Aya Medel:
Bicol Express!

A car crash two years ago very nearly crumpled Aya Medel's delectable body. Thank heavens she came out of it in one piece. Or else Bicolandia's hottest wouldn't be around to spice up our lives.

"Vanity is the devils's favorite sin." Or something to that effect. No doubt diabolic, the way Al Pacino said it, playing the Devil scheming God's humiliation and defeat by getting his earthly son to sock it with his infernal daughter in the "The Devil's Advocate." The Devil has good reasons to love those who love themselves, not only because they are so gullible, but there are also many ways to destroy a blessed streak.

Not that we want to condemn Aya Medel to the pits of hell, or scare the wits out of her by suggesting that she cavorted with the devil. But that fateful night two years ago when she was driving along Coastal Road and got into a near-fatal crash that made a total wreck of her car, the Devil must have been laughing his horned head off for a successful pratical joke.

There was Aya Medel driving, destination: Success.

Thirty-eight movies in the can. Only two years in the
business. Offers to go international. All because she had the guts to bare what was given her lavishly by some benevolent force.

"Look at that body," the Devil must have said, "I didn't give that to her, but I surely would love to ruin it."

So she spun her car and - pow! - crashed.

Only a few essential bones broke, not enough to get her out of commission. Her face was spared. And so was her body. She had to go through hell just so you could see her right on this issue, but it is as though nothing happened to her. Vanity is still the celebrity's favorite pastime, whether it is the Devil's favorite or not.

Yes, she went through serious soul-searching after that incident. But has she become a good girl after it? She says she has. But we allowed her to forget for a while. Thinking like the Devil helped us convince her.

Being a Bicolana, do you really think Bicolanos and Bicolanas are a horny a lot?

Hello, I think everyone, whether he's from Bicol or not, is horny. They say that because we eat a lot of chili and so it has sort of become our trademark. But I don't think we all are horny. A lot of us grew up in conservative families. But I can't really say that for a fact because, well, I haven't had sex with all of them!

This is a wild guess, but you come from a Catholic school, didn't you?

Yes, I studied in a Catholic school. When I came to Manila in 1997. I became this and that was it. You know I was very young when I started, I was 16. I remember back then, in Bicol that I never got a chance to go out often. It was always the house, school and back. The rule was that after school, I should immediately go home. I wasn't allowed to be seen outside the house talking to would-be suitors.


And what happened to your Catholic school days after you came to Manila, spreading yourself out, literally, on the banner pages of tabloids?

I got kicked out.

And the folks?

Of course, it was harder for my parents. You know, the embarrassment. Because my mom is a teacher, and it was
hard for her having to stand up to the vicious talk she would hear.

But after seven months in show business, I got nominated as Best Actress for the movie "Padre Kalibre," battling it out with no less than Nora Aunor and Maricel Soriano. Not only that, I showed them I could survive in the business not only doing the sexy stuff but comedies, sitcoms, telenovelas like Esperanza so I was able to show them that I'm not only good for the bed scenes.

But you seem to have found a way to enjoy stripping onscreen, right?

It's easy to laugh, to cry in movies. Do action, drama. But taking off your clothes, it's very difficult. Of course when I did it the first time, I was really ashamed. But now, care ko! I just make sure I do well taking my clothes off. No seriously, I make good on my acting. That's the reason I'm still around. I wouldn't survive for this long if I didn't.

You've made 38 movies in four years, making you a veteran of many bold battles. What tips would you give me if I were a woman who desperately desires to be a bold star?

Hmm, what do I do nga ba? When others prepare for a sexy scene, puro kababuyan ang pinag-uusapan. Well, not exactly downright filth. There are green jokes. Sometimes, male stars try to hit on the female stars, and if they can get away with it.  (MANILA, Sept. 20, 2001 - SNS)


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