Maja Salvador talks real-life miracles, marriage

Primetime TV Majesty Maja Salvador has received a grand welcome fit for a showbiz queen!

Not only did Maja receive a warm welcome from the executives of TV5, Cignal TV, and media, she also got a rousing reception from her fans after the full trailer of her upcoming TV series "Niña Niño" on Facebook has already been viewed almost four million times. Among those who welcomed Maja at the press event were Cignal and TV5 President and CEO Robert P. Galang; Belay Santillan, VP Cignal Entertainment; and  Jeffrey M. Vadillo, VP Cornerstone Entertainment.

Maja is ready to reign once again in ”Niña Niño,” her first-ever teleserye on TV5. She plays the lead role of Niña, the older half of the sibling duo in the eponymous feel-good drama-comedy.

2017 Cinemalaya Best Actor Noel Comia Jr. plays her younger brother Niño who ventures out to the big city with her and discovers that life is anything but a bed of roses. In order to survive, they turn to extraordinary measures to make ends meet as con-artists who scam their way to earn an extra buck. An event will upend their lives and change the course of their destinies forever.

The dramedy genre is a first for Maja who is known to portray titular roles in dramas. The new series showcases her versatility as an actor fully able to make her audience laugh, cry, and empathize with every character she plays.

Maja Salvador

"October of last year when the show was pitched to me. Dramedy ito. Nababagay ang istorya natin sa panahon ngayon. Kahit ang dami nating problem, nginingitian pa rin natin, andyan pa rin ang Diyos," said Maja during a Zoom conference for her new TV series ”Niña Niño” recently.

"Andun 'yung kaba ko pero habang kinakausap ko sila (TV5 and Cignal), unti-unting gumagaan 'yung loob ko. Yes! Tama ang naging decision ko. Nagkaroon ako ng chance na maka-work yung ibang tao. I'm thankful in-offer nila sa akin ito. Isa ito sa mga shows na dapat panoorin dahil punong puno ito ng pag-asa na kailangan natin," said Maja.

The show's vision echoes calls for hopeful stories, finding joy in life’s magical minutiae amidst these trying times.

Joining Maja and Noel are comedian Empoy Marquez, and veteran actors Lilet Esteban and Ruby Ruiz whose role as the siblings’ grandmother holds an integral part of explaining the dynamics between the duo.

Rounding up the cast are up-and-coming actors Ian Pangilinan, Sachzna, and Junyka Santarin, joined by Arron Villaflor, Moi Bien, and Dudz Teraña. At the helm of the series is award-winning director Thop Nazareno. 

Asked about the real-life miracles she experienced, Maja said: "Everyday, lagi kong pinagdarasal at nagpapasalamat na sana po may mga magagandang mangyayari. Yung gumising ka na lang tuwing umaga malaking biyaya na sa akin yun."

"Ang hirap po ng situation ngayon, wala pong pinipili kung sino ang tatamaan. Marami na sa atin ang nakararanas ng anxiety at pagkabigo. Nawawalan na talaga ng gana ang karamihan. Pero sana palakasin lang natin ang mga loob natin. Alagaan natin ang ating katawan at mental health. Huwag po natin kalimutan magdasal sa Kanya," she added.

Maja's friends say that she has been working so hard lately, some of them even wondering if all these current efforts are in preparation for her married life.

"Lagi po akong ganun. Kung ano yung kaya kong gawin, binibigay ko na lahat. Parang audition. Hindi ko tinitipid ang kakayahan ko sa mga projects. Binibigay ko na talaga lahat ng kaya ko," she said.

Asked if she's getting married soon, Maja laughed and said: "Ang hinihiling ko po talaga sa sambayanan ay ipagdasal kami (ng partner ko). Pareho kaming open at gusto naming matuto. Gusto namin maging malawak pa ang kakayahan namin. Sana nga hindi lang kami ang maging partner sa business kundi maging partner rin kami sa buhay. So hopefully maging partners na talaga kami." Maja's boyfriend is businessman is Rambo Nunez.

Noel Comia Jr.

Each episode of "Niña Niño" heartwarming anecdotes that emphasize the show’s inspirational trope: discovering oneself, adapting to the changes, and coming better and stronger after every struggle. The strength of the show lies in the story that redefines our understanding of real-life miracles complemented by the cast whimsically engaging with the reality of their situation and environment. Ultimately, Niño and Niña make us realize the true meaning of healing, forgiveness, and finding freedom in an unlikely place.

Maja said that it is always a pleasure to work with Empoy. "I have a good feeling magki-click kami. Iba talaga ang may bigote."

Empoy responded: "Nakatrabaho ko na si Maja noon pa sa ABS-CBN at mga commercial. Mabait siya at masarap kasama."

But Maja said that the biggest challenge in this latest project is to make people laugh.

"Ang hirap pala magpatawa. Mas madaling umiyak. Hindi pala madali ang maging komedyante. Yan po ang naging challenge sa akin sa 'Nina, Nino,' " she said.

Produced by Cignal Entertainment and line-produced by CS Studios and Spring Films led by Erickson Raymundo, veteran director Joyce Bernal, and top-tier actor Piolo Pascual. ”Niña Niño” is set to air as one of the new anchor shows of TV5’s revitalized primetime block, TodoMax Primetime Singko. 

Catch ”Niña Niño” on TV 5 starting April 5, 7:15 p..m., Mondays to Fridays, after Sing Galing and right before FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.