PILAR PILAPIL: Actor’s actor
She gave the greatest performance of her life when she played dead in a direct assault on her life in the summer of 2011—and survived several stab wounds that left her left lung partially collapsed—but there is nary a trace of bitterness in veteran actress Pilar Pilapil’s voice.
This summer, the Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 1967 (a feat that no other Cebuana has ever duplicated up to this day) and multi-award winning thespian is giving back to the community what years and years of experience has taught her—in an acting workshop via her Pilar Pilapil Production and Performing Arts Academy (PIPPAA) which aims to redefine the love for the arts by giving the artists a home so they can find their creative voice. As per her fan-page, PIPPAA’s a fertile ground, a breakthrough particularly for Cebuano artists, for the development of their artistic and personal growth.
A three-day extensive workshop which will start on April 9 at The Henry Hotel, it will promote the Visayan language in the recitals, rehearsals and acting sessions.
THE HENRY HOTEL
HAIR AND MAKE-UP: BOBBIE ALBERT
STYLING: MARLON WAFER
What made you decide to come up with an acting workshop?
With 45 years in show business, I have established myself and I am so happy that show business has been kind to me. I want to impart that to Cebuanos especially to those who have the passion in acting or whatever expression of the arts.
There are already existing schools offering acting classes. Will this be the start of Pilar Pilapil’s School of Acting?
Yes, this will be the start of Pilar Pilapil’s School of Acting. Because Pilar Pilapil doesn’t go by method. I think the best acting is natural acting. The real acting based on instincts and intellect when you are analyzing your role. You have to portray your role naturally. You have to have your kind of style.
Will the participants of the workshop learn all these things?
Yes, of course. According to their personality. According to their capability, how far they can go.
At the end of workshop will there be any recitals?
Yes. As a matter of fact, we are preparing scripts. Stella Palomo will be our script-writer. We will let them act on stage.
Will there be an age requirement?
It will be 14 and up. Even if you are 70 years old and you still want to be an actor then you can still attend. Later on, we will deal with children.
As the only Cebuana who was able to represent the country for Miss Universe, what do you think does it take for a Cebuana to be able to achieve the same feat?
Looking back, I won’t advise anyone to join a beauty contest at 16 years old. Of course, I believe that they have to be ready for it. Psychologically, when I was 16, I didn’t know anything. They have to make sure they are confident enough to face the public. Answer questions correctly. They have to prepare themselves emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
What is your take on beauty enhancements which seems to be the new norm?
I don’t agree. If you have a nice feature then you don’t have to worry. You don’t go to all the surgeons and start to be insecure especially at a young age and they can’t even smile correctly. Parang statues hindi makagalaw. Beauty is natural.
In your acting workshop, where do you get your modules? Is this gonna be experiential?
We have modules and at the same time it’s gonna be experiential. It will be a combination. It has to be, it can’t be one without the other.
Is there someone in the local entertainment scene who exemplifies the Pilar Pilapil School of Acting?
I don’t know. I can’t figure it out right now. I am not very familiar with young ones na but I have seen some on the television. But so far, I am not too sure if I can mention anyone. I may have seen one but I don’t remember the name.
We also heard that you will go back to television after the workshop …
Yes. I am doing the “Pangako Sa ‘Yo” remake, 10 tapings. I will be, as usual, the matriarch (laughs).
Will you be managing the talents you discover in the workshop?
Yeah, whatever talents that we have, we are going to do a line production for Viva. And Viva will come soon to make films and teleseryes and we will do line production for them. We will also be managing with them. We will manage actors and actresses because we want to mold them and not let them do whatever they want. We have to guide them.
Several indie films have been released the past years. Will you allow your talents to star in these movies as well?
Yes, definitely. They can do whatever they want to do but it will depend on Viva. As far as Pilar Pilapil Productions and Performing Arts Academy is concerned, if we are going to handle talents, we will make sure that they will work wherever they want to work. We still have to manage them and guide them.
If your life would be made into film, who among the young actresses would you want to play Pilar Pilapil?
We still have to find the one who will play the young Pilar Pilapil. We already have the synopsis but we will wait for the right time. It will be an expensive movie.
There are talks that Miss Earth 2014 Jamie Herrell, who is also from Cebu, might play the young Pilar Pilapil if the movie is made. Have you already met her?
No, I haven’t seen her. Maybe she can join the workshop so I can meet her!
The last book that you wrote was “The Woman Without A Face.” Will there be a follow-up?
None at the moment. I am very busy and you need time to write. That 300-page book, I wrote it for two years. It became a bestseller in May 2006.
You are a Born Again Christian. Will you be incorporating Christianity in your workshop sessions?
We will probably look into that. Inject some Christian values as far as character-building is concerned. It’s very important for the workshop participants to have certain values for them to comply with the personality development.
You’ve been in the industry for quite some time. Who are some of the favorite actors you have worked with?
Marami naman, like Ronaldo Valdez. He is a good actor. Sa babae naman, I think Angel Aquino is okay. And Cherie Gil is okay.
Have you fully recovered from the 2011 tragedy?
Yes, I am fully recovered and there is nothing to talk about. The case is not closed because they can’t find the culprits. The tragedy was traumatic but I’ve been helped by God’s grace.
How contented and happy are you?
As far as accomplishments are concerned, I would say I am 80 percent happy. Accomplishment is not just about money and not fame but it’s also about how you feel that you are doing.
What is the secret to your well-preserved beauty?
The heart and good attitude.
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