MANILA -- At last, after more than one year in production, Pokwang’s much-awaited movie with Sue Ramirez and Gloria Diaz, “Mommy Issues,” will finally be shown online on May 7, Mothers Day.
The Jose Javier Reyes movie is a hilarious take on the maternal worries and romantic entanglement of Pokwang’s character, who is the daughter of Diaz, and the mother of Ramirez.
“Hindi na 'ko nagulat kasi ganda sa ganda naman kami, lebel na lebel, cool na cool," she said, laughing.
The movie was already in its finishing stages before the lockdown last March 2020.
“Nag-resume kami shooting November sa isang resort sa Pampanga for one week. Thankful kami natapos namin ang pelikula na walang nagkasakit,” she said.
It was also a sweet reunion with Ramirez and other Kapamilya artists Jerome Ponce and Ryan Bang, who plays her Korean lover. “Juskopo, nakakatawa si Ryan, kahit nag-cut na, tuloy pa rin ang acting niya! At ang thoughtful ni Ryan, ang sarap ni kimchi niya!” she said.
With the continuous stream of work, Pokwang has gotten used to regular swab tests.
“Ingat-ingat lang talaga, ang dami ko nang sundot!” she said, citing another round of RT-PCR tests for the new cooking show, “Kusina ni Mamang.”
The comedienne also shared a new production trend in taping outdoors, a shift from crowded air-conditioned studios. “Mas safe kasi mahangin, mapuno at layu-layo mga tao.”
She wonders though: “Kailan kaya matatapos ito?”
What Pokwang rues is how the pandemic has affected her daughter toddler, Malia. “Naaawa ako kasi parang lumiit ang mundo ng mga bata. Like other children her age, there are times na nagwawala sila dahil lagi lang nasa bahay. Kasi ang dami nilang gustong makita at gawin sa labas pero di pwede!” she said.
In one of their mother-daughter poignant moments, Pokwang recalled how Malia erupted with glee when she saw a moving LRT coach in a rare ride to Manila to lighten her mood. “Sabi niya look, it’a a train! Napaka-precious nung time na 'yon!”
“So pinaka-Mother's Day wish ko sana ang mga bata mabigyan ng pagkakataon na makabalik sa normal na buhay, para magkaroon ng tamang edukasyon na hindi puro online," she said.
Pokwang regards it as a blessing that she and her family had a chance to spend a three days break in their resort hideaway in Zambales last week. “At least nakahinga kami! Heaven para sa amin nina Malia," related Pokwang who had to process a lot of health-related documents for the travel pass from Antipolo to Zambales.
She and her partner Lee O’Brian are currently managing their food business called Poklee, a play on their first names. It’s a labor of love specializing in vinegar, chili garlic, aligue sauce, gourmet tuyo and tinapa, among others.
The couple recently helped fellow actor Paolo Ballesteros in their village community pantry in upper Antipolo.
“Pantry Sisters tawag namin! Tutuloy pa namin," she related. “Nakakaluwag naman kami, sa tulungan lang lahat tayo. Pagkakaisa 'yan ng mga Pilipino at hindi kailangang umasa sa gobyerno. Nakakatuwa, open ang mga palad ng mga kapitbahay pati sa pagre-repack ng pagkain!”
While awaiting her turn for the COVID-19 vaccine, Pokwang has renewed her regular annual shot of flu vaccine as a health precaution.
“Wala pa akong Maxene Magalona,” she laughed, using the gay term for the vaccine. “Hindi ka naman pwedeng mauna dahil seniors and frontliners ang priority. And wala namang akong comorbidity, may topak lang ako!”
Above all, Pokwang finds strength in her grit as a mother. “Actually at 48, 'di mo na masabayan ang energy ni Malia, hinihingal na ako pero kakayanin natin! Ang kailangan lang natin ngayon magpakatatag at mag-ingat!"