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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 7, 2018

Mariel De Leon Talks On How Is It To Be The Daughter Of The Christopher De Leon, Living With Two Lolas Named Lilia, Being Bashed For Being Outspoken

MARIEL DE LEON is now officially managed by Leo Dominguez, who’s also managing Lovi Poe, Solenn Heussaff, Ogie Alcasid, Paulo Avelino, among others. Her first project under Leo is an intense drama about domestic violence, “Latay”, where Allen Dizon plays the battered husband of Lovi Poe. She plays Allen’s first girlfriend. Doesn’t she mind playing a supporting role after she was already officially introduced as Coco Martin’s leading lady in “Ang Panday” last Christmas?

“Not at all,” she says. “I’m still a newcomer and I need all the exposure and experience that I can get. Also, this is intended to join international film festivals. Both Allen and Lovi are award-winning actors and I know I’ll profit a lot from working with them. I met them already and they’re both very nice, lalo na si Lovi na kinuwento sa’kin her own struggles when she was just starting in showbiz. Pareho kaming anak ng popular actors sa film industry natin.”

Mariel Rodriguez with Leo Dominguez
She said then she’s not keen on being an artista. “Yes, kasi I’d see my parents coming home from taping or shooting, laging puyat, pagod.”

What made her change her mind? “I enjoyed doing ‘Ang Panday’, so heto, tinuloy ko na. I’ve taken acting workshops with ABS-CBN and Viva and I want to also try doing teleseryes. I’m looking forward to doing heavy drama and sampalan scenes.”

She’s the fourth of the five kids of Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong. Her three older brothers are now all married and abroad. Rafael, the eldest, is working in Auckland, New Zealand. Miguel is in California and Gabriel is trying to start a career in off-Broadway theatre in New York. Only she and the youngest, Mica, stay now with their parents in their home in BF Paranaque. Growing up, did she realize the respected stature of her dad as an actor?

“Yes, that’s why I know he’s a tough act to follow. I don’t think I can ever reach what he has accomplished, but I’m here to just enjoy my own journey. I’ve seen some of his films, like ‘Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang’ and ‘Kakakaba Ka Ba’ which he did with our mom, and they’re both good.”

Mariel Rodriguez with Marion Bautista, Showbiz Portal writer
How’s Boyet de Leon as a dad? “He’s very loving. Sa bahay, quiet lang siya, watching TV, drinking coffee. My mom is more talkative than my dad. We all love just staying at home.”

Her Lola, Lilia Dizon, used to be one of the most beautiful faces at LVN Pictures in the 50s. And her auntie, Pinky de Leon, is one of the most competent stars of Lea Productions. Has she seen their films? “No. Sayang nga. I was told wala na raw kopya. My Lola used to have this statue of her her made for the movie, ‘Bathaluman’, where she played a statue that comes to life, but sayang, nasira na rin. She’s now 88 years old and is living with us, along with my maternal lola sa Andolong side, whose name is also Lilia. They get along fine. One is very kikay, and the other one is chill lang.”

A remake of “Bathaluman” will be a perfect vehicle for her. She was bashed before for expressing her views in social media.Obviously, people don’t want beauty queens like her who are so opinionated and “malakas ang dating.” Did she get traumatize?

“No. I’ve always been a fighter. I’m not the reserved type and no one can stop me from expressing myself freely. Dito kasi, when your opinion is different from the popular opinion, it’s bad not agad. But my parents advised me to lessen my being so outspoken and to choose my words carefully. I’m taking their advice kasi I’m now controlling myself and filtering what I say or write. But I will still be true to myself. I don’t want to just put up a front.”

She had a boyfriend when she won as Bb. Pilipinas International. Are they still on? “No more. But we’ve remained friends. I’ve gotten so busy kasi and, at this point that I’m just starting my career in showbiz, I don’t want any distractions. Sabi ko, baka mag-boyfriend na lang ako uli kapag 28 na ako, which is four years from now.”

Mariel finished a culinary arts course at North Shore Academy in New Zealand. “Flatmate ko roon ang anak ni Tita Amy Austria. One of my dreams is to put up my own restaurant someday.