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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Ivana Alawi heats up primetime via ‘The Family Affair’

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  After cementing her name as one of the country’s top vloggers, Ivana Alawi has of late been heating up ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida via the family drama series “A Family Affair” – proving that she’s more than a pretty face and a sexy body.

Ivana has said in a virtual conference prior to the show’s premiere that throughout the series, viewers will witness a different side of her than what her YouTube subscribers and followers are used to seeing.

“Hindi to si Ivana Alawi, it’s a different person na, kasi masiyahin akong tao, meron kaming similarities ni Cherry, but you will really see a whole different Ivana,” she said. “This is more dramatic and sensual, ibang klaseng Ivana.”

Ivana shared how she had always dreamt of becoming a Kapamilya leading lady, as she had always admired how ABS-CBN produces well-crafted television shows.

“Kapag gumawa ang ABS-CBN talagang class, and alam mo yon hindi ako nag aalala sa itsura ko o sa ano yung story kasi kapag gumawa talaga ang ABS-CBN, talagang world-class,” she said.

It can be remembered that Ivana inked a contract with the network back in 2020 and was supposed to lead the series “Ang Lihim ni Ligaya”, her supposed launching project that did not push through due to the pandemic.

“When I signed, I was very excited kasi kakabalik ko lang. Very important talaga ang ABS-CBN sa Akin. It’s very close to my heart. It’s my dream network. It was not my time kasi dumating yung Covid, nag lockdown tayo. I learned more things habang naka lockdown. I always try to look at things positively na parang pag may nangyari may dahilan si God.”

Another factor why she accepted the role in “A Family Affair” was how the script enthralled her the first time she read it. She said she can relate to her character’s love for family.

“A Family Affair” directors Raymond Ocampo and Jerome Pobocan pointed out that for them,  Ivana is the only personality fit to flesh out Cherry Red.

Ocampo admitted being surprised with Ivana’s performance, stating that the Filipina-Morrocan is committed to executing her character the best she could.

“The role is perfect for her. Kasi nakita ko yung difference niya. Actually, unexpected kasi ako na yung nagugulat eh, parang nagbibigay ng ibang pasabog si Ivana. May nabibigay. To ber fair, nakakatuwa, nakaka-excite.”

Pobocan added, “She’s a revelation in this particular teleserye, kasi kanya ito.”

The actress further shared that she went through a series of difficulties while taping the show, one of which is to learn how she shed tears when a scene calls for it.

“Yung pinaka nahihirapan ako, yung mga iyakan. Kasi pag umiyak ako, parang pabebe lang. Dito syempre pag mga drama talagang you have to do well. Nape-pressure ako. Sabi ko, ‘Direk pang drama po ba ako? Parang pang comedy.’”

Her directors in turn constantly remind her to not try too much and just be herself.

Unlike other shows, Ivana’s role has four love interests: Paco (Gerald Anderson), Dave (Sam Milby), Seb (Jake Ejercito), and Drew (Jameson Blake).

For Ivana, it is an honor to be working with experienced actors such as Sam Milby and Gerald Anderson who she only use to watched on television before. Knowing that she will be working with them filled her with excitement.

Asked during the virtual conference to describe each of her leading men, Ivana obliged, saying, “Jameson is very baby boy, as in para ko siyang baby boy. Actually yun nga tawag ko sa kanya parang ‘Baby halika rito’, kasi parang baby talaga siya. He’s very young and very innocent,” Ivana said.

“Si Jake naman, parang bestfriend ko. He’s more funny. Alam mo yung pag nagsasama kami parang puro kalokohan lang yung nangyayari? Puro biruan because he’s easygoing, madaling kasuap tsaka hindi ako natatakot biruin. Kasi sa iba katulad kay Gerald, nahihiya akong biruin pa,” Ivana continued.

“Si Gerald naman he’s very professional lalo na pag nasa taping. Nag-iinternalize siya tapos kapag pumapasok siya sa character ang galing talaga. So parang ako na nahiya, parang ayokong magbiro kay Gerald kasi professional talaga.”

“Si Sam naman isa pa yon. Dati, takot din ako na makatrabaho kasi sobrang tagal na sa industriya, sobrang galing and ang feeling ko professional siya. Siya yong English speaking, so parang natatakot akong makaeksena siya. Pero the first time naming magkita puro siya biro. Puro siya nagbibiro, sabi niya gusto niya comfortable kaming lahat,” she said, adding that she has a good relationship with all her leading men as their personalities blend well.

“A Family Affair”, which showcases the beauty of Masbate, airs weekdays, 9:20 pm on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z, Jeepney TV, TFC IPTV, and TV5. The show can also be streamed in advance via iWantTFC. - Syril Gemida, CNU Intern

IVANA ALAWI

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