MANILA, Philippines - Katrina Halili is back once again as a villainess, this time plotting against Heart Evangelista, in GMA’s "Magkano Ba Ang Pag-ibig?" - which premieres September 30.
Many still remember Katrina as the scheming Angelika Santibanez in the Pinoy version of the hit Mexican telenovela, "MariMar," which launched Marian Rivera to stardom in 2007.
That show also made a star out of Katrina, and soon she was taking the lead role in other big serye projects, such as the afternoon drama "Magdusa Ka," and the month-long drama anthology "Obra."
But then came the 2009 sex-video scandal, which disrupted the careers of everyone involved and Katrina was prompted to keep a low profile and take a hard look at that episode.
In hindsight, that controversy has since been eclipsed by the increasing openness of today's cyber-media culture. Meanwhile, Katrina looks at the future with confidence.
The 27-year-old actress-model has a baby girl named Katrence or Baby Katy, and a supportive boyfriend in the person of singer Kris Lawrence.
“I’m back and magtataray na naman ang lola n’yo!” she laughed. Katrina, of course, refers to that mean, snooty persona she does well in projecting or portraying on screen.
“I miss acting. My last acting job was 'My Beloved' in 2012, before I gave birth to my baby girl," she said at a recent press conference on the upcoming serye.
"That was my chance to take a long vacation and experience being a mother.
“Tsaka gusto ko munang magpapayat bago ako bumalik sa TV, ‘di ba?”
(And I want to go slim before returning to TV.)
Katrina remains widely admired for that whistle-baiting figure which inspired FHM to name her its Sexiest Woman for two straight years, 2006 and 2007.
But she points to other celebrities as being in better shape.
“Kasi naman ang papayat ng mga co-stars kong sina Heart and Alessandra de Rossi." (Heart and Alessandra de Rossi are a lot slimmer.)
"Hindi ako papayag na ako lang ang mataba!" (I can't tolerate it that I'm the only one fat!)
Katrina said she goes to the gym with her "gym buddy" Kris.
“Kris has been very supportive. Siya itong nagpu-push sa akin to get back into shape once na okey nang maiwan sa yaya si Katy.
(He's the one pushing me to get back into shape once it's okay to leave Katy with her babysitter.)
Baby Katy celebrated her first birthday on September 18 and it was attended by family members and close friends from showbiz.
“Bumili ako ng [I bought an] iPad mini for her. Para kapag nasa taping ako [So that during tapings], I get to check on her from time to time from my iPad.
"Gusto ko pa rin kasing nakikita ang baby ko kahit nasa trabaho ako.”
(I want to see my baby even when I'm at work.)
'Magkano Ba ang Pag-ibig' is directed by Maryo J. Delos Reyes and also stars Sid Lucero, Dominic Roco, Celia Rodriguez, Pen Medina, Isabel Oli, Ana Capri, Sharmaine Centenera, Luz Valdez, Vangie Labanan, Mariel Pamintuan, Nicky Castro, and Angelo Ilagan.