Gina Alajar is one of the most accomplished celebrities in Philippine show business — both as an award-winning actress and director.
To the older generation, she was Salome, her character in the 1981 classic of the same name, for which she earned critical reviews.
Today's generation of fans will, however, most likely call her Dian Lamitan, the antagonist in the hit series Amaya, where she truly made a mark.
Alajar talks to tabloid! about how she manages to be at the top of her game for so long, despite younger and fresher talents coming up.
You've been in show business since the '60s; how do you manage to still be in demand as an actress and director?
Professionalism and doing your best in what you do.
This was the kind of training we had in the past — we considered ourselves more as professional artists rather than celebrities.
Sure, being an actor was a glamorous thing, but in those days we talked more about our craft as a profession rather than as a stepladder to fame and fortune.
You're the director of a teen show, and you have children who are also in show business. What's your assessment of today's generation of artists?
They have talent definitely, but they just have to take their careers more seriously. They have to be more professional. I always tell my children to try to learn things from their peers and from their directors to help them improve.
In this business, I always tell them to have a better appreciation of talent, more than anything else.
You've been with GMA for the longest time. We heard you will soon be moving to TV5, with an irresistible contract. Your reaction?
With TV5, people automatically think it's about money. Nothing is final yet, but I am pleased with the offer that they have made. And there is also a chance to get involved in managing and developing their artists, something that excites me. So I am seriously considering it although, of course, I am open to any offers from my current studio, GMA.
At this point in my career, it's not about the money, really; it's the quality of the projects that I am more concerned with.
There is so much talk now about the National Artist award, with so many big names in contention. Your thoughts?
Honestly, they are all deserving, but I wish they'd give the more senior stars priority. It's sad that this award is more often given posthumously.
They should give it when the person is still alive and can still enjoy the distinction and recognition the honour bestows.
Derek and Angelica on a time-out
Love birds Derek Ramsay and Angelica Pangilinan finally admitted they're having relationship problems and have decided to part ways, at least temporarily.
Although the news was announced by Ramsay, Pangilinan was forced to speak up to deny the rumours that actor John Lloyd Cruz was the reason for the break-up. The actress said she and Cruz are seen together often only because they are filming a movie, and had to go to Vietnam to do some scenes.
Other than that, they are strictly just friends, according to the actress.
Albie beaten up by Andi's thugs?
Albie Casino got beaten up in the parking lot of a plush bar in Manila's business district last week, after getting involved in an incident with former flame Andi Eigenmann.
Initial police reports say Casino had to be taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor bruises and a CT scan after the actor said he was hit with a glass bottle on the head. The actor alleged he was attacked by six men who were with Eigenmann's companions inside the bar.
In a statement, Eigenmann admitted splashing wine on Casino and slapping him, but denied any involvement in the ensuing brawl.
Casino and Eigenmann had a bitter break-up last year after the actress announced she was pregnant with the actor's baby, an unfounded claim pending a DNA test.