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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Maja Salvador – now billed Majestic Superstar – gears up for sitcom, teleserye

Vanessa A. Balbuena - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Maja Salvador squirms in embarrassment at the mere mention of the Majestic Superstar distinction that TV5 has recently bestowed upon her. She feels unworthy of the title, saying that surely, a lot of her colleagues deserve it too, if not more.

But as bosses have already decided that the Kapatid Network’s prime star needs no less than the red carpet treatment, the 33-year-old actress is left with no choice but to embrace the VIP reception – and continuously prove it was the right move that they bet their chips on her.

Very grateful…almost 20 years in the industry, so thank you to the title that TV5 gave. Nandoon yung, sige po kung yan ang ibibigay niyo, salamat,” said Maja during a recent press conference.

“Gagawin natin ang lahat para pangalagaan yang binigay na title [kahit] hirap na hirap man akong sabihin.”

In a contract signing and grand press event held at the TV5 Studio, Maja officially sealed new project deals with Cignal Entertainment and TV5, in the presence of Cignal and TV5 President and CEO Robert P. Galang, Crown Artist Management Chief Executive Officer Rambo N. Ortega and Chief Operating Officer Mikki Gonzalez.

“Maja’s versatility as an actress, host, judge, and overall performer has made her a perfect fit for all the projects she has done for and with the Network in the past year,” said Galang.

“We are honored and proud of all her achievements and we look forward to seeing her transform yet again as she reinvents herself in the upcoming projects that she will be doing with us soon.”

These projects include a weekly sitcom, and a teleserye that Maja teased is looking up to be TV5 and Cignal’s biggest yet.

This, as her current show “Niña Niño” is about to end on top as the most-watched primetime program produced by Cignal Entertainment, and with two international recognitions: Best Drama Series, and Best Actress of the Year for Maja at the prestigious 2021 Asian Academy Creative Awards.

“Niña Niño”, now running for more than a year, also joined Netflix Philippines’ roster last December where it instantly became one of the most streamed Netflix programs, remaining on the Top 10 list several weeks after it was launched.

Also starring Noel Comia Jr. in the title role, “Niña Niño” airs on TV5 every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday after “Sing Galing” and before “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.”

But there’s no resting on her laurels for Maja after “Niña Niño” bids the small screen. Work will soon begin on her sitcom, which she shares came out of a conversation she, comedian Pooh and boyfriend Rambo had while at home.

Her very first sitcom, it promises to showcase her versatility and comedic prowess which viewers had glimpses of in “Niña Niño”. It is also a major undertaking for her because it will be her first time to venture into line production of a television program as the CEO of her own entertainment firm, Crown Artist Management.

While the star of such memorable teleseryes such as “Wildflower”, “The Legal Wife”, and “Killer Bride” has proven time and again that she’s a screen gem, Maja admitted that comedy is a different beast.

“Sa totoo lang, mahirap magpatawa. Pag aarte ako, mas gusto ko nalang umiyak,” she said. “Because in comedy, you need to have timing and a sense of humor. Kaya bilib ako sa mga komedyante kasi ang hirap magpatawa, kailangan mabilis ang utak mo.”

By the fourth quarter of 2022, Maja will sink her teeth into a very exciting genre with an extremely challenging new role.

“Dahil masyado akong love ni RPG [Galang], there will be another teleserye after the sitcom. I’m very excited because physically, mentally, emotionally – kailangan prepared ako. Excited ako because isa akong performer dito, pero hindi basta basta performer.”

The soap will be helmed by the same team behind “Niña Niño” and will feature Maja alongside two leading men.

Finally, another potential first for Maja is her future partnership for film projects with Cignal Entertainment.

She quipped, “Napakaswerte ko dahil kahit nasaang tahanan man ako, hindi ako pinapabayaan. Sobrang pinaparamdam nila na importante ako.”

For Galang, that Maja joined the channel during an uncertain transition is not lost on him and the management.

“TV5’s journey hasn’t been easy. We shifted to sports programming, then in the second half of 2020 we decided to pivot back to entertainment. It was a very difficult journey trying to make TV5 known for entertainment content and not just sports,” he recalled.

“And one of the first people who joined us was Maja. We value how she was part of our initial struggles – building up ratings, audience share, and revenues. We are very happy that we are in an upward trajectory now, and part of that success are the people who joined us despite the risk.”

Ortega, for his part, is not surprised with his girlfriend, business partner, and talent’s recent achievements. While viewers see the end result, he’s witness to all the effort that went into it off camera and backstage.

“I expect her to do well and be successful in anything she does because she puts the work in. She doesn’t just come here, sit on that chair and say I’m a superstar. It’s what’s being done behind the camera and her relationship with everyone,” said Ortega.

MAJA SALVADOR

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