TV5 drama princess Alex Gonzaga is back on primetime with a new role in “Enchanted Garden”. Billed the first ever eco-fantasya series on Philippine television, the show is Alex’s third series on the Kapatid Network after playing lead roles in “Babaeng Hampaslupa” and “P.S. I Love You”.
In “Enchanted Garden”, premiering on Monday, July 30, Alex plays Aya, a daughter of a diwani or enchantress of the plants and trees who is thrown into the world of mortals.
“My mother here is played by Alice Dixson. She is Alvera and she is one of the diwanis in a world called Eden. In some inescapable circumstance, I was taken to this world and grew up knowing na isa akong normal na tao,” Alex relates.
Of course, her character Aya will soon discover her real identity and return to her rightful place in Eden.
This is Alex’s second time to play Alice Dixson’s daughter. They first worked together in “Babaeng Hampaslupa”.
“It’s so nice to work with Ms. Alice again. We worked so well sa ‘Babaeng Hampaslupa’. At na-miss ko ‘yon. When they told me sa story conference that Ms. Alice will be playing my mother again, natuwa ako. May magandang rapport na kami kasi kaya it will be easy for work with her again,” she says.
At the moment, Alex and Alice have yet to shoot a scene together because their respective characters exist in different realms.
“Sa ngayon, wala pa akong eksena with Ms. Alice. Separate ang mga units namin kasi. Doon sila sa location set sa Dinalupihan, Bataan. Ako naman dito lang somewhere sa Quezon City. But magkakaroon kami ng mga eksena soon. Excited na ako to get together with Ms. Alice.”
As Aya in the mortal, Alex is on familiar ground portraying a girl who is constantly maltreated by two kontrabidas, played by Gladys Reyes and Meg Imperial.
In between laughs, Alex says that on one of her taping days, she had her hair pulled, her face slapped and her body pushed against the wall and on the floor.
“Grabe, may galit yata sa akin si Direk Joel (Lamangan)! Kasi magkakasunod ang scenes na kinunan sa akin na inuumbag ako nila Ms. Gladys at ni Meg.
“As in, ilang beses akong sinampal, nasabunutan at tinulak-tulak. Promise, nagkapasa ako sa iba’t ibang parte ng katawan ko. Bugbog-sarado ako talaga. At nahilo ako sa mga sabunot,” she shares.
She had just returned from a trip to the US on that day, and she was still woozy from jetlag. “Pero noong kunan ang eksenang sampalan at sabunutan, ayun nawala ang antok ko—nawala bigla ang jetlag!” she recounts.
All in a day’s work. She’s not one to complain, and her co-stars had been quick to apologize after the scene was done.
“Sobrang nag-sorry naman silang dalawa sa akin. Okey lang naman kasi kailangan totoo at hindi fake ang mga scenes namin. Okey lang naman sa akin iyon kasi nire-rehearse naman namin kaya may control. Kailangan sumabay ako para hindi ako masaktan ng husto,” she says.
Besides, it just felt like ‘Babaeng Hampaslupa’ all over again.
“Sanay naman na ako sa mga scenes na ganyan. Sa Babaeng Hampaslupa nga, grabe rin. Hindi na ako bago sa ganitong mga scenes,” she says.
“Enchanted Garden” also pairs her anew with Martin Escudero, her leading man in “Babaeng Hampaslupa”.
In Martin’s recent interviews, he claims that he is now a lot closer to Alex compared to the first time they worked together.
“Oo nga, mas okay na kami ni Mart ngayon,” Alex agrees. “Before kasi, may hiya factor pa kami when we were doing ‘Babaeng Hampaslupa’. Bago pa lang kasi siya that time sa TV5. Nagkakilala na lang kami noong mag-story conference. Tapos sa taping na kami nagkita na ulit.”
She and Alex didn’t have many bonding moments on the set of “Babaeng Hampaslupa”.
“Ngayong tsikahan na kami sa set. Masaya pala siyang kasama at nakakatawa pala siyang magkuwento. I am looking forward na maging mas masaya ang pagtambal ulit namin sa pagkakataong ito,” she says.
In the same interviews, Martin revealed that he is now enchanted by Alex. Would she allow him to woo her on the set of “Enchanted Garden”?
“Ligaw agad?” She laughs. “Puwede bang maging friends muna kami. Wala na munang sanang ligawan. Hindi pa ako ready sa ganyan. Tsaka may trabaho kami. Mahirap nang maapektuhan ang work naming dalawa. Better na ganito muna kami, friends lang muna.”