MANILA, Philippines -- Aiko Melendez is set to make her TV comeback via the primetime series "Apoy sa Dagat."
|Aiko Melendez. File photo
The 37-year-old actress will appear in the Kapamilya hit series as Odessa, the character previously portrayed by singer-actress Nikki Gil.
"Sobrang excited and pressured kasi nanggagaling tayo sa napakahusay na si Nikki Gil sa pagganap ng role ko bilang Odessa," Melendez said on Thursday during a press conference formally announcing her as the newest cast member of "Apoy sa Dagat."
She added, "[Nikki Gil] had good reviews for her great performance, so na-pressure ako na sana mapantayan ko 'yung nagawa ni Nikki."
In the series' pilot week, Gil portrayed the young Odessa, a "mariposang dagat" whose life takes a tragic turn after falling in love with a seaman (Patrick Garcia). Her romantic relationship puts her at odds with Adrianna (Empress Schuck/Angel Aquino), who vows revenge on Odessa and her children Rebecca and Serena.
The twins are portrayed in the series by Angelica Panganiban.
Referring to her anticipated scenes with her onscreen rival Aquino, Melendez said, "Magkakaroon kami ng mga sagutan, syempre sa linyahan, pabonggahan ng lines... Pero 'yung mga na-tape ko na, puro ako 'yung nasasampal kasi api nga ako dito."
"Ang ganda ng twist nung kwento ko, ng pagpasok ng role ko at kung paano ko pababagsakin si Adrianna," she said.
Melendez also expressed excitement about finally working with Panganiban and lead stars Diether Ocampo and Piolo Pascual.
"Pinapangako namin na kung gaano kainit 'yung pagtanggap nila mula sa pilot hanggang sa huli, ibibigay ng 'Apoy sa Dagat' 'yung hinahanap nilang apoy sa bawat eksena," she said.
"I'm really excited. Nakunan na 'yung scene ng pagtatagpo namin ni Angelica, and excited na excited ako na mapanood to ng tao, kasi napakahusay dito ni Angelica," Melendez said.
The actress' last role in a Kapamilya series was in the afternoon drama "Reputasyon," which ended its run in 2011.
Directed by FM Reyes and Nick Olanka, "Apoy sa Dagat" airs weeknights after "Ina, Kapatid, Anak" during ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida block.