Maricel Soriano reflects on her life as a single mom and concludes Kaya ko pala. Success to her is being able to live life her own way. But the most important thing, she said, was learning to love herself.
In real life, versatile dramatic actress Maricel Soriano is much like the frank and straight-talking Mary you see on TV, although much toned down and not really as combative as her past TV role in Kaya ni Mister, Kaya ni Misis (TV series 1999 – 2000). The bigger difference is that at home, she is actually both dad and mom to two children – Marron and Sebastien.
Her “heavy drama days” marred by three failed romances seem to have passed. She smiles easily. Actually, she confides, she is quite happy at the moment!
All the emotional hurts have healed over time, she said. Success to her is being able to live life her own way. She became a bit misty-eyed when she talked of how happy she was being a mom and how she loved her children. But the most important thing, she said, was learning to love herself.
Having spent half of her life in show business, Maricel has metamorphosed into a fine actress. From her Underage days (with Snooky Serna and Dina Bonnevie), John en Marsha, Kaluskos Musmos, Maricel Drama Special, and other equally memorable TV shows and movies, Maricel has earned the tag “Diamond Star.” To closer friends and associates, however, she is “Inay.”
Her wish? “A more glorious movie industry and for a long-lasting showbiz career. For myself, I just hope that my career will go on for a long time,” she says. “While I’m in the business, I’ll make the most of the present moment and the opportunities it lends.”
Presently, Maricel is part of the cast in the ABS-CBN teleserye, “Ang sa Iyo ay Akin,” along with Jodi Sta. Maria, Iza Calzado and Sam Milby. She’s now on her 49th year in show business.
How are you coping as a single parent?
So far, I’m getting used to it. It’s both fulfilling and challenging because I didn’t imagine that I’ll be able to do it. Of course, it would have been different if my family were intact.
Did becoming a single parent change your personality?
Hindi pa rin, ganoon pa rin ako (laughs). Yeah in a way. Pagdating sa paggastos hindi ko na naiisip minsan ang sarili ko. Ang naiisip ko, I want to buy these things for my children. ‘Pag naging magulang ka ganoon pala.
What’s a regular day like for Maricel?
When I have no work, I just stay at home. I’m the type of person who doesn’t really like going out. I’m a very homebody person. Occasionally, I go out if I’m invited by my close friends. (Among her showbiz close friends are Roderick Paulate, Michael de Mesa, among others).
I seldom take a rest. Perhaps that’s how much I love my job. Alam ko kasi kung paano akong mahalin ng trabaho ko. It’s like give and take, bigyan mo ito ng importansya at ganoon din ang gagawin sa iyo. I always give my 100 percent to everything that I do.
How come you’re called “Inay”?
It started when I was doing Maricel Drama Special. So everybody was calling me Inay, instead of calling me ma’am or boss. Hello! Parang feeling ko teacher ba ako. For me, I like it when I’m being called Inay.
It seems you’re so close to gay people . . .
I love gays because they make me laugh (‘cause it’s hard to make me laugh). They make me feel very comfortable. And I’m myself when I’m with them. Iba ‘yong feeling ko kapag nandiyan sila. Ang treatment kasi nila parang nandoon ‘yong respect. They follow my advice and come back and tell me “Inay your advise is so effective.” So I feel so good. It’s quite ironic because, at one point, these people were misinterpreted by society. Tao rin sila. They know how to care and love. It’s just that some straight people don’t want to understand them.
What do you think is your biggest achievement as an actress?
My entire career. I always say this, “Ang pangalan ko, o kung sino man ako ngayon, ay hindi ko pinukpuk sa utak ng bawat mamamayan. Pinaghirapan ko eto pawis at dugo, kung baga. Kung anuman ang na-enjoy ko o iniiyak ko ngayon, it’s a package deal thing.
How about your biggest achievement as a person in general?
My greatest achievement is my children.
What else do you aspire for?
For more money, yes. Of course, all of us have a purpose in life. When you work, you should love your work because you’ll get paid for it. It makes you a whole person.
What do you feel most grateful for?
They come in a package. Kasi hindi lang isang aspeto ako dapat matuwa. Hindi naman tayo mabubuo kung kapiraso lang ang pinag-uusapan natin. Parang rosary ‘yan hindi mo matatapos na nilalaktawan mo ang isang mystery. Kung baga lahat ng nangyari sa buhay ko, pangit, maganda or mabaho, lahat pinagpapasalamat ko. Dahil kundi lahat ng ito, I don’t think I’ll be a better person.
And what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in life?
I have to love myself! (she didn’t elaborate).
How would you like to be remembered?
I want to be remembered for being unique — the real Marya.
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(Based on the interview published in the old Mirror Weekly magazine by the same author.)
Featured photo courtesy of Maricel Soriano (The Official Fan page)