Aga Muhlach returns to ABS-CBN after several years of living “a normal life,” meaning away from the rolling cameras, glaring klieg lights and, of course, showbiz rumors and controversies. He feels excited to be back and get himself comfortable again in front of the cameras.
“When I arrived earlier, I had felt I never left home. It was so normal to see old faces, friends you’ve worked with for 19 years,” said Aga during the presscon last Thursday night. “FYI, I was in ABS for 19 years. But the only difference now is I was gone for six years and I didn’t work for three years and I stopped. So this is my first day na makahawak uli ng mikropono, first day ko makunan ng picture, first day ko ma-interview kaya medyo naiilang ako. But it’s nice to see old faces here who are my friends from the press and the new ones.”
That same day, prior to the presscon, Aga inked a deal with the Kapamilya network with ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak, COO of Broadcast Cory Vidanes and Aga’s manager Ethel Ramos in attendance. The actor’s comeback is marked with the task of sitting as one of the four jury members of Pinoy Boyband Superstar, the Kapamilya network’s newest talent search for the Pinoy boyband that is set to premiere soon. It will be the first time for Aga to be a judge in a show.
Aga shared that his wife Charlene Gonzalez and, former leading lady Lea Salonga were among those who convinced him about working again in the network. His twins Atasha and Andres also persuaded him to accept the project. Atasha, Aga added, even went with him during his meeting with the network executives and on his first taping day.
Business unit head Lui Andrada, on the other hand, related how Aga turned out to be the best choice to be a judge. “We are all aware that with the search for a boyband, you are looking for a heartthrob. So when we’re doing the casting, (we have) Vice (Ganda, who) is a performer, Yeng (Constantino), a songwriter and Dara (Sandara Park), a member of a girl group. So may kulang na element which is the epitome of a heartthrob.
“It so happened we bumped into Charlene and Aga in Hong Kong who were celebrating their wedding anniversary and that moment gave me the idea that it was him who I was looking for. Si Aga, s’ya talaga yung heartthrob.”
Aga admitted that it took him a couple of weeks to decide whether to accept the offer or not. His passion to do films remains. That’s why he always keeps in touch with Star Cinema executive Malou Santos. But doing a TV project was among his reasons for feeling burned out that he decided to lie low in showbiz.
“I was living and enjoying the normal life, and then one day it dawned on me, I was 46 then, that I was too young to retire but at one point, I don’t mind. I just turned 47 recently. But there are still many things that I’d like to do, yet I’m clueless what could they be. Then I got a message from Lea, then my wife was also convincing me and Tita Ethel Ramos about the show so sabi ko it’s light, it’s different and there is not much pressure because there are four of us in the show. Then, I decided that it’s the best way to make a comeback in ABS.”
Besides, Aga believes Pinoy Boyband Superstar is a good avenue to give back by mentoring and giving aspirants pieces of advice on becoming artists and at the same time sharing the ABCs of the entertainment scene.
Asked about the qualities he looks for in a boyband, Aga said being in a boyband is not just all about singing. One also needs charm and character, adding, “lahat kailangan di ba (meron nun), hindi ka naman masyadong presko at bilib sa sarili mo.”
Recall that Aga also came up with a record during his younger years. “’Yung tenga ko talaga matalas because I grew up listening to jazz. I often go to live shows and live bands, it’s easy to tell who can sing well or not.”
What is the first advice would he give to a contestant?
“Well, just relax first, know and learn your song, look your best and go for it, as simple as that, you just have to be relaxed. I remember my good friend director Joey Javier Reyes that every time may bagong artistang kasama ko, direk was able to make the newcomer perform well because he would allow him to make himself at ease first with everyone. So it’s very important to be relaxed to be able to give your best.”
Aside from Pinoy Boyband Superstar, a movie will certainly follow.
“Malapit na, naamoy ko na. When I got here, Star Cinema was there to welcome me also and handed me a script right away. So there’s a script now that I will have to read when I get home. So within a week or two, we will know. Hindi mawawala yung passion ko sa pag-gawa ng movie and ABS knows that.”
Pinoy Boyband Superstar will be hosted by Billy Crawford. (Bot Glorioso, PS)