Francine Prieto welcomes roles right for her age » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

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She was once one of showbiz’s hottest beauties, earning huge popularity baring all for the cameras. But now, at 34, Francine Prieto, is saying goodbye to all of that as she takes on a mother role on “Haplos,” her comeback project on GMA.

Francine Prieto

She is not bothered with the idea, maintaining, “Ganu’n naman talaga, ’pag tumatanda nag-i-iba din talaga ’yung mga roles na ibibigay sa’yo. Kumbaga ibinabagay lang din. And ako naman okay lang basta maganda ang proyekto.”

It seems like just yesterday when she was known as Anna Marie Falcon, among many teen wannabes clawing for attention on the now-defunct GMA variety show, “That’s Entertainment.” Moving past that awkward stage, the 14-year-old Anna Marie eventually carved a career as model. She reached the pinnacle of fame a few years later by doing daring roles.

On “Haplos,” Francine is Mercedes Bermudez, a witch of sorts who encourages her daughter to do evil deeds. She is excited over the project as “hindi lang ako plain kontrabida rito, marunong akong mag-magic spell.”

Incident at NAIA

Few know Francine is happily married. She tied the knot with her American boyfriend, Frank Shotkoski, in a simple ceremony in Capri, Italy last year.

Recently, though, Frank made headlines after figuring in an altercation with several employees at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

According to Francine it was just a misunderstanding.

“Madaling araw ng June 25 nangyari ’yung incident, bale galing siya sa Singapore that time, ngayon dumaan siya sa may isang escalator na hindi pala gumagana, nadulas siya, nasaktan siya,” Francine related.

“Eh, ’yung asawa ko hindi naman na bata so ramdam niya talaga ang sakit kaya galit na galit siya. Tinanong niya ’yung una niyang nakitang employee kung bakit walang sign man lang na defective o hindi gumagana ’yung escalator. Eh, siguro dahil masakit ang katawan niya, mataas ang emosyon niya nu’ng oras na ’yun, sa employee ng terminal niya nailabas ’yung galit niya. Na-offend ’yung employee.”

At the time of interview, Francine maintained their lawyer was working on clearing the issue.

“Kami naman po ng asawa ko, sobrang nag-so-sorry kami sa nangyari. Willing po kami mag-apologize sa kanila ng personal.”

The actress reiterated her husband, a biologist, loves the Philippines so much.

“Actually, 20 years na siyang pabalik-balik dito, tinutulungan niya ’yung mga farmers kasi ’yung field of specialization niya, sa agriculture. Sa ngayon nga, mayroon siyang malaking project na sinisimulan dito sa Pilipinas na naniniwala siyang makakatulong ng malaki sa mga farmers.

“Mahal niya ang Pilipinas eh, kaya gusto niya talaga bumalik dito.”

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