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“She doesn’t do in­ter­views in per­son.”

They’re words no writer likes to hear, yet this was team soon af­ter I’d ar­rived at the set of her SCOUT cover shoot. Less than a minute later, though, so fast I al­most got whiplash, a new direc­tive was given: she right now.

Per­haps the ini­tial direc­tive was the start in the en­ter­tain­ment scene at age 14 via the tal­ent search show Star Cir­cle Quest and has since spent nearly half of her life under the glare of the spot­light. It in­dus­try where a young ac­tress could only have so much con­trol over what gets spun face in­ter­view” policy was set in place as a form of pro­tec­tion.

with an easy laugh and the knowl­edge of the right words to con­vey what she means with­out re­veal­ing too much—a to­tal pro who knows how to run the show with equal parts dis­cre­tion and au­then­tic­ity.

Siar­gao, the her and Jeri­cho Rosales, Erich cites the res­o­nance she felt with her char­ac­ter an Eat, Pray, Love type of thing. I was of­fered also wanted to do the same thing: some The re­mark sounds sim­ple enough—the past year: “Marami akong lessons na babaunin to pri­or­i­tize my­self, that it’s not wrong to love my­self more. Be­fore, I’d think of how short life is to keep do­ing that all the with ac­tor Daniel Mat­sunaga early last an ef­fort to counter ru­mors re­gard­ing the is­sue with­out di­rectly ad­dress­ing it and died out.

And Siar­gao did pro­vide her the space and es­cape she needed, along with the nec­es­sary push to re­mind her of her in­ner day on Siar­gao to catch a wave, so I guess my sense of tsamba “But I knew I have it in me to take risks. I’m not afraid to take chances and just jump in right away. Wala nang, ‘ Naku, baka ganyan...’”

She did have her hes­i­ta­tions, though, when it came to say­ing yes to Tan­d­uay’s calendar girl. “Too much risk ba ’ yung ask­ing me for so long to model for them, ready yet.”

How­ever, when they came woo­ing again last year, Erich felt it synced well with the other projects she was already work­ing on. Aside from Siar­gao, there’s also the sus­pense thriller We Will Not Die Tonight, where she plays a stunt­woman is a production that re­unites her with time as a pro­ducer. “For that movie, I was to do all my ac­tion scenes; I had no stunt so with Siar­gao pa “And that’s when Tan­d­uay ap­proached for it now.’ I’m not get­ting any younger, I’m at the right age, so I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ But I

asked if I could have a say in the creative process, and they

The project is per­haps the most vis­ual marker of the kind of creative in­de­pen­dence and con­trol that Erich wants main­stream projects, mostly under her home stu­dio, and a lot of smaller in­de­pen­dent ones. “I like try­ing to learn new my­self in them; there are no lim­its, un­like in main­stream movies where there tends mak­ing them].”

In­de­pen­dent projects also pro­vide her the op­por­tu­nity to mus­cles that can­not act­ing on­screen. The script for We Will Not Die Tonight Somes, who felt that the on. “So I read it, and it’s a su­per in­ter­est­ing story of sur­vival that plays out all in one night. The ti­tle says it all: ‘ We will not die tonight.’ Ayun na siya ta­laga, so there’s a lot of run­ning and ac­tion scenes.” Her in­ter­est piqued, Erich de­cided to sign the cam­era. “I’m re­ally part of the whole production process, even in the edit­ing and the scor­ing of the scenes. Puma­pa­pel ta­laga, pa- involved, haha!” Set for re­lease this year, We Will Not Die Tonight do more in the fu­ture. “If there are more op­por­tu­ni­ties for me Kahit hindi ako yung artista, as

Storytelling and the work it in­volves have kept Erich Im­por­tante sa ’kin na nanini­wala ako sa isang project, that I can put my “Hindi ko ta­laga kaya ’yun,” she ad­mits. “Sometimes, I don’t get in­vited to par­ties any­more kasi alam ng or­ga­niz­ers hindi na­man ako pupunta, haha! when I do, I’ll just say hi to peo­ple and then I’ll head home early. Hindi ta­laga ako pala labas.”

Whatever free time she has, Erich prefers to spend it read­ing or tend­ing to her home garden—“I grow roses, let­tuce, any­thing I can”—or adding to her arse­nal of short sto­ries and po­etry. “Some­day, I’ll share them—when I have kasi so I’m po­ems into songs.” She also fo­cuses on her var­i­ous act­ing com­mit­ments. Even though I’m the youngest in the fam­ily, I’m like the ate. And my life is an open from Davao, I came from noth­ing—as in walang wala, so alam ko ang paki­ram­dam ng pare­hong meron at wala. That makes me re­ally value hard work. So in­stead of

ahead, es­pe­cially since on top of We Will Not Die Tonight, she has a new tele­serye The Blood Sisters, which will have her play­ing triplets. “I look for­ward to a year that’s more pro­duc­tive and re­ward­ing. There are any­thing she might say. “I’ve learned that it’s not enough to watch out for op­por­tu­ni­ties; sometimes, I have to cre­ate them. That’s why most times, I don’t over­think the things sikat just go­ing in and do­ing the work.”

“I’ve learned that it’s not enough to watch out for op­por­tu­ni­ties; to cre­ate them. ”

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