'Dyesebel' gives 'Aryana' blessing

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2012 10:49 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2012 06:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Onscreen teen mermaid Ella Cruz is thrilled to have finally met Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos, who once played the country's most popular mermaid character.

Ella Cruz as Aryana

Cruz, who plays human-turned mermaid Aryana in the TV series of the same name, expressed her excitement over meeting Santos on the sidelines of the Sunday variety concert program "ASAP 2012."

In the '70s, Santos played the mermaid Dyesebel on the big screen, arguably the most iconic portrayal of the Mars Ravelo-created character.

According to the teen star, Santos said she also watches "Aryana."

"Nakakatuwa po at nakaka-flatter nang sobra dahil nung pinakilala ako sa kanya, sinabi po niya na kilala niya ako dahil nanonood siya ng fantaserye namin," Cruz said, referring to her Primetime Bida-starrer. "Isang napakalaking karangalan po, lalo na para sa akin na pinapanood kami ni Ms. Vilma na kilala rin ng lahat bilang ang mermaid na si Dyesebel."

"Ang pinaka-memorable na sinabi niya po sa akin ay 'keep it up at galingan mo palagi' na habang sinasabi niya po ito ay nakahawak siya sa kamay ko. Sobrang saya ko po talaga dahil nabigyan ako ng payo ni Ms. Vilma," Cruz added.

Dyesebel vs Aryana

Vilma Santos as Dyesebel in 1973.
Image courtesy of Star for All Seasons [Wordpress]

Currently enjoying a lead in the TV ratings game, "Aryana" is only the latest in a long list of mermaid characters in Philippine literature and entertainment. 

But according to Cruz, Aryana is unique in that she is the only mermaid who started as a human.

"Ang pinagkaiba po nila, si Dyesebel po ipinanganak na sirena na, while si Aryana po ipinanganak na tao na isinumpang maging sirena. Ang pagkapareho naman po nila ay parehas nilang mahal na mahal ang kanilang pamilya," Cruz said of the two popular mermaids.

Santos, who is currently celebrating her 50th year in show business, played Dyesebel at the age of 20.

Cruz, 15, said she can only hope to achieve the same feat as the Batangas governor.

"Gusto ko rin po sana na makaabot ng 50 years o higit pa sa showbiz at maranasan na magkaroon ng iba’t ibang challenging at magagandang roles," the teen actress said.

"Isa po siyang (Santos) good role model sa mga batang artista na tulad ko, dahil kung ano at sino po siya noong nag-uumpisa siya ay ganun pa rin po siya hanggang ngayon. Bukod po doon, kitang kita naman po sa kanya na talagang mahal n’ya yung kanyang ginagawa," Cruz said.

Also starring Pokwang, Tonton Gutierrez and Paul Salas, "Aryana" airs weeknights before "TV Patrol."