I find them flattering, even though some of them are aimed at bashing me,” said actress Aiko Melendez when the Inquirer sought her reaction to the memes that have been circulating in social media sites about her performance in the afternoon drama, “Wildflower.”
In the ABS-CBN series, Aiko plays Emilia Ardiente-Torillo, the scheming and attention-seeking archnemesis of lead character Ivy Aguas (played by Maja Salvador).
“Emilia’s reactions are often big and exaggerated, that’s why people like toying with her. I have some of the memes saved in my phone,” Aiko said at a recent press luncheon that introduced her as one of the artists of the newly formed talent and booking company called Asian Artists Agency.
Asked which memes were her favorites, Aiko relented: “The one where the cast members are pointing guns at each other and asking: ‘Who farted?’ Another is the one with me supposedly asking: ‘Nag-deo ka ba? Ang baho eh!’”
According to the actress, the memes are an indication that people are watching and are interested in the show, and that they appreciate Emilia.
Aiko added that even her teenage son, Andre Yllana, was hooked.
“There was this scene where Tito Pip (Tirso Cruz III, who plays her father) announced that my wedding to Wendell (Ramos, costar) would happen in a week’s time. Emilia reacted with a loud, ‘No!’ Asked why, she said, ‘because I still don’t have a gown!’ Andre said, ‘Mom, why do you sound like a crazy woman? You’re funny!’”
Aiko said she was pleased that she got the audience reaction that she was aiming for from Andre. “I wanted to put a different twist to portraying a kontrabida. Emilia is a villain you will hate, but, at the same time, laugh at. I also want people to pity her because, if you trace her backstory, her father and husband never really loved her. This drove her to the edge.”
Aiko only has praises for Maja. “She’s a blessing to work with. I think we’re soulmates, because we can read each other’s minds with just one look. I have high regard for Maja—she’s always ready with her lines, and is even conscious of the colors of both our nails for continuity’s sake. She’s amazing!”
The actress added that she and Maja would make sure to rehearse their confrontation scenes, especially after the incident in June when the latter accidentally scratched her right eye.
“Maja was supposed to smear the cake I was holding on my face. We were both wearing high-heeled shoes, and we slipped because of the icing on the floor, and she hit me by accident.”
Aiko was brought to the hospital, where doctors said she sustained a blood clot. She added that the injury was only a dot away from her cornea, which, if damaged, could cause her to go blind.
“We still got to finish taping the scene. I guess it’s because of adrenaline, but I didn’t feel pain until Wendell saw the redness in my eye,” Aiko shared with the Inquirer.
“When Maja learned about it, she cried because she felt so guilty. It was an accident. Now, we have this running joke on the set that if there’s a confrontation scene, we should all make sure an ambulance is on standby.”
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