Television star Ruru Madrid doesn’t deny that there is pressure on their part, especially that Lolong is now ABS-CBN’s Darna’s direct rival on primetime.
“The pressure will always be there. It’s just okay to be pitted against other programs. I guess every production is doing its best to come up with a quality show. The ultimate winners here are the viewers, of course. We’re here to give entertainment to all of them,” Ruru, whose show was previously pitted against FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, avers.
“So, we welcome competition. It’s inevitable. The Lolong team knows that we made the project not just for us but more importantly, for the viewers to enjoy,” he adds.
Lolong’s Book Two has already started and it introduced new characters like Rafael Rosell, Vin Abrenica, Alma Concepcion, Thea Tolentino, and Lucho Ayala.
Ruru felt bad that he wasn’t able to promote Lolong the way he wanted to. He was at the taping of Running Man Philippines in South Korea, thus he wasn’t able to show full support for his own project.
“This is the reason why I’m grateful to my fellow stars in the soap because it was them who promoted the show in the different parts of the country when I wasn’t around,” he says.
Speaking of his stay in South Korea, Ruru highly appreciated his girlfriend Bianca Umali’s surprise visit to him.
“I was very happy when she came. You see, I wasn’t able to enjoy my time with the family when taping for Lolong wrapped up. It was very timely because I was feeling homesick already at the time. I must credit her for her efforts to travel to South Korea. She really surprised me. I didn’t expect it. When she arrived and I saw her waiting in the lobby, all my exhaustion was erased. I felt lighter,” Ruru narrates.
Interestingly, he gets teased with Lolong co-star Arra San Agustin due to their romantic history. They were linked before and many thought they became steadies then.
“Actually, it was during our Encantadia days when I courted her. But for the record, nothing happened. It didn’t prosper. We haven’t seen each other for six years so I guess it’s understandable if, during our initial taping days for the show, we were kind of awkward with each other. But it didn’t last long. We didn’t want the project to suffer because of that. I guess, our friendship mattered more. It wasn’t just the two of us but all cast members as well!” ends Ruru.
• • •
Rio Locsin happily recalls those days when she did her own version of Darna in the late seventies titled, Bira! Darna! Bira.
“It was really a huge honor to play such an iconic superhero role then,” she avers. “It was 43 years ago. I was still a newcomer in the ‘biz during that time. It was simply a privilege to be picked to portray Darna, that’s why it’s unforgettable for me.”
The veteran actress says that the latest installment of Darna starring Jane de Leon where she breathes life into the role of her grandmother is far different from her time.
“Technology-wise, there’s a wide gap. I remember that for my flying scenes, I just stretch atop a table with an electric fan blowing. Now, with the advanced technology, it’s definitely far more exciting to watch.”
What tips can she give Jane now that she currently holds the magic stone?
“I’m just happy for her. I always tell her that it’s a big honor to be called Darna. It’s not easy but it will make you feel proud in the sense that not all actresses get to portray the role. I tell her to really imbibe the character,” Rio states.