Mar 182015

Matet de Leon, as Tita Gracia on GMA 7’s InstaDad: I’m fine with any role given to me

MANILA, Philippines – Add Matet de Leon to the long list of actors who can swing back and forth between different TV networks for acting projects without a hitch. Count her in, too, among the few who have no qualms about slipping into the shoes of any character being offered to them.

 “I’m everybody’s bestfriend,” says Matet on the kind of role she often plays onscreen. “As long as I’m not required to go bold (laughs); yung mga tipong pang FHM  ‘di ko kaya ‘yan but other than that I’m fine with any role. I’ve never been choosy (with roles) ever since I started in showbiz.”

Matet is only thankful that GMA 7 still sees her fit to be part of its latest drama series InstaDad with Gabby Eigenmann in the title role. You see, Matet is five months heavy with her and husband Mickey Estrada’s third child yet no one seems to play the Tita Gracia role best but her. The role, Matet says, was offered to her when InstaDad was still in its initial planning stage and “I wasn’t yet pregnant that time.” Months after, Matet got a call telling her inclusion in the final casting and that tapings would start soon.

“I asked them if they still want me because I’m already pregnant so they had a meeting, and, thankfully, I still got the part. So regalo ng Diyos sa amin ‘to ng pamilya ko that’s why I’m thankful to GMA.”

Her husband, Matet shares, was initially hesitant at her decision to work. “But I was able to convince him and I promised him that I will be extra careful kaya bawas chika, more on pahinga ako while waiting for my take.”

Besides, the actress is only required to report on the set once a week which all the more makes it easy for her to temporarily leave her mommy duties to Mickey while she’s away from their Antipolo home. They have two daughters Mikka, 10, and Mishka, 8. Matet lost her (supposed to be) third child — a baby boy — five days after she gave birth to him. She is expecting the stork’s visit in July with another baby girl.

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Being raised well by her mom, Nora Aunor, Matet tries her best to inculcate in her children good values and proper conduct the way her mom taught these things to her and her siblings Lotlot, Ian, Kenneth and Kiko.

“Respect for others, that’s No.1. Actually sometimes, naiisip ko ampon akong tao pero di ako bastos daig ko pa yung ibang mga tunay na anak. Kaming magkakapatid di kami bastos. Our mom is Nora Aunor and Christopher de Leon is our dad pero di kami pasakit ng ulo… ‘di tutok si Mommy sa amin pero di ko alam ko paano n’ya nagawa na yung values talagang nailagay n’ya sa ‘min ng tama.

“I admit, it’s really tough to train a child, ‘yung (pagsabi ng) po at opo lagi and even the simple things like holding the door for someone next to you. But thank God, na-push ko sa kanila yun.”

She is also grateful to Kris Aquino and Boy Abunda who both promised to extend financial support for her mom’s throat operation. Matet hopes Nora will take the procedure the soonest time possible. “Hopefully this year, her voice will get back in shape so she can sing again; dagdag kasiyahan ‘yun sa puso ng nanay ko.”

And though mother and daughter do not see each other often, Matet says they keep in touch by phone — they either text or call — to check on each other.

Matet also expresses delight at her mom’s recent win as Best Actress, for her remarkable acting in Dementia, at the recently-held PMPC Star Awards for Movies awards night ceremonies.

“Her cabinet is already full of (acting) trophies, wala na s’yang space sa bahay sa rami ng awards n’ya,” Matet says.

Asked if she dreams of achieving even half of what her mother has attained, Matet replies, “Honestly, di ko naisip ni minsan na umabot sa naabot nya but of course, I want to be known for my acting, as a good actress not just as a celebrity.”

(InstaDad will air every Sunday after Sunday All Stars beginning April.)

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