You couldn't help but get comfortable around Eugene Domingo, given that she's candid, easygoing, friendly, funny, and even self-deprecating at times. Chatting with her is like catching up with a good friend--if your good friend happens to be a brilliant actress with several international and local awards under her belt.
This year, the acclaimed actress has filmed a total of six movies (in between acting gigs in TV and theater): Tuhog, Instant Mommy, Barber's Tales, Momzillas, Status: It's Complicated, and Kimmy Dora Ang Kiyemeng Prequel. But despite her hectic schedule, Eugene still maintains a positive outloook. Want to know what her secret is? Take a look at her feel-good tips below:
1. Never get tired of learning
"For the first time, this 2013, I did six movies na napagkasya ko 'yung schedule. Hindi ko alam kung paano, pero I'm very sure that a lot of people helped me to survive this year. And for the first time also, I was able to learn how to speak in Japanese, and I was able to do very serious fight scenes in Kimmy Dora [Ang Kiyemeng Prequel]. These are skills that I devoted a lot of time to learn. In fact, I still want to learn more. I think I will be a student forever. So, this year, I'm very glad to be able to work and learn new things at the same time. Hindi ako na-bore. But I'm not telling you now that I didn't get tired. Of course, work could be tiring, but it's never boring."
2. Pamper yourself
"First of all, I try to be realistic. As far as I know, I have to take care of my body. I have to acknowledge the things that would give me pleasure: masarap na pagkain, mabangong lugar--'yung wala sa gitna ng siyudad at polusyon, 'yung walang depressing sites na makikita mo (I have to acknowledge the things that would give me pleasure: good food and relaxing places that are far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, without depressing sites to look at.)."
3. Ditch the bad stuff
"I try to avoid seeing and listening to depressing stories, if I really do not need it."
"I try to plan ahead and go to places that I haven't seen. For 2014, it will be a time for festivals. In February, we'll be going to France for a film festival where four Filipino films will be shown. Hopefully, actually, I'm inviting myself [laughs] to go to the Asian Film Awards because we have a film that will be shown there. It's called Barber's Tales, and I'm hoping it will do very well in the Asian Awards. Barber's Tales will also be making its rounds in several festivals in 2014, so I'll make sure to give time for it."
5. Be open to new experiences
"I think it's always good to try anything for the first time. It's all about giving yourself what it deserves."
"Eto naman ang sakit ko--which I think is not really masakit kase masarap sya (This is my weakness--although it's not entirely a bad thing since it's therapeutic.). I love cleaning. I love fixing things: ayoko ng bag na madumi, ayoko ng bodegang magulo, ayoko ng kusinang magulo, ayoko ng banyong magulo (I love fixing things: I don't like dirty bags, messy basements, cluttered kitchens, and unkempt bathrooms.). I like decluttering, siguro psyhcologically 'ganun din (maybe it's pyschological as well). I like giving away things that I don't need--it's not difficult for me to throw away stuff na wala namang silbi. For me, magawa ko lang sya ng isang oras, dalawang oras, kahit maisingit ko lang sya ng 30 minutes, happy na ako (I like giving away things that I don't need--it's not difficult for me to throw away stuff that I no longer need. For me, to be able to clean for an hour or two, even squeeze it in for 30 minutes, I'm happy.)."
7. Go back to your roots
"I did a zarzuela back in college, and I loved it!The first legit play that I saw when I was in high school was a zarzuela called "Ang Dalagang Bukid," so mahilig talaga ako sa kantahan, sayawan, konting drama, patawa na Pinoy na Pinoy (The first legit play that I saw when I was in high school was a zarzuela called "Ang Dalagang Bukid," so I really like singing, dancing, a bit of drama and comedy that's really Pinoy.). Mahilig talaga ako sa classical [productions], so I hope to do a play na medyo mas classic (I really love classical [productions], so I hope to do a play that's a bit more classical this time.). I really want to go to the theater once more because you're more grounded in theater. Doing theater is a lot of work, especially when it comes to studying your character and developing it along with the team. Mas maraming oras talaga ang dini-devote ko sa theater. If I do theater, nakakalimutan ko na may career pala ako sa TV at pelikula [chuckles]. Theater is my first great love--it's my course. Hindi ako nakakatulog pag nagth-theater ako, ganon ako ka-excited (I really devote more time to theater. If I do theater, I tend to forget that I also have a career in TV and in film. I have a hard time sleeping whenever I'm part of a theatrical production, that's how excited I am.). It's really the actor's medium, and you learn a lot--again--whenever you do theater.
8. Be grateful
"This holiday season is going to be very special because we have an entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival--Kimmy Dora Ang Kiyemeng Prequel--and I make sure to watch it in the cinema and thank the audience personally. Importante sa audience na makita ang artista na pinanood nila at sinuportahan nila, so maganda na magpasalamat ka sa kanila. I'm very very thankful to the audience for supporting us, and hopefully, makita ko silang lahat. I love doing it, 'yung hindi nila alam na kasama nila akong nanonood, tapos kapag nagbukas ang ilaw, ire-reveal ko 'yung sarili ko. Hopefully may tumili, kaso pag wala--pahiya (It's important for the audience to see the stars whom they watch and support. I'm very very thankful to the audience for supporting us, so it's good to tell them how thankful I am. I love doing it, when the audience is unaware that I'm watching with them, and when the lights turn on, I'd reveal myself. Hopefully they recognize me, because if no one does, it would be embarrassing.)."
"The first time I did that was in [Ang Babae sa] Septic Tank. Hindi ko alam kung natakot sila kase weird 'yung character ko doon, basta tumili nalang sila. Ako naman, gusto ko talagang mag-thank you (I didn't know if the audience screamed because they were afraid of my character in the movie, but they recognized me. For me, I really want to say, 'thank you.'). It takes a lot of effort to go to the cinema, and it's very expensive. So, a simple 'thank you' would really make them very happy. Eh, ako naman, I'm just like you--I also watch movies, and I understand that a simple 'thank you' means a lot."
(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)