The surname Salvador is synonymous to the world of entertainment and the lineage began with the great impresario Lou Salvador Sr. of the defunct Manila Grand Opera House on Rizal Avenue. The great Papa Lou Sr. directed such equally great entertainers like Kathy dela Cruz and her daughters, Diomedes Maturan of Tawag Ng Tanghalan fame, Lopito and Patsy, Cely Bautista, the stage-dancers-who- became-actors Jun Aristorenas, Chiquito and Ramon Zamora, Azer Villamor and Norma Lapuz.
From the Salvador clan came the late award winning actor/director Leroy Salvador, our own James Dean Lou Salvador Jr., Chona Sandoval, Alona Alegre, Mina Aragon, Philip Salvador and Ross Rival. Of the siblings, only Leroy, Lou Jr. and Philip carried the surname Salvador. Leroy Salvador was noted for his dramatic prowess, Lou Jr. for his youth movies where he invariably played James dean roles and Philip Salvador mostly for his action-drama movies. Alona Alegre became a sex symbol even before bold and ST movies proliferated.
After Resbak, where I worked with Philip or Ka Ipe as scriptwriter on the set, working on a story written by the late Humilde ‘Meek’ Roxas, Ka Ipe got embroiled in some controversies, went abroad and had a lull in his acting career. For about five years or more, Ka Ipe did not make movies but appeared in short appearances in a television series at ABS-CBN.
Then suddenly, a new Salvador emerged on the scene at the ABS-CBN television studio, making guests appearances in some shows with introductory parts. She continues the long line of Salvador performers and she is Maja Salvador, the second contender in my mind whom I feel will be big stars in the future.
Maja Salvador is the daughter of my friend Ross Rival, better known as Chi-Chi. She came from Aparri, Cagayan who decided to try her luck in Manila’s world of entertainment. Maja, blessed with a name and an incredible, started in show business in the latter part of 2003. What phenomenal luck brought Maja to the ABS-CBN compound and to a run of shows like ASAP, Engkanto nd another teleserye.
Maja also started endorsing products like the Banana Peel Flip Flops, Folded and Hung Clothings, Lewis and Pearl Cologne and Fresher Feminine Wash.
Maja deserves more work and projects as she is taking care of her family. Before, the family occupied an old apartment somewhere in Kamuning but now Maja is residing in a condominium unit in Quezon City.
When I talked to Chi-Chi a few months ago, I found out from him that Maja Salvador is his daughter. According to him, a younger daughter, Mhea Salvador will be introduced in a film to be directed by Celso Ad. Castillo.
To her credit, Maja Salvador has already received an award from the 23rd PMPC Star Awards as the New Movie Actress of year for the film Sukob the same year that Sam Milby was chosen the New Movie Actor of the year for You Are the One.
At ABS-CBN, rumors swirled around that Carlo Aquino is seriously entertaining plans for Maja’s attention but the young actress, at 17, is not yet ready for a serious relationship and opted to concentrate more on her movie career. It is said that Maja nicely explained her decision to Carlo which the young man accepted as part of his growing up. Jason Abalos, likewise showed interest in Maja but had second thoughts when he learned about Maja’s decision re Carlo.
Maja Salvador is under contract with ABS-CBN for television and has TV shows lined up for her. Under the contract, she is free to make movies with other movie production companies. With this development, Lily Monteverde of Regal Entertainment Inc. signed up Maja as another Regal baby.
Director Joey Reyes sees in Maja the mysterious facade of a woman who could shine in her own right because of her inherent talent, both in drama and comedy and could very will be the next Vilma Santos in the making. And this can only come to pass if she will be serious with her career and put aside any serious romantic relationship and concentrate more on improving her acting ability.
The Regal producer agrees with Direk Joey Reyes’ suggestion that Maja be included in the cast of My Kuya’s Wedding. The title alone suggests that the film will actually center on the main characters of Maja, Ryan Agoncillo (who plays her kuya) and Pauleen Luna (who plays her soon-to-be-sister-in-law. The cast also included Jason Abalos as Maja’s romantic interest, Dominique Ochoa, Say Alonzo, Frank Garcia, Ethel Booba, Janus del Prado, Dick Ysrael, Ryan Yllana, Debraliz, Kitkat and at Cheena. The youth-oriented film was directed by Topel Lee.
In most of the promotional articles written for My Kuya’s Wedding, Maja Salvador and Ryan Agoncillo were the main subject which only proved that the film is really a lead role for Maja Salvador, albeit her launching movie.
Ryan was actually the second choice for the role of Kuya which was conceived for Dennis Trillo but the latter’s schedule would not fit in. Dennis had to beg off. Ryan did not mind if he was the second choice.
When Regal was casting My Kuya’s Wedding, young actors vied for the role of Maja’s boyfriend and they also included John Prats, Carlo Aquino, Jay-R Siaboc of the PDA and even the young son of Elizabeth Oropeza, Gabriel Yang whose father is Taiwan’s martial arts legend Meng Fei. But it was Jason Abalos who bagged the role.
My Kuya’s Wedding dwells on the relationship between Ryan and his kid sister sister Maja. Maja is very much against her brother getting married. Maja does not want any woman to take the attention and love of her kuya from her.
This film is an acid test for Maja Salvador and this can prove whether she can really hold a torch to other newcomers trying to make a name in show business. Regal matriarch Mother Lily has given full support for Maja as she firmly trusts and believes in Maja’s talent. Big budgeted movies are being lined up for Maja.
“She is such a talented and beautiful girl and she deserves big and wonderful projects with big named stars to support her”, Mother Lily commented on her latest baby. The Regal producer hopes that ABS-CBN will continue supporting her plans to make a big star out of the young girl.
In one of the press conferences for My Kuya’s Wedding, entertainment writers kidded Maja that she is now the most popular among the Salvadors’. Maja humbly corrected them. Saying that her Tito Ipe is still the most popular in the clan. Philip will soon be active again in television as he will soon start taping Maging Sino Ka Man (Book 2) at ABS-CBN.
Maja got the looks of a naive, fragile probinsiyana who exudes charm and mystery. I remember Chona Sandoval of the defunct LVN studio…sweet, simple and unassuming. Chona Sandoval is also a Salvador and Maja’s aunt. I wonder if Maja remembers her aunt Chona.
With good girl Maja Salvador who is working very hard for her family, I am praying for her success and that more good projects will come her way.