At first glance, we thought she was Marian Rivera rehearsing that mid-day afternoon for the musical play KATIPS of Philippine Stagers Foundation. With her moves, with her smiles and nice gestures, you could very well compare her to that famous and pretty GMA-7 top actress. But she’s not Marian Rivera, really. She’s Maya Encila, the New Stager who’s portraying the role of Lara in the above-mentioned musical play of PSF.
She’s so sweet, friendly and nice. She smiled with so much captivating manners, and even one gay blogger could somehow feel he’s a ‘straight guy’, all the more when Maya sat beside with him for a quick interview and whispered words into his ears.
“Two months ago, when me and my dad visited here in the Philippines and direk Vince Tanada saw me, he at once offered me to play the role of Lara in this musical play”, Maya whispered so delicately into the ears of a blogger. “He told me I must become a Stager. I didn’t hesitate for once, and I readily said YES to direk Vince. You see, acting on theater is my passion, that’s why. And my parents also wanted me to experience more about life, most especially here in the Philippines. After two months, we came back here after organizing everything in our residence in the United States. And here I am now, rehearsing for this play. Everything came so fast.”
That was the last rehearsal day when we interviewed Maya which happened just a week before their first performance for the said musical play. And when the blogger saw Maya again on stage this time, definitely, the blogger knew that Maya fully deserved the role and the break she got into. She’s good.
“I can very well relate to the character I’m portraying”, Maya also said at that time. “Like Lara, my character in the play, I was also raised in the United States and grew-up there. And like Lara also, I had no idea what happened during the Martial Law years in the Philippines. Even the word Desaparecido doesn’t mean a thing to me. That’s why I felt I almost acted as myself.”
Maya was thankful also to her director for motivating her fully and being the ‘push-factor’ in giving her very best for the role.
“He’s always at my back supporting me”, Maya whispered on. “Direk Vince, gave me space and freedom to explore and further enhance my role.”
The Stagers, including his leading men on the play in persons of Kierwin Larena and Kevin Posadas (both alternating for the role of ‘Greg’ which is Lara’s love interest in the play. Lara is Maya’s character on the play, we say again), always gave her feed backs and moral support during rehearsals and performances.
“And I really appreciate it”, Maya whispered again to a blogger’s ear because loud music at their rehearsal venue was being played. “It helped me to further enhance my character because even though I have acted in some stage plays back in the United States, it’s still different here. Their feed backs and pointers were like my guidelines to do it better.”
But how does Maya feel when people tell her that she looks like Marian Rivera?
‘Well, I’m really excited about that”, Maya answered while whispering again at the end of interview. “It’s a challenge, too, on my part. Because it makes me feel I must really do good not to suffer in comparison. It’s also kinda’ mixed emotions on my part. Because you see, people may expect so much from me. That’s why I am taking advantage of my good singing voice now as an asset for me. In this play, I sing a lot and I hope people will notice that I really sing well.”
Maya Encila. Remember the name. A true artist and a good person, too, at that.
(words by robert manuguid silverio)