By Chandral Selim
After a 17-year break from acting, Charo Santos is back with a vengeance.
Charo played the starring role of Horacia in Lav Diaz's "Ang Babaeng Humayo" which became a toast of the international film sphere, winning the Leone D'Oro (Golden Lion) at the 73rd Venice Film Festival, and making a splash at the 2016 Toronto International Film Fest.
During the film's Philippine media launch yesterday, September 21, the ABS-CBN executive spoke about her successful transition back in front of the camera.
"Hindi naman bago sa akin, pelikula ito, trabaho ito, at gagampanan ko ang parte ko," she said.
"Hindi ko naman talaga siya na-miss, kasi klaro naman sa akin 'yung choices ko in the past, klaro sa'kin na I wanted to do production work, klaro sa akin na mayroon akong responsibilidad bilang isa sa mga pinuno ng ABS-CBN, so hindi ko naman talaga siya na-miss. Kung ano 'yung decision ko, at mga pinili ko, I gave it also my best," she said.
Resolute dedication is a Charo Santos trademark, we find out, as she further discussed how she prepared for her role in "Humayo."
Charo shared that she had an immersion at the Bilibid Prison's women correctional.
"When you're acting, you forget about yourself, because it's not about you, it's about the character you portray."
"Unang-una may shock ako, lalung-lalo na sa mga bata na nandoon," the ABS-CBN chief content officer related. "'Pag tinanong kung 'Ilang taon ka na?' tapos ang isasagot nila '24 years old,' 'Hija... bakit ka nandito? Ano'ng ginagawa mo dito?'"
It became obvious that the experience pricked Ms. Charo's heart as she continued, "And really it's always in the context of kahirapan, and social injustice. May halong lungkot, tumitigil 'yung buhay para sa kanila, but again they also choose to see the bright side, and say that 'pero maayos naman po ang buhay namin dito, nakakakain kami ng three meals a day, whereas 'yung nasa labas po ako kamatis lang ang pagkain ko sa Pasko.'"
According to Charo, her immersion in Bilibid was an integral exercise for her to further understand Horacia's motivations.
"Nakikita mo 'yung instinct to survive, and instinct to positivize their situation in life.
"Nakaktuwa kasi may nakukuha kang lakas, and I think that's what I also brought with me as Horacia, when I (in character) went out into the world with a very bitter heart, wanting to revenge my plight...when I met good people along the way bumalik 'yung goodness."
"Ang Babaeng Humayo" will be screened in Philippine cinemas this September 28!
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