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Colleen Garcia:  Christmas with family is best

by Leah Salterio

THIRTY-year-old actress Coleen Garcia admirably balances motherhood and her acting career. When she decided to do films again early this year, Garcia certainly knew what she needed to prioritize.

Her two-year-old son, Amari, remains on top of her list. 

“Mahirap for every production na bitbit ko ang anak ko every time I’d shoot,” Garcia explained. “It’s hard to consider that. But the baby is still non-negotiable. I never spent one single night away from Amari.”

She was amply rewarded for her decision. Early this month, Garcia won the top award at the El Grito International Fantastic Film Festival in Venezuela for her suspense thriller, “Kaluskos,” with cult director Roman Perez, Jr. at the helm.

A challenge

Working on “Kaluskos” was a real challenge for Garcia, who wrapped up only her second film this 2022. The film was also an entry in this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival.

“Ang alam natin sa horror, mga aswang, white lady, mga bad spirits. I don’t know if you will outrightly count ‘Kaluskos’ as a horror flick. But this is the closest to horror film that I’ve done,” she said.

After appearing in “Adarna Gang” at the start of 2022, Garcia makes her follow up film only now with “Kaluskos.” Yet, she insisted she does not purposely limit her film projects even if she has her baby constantly in tow.

“I never spent a lot of time away from Amari. That’s why I’m really thankful to Viva Films and Direk Roman, because they were all so understanding about that,” she said. 

“I don’t think going back to acting in front of the camera will really be easy if you’re a mom. Especially if you’re doing a teleserye. I am always with Amari. But I don’t think this will last forever because Amari will not be a baby forever. I just prioritize him now,” she added.

Wrapping up a supernatural thriller like “Kaluskos” is a real accomplishment for Garcia. 

“I love the material and I really love the script. I’m excited to get on with this project. This supernatural thriller was the genre I was really waiting for. Masaya talaga. It was a role I could really play with,” she said.

She said she loved being part of the Adarna Gang project and was proud to be in it. 

Character development

But in Kaluskos, she felt she had more room to explore and develop her character. 

“Those are the kind of roles I really looked forward to doing,” she said.

Perez did not really limit Garcia in her role in her first supernatural thriller. 

“When I was reading my part, I believed the script can be open to interpretations. It was the same thing that Direk Roman wanted to happen. It was very important to know the vision of your director,” she said. 

“I didn’t think that he limited me in any way. I should say he guided me. Nasunod din naman ang vision that he wanted to happen,” she added. 

“Kaluskos” is Garcia’s first time to work with Perez. 

“Super chill siya as a director. It was a great set to work in. Everybody was happy. Everybody was well-rested. No bad vibes at all on the set,” she said. 

Mature mom

As she enters her 30s, Garcia believes she has matured as a person and she has motherhood to credit for that. 

She is now back in Manila after three months of staying in France with her husband Billy and Amari. They will spend Christmas with family here. 

Garcia joined husband Billy Crawford in France when he competed and won in the latest season of “Danse avec les Stars,” the French version of the popular American reality dance competition, “Dancing with the Stars.”

That has given Garcia the time to really be closer to her son. She refused to label her three-month stay abroad as a long vacation.

“Out of the three months we’ve been in France, one day lang kami sa hotel,” Garcia recalled. 

“The rest of the time, sa apartment kami. Of course, iba siya sa buhay ‘Pinas na may kasambahay. May mga uma-alalay sa atin dito. In France, had to do everything ourselves. Ibang experience talaga siya for us,” she said.

Photo credit: Colleen Garcia Instagram



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