If you look closely enough, Glaiza’s last two acting roles this year might have been the closest to who she really is as an individual. As the titular character in the revenge drama Contessa, she plays the wrongfully accused Bea, who takes the law into her own hands after losing everything to a miscarriage of justice. She sees similarities between herself and her on-screen persona, specifically with the latter having to “kill” the weak Bea for the vengeful Contessa to eventually surface. The primera kontrabida compares the drastic character development in the teleserye to a time when she was just learning the ropes of the biz.
“Nung nagsisimula pa lang akong mag-artista, insecure ako sa sarili ko. May mga details sa life ko na hindi ako confident na i-share sa iba,” she reveals. “Now, mas tanggap ko yung design ko bilang tao at babae. Hindi na ako natatakot ipakita yun sa kanila.”
"Nung nagsisimula pa lang akong mag-artista, insecure ako sa sarili ko. Now, mas tanggap ko yung design ko bilang tao at babae"
She also starred in this year’s critically acclaimed Cinemalaya entry Liway, which tells the life of director Kip Oebanda and his mother Cecilia in prison camp during the Marcos regime. In the age of the internet, where criticism is instant and everyone has an opinion, some cinemagoers are quick to label an actor as “biased” for taking on politically charged roles. But despite our turmoil-fueled social climate, Glaiza didn’t even think twice about portraying the brave woman, simply because her story is worth sharing. She notes, “More than the political content, it focuses on a mother’s love for her son—yung hirap magpalaki ng anak nung panahon na yun.”
It helped that Commander Liway herself was mostly present while they were shooting, which simultaneously helped and pressured Glaiza while production was taking place. She is, however, grateful that she was able to pick the brains of this modern-day heroine, even when some memories proved too vivid for both women to revisit.
As someone who has found successf both in the independent circuit and in mainstream outings, she considers both gratifying. When she hears that her director is satisfied, she finds peace. She finds her purpose in pushing the boundaries through unconventional roles and scenes. And at the end of the day, if her acting affects even one viewer, she can go to sleep happy after a hard day of work.
“Minsan, yun lang naman ang inaantay mo eh, para umuwi kang masaya. Yung alam kong may nagawa akong tama.”