Fresh faces shine in ‘Regal Studios Presents’

For the past two years, newbie actors and supporting players have been given the opportunity to shine in the weekly drama anthology Regal Studios Presents, a co-production between GMA Network and Regal Entertainment, Inc.

That commitment to develop and support new artists was quite apparent with the attendance of top executives from the two companies at the recent presscon marking the show’s second anniversary.

Regal’s chief operating officer and vice president Roselle Monteverde came with creative consultant and award-winning director Joey Reyes. GMA Network, on the other hand, was represented by Annette Gozon-Valdes (senior vice president, as well as president of GMA Films and GMA Worldwide) and Joey Abacan (vice president for programming).

“Talent matters over looks,” Reyes said when asked for his advice to newbies. “Napaka-competitive ng mundo ng showbiz. Kung titignan natin sila, ang saya-saya nila. But they’re actually competing with one another to get the public’s attention and support. What’s important is they find the unique niche of who they are, not just as mere celebrities but as competent artists in the performing arts.”
Eleven of the actors who’ve done at least one episode on RSP took center stage at the press event, thankful for the people behind the Sunday-afternoon show for choosing them to play either the leads or major roles.

Dustin Yu and Shayne Sava.

Yasser Mata and Lexi Gonzales, for instance, starred in an episode titled “Battle of Exes” that kicked off the second anniversary celebration on 13 September at 4:15 p.m.

For his part, Royce Cabrera played the titular role in the “I Love You, Bien” episode, aired just last Sunday, which tackled the challenges married couples face today.

Meanwhile, Shayne Sava, Dustin Yu, Will Ashley, Althea Ablan, Miggs Cuaderno and Carlo San Juan talked about their respective upcoming episodes.

Sava and Yu star in the “Mother, Mother, Where Are You?” episode, with Sava playing a social media influencer based abroad who comes to the Philippines to look for her biological mother and then finds help in Yu’s “basagulero” character.

Ashley and Ablan headline the “The Poster Boy” episode, which Ablan called a “magical story.” That’s because her character serendipitously finds an old poster featuring a handsome young man (played by Ashley) who magically turns into a real person.

Cuaderno, a former child actor, takes on the lead role of an orphan who makes it appear that he has a family so he can get into a scholarship program. Thus, the episode’s title, “My Fake Family.”
San Juan, on the other hand, plays a musician torn between his passion and responsibilities in “The Dream Guy” episode, which also stars Brianna Bunagan and John Freir under the direction of Easy Ferrer.

The newbie actor, who used to work as a tricycle driver, admitted closely identifying with is character.

“Lahat naman tayo dito lumalaban para sa pamilya,” he said. “Blessed ako kasi nagagawa ko siya because of my passion, which is acting and performing… Dahil po dito [sa RSP], nakikilala ko ang sarili ko at kung ano ang kaya kong gawin. Biggest lesson siguro is it’s okay na habulin ang passion as long as hindi mo nakakalimutan ’yung mga nagmamahal sa ’yo.”

(We’re all here working for our families. I’m blessed because I’m able to do it through my passion for acting and performing. Because of RSP, I’ve come to know myself and what I can do. The biggest lesson for me is that it’s okay to chase your passion as long as you don’t forget the people who love you.)

Larkin Castor and AZ Martinez had worked together in a past episode called “The Two Nerds.” Martinez said she’d like to focus on her acting career after winning the Miss Summit International 2023 crown at a pageant held on 2 September in Florida, U.S.A.