'Encantadia' 2016 star Glaiza de Castro: 10 awesome things to know about the new Pirena

SANG'GRE PIRENA. Actress Glaiza de Castro takes on the role of Pirena, the keeper of the fire gem in 'Encantadia' 2016.

Photo by Paolo Abad/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – As fans anticipate the release of the new Encantadia this year, a lot of them cheered when Glaiza de Castro was introduced as the actress to play Pirena, the eldest of the sang'gres with the ability to control fire. (WATCH: First 'Encantadia' 2016 trailer released)

Although she is not new in showbiz – having appeared in various soaps (Amaya, The Rich Man's Daughter, Temptation of Wife, and Grazilda) – Encantadia, no doubt, is one of Glaiza's biggest roles to date.

Reporters and bloggers got to spend time with her on the roads of Quezon City, as she jammed inside a car, last June 16.

Here are some awesome things to know about the new keeper of the Brilyante ng Apoy (fire jewel).

1. She went through a rigorous audition process and extensive training for Encantadia. 

During the blog conference, Glaiza shared that she auditioned for the role last year.

Knowing that it was a demanding role, she went back to the gym, and during the audition, she was given a scene from the original Encantadia to act out.

"Tapos siguro ilang weeks din after or ilang days, nakatanggap ako ng second callback. Tapos umarte na ako kasama ng ibang mga artists," she said.

(Then after several weeks or days, I received a second callback. And then I acted out scenes alongside other actors.)

"Pinag-suot na nila kami ng costume – yung original costume. Sabi ko, 'Ito na ba iyon, ito na ba iyon?"

(They made us wear the costume – the original costume. I said, 'Is this it?')

After the series of auditions, Glaiza, along with the other cast members were called back and were asked how much they like their roles. It was soon announced that they got their respective parts in the show.

Glaiza worked out, doing Arnis, Muay Thai, and boxing. She also tries to run in between her tapings.

Akala ko matutuloy yung ulan kaya sinuguro ko ng magpa picture kasi sayang naman na gumising pa ako ng maaga para tumakbo. Eh hindi umulan. Ayun, natuloy yung takbo. Bonus pa na ang sarap ng panahon at hindi masyadong mainit. Sulit naman. Good morning! A photo posted by @glaizaredux on Jun 8, 2016 at 4:38pm PDT

 

2. She has the blessing of the original Pirena.

Nakadaupang palad ang isang sanggre kanina sa gusali ng GMA Network. Lumukso ang aking puso at wala akong masabi kaya't nagpakuha na lamang kami ng litrato. Batid kong marami pa siyang ibang nalalaman tungkol sa mundo ng #Encantadia. P.S. Salamat @tracybaky sa litrato. Kay ganda ng paslit na iyon sa gilid #pirenaxpirena A photo posted by Glaiza Galura (@glaizaredux) on May 6, 2016 at 5:18am PDT

 

During the blog conference held at Runner's Kitchen, Glaiza was asked to comment on being congratulated by Sunshine Dizon, who played Pirena in the 2005 series.

 

congratulations @glaizaredux #EncantadiaReveal24Oras #Encantadia2016 — Sunshine Dizon-Tan (@shinedizontan) April 4, 2016

 

Coincidentally, Sunshine has a special role in the so-called "requel" of the show. 

 

"Nakakatuwa. Parang wow, kumbaga parang may approval ng reyna," Glaiza said when asked about Sunshine's blessing. "Alam ko na tweet ko iyon na parang thank you mahal na reyna. Siyempre, bilang pagalang."

(I'm very happy. It's like, wow, because it's like you have the approval of a queen. I know I tweeted, 'Thank you, my queen.' Of course, I was paying my respects.)

Maraming salamat reyna https://t.co/VMVIoIGHOh — Glaiza de Castro (@glaizaredux) April 4, 2016

 

3. Encantadia reunites her with Marian Rivera.

Abangan sa #YanAngMorning A photo posted by @glaizaredux on May 4, 2016 at 2:51am PDT

 

The show is also sort of a "reunion" for Glaiza and Marian, who starred in two projects together: Amaya and Temptation of Wife.

They were supposed to be together in The Rich Man's Daughter, but Marian had to bow out of the project after she became pregnant with her daughter Letizia.

Glaiza expressed her happiness in acting with Marian again, whom she considered as one of her best friends in the industry.

In the show, Marian plays Ynang Reyna Mine-a, the mother of the 4 sang'gres.

According to Glaiza, she and Marian were joking around when they started taping for the show. She shared that they even call each other "Bai," a Cebuano term of endearment.

"'Bai,' as in ngayon tawagan pa din namin ay 'Bai.'" she said. "'Bai, nag-play na tayo magkapatid tayo, kerida (mistresses), almost lovers, ngayon nanay. Ano pa ba?'" she shared.

('Bai' – we call each other 'Bai.' 'Bai, we already played sisters, mistresses, almost lovers and now, you're my mother. What else?)

"Yung parang nagtatawanan na kami kasi parang ang dami namin pinagsamahan. Tapos ngayon, ang weird lang – in a good way – na magiging nanay ko siya." 

(We were laughing like that because we've been through many things together. And then now, it's weird – in a good way – that she's now my mother.)

"Pero nakakatuwa. Hindi ko makakalimutan yung isang eksena namin together," Glaiza continued. "Medyo challenging scene iyon. Ito yung heart ng show. Ito yung isa sa mga biggest scenes ng Encantadia."

(But it's thrilling. I wouldn't forget one particular scene with us together. It was challenging. This is the heart of the show. This is one of the biggest scenes of Encantadia.)

She explained about how different it is working with Marian from working with the newer cast members: "Namiss ko siya kasi yung kind of relationship meron ang co-actors, iyon yung kumbaga gustong madevelop sa amin ng mga bagong kasama ko. Yung kumbaga parang tinginan lang na alam na sinusoportahan ka niya."

(I miss her, because the relationship we have as co-actors, that's what I hope to develop with the newer cast members. It's like all you have to do is just look at each other and you know that you have each other's support.)

When asked to describe her friendship with her, Glaiza said that Marian is one of the "sincerest" friends she has ever met.

  

4. Glaiza describes Pirena as a 'misunderstood' woman.

Glaiza said that one of the best ways to describe her character, Pirena, is that she is a "misunderstood" and "misguided" woman.

"She doesn't want to explain herself too much. Or minsan, hindi mo alam kung ano ang iniisip niya," she explained. "Yung mga schemes niya, tipong, hindi mo alam kung anong gagawin niya na sususunod.

(Sometimes you don't know what she is thinking of. Her schemes are, like, you don't know what she's up to next.)

 

"Kasi, may point naman siya. Para sa akin, masasabi ko na understandable yung reasons niya, pero yung way of getting what she wants, fighting for what she thinks is right... Minsan medyo hindi tama kasi na-nurture ng mga tao ang way of thinking niya."

(She has a point. But for me, I can say her reasons are understandable but her way of getting what she wants, fighting for what she thinks is right. Sometimes, it's because people didn't nurture her way of thinking in the right manner.)

In the show, Pirena will grow to hate her sisters, especially Amihan, who she considers as a rival for Lireo's throne.

She grows up in the care of a dama named Gurna, who poisons her mind in thinking that she is not good enough to be Queen.

Glaiza said that as she studied Pirena's character, she mused that there is a Pirena in everyone.

"Naka-empathize ako [...] and na-realize ko na I think there's a Pirena in all of us. Na meron talaga tayong times na akala natin na tama yung ginagawa natin or akala na tama yung way of thinking natin pero it's just our pride telling us na, 'Hindi, kailangan ko ipaglaban yung freedom mo,' ganun."

(I was able to emphatize [with her] and I realized that I think there's a Pirena in all of us. That we have these times that we think we are correct with our decisions or that we are correct with our way of thinking, but it's just our pride telling us, 'No, I need to fight for your freedom,' like that.)

 

5. She has praises for Mira actress and newcomer Kate Valdez.  

#Repost @diannebernardo with @repostapp ・・・ Pirena at Mira. #Encantadia2016 @artistcenter #Kapuso #ArtistCenter #GlaizaDeCastro A photo posted by Kate Valdez (@valdezkate_) on Apr 4, 2016 at 9:57am PDT

 

In Encantadia, Pirena gives birth to a daughter named Mira, who she will switch with Amihan's daughter Lira. Mira will be played by newcomer Kate Valdez, and Glaiza has nothing but praises for the young actress.

"Natutuwa ako sa batang iyon kasi ano siya, very accomodating, parang very warm. Everytime na nagte-taping kami, sabi ko, 'Itong batang ito, bagay na maging anak ko. Yung tama yung pagka-cast sa kanya bilang anak ni Pirena," Glaiza said. 

(I'm pleased with that girl because she's very accomodating, very warm. Every time we tape scenes together, I say, 'This kid is really suited to play my daughter.' She's really suited to play Pirena's daughter.) 

 

6. She admits to being protective towards her castmates – especially her sang'gre 'sisters.'

Sa pagpasok ng tag-ulan, #BubuhosAngPaGMAmahal! Sa ating ika-66 na taon, narito ang handog ng @gmanetwork sa inyo. #Encantadia2016 A video posted by Encantadia 2016 (@gmaencantadia) on Jun 1, 2016 at 8:46am PDT

 

As they spend more time together doing the show, Glaiza does not hide the fact she  and Kylie Padilla tend to be protective as they look out for the other two sang'gres, Gabbi Garcia and Sanya Lopez.

"Yes, I think nagiging natural sa amin na mag-respond nang ganun," Glaiza said. "Since nakikita namin yung – especially when you see that they need help or they need guidance or kung ano man concerns nila. Siyempre, instinct na iyon na kahit hindi mo kadugo, kumbaga, bilang mas nagtrabaho ka sa industriya ng mas matagal."

(Yes I think it's natural for us to respond like that. Since we see – especially when we see that they need help or they need guidance, or whatever concerns they have. Of course, it's instinct that even if you're not related by blood – in other words as you've worked in the industry for a long time.)

"I think yung Encantadia kaya nag-work siya before, kasi the sang'gres are very supportive to each other lalo na si Sunshine [Dizon]," she added.

(I think the reason why the original Encantadia worked is because the sang'gres were very supportive of each other, especially Sunshine.)

Happy Friday from the Sang'gres, Gurna, and @direkmark! (Photo from instagram.com/direkmark) A photo posted by Encantadia 2016 (@gmaencantadia) on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:25am PDT

 

7. She is a singer-songwriter.

Glaiza is known as an actress, but do you know that she is also a singer and songwriter?

She has recorded 3 albums, with the last one entitled Synthesis. She even gave a sample of her skills during the blogcon.

From last week' blogcon, @glaizaredux #JoyridejamwithPirena pic.twitter.com/Kr3BijQe6E — alexa villano (@alexavillano) June 21, 2016

 

She even has a starring role in Quark Henares' Rakenrol, in which she plays Irene, the would-be frontwoman of the band Hapipaks.

 

8. She was really thrilled to meet Mario Maurer.

At the ToyCon last June 10-12, Glaiza and some members of the cast attended the event and got to meet the other celebrity guests including Lois and Clark star Dean Cain and Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor in Game of Thrones.

But it was Mario Maurer who got Glaiza's attention, and she even had a photo taken with him.

A photo posted by @glaizaredux on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:37pm PDT

 

During the Slumbook series interview with Manual To Lyf's Florencio Jusay, Glaiza recalled how she met the Thai actor.

She and the cast of Encantadia were in one table when they saw him. "Dumating si Mario tapos entourage, then 'Uy, si Mario.' Hah! Ayyy... Gumanon talaga ako," Glaiza said as she described her reaction seeing him. 

(Mario arrived with his entourage and then I was like, 'Hey, it's Mario.' 'Hah! Ayyy...' I reacted like that.)

"Tapos si Direk Mark [Reyes], sabi, 'Glaiza! Isa kang sang'gre!' Sabi ni direk Mark 'tsaka pag naka-costume na kayo, sila na magpapa-picture sa iyo. Control ka lang dyan, huwag ka masyado magpakita ng ganyan – ng kilig. At sino ba iyan?"

(And then director Mark Reyes said, 'Glaiza! You are a sang'gre!' He said, 'And when you are in costume, they will be the ones to have photos taken with you. So control yourself, don't show too much of your kilig. By the way, who is he?)

Glaiza also said that boys of the show – Rocco Nacino, Pancho Magno, and Carlo Gonzalez – were supportive of her approaching the actor, which she eventually did. 

9. She loves to watch action-packed TV series and movies.

Glaiza said that in her spare time, she would watch the TV series Arrow and Game of Thrones to inspire her to be fit.

She said that the last film she watched was Captain America: Civil War. 

10. When it comes to romance, Glaiza believes in timing.

Glaiza has been linked in the past to model-actor Benjamin Alves but since then, her love life has been quiet.

When asked about what really happened between her and Benjamin, Glaiza said: "Hindi naman sa pumasa ano, hindi lang nag-swak, nag-click," adding the timing was  not right.

(It's not that he did not pass. It's just that things didn't properly fall into place. We just did not click.)

Glaiza is not closing her doors, but said that suitors will definitely have to wait.

When asked about qualities that she likes in a man, Glaiza said it is all about timing.

"Na-realize ko din na ako yung type of person na may buildup. Matagal ako mag-respond, matagal ako mag-analyze. Kasi gusto ko na pagdumating na ako sa point, sure na sure na ako, yung ready na ako, sure ako. Kaya yung pagiging patient niya," she said.  

(I realize that I'm the type of person who needs a buildup. It takes time for me to respond and to analyze. Because I want that when I reach a certain point, I'm very sure, that I'm ready, that I'm sure. So being patient is one of the qualities I want in a guy.) 

As the hype for the new Encantadia series reaches fever pitch, Glaiza is inviting everyone to watch it. Watch:

A greeting from @glaizaredux to watch @GMAEncantadia pic.twitter.com/RTYcBh8hvg — alexa villano (@alexavillano) June 21, 2016

 

In it, she thanks the fans in a mix of Enchanta and Filipino: "Avisala eshma sa inyong suporta, at sana manood kayo ng Encantadia (Thank you for your support, and hopefully, you watch Encantadia)." 

Rappler.com