Gelli and Janice de Belen, Carmina Villaroel, Candy Pangilinan invade podcast world

Leah C. Salterio

Posted at Apr 03 2022 09:31 AM

(From left) Carmina Villaroel, Gelli de Belen, Candy Pangilinan and Janice de Belen in 'Wala Pa Kaming Title'
(From left) Carmina Villaroel, Gelli de Belen, Candy Pangilinan and Janice de Belen in 'Wala Pa Kaming Title'

MANILA -- The nearly three-decade friendship of female stars Carmina Villaroel, Candy Pangilinan, Janice and Gelli de Belen will be brought to an exciting presentation when they do their first podcast series, ““Wala Pa Kaming Title.”

Bringing the four ladies together for an ultimate chikahan of friends is a casting coup, even if they have known each other for a long time. 

“Mahirap nga kaming pagsama-samahin,” the younger De Belen told ABSB-CBN News. “Kaya ‘pag nagsama-sama kami, we maximize what we do. Aksidente lang talaga because it all started with our collaborations sa YouTube.

“So, when we started our video, games and we talked about anything on YouTube, the feedback was really surprising. Feeling namin nagku-kwentuhan lang kami, pero aliw na aliw ang mga tao sa amin.”

Viva got wind of what the ladies were doing and asked Pangilinan to convince the others if they wanted to do a podcast. 

“Sabi nila, let’s sit down and have a meeting. That was the start. Ngayon, ang problema namin, kung paano kami magsasama-sama regularly,” Pangilinan recalled.

Bonding together is nothing new to the ladies. “We just decided na since once in a while, we would meet up to have dinner or coffee,” Villaroel said. “Or simply pupunta lang sa bahay ni Gelli or ni Candy. We will do the usual usapan ng mga barkada, magka-kumare.

“Since nag-chikahan naman kami regularly, we decided why not have a show on Spotify, magkaroon ng podcast. We like to believe that it’s entertaining. We are not trying to be educational or deep.

“Maybe through our experiences, we will share the lessons we learned. No judgement. We are sharing our experiences in life. Even childhood. The usual topics lang ng magku-kumare, magka-kaibigan, nasa podcast na ngayon.”

Had the podcast been with other stars, the female actresses are convinced it will not be successful. Neither will it work.

“We will not be as spontaneous and as open if we do this podcast with other people,” De Belen said. “Itong mga ito pwede kong asarin. Kung ibang tao or co-star, of course, mahihiya akong mang-asar.

“Part or the charm of this podcast is that we know each other really well. The main adjustment that we have to do is to limit each other on what we will share. The tendency is to cross the line because we are so comfortable.

“What we need to adjust is not to talk over each other sa sobrang daldal naming lahat. Hindi kami magsapawan.”

They can actually do the podcast online presented by Oomph Podcast Network or from their respective houses. However, their energy is different when they are all together in one place.

“The only difference is this is not scripted,” Villaroel pointed out. “At the start, we will only be given the topic. Bahala ka na. ‘Yung opinion mo at experiences mo, ‘yun lang ang sinasabi namin.

“Mas madali ito kasi very spontaneous. Hindi mo kailangan ng ganong effort. Ang problem lang namin is schedule. Pero ‘pag magkakasama kami, wala ng effort. We try our best to do at least three to four episodes every time we meet up.”

Of late, being able to talk about anything and everything under the sun does not easily translate to being genuine, especially with close to a dozen social media platforms around.

“It depends on what you want to share and how you want to proceed,” De Belen clarified. “You share according to how you want people to see you. Some people also share because they only want to express themselves.

“If you are going to be judged because of the content that you share, tanggapin mo na lang ‘yun. Ganu’n talaga. That’s life. That’s how it is now. Kaming lahat, we are adjusting to the times, kasi iba na talaga ang dynamics ng social media ngayon.”

De Belen attested the dynamics and platform of social media really changed through the years. “To be so simple, before, people promote you. These days, we promote ourselves. We have to learn how to adjust.

“If you are a social media personality, that’s what’s expected. If you are an actress or an actor, I’m sure you value your privacy at marami kang gustong itago.

“For all of us who are on social media, we have to be responsible with what we share and be accepting of how people react with what we share.”

Villaroel is convinced about the disadvantages of oversharing. “Hindi ako judgmental na tao,” she said. “Kung ano man ang nakikita mo sa Facebook or Twitter, I respect that. I have no opinion. That’s your business.

“My only concern is my page. Depende sa topic. Ang sharing namin, pang-kaibigan lang na pwedeng marinig ng table sa kabila. Ang sharing namin about our experiences in life.

“Baka kasi sa kwentuhan namin, ‘yung mga listeners namin, matuto sa aming mga experiences. We are not trying to be righteous or know it all. We are just sharing our journey to our viewers.

“Whatever you post or you share on social media, be responsible. Sabi nga nila, think before you click. Marami tayong followers and many are looking up on us. We need to be responsible. Harapin mo ang consequences with your posts, actions, comments, videos, opinions.

“Be ready sa mga reactions ng mga tao. If you don’t care, that’s your life, your page, your account. Just make sure wala kang ina-apakang tao at wala kang ina-argabyadong tao. Okay ka. Okay tayong dalawa.”

Their podcast is so natural and spontaneous, thankfully, nothing is live. “We can always edit out anything,” Villaroel said. “Ever since naman, what you see is what you get with us. Kahit mga artista kami, wala kaming pretensions. Wala kaming censor. We are so real.”

The rawness and sincerity will be seen by the public in anything the stars share., noted Pangilinan “Being genuine, being sincere, ‘yun ang mamahalin ng tao. Your sincerity will touch the heart.”

Villaroel acknowledged true friends are really hard to find. “Not only in show business, in any industry sa buong mundo, mahirap talagang maghanap ng kaibigan. Siguro kasi nasa public eye kami and everything is magnified, kaya mas mahirap.

“I believe kahit hindi artista, kahit hindi sa showbiz world, mahirap maghanap ng tunay na kaibigan. I’m just very, very lucky and thankful na nakahanap ako ng totoong kaibigan sa industry namin.”

Asked why their friendship lasted for decades, Villaroel said they all accepted not just each other but even one’s flaws and mistakes.

“Acceptance ng ugali ng bawat isa. Importante na nagja-jive at nag-swak talaga kayo. Kasama na ang respect, trust at pagmamahal. In any relationship naman whether boyfriend-girlfriend, friendship or mag-asawa, importate talaga ang tiwala, pagmamahal at respeto.”

At the start of their respective showbiz careers, De Belen was with Viva, while Villaroel was with Regal Films. They saw each other for the first time on Channel 13. De Belen was 14, while Villaroel was only 12.

“Nakita niya ko, para akong kawawa at that time,” Villaroel shared. “Nilapitan niya ako. Never kaming nakagawa ng movie together.

“But thank God, kaming dalawa, naging magkaibigan kami. Lahat halos ng early shows namin, magkasama kami. Up to now, magka-ibigan pa rin kaming dalawa. Kahit Villaroel o Legaspi ako, feeling ko De Belen din ako.”

Meanwhile, Pangilinan and Villaroel previously worked together in a movie, but that didn’t give them a chance to become close.

“Because of ‘Tropang Trumpo,’ nabigyan kami ng pagkakataong maging close ni Candy,” Villaroel said.

“Today, ang relationship naming lahat, whether magkita, hindi. Mag-text, hindi. Pero pag nagkita, nag-usap, parang kahapon lang. I’d like to believe tried and tested na ang friendship namin.”

Pangilinan got close to De Belen after they did Maryo J. de los Reyes’ drama, “The Secrets of Sarah Jane” in 1994. “Eventually, naging close ako kay Carmina, tapos kay Ate Janice kasi siya si Flordeluna. ‘Pag nagsama-sama na kami, madaling mag-gel talaga.”

De Belen feels they are blessed that they all found each other and became friends. “Before you can find true friends, you have to be a friend yourself,” she said.

“Feeling ko parang binabalik lang sa akin ni Candy at Carmina kung ano ang hinihiling ko. Binabalik ko din sa kanila kung ano ang binibigay nila sa akin.

“Hanap ka ng totoong tao na gustong mag share at express ang sarili niya ng totoo. Akala mo love story, pero totoo naman. Totoo din that birds of the same feather flock together.

“Kung ano ang things na essential to myself, you are drawn to people likewise. May chemistry kami. Lahat kami madaldal, so may podcast na kami.”

“Wala Pa Kaming Title” will be heard every Wednesday on Spotify.