MANILA -- The career of former Viva Hot Babes member Maui Taylor had a resurgence undoubtedly this pandemic.
She resumed acting again initially on the streaming platform, Vivamax, where she has done a total of seven films this pandemic alone. Aside from Darryl Yap’s “Paglaki Ko, Gusto Kong Maging Pornstar” (2020) and its sequel, Taylor was seen in GB Sampedro’s “Kaka” and “Crush Kong Curly,” both shown in 2021.
Working with Xian Lim as Taylor’s director for the first time in the comedy-fantasy flick “Hello, Universe,” was really a treat for Taylor.
“It was very easy to work with Xian,” she acknowledged. “He was open to suggestions. He listens to us as his artists.
“From the lines and the scenes, he accepted our suggestions. We even changed some lines in the script and he was open to that.”
Lim also took care of his stars on the set. “There was a scene where Anjo [Yllana] and I had to bring an umbrella because it was really raining. Xian asked me if it was okay with me to get wet.
“I just came from getting COVID, so I apologized. I told him, ‘Direk, pasensiya ka na. I cannot afford to get sick again.’ They got delayed a bit because I got sick. Our shooting days had to be moved because they were waiting for me.
“He understood, that was why we had to carry an umbrella. Very caring talaga siya to all of his stars. He was aware of the needs of his artists.”
Taylor plays the leading lady of Gibbs in “Hello, Universe” -- their third film together.
She first worked with Gibbs in Al Tantay’s “Pakboys Takusa” (2020) and last year, they worked in Yap’s sexy comedy, “69+1” (2021).
“Since that time, Janno was always on time,” Taylor shared. “He never took a nap on the set.
“We didn’t have a problem with him. His working habits have changed – 180 degrees. It was better to work with him.”
At the recent premiere night of “Hello, Universe,” Taylor donned a dazzling, royal blue, Mark Bumgarner gown that cost her six figures.
“The event was Viva’s first red carpet premiere for 2023, so that was special,” Taylor stressed. “I wanted to be well-dressed. I really chose that color. After so many years, that was the only time I walked in the red carpet again.
“It was really special to me. I was very happy with the outcome. It only took Mark three days to finish the gown. His team prioritized me.”
After “Hello, Universe,” Taylor is slated to star in Sampedro’s “High On Sex, Part 2.”
“In ‘High on Sex, Part 1,’ I was supposed to play the teacher who was the fantasy of the students,” Taylor shared. “The role did not happen, so I will do it on Part 2.”
Although she agreed to star in a number of sexy starrers when she was younger, Taylor never went all out in her films.
“The most that I did was breast exposure in my launching film, in Quark Henares’ ‘Gamitan’ ,” she recalled. “I had to think twice whether or not to do it. I hesitated. But nahiya din ako sa Viva, so I did it.”
Viva boss Vic del Rosario strictly told Taylor not to accept mother roles. “What happens is that I was always given contravida roles,” she lamented. “Even on TV, Viva is finding it hard to give me challenging roles.
“I want something that will challenge me in drama, sa iyakan. I know I can do it. I just need the right material.
“All my films, especially Joel Lamagan’s ‘Ang Huling Birhen sa Lupa’ , very challenging naman,” she granted. “That was my baptism of fire. I would always come to the set prepared. Focused ako.
“Never ako napagalitan ni Direk Joel. Alam n ani direk ang working habits ko. Tuloy-tuloy lang kami when I did the film. Good and memorable movie for me. I wanted to do something that’s really heavy. More challenge pa.”
She was supposed to do a Brillante Mendoza drama, but the project didn’t push through and that disappointed her.
Taylor opted to detach from showbiz work when her two sons – Antoine Miguel, 9; and Matteo Alonzo, 7 – were growing up. She preferred to take care of her children instead and became a hands-on mom.
“I wanted to be there and guide my kids,” she offered. “Sabi nila, you have until seven years old to instill the right values to your kids.
“Ako naman, why wait till seven? Bata pa lang, teach them what they need to know. The right thing to do. So now, I can leave them alone.”
She is no longer with Anton Sabarre, the father of her sons, but they are admirably co-parenting their boys.
Her life as a mom is nonetheless still very fulfilling. “They’re still in that age that they still go to me most of the time,” Taylor said. “When I became a mom, I became more responsible.
“Nawala na ang gimik. I would still go out from time to time, but not like before. I became more focused as a mother.”
At her age, she turned 41 – “loud and proud” – Taylor does not seem to age a bit. She can still flaunt her gorgeous curves, not to ignore her pretty face.
“As long as hindi ako nakikita ng tao na dressed up in sexy clothes or nagwawala in public, I’m good with that,” Taylor said. “I guess that will say a lot. Action always speaks louder than words.”
Her kids still do not have the idea that their mom is a celebrity and a popular actress. “When we go out, they can see people posing with me and requesting for photos,” Taylor said.
“They probably thought about television, but the movies, they have not seen me in one, especially in Vivamax. They don’t have access with that.”
Her relationship with Sabarre ended after seven years. They still share the same house, although they occupy different rooms.
“I have vertigo, so I sleep in a separated room,” Taylor shared. “That’s what I tell the kids. Malikot silang matulog that’s why I have to stay in another room.
“We tried to save the relationship. Probably, malalim na ang cause ng problem. We were not successful in doing so, that’s why we were not able to stay together again.
“He told me, ‘I know I cannot make you happy. You can just tell me once you find another one.’ Entertaining another suitor hasn’t crossed my mind. I’m okay. I was conscious to leave something to myself.”
Taylor is simply content that after 26 years in show business, she is still around. “This industry gives you a different kind of happiness,” she admitted.
“I think of my blessings. Where I came from and how I started. I am still more fortunate than the others.”