Why being slapped by Maricel Soriano is a dream for Pinoy actors

Maricel Soriano inevitably became the recipient of tribute-like statements from her costars at the recent media conference for the psychological drama series Linlang, which premiered last Thursday, 5 October, on Prime Video.


The 58-year-old actress, called the Diamond Star in recognition of her illustrious career in Philippine movies that began in her childhood, made lasting impressions on younger colleagues Kim Chiu, Paulo Avelino, JM de Guzman and Kaila Estrada, as well as on an older castmate, Ruby Ruiz, while shooting the series.

“She’s the Diamond Star for a reason,” Estrada exclaimed. Nodding, De Guzman said, “Naging challenge sa ’kin pagka magka-eksena kami. Nanonood ako sa kanya kasi sobrang galing. Nadadala ako sa scene (It became a challenge to be in a scene with her. She’s so good. I get carried away).”

Avelino summed up his feelings for his senior co-star with “napakaraming respeto at paghanga (So much respect and admiration).”

Soriano, who’s also called Inay by people close to her, just played it cool, even cracking jokes.

Wala bang cash?’ Puro na lang salita ang natatanggap ko (No cash? I only get good words),” she quipped.



But the accolades kept pouring in, this time about how she can make a slapping scene so realistic that a fellow award-winning actress once said she literally saw stars after being slapped by Soriano.

Chiu revealed that she has at least one slapping scene with Soriano in Linlang, which tackles marital infidelity and other forms of deception.

Sobra po akong natigalgal. Siyempre, di ba, pangarap ’yun ng isang artista na masampal ni Inay. Bucket list naming lahat ’yun. Bucket list, check! Ang lala! Baseball! (I was stunned. It’s every actor’s dream to get slapped by Inay. It’s in our bucket list. Mine is so strong, like being hit by a baseball).”

Soriano then explained, “Mahirap kasing i-fake ’yun. Kailangang maramdaman ’yung galit ng nanay (It’s difficult to fake the emotions. I have to let out a mother’s anger).”

In the story, she’s the mother of both De Guzman and Avelino’s characters. Chiu, on the other hand, plays the woman who comes between the two brothers.

Ruiz, who takes on the role of Chiu’s grandmother, noted that Soriano gave “sobrang totoo n’yang emosyon (all-too-real emotions) in that slapping scene. Napakahusay ng pag-arte. Parang hindi umaarte (excellent acting, like not acting at all).”

She expressed her fervent wish to work with Soriano again. “Hindi lang sampal ang gusto ko sa kanya. Umaatikabong acting (It’s not just a slap I want to get from her, but also the highest level of acting). Kung meron akong hindi malilimutan, ’yung friendship na nabuo namin ni Miss Maricel Soriano (If there’s one thing I won’t forget, it’s the friendship I’ve made with Miss Maricel Soriano).”

Beyond the Diamond Star tag and image, Soriano is loved for her maternally caring ways, hence the pet name Inay. As De Guzman put it, “Parang nanay s’ya po talaga sa set. Inaalagaan n’ya po kami (She’s really like a mom on the set. She takes care of us).”

Soriano herself gave examples of how she takes care of her wards, such as putting on baby powder and towel on their backs to avoid getting soaked by sweat. “Masaya ako, kaya looking forward ako na pumunta sa set nang maaga. Inaantay ko sila, ‘Anong latest? Naghahanap ako ng latest (I’m happy, that’s why I look forward to coming to set early. I wait for them, and then ask, ‘What’s the latest news?’).”



According to Chiu, “Very generous si Inay. Ang dami n’yang binibigay sa ’min, lalo na ’ko kasi magka-paa kami. So ang dami-dami ko nang sapatos na mamahalin galing kay Inay (She gives us a lot of stuff. I now have so many expensive shoes that were given by Inay).”

Also, “Ang dami n’ya parating pagkain sa kuwarto n’ya, so pupunta lang kami do’n, tapos magkukuwentuhan kami and chikahan, gano’n (She has so much food in her room. We just go there and chat).”

Ang galing lang na makatrabaho ang isang (It’s great to work with) Maricel Soriano na ang tagal-tagal na sa industriya pero (who’s been in the business for so long, yet is so)
down-to-earth and very accommodating to help ’yung mga artista na katulad namin (other actors like us),” Chiu added.

For his part, Avelino said he takes the initiative to remind new actors, when they get the chance to work with Soriano, to a least introduce themselves, say hi and show respect to a much-esteemed pillar of the industry.