Faith da Silva’s time to sparkle

The longer you stare at Faith da Silva, a member of GMA-7’s cluster of female stars branded as Sparkle 10, the more she gets to look like Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.

Da Silva hasn’t met Wurtzbach in person. At the presentation blitz of Sparkle 10 recently, a little bunch of showbiz scribes queried the morena Da Silva, “So what’s the first thing you’d tell Pia if you ever meet her?”

FAITH Da Silva | photograph courtesy of FB.COM/FAITH DA SILVA

Paano ba niya naging boyfriend ang napakaguwapong boyfriend niya noon na si Jeremy (Jauncey) na asawa na niya ngayon (How did she end up having a very handsome boyfriend then, Jeremy Chauncey, who eventually became her husband)?,” Da Silva guffawed.

Gusto ko rin ng magkaroon ng boyfriend na kasing guwapo at kasing macho ni Jeremy, eh (I also want to have boyfriend who’s as handsome and muscular as Jeremy)!,” she quickly added, still joking.

Da Silva, whom one thought would be dour, if not inhibited, because she grew up without seeing her father but knowing that the father is languishing in jail, turned up to have a keen sense of humor and gaily laughing and ribbing as often as she can.

Her father is ex-actor Dennis da Silva, who became Ruffa Gutierrez’s boyfriend in her early teens as they were a love team in showbiz in the late ’80s which turned for real despite the tight guarding of Gutierrez’s mom, Annabelle Rama. 

After the young lovers broke up, the promising stunningly handsome actor fell into a drug vice that caused the first times he landed in jail. Once set free, he would find someone or another to be a conjugal partner for some years. One of those women was a band vocalist who gave birth to Faith and Faith’s younger brother. 

Possibly because of his drug habit, none of the former actor’s live-in relationships lasted longer than a few years. He had it with a woman who already had several children, including a 14-year-old girl whom he impregnated. It’s the case that caused him to be sentenced with several life imprisonment in 2005.

In 2015, Faith da Silva joined the GMA 7’s star-search contest Starstruck. She was just in her early teens and by that time, she already knew about her father’s life imprisonment. Though Faith didn’t emerge as the grand female winner (Klea Pineda won), the network eventually signed her up to be one of its young stars. Liezl Lopez, who’s also one of the Sparkle 10, was among the discoveries from the batch of Starstruck Season 6 joiners. In her early teens, Faith already stands five feet and eight inches, having the genes of an actor and a singer.

Faith admitted that she did dream to join one beauty pageant or another, but did not pursue it. She confided in that huddle with the bunch of scribes: “Nangarap din naman akong maging beauty queen. But then, I found out na kahit may mga grupo na nag-offer sa akin ng full sponsorship para sumali sa whatever pageant, magkakagastos pa rin ako at ang pamilya ko (I also dreamed of becoming a beauty queen. But I found out that even if there’s a group sponsoring me, there would be still be expenses for me and my family).

Eh wala nga akong tatay (I didn’t have a father) who supports the family, mother ko lang ang (is my only) main support ko at ng younger brother ko, so I decided na to accept GMA 7’s offer to be among their build-up stars.” 

They were not called Sparkles yet when Faith signed up with the Kapuso network. Mr. M (starbuilder Johnny Manahan) hasn’t moved from ABS-CBN to GMA 7. 

It was not long after getting signed by the Kapuso network that she was cast in the series Ika-5 Utos (2018); Anak ni Waray, Anak ni Biday (2020); and then the memorable Las Hermanas (2021). In 2022 and 2023, she had major participation in the series Unica Hija, Mga Lihim ni Urduja, The Gift and Maging Sino Ka Man

In September 2022, she released her first single “Sana Sabihin Mo Na Lang” as an official recording artist of GMA Playlist. Her other songs include “Pabalik-balik,” “Stay,” “Huli Na” and “Wag Na Lang.”

She continues hosting and performing in such shows as TicktoClock and All-Out Sundays. The network every now and then taps her to be a co-host in the Tekla and Boobay Show.

In February this year, Faith was given by the network her own YouTube vlog show.

Meanwhile, Faith is set to play the role of Flamarra, the new keeper of Brilyante ng Apoy, in the continuation of GMA’s iconic fantasy series in its new title, Encantadia Chronicles: Sang’gre.

The Sparkle 10 strategy

Presenting stunning actresses as a cluster branded as Sparkle 10 is an attention-grabbing strategy of Mr. M’s team on the Kapuso network. Aside from Da Silva and Lopez, this constellation of stars includes Shuvee Etrata, Lexi Gonzales, Angel Guardian, Rabiya Mateo, Ashley Ortega, Lianne Valentin and Elle Villanueva. At the launch, they walked the ramp in couture outfits. Their age range is just 22 to 27. Da Silva is among the youngest.

“These Sparkle 10 ladies have shown why they are being celebrated for their bravery, boldness and beauty. The Sparkle 10 are courageous, confident and stunning women who strutted down the runway to showcase their unique personalities and strengths,” said Lawrence Tan of Mr. M’s team.

The Sparkle 10 are also among the busiest female stars of the network in regular shows of varying genres. If indeed GMA 7 is determined to replace the recently defunct Pinakamasayang Tahanan of the cash-strapped blocktimer company popularly known as TAPE with a live daily noontime show, some of these empowered women stars may turn up among the hosts. (There’s a buzz now about comedian-writer Michael V likely to become the live show’s main host. His GMA7 contract has just been renewed.)

Some of these female stars may be statuesque mestizas by blood but their hybrid features are not sharp so all of them look very Pinay. Only Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo look half-Filipino because of her Indian father. Their looking Filipino gives us a good reason to be prouder about them.

Kim-Pau’s follow-up project

Pinoy TV appears to be more vibrant and more delightfully hectic these than the movies. ABS-CBN and Viu streaming have just blitz on media their collaboration for the next Kim Chiu and Paulo Avelino team up after the well-followed Linlang.

PAULO Avelino and Kim Chiu in ‘What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim?’ | photograph courtesy of ABS-CBN

What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? is an adaptation of a hit South Korean romantic comedy series whose lead female character happens to be named Kim, a very efficient and lovely office secretary to the top executive of a high-earning company. 

The lead cast includes Jake Cuenca, Janice de Belen, Romnick Sarmenta, Pepe Herrera, JC Alcantara and Kaori Oinuma. Directed by Chad Vidanes, the series begins airing on Viu as a free streaming show on 18 March, though those who want to watch its episodes ahead of the others may do so by taking out a subscription. 

It’s smart that this follow-up Kim-Pau team up isn’t an intense nerve-racking unfaithfulness story among married couples that kept their Linlang series engrossing. At the media launch held on the third-floor plaza of the new Gateway Mall 2 in Cubao, QC, Herrera spilled that at their tapings, Chiu and Avelino have been behaving even off-camera like an engaged couple, if not husband and wife. Sitting together at the media launch, Chiu and Avelino seem to be avoiding to have their bodies touch each other. At some point, Chiu even had a huge stuffed toy carabao sit between them. The carabao is a gift to secretary Kim by her boss in the story.

Chiu was more playful and voluble at the grand media launch. She praised several times Avelino’s acting of a love-obsessed boss and the first time she did it, Avelino quickly blurted back: “Ano bang gusto mong dinner mamaya, Kim (What do you want for dinner)?.” 

Televiewers also continue to follow another ABS-CBN rom-com on Netflix and other platforms, Can’t Buy Me Love, which is now known not just for the love tandem of Belle Mariano and Donnie Pangilinan but also that of Maris Racal and Anthony Jennings through their irrepressible characters as Irene and Snoop. A third wheel has been added to the SnoRene jaunty entanglement, Aldrich, played by Jake Ejercito who suddenly had to grieve in real life though his new series character seems to be forever cheery and sunny.

Ejercito is the father of the first grandchild of iconic actor Jaclyn Jose who suddenly died from heart attack early this month. The grandchild is Ellie, daughter of Jose’s only daughter Andi Eigenmann.

In Can’t Buy Me Love, Aldrich is a high school classmate of Irene in some rich kids’ school. 

The networks TV5 and Net25 also have new shows even as they manage to sustain viewership interest on their existing ones.