s teaser of Bea, in an artcard that partially revealed a woman’s eye and a hashtag that was a dead giveaway, seems to have also set a trend as other similar social media teasers sprouted right after.

Welcomed in full force by GMA executives via Zoom, video messages and their presence at the Garden Ballroom of Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, the award-winning actress glowingly basked in the moment. She had promised herself before going in that she would savor the feeling as it was bound not to happen again.

“On my way here, I felt like I was starting all over again...like a rebirth. It felt so good,” she quipped.

Bea, 33, said she is eager to dive into her new chapter as a Kapuso, grow her newfound passion for vlogging and enter into new business enterprises this year with the help of her mother whom she considers her partner in life.

“I just want to share with you how excited I am to do new shows, meet new people, make new friends, and this time in GMA,” she said.

On what exactly was going through her mind when she finally signed on the dotted line: “Very, very excited. I don’t know if you will believe this, but I even screamed when I heard the news from my manager, Shirley Kuan. I was just really happy because it’s something that, you know, like 10 years ago, never really occurred to me. And now I am entering a new chapter and it feels so good. I feel very empowered. To be honest, I feel like it came at the right time…it feels good, it feels right. And when you have that in your heart, ang sarap ng pakiramdam.”

The actress dubbed as this generation’s Movie Queen revealed that talks between her camp and GMA Network  took a lot of months – one she  did not disclose even to her  perennial leading man, John Lloyd Cruz, who is also reported to be doing a project with the Kapuso channel, saying that’s how much she honored the confidentiality of the negotiations.

“Hindi naman lingid sa kaalaman ninyo that the past year has been challenging for all of us and it gave me time to reflect about my life – what I really want to do, how I want to move on, and what else I wanted to chase when it comes to my dreams,” Bea explained of her move.

“And so when the offer came, I considered it a big blessing. Negotiations began, and it didn’t seem like a mabigat type of negotiation. It was as if there was a respect for each other’s boundaries. For me it just totally flowed naturally.”

Saying she came to the decision with the help of her new manager, Bea also chalked it up to her pandemic-induced realization that she was now ready to chase more dreams.

“This time I want to discover more about myself. Say, I would like to explore the idea of probably having a talk show, or appearing in sitcoms. I think I am ready to be more open to doing so many things,” she said. “That’s what I learned during the pandemic: take on new possibilities and challenges.”

When the deal was 99 percent final, Bea called up her ABS-CBN boss Carlo Katigbak the next day to seek his blessing. It was, understandably, a  very emotional call.

“Hindi mo maiaalis, 20 years of my life was spent there. He wished me well and good luck. Ganoon naman talaga. Life must go on, and I’m happy that I had his blessing before being here. And so all is well.”

Of the  negative feedback that comes with every network switch, Bea had this to say: “I know the truth in my heart, na wala akong natapakang tao. I also know that I am well-loved here so I choose to focus on the positive.”

“Imagine at this point in my life, I am rediscovering myself. That’s such a huge blessing for someone like me who loves what she does. Deep in my heart my purpose is to touch lives and do characters that will resonate with a lot of Filipinos.”

Bea gleamed at the possibilities of being Kapuso, naming the likes of Jennylyn Mercado, Solenn Heussaff, Sanya Lopez, Barbie Forteza, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Ruru Madrid, and more as talents she’d love to work with.

She is set to headline the Philippine adaptation of the hit Korean film “A Moment to Remember” with Alden Richards. She is also set to star with him in primetime series that executives promise to be huge.

“I also want to work with Alden [Richards] on television para mas mahaba kasi masayang kasama si Alden. I’ve worked with Dingdong for a film, but not yet for a teleserye. I also want to work with Marian [Rivera], that would be interesting to have us together.”

She added, “And my first love team even before John Lloyd was Dennis Trillo, bagets pa kaming dalawa. So I want to work with him again. I also look forward to working with Derek [Ramsey] who was my leading man in many of my movies.”

At the end of the day, Bea said she will always return to the genre that audiences admired her for.

“Marami pa akong hindi napapakita that’s why I’m very excited, and this opportunity to broaden my world, paramihin pa ang mga taong pwede ko makatrabaho. Of course I will always go back to my core which is drama, so you will be seeing more of me on primetime. But definitely I would like to take on new challenges,” she said.

As for sparking screen magic with John Lloyd again, Bea said she is always game.

“He’s such a brilliant actor, I miss working with him and sharing the screen with him. Maganda yung idea na this time totally different environment, iba ang makakasama namin, so I am curious to see what that output will be.”

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