THE TRUE ESSENCE OF CHRISTMAS ACCORDING TO MAJA SALVADOR AND GERALD ANDERSON
by Pablo A. Tariman
“The act of giving feels good if you don’t expect anything in return,” thus says actress Maja Salvador when asked if she expects to be reciprocated for blessings shared.
“The year 2014 was generally good for me and the act of giving is more meaningful if you give back without thinking of anything in return,” she adds. “Of course I just lost someone who took care of me all my life but then I am sure she is happier where she is now. I am giving back what she gave me by sharing my blessings with others. That’s the least I can do to honor her.”
Maja — with her real-life boyfriend Gerald Anderson – had an informal talk with selected media persons to announce the airing of “The Gift of Life” over Channel 2.
The two avoided being paired together in any project to protect their relationship but she said there is no harm in giving back by saying yes to a TV special that celebrates the gift of life. “People tend to forget that if they don’t end up in a hospital and enjoying life without illness, they are actually recipients of that gift of life. How many during this Christmas season are actually in emergency wards, in ICUs and waiting for the final moment as they are diagnosed with life-threatening ailment? I can relate to this teleserye because I am basically family-oriented and I am thankful for anything that keeps them away from harm. Yes, we try to avoid being paired together in a project. But this Christmas, we said yes as our way of saying thank-you to the creative team which gave us highly challenging projects. ‘Sino ba naman kami to say no?’”
Gerald knows what Maja is talking about as he usually spends his birthdays by treating young cancer patients to modest but meaningful birthday blow-out. When he last met them, he noted they were very young but their will to survive was very strong. Some succeeded in fighting cancer, others were still fighting it and the rest were waiting for miracles. “Their stories are touching and inspiring. This should make us more grateful that we are alive and indeed enjoying the true gift of life. This made me realize that waking up every day alive and well is a blessing. I can relate fully well as the character of this teleserye because I’ve seen terminally-ill people who kept their positive outlook in life in spite of impending death. That is why even with my fairly good comfortable life, I like leaving my comfort zone to reach out to the less fortunate.”
This first professional team up in a Christmas TV series allowed the true-to-life love team to discover how they work in front of a camera.
Says Maja: “I like to think we have the same way of dealing with difficult scenes. Yes, we both study our scripts before we face the camera but we don’t want our executions to be too studied. We both go for a natural way of handling sensitive scenes. That is one good discovery that came out of this first partnership on television.”
Maja recalls that what amounts to her first gift from Gerald was a helicopter ride which literally announced to the world love between the two of them was in the air.
She is aware of the dangers of relationship between showbiz personalities but she has learned how to handle complications arising from such public exposure.
The actress told this writer earlier: “You can actually handle complications in a way that will work for you. When you have been through it, you know how best to get out of it fast and when another problem arose, at least you are ready to cope with it. You become strong in the process.”
Through the years, Maja said she has learned to accept partner as humans, not perfect models.
Earlier giving Gerald a rating of perfect 10, Maja has learned how to love theactor as a human being and not as a celebrity. “When I see flaws in a person, I feel better because I realize he is just human just like me — prone to make honest mistakes. I also stopped looking for perfect love. Love will always be love without complications. On the other hand, any complication will teach you how important that person is in your life.”
On the other hand, Maja says she learned more from difficult situations than from easy ones. “I love the blessings of this career but when things go rough, I welcome them as well. Because life was not meant to be too easy. More often, life teaches you how to take risks and that is not easy. But when you survive the trials, you begin to experience the beginning of wisdom and relish the true meaning of life.”
“The Gift of Life,” a part of ABS CBN’s “Give Love on Christmas TV Special,” starts airing Monday, December 22.