Sibling rivalry is not an issue with Magalona sisters Maxene and Saab. In a chat that was at once light-hearted, revealing, and filled with obvious appreciation between the two, InterAksyon had a glimpse into the relationship between the daughters of the late King of Rap.
The scene was rather sweet. “We’re super overprotective with each other,” said Saab when asked about their take on each other’s love lives. “I don’t like any of the boys that tried to make ligaw to her.”
Although the two talk about boys “all the time,” said Maxx convincingly, “when it comes to boyfriends and relationships, ‘yun ‘yung isa sa mga topics talaga na hindi kami nagkakasundo.” They attribute it to the fact that they watch out for each other and look at the other’s suitors with a critical eye.
Born two years apart, Maxx and Saab share the same birthday, November 23. While Maxx has been in the industry for about 12 years in her own estimate and now topbills GMA-7’s “Faithfully” alongside Mike Tan and Marc Abaya, Saab star in the same network’s “Hindi Ka Na Mag-Iisa” with Jennylyn Mercado and Sid Lucero. Brother Frank is in the same series as Saab.
The 23-year-old Saab plays her fourth kontrabida role in the afternoon soap.
“I actually requested for that when I signed with GMA,” she told InterAksyon. “I think it’s more challenging, kasi difference ko kay Maxx is mabilis ako umiyak, so gusto ko na ma-challenge ako na ako naman ang maging kontrabida. And para ma-distinguish ako from my sister.”
Although she sometimes worries that fans might get mad at her character, and by extension, her, she says, “I only see that as a compliment.”
Maxx, for her part, has never played the villain. She wants to try her acting chops at it.
“Maybe in a movie or in a TV special, but not in a regular TV show kasi sobrang magugulat [‘yung audience]. Siguro when the time comes na ready na ‘ko or I need to take the next level. But right now kasi talagang the people still expect me to do the lead role, the good role. But I like it kasi I’ve done so many soap operas already, [and] I noticed na not everyone is just mabait, not everyone is just masama. Halo-halo talaga ‘yung personalities.”
She takes each role as a challenge because she has to put a different spin on protagonist she plays.
“I know na that’s what GMA gives me. I can’t complain. I love it. I appreciate every role that they give me, so what I really do is I do my best to make each and every role different from one another. Ganun lang. I love it, I enjoy what I do,” Maxx said.
Saab, on the other hand, does not really want to play the good-girl role “right now,” but would take the opportunity if it comes.
Maxx then interjected, “Siguro mas maganda kung kami ni Saab, bigyan, siya ‘yung maging bida tapos ako naman ‘yung kontrabida.” This earned laughs all around.
Aside from the three elder siblings who are now in showbiz, Elmo plays the lead in “Together Forever” opposite Julie Ann San Jose, and Arkin was in his Kuya Frank’s former drama, “Blusang Itim”.
“It actually made us closer kasi we see each other sa GMA,” said Maxx of the five of them working in the same network. “Before kasi ako lang ‘di ba, [but] now that we’re all in the industry, we have this common topic that we can talk about. Kunwari, kumusta ‘yung show mo? Kumusta ‘yung role mo dito? How do you do it? Minsan nagbibiruan kami.”
She added, “It’s more fun now that my siblings are with me working in this industry.”
The ate is clearly delighted with her siblings’ work.
“All I have are praises for all of them. I never expected naman that all of us would be working together, but now that we are, I saw na talagang all of them are naturals, all of them have a gift talaga for this job.
“So talagang proud na proud ako sa kanila kasi ‘di ko akalain na makaka-pick-up sila nang ganung kabilis. Nakakatuwa, nakakataba ng puso na ‘yung family ko… they’re people that I’m really, really proud of.”
Maxx does think that it would have been “more fun” if their father were still alive while they were all in the entertainment business, though.
“Kasi parang kapatid din namin si Papa eh. We know he’s our dad, but at the same time there were times talaga na mag-ha-hang out kami and then it’s like we’re one big barkada. So if he was still around and lahat kami working together, I think sobrang saya nun. ‘Cause he’s such a clown,” she said.
She also thought he would be able to give better advice to them about work, although Saab did say he left them with a few nuggets of wisdom: “He always tells us to keep our feet on the ground and mag-ingat sa mga tao sa industry.”
Does anyone plan on following the Master Rapper’s footsteps and becoming a recording artist?
“Sa aming dalawa? Si Saab is more into music than me,” answered Maxx. “I like listening to hip-hop but she likes making music.”
“We have two bands,” said Saab. “We’re in the process of recording. One is Duster (an all-girl group), and the other one is my solo project (BBYGRL).” While she couldn’t put a label on the type of music she plays, she described Duster’s sound as “more of punk-rock.”
The newest brand ambassadors of Rexona, Maxx and Saab describe the project as one that “exemplifies confidence, women empowerment, independent women, and girl power.”
“We want the girls who look up to us to know that they can be strong and confident girls,” said Maxx, with Saab adding, “The most beautiful girls are the confident ones.”
“We’ve gone through a lot with our dad passing away, and going through school and work at the same time,” explained Maxx. “We want them to learn na despite the hardships of life, you can go through it and be a stronger woman than you were before, and be more confident than you used to be because these are the experiences that… help you become who you are and develop your personality.
“That’s what we wanna to teach the girls who look up to us. To never let anything stop them from doing what they wanna do and become what they wanna become.”
After the sisters laughed at Maxx’s eloquence, Saab piped in jokingly, “Keynote speaker ka na pala.”