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How motherhood changed Rufa Mae Quinto’s brand of comedy

December 1 ------ “It’s half-half. It’s still more on the Philippines.” That was Rufa Mae Quinto giving everyone an idea of her current work setup, which sees the ace comedienne shuttling between the US, where her family is based, and the Philippines, where she continues her thriving career, in a recent virtual press conference.

Rufa Mae is in town to promote the Allen Ansay and Sofia Pablo starrer, Sparkle U: Ghosted, in which she plays the ghost literature teacher Agnes Gaspar, whose presence is felt at the school library. The character’s demise is shrouded in mystery. Also seen making guest appearances on GMA shows, Rufa Mae played Mommy Barbie to Uno, Dos, and Third (portrayed by Kelvin Miranda, Shaun Salvador, and Abdul Raman) in the GTV family sitcom Tols prior to Sparkle U. She also graced the fifth anniversary special of Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko on GMA. “I’m happy to be working with people with whom I haven’t collaborated before,” shared she, “and I’m happy that we have done this. I’m happy to have worked with the new generation of stars.” Rufa Mae was referring to director Barry Gonzalez, Sparkle Sweethearts Allen and Sofia, and Sparkle Teens Liana Mae, Marco Masa, and Princess Aliyah. “I’m happy to have played a ghost,” shared Rufa Mae. “Halos lahat kami dyan ay walang make-up. Nakakatuwa kasi may puso din habang nakakatakot, nag-drama na din ako. Sana nakakaiyak, ‘di ba?” So, Rufa Mae’s flair for comedy and drama is shown in the weekend youth-oriented anthology series. “Tinodo ko na po ang lahat,” said Rufa, reminding one about her trademark lines such as “To the highest level,” “Go, go, go,” and of course, “Todo na ‘to.” “It’s enjoyable to work with the new generation,” said she. “Nakakatuwa, tas ang ga-gwapo, ang ga-ganda, at ang gagaling. Ang saya, saya sa set.”

At the time of the interview, Rufa Mae was on the set of a new project. So, fans have something to look forward to from the comedienne besides her stint in Sparke U’s second story. “Talagang feel na feel ko na yung tears ko, kumbaga nakakatuwa pa rin ang itsura ko, basta ako feel na feel ko ang mga sinasabi ko, ang drama,” said she, acknowledging the contributions of writers and fellow actors in crafting and making those sequences work. Reading between the lines, one might guess her character’s true persona. Being a mom has helped Rufa Mae access feelings associated with drama such as care, love, empathy, and longing, to name a few, and a level of emotionality. “Kasi mommy na rin ako, kapag roles na mommy ako, talagang totoo yung tears,” shared she, adding jokingly, “Walang Vicks (to help me cry).” Rufa Mae shared that she can do drama even if her expertise is comedy, you know making people laugh with her and laugh at her. “Binigay ko yung best ko, so yun yung tingin kong kakaiba dito,” added she. Away from the klieg lights, Rufa Mae is a hands-on wife to husband Trevor Magallanes and mom to their daughter Athena. “Siyempre ang showbiz No. 1 sa puso ko yan, pero ito yung isang side ng buhay ko na yung nagpa-kumpleto at talagang masayang masaya ka dahil busy ka sa kakaalaga at pagmamahal sa kanila, yun lang yung wala sa akin ng matagal na panahon,” said she. “I’ve been working in showbiz for 30 something years,” added the actress. “Masayang, masaya ako na kumpleto, may career, may pamilya at alam mo yun, na may abroad, may travel.” With that, Rufa Mae is a picture of a fulfilled, happy artist and woman.


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