MANILA -- Despite the glowing reception for her feisty portrayal in "Apoy sa Dagat," Nikki Gil clarified that her role in the new Kapamilya series won't span its entirety.
"Pang ano lang naman kami... to show everyone kung ano 'yung pinanggagalingan ni Serena at Rebecca (both portrayed by Angelica Panganiban), anong klaseng pamilya, kung ano 'yung pinagdaanan nila, to sort of explain why they are the way they are," Gil told ABS-CBN News on Thursday.
During the pilot week of the FM Reyes and Nick Olanka-directed soap, the characters of Gil, Empress Schuck and Patrick Garcia are caught in a bitter love triangle, setting in motion events involving Serena, Rebecca, Anton (Ocampo) and Ruben (Pascual) several years later.
The first episodes of "Apoy sa Dagat" were met with praises on social networking sites, particularly Gil's performance. The series' initial nationwide ratings, based on data from multinational research group Kantar Media, remain steady at 25%.
Crediting the work of the soap's directors, Gil said of the warm reception: "Nagpapasalamat kami na naa-appreciate ng mga Kapamilya natin 'yung hard work kasi, if you were to summarize that whole pilot episode experience, it would be -- karir, literal dugo, pawis at luha ang ibinuhos namin doon sa pilot week na 'yun."
In the series, Gil portrays the apparent mother of Panganiban's characters. The ABS-CBN actress also referred to her character Odessa as a "mariposang dagat," whose life takes a tragic turn.
"Actually madalas akong natatanong [kung ano yung pinaghuhugutan ko]. Kasi iniisip ng tao, hindi naman ganoon ka-depressing ang buhay ko, pero magaling lang talaga mag-motivate ang mga direktor ng ABS-CBN," she said.
"Si Direk FM Reyes, tinutukan niya ako, in-explain niya sa 'kin kung ano ba ang pumapasok sa isip ng isang mariposang dagat. Gusto niya ba 'yung ginagawa niya? Bakit niya ito ginagawa? With that, meron kaming pinagdadaanang proseso na ang end product is 'yung mga eksena," Gil said.
"Apoy sa Dagat" also stars Angel Aquino, Aiko Melendez, Sylvia Sanchez, Perla Bautista, Liza Lorena, Freddie Webb, Melai Cantiveros, Eric Fructuoso, Regine Angeles, Bryan Santos and Mikaila Ramirez.
It airs weeknights after "Ina, Kapatid, Anak" during ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida block.