Erich Gonzales is now enjoying the fruits of her labor. After all she deserves the break. After winning the reality-artista search for Star Circle Quest in 2005 and after playing supporting roles in various teleseryes, her four years of waiting is definitely worth the wait.
You might have seen her briefly in ABS-CBN shows such as Abt Ur Luv, Mga Anghel na Walang Langit, Your Song, Panday, Ligaw na Bulaklak, Kung Fu Kids, and Pieta. She also played supporting roles in Sana Maulit Muli and Tiagong Akyat.
For this 20-year-old Davaoena lass, who is actually Erika Chryselle Gancayco Gonzales in real life, her time to shine has finally arrived. During her recent press conference for her upcoming show Tanging Yaman, she told the media with excitement, "Dati pangarap ko lang talaga ang makita ang sarili ko sa TV and now, I'm living my dream. I'm glad and it's worth the wait!"
KATORSE, HER BIGGEST BREAK. Erich Gonzales is considered one of 2009's big surprises in the entertainment industry with her surprise-hit teleserye remake of a sexy film, Katorse. Erich played Nene, an innocent 14-year-old who falls in love and is suddenly thrust into adulthood when she gets pregnant. This same role launched Dina Bonnevie [opposite Gabby Concepcion] to stardom back in the early '80s. Erich was initially reluctant to accept the role because she had to do some sensual scenes with her leading men, Xian Lim, Ejay Falcon and Enchong Dee.
"Marami kasing mga mature scenes, mga sensual na eksena, maraming mga kissing scene...baka hindi ko kaya. But I took on the challenge at happy ako with the result I'm getting."
Despite her reservations, Erich felt very lucky to be given the biggest break of her showbiz career. "Matagal po akong naghintay sa break. Years din ang tinagal ko sa mga supporting roles. I have no complaints. Then, came Katorse. I'm very honored and blessed na pinagkatiwala po ito ng ABS-CBN sa akin. Andyan po 'yung ibang artista na kilala naman talaga at magaling pero binigay pa rin nila sa akin ang project na ito."
Katorse is known for the trademark "magic kamison" or white sexy top that both became signature items for both Dina and Erich. That "magic kamison" somehow became a lucky charm as shown by the impressive performance of this Kapamilya show in the ratings game.
"Napakasarap ng feeling. Overwhelming. Hindi ko talaga ini-expect yung suporta ng tao. Napaka-init ng suporta nila kahit malapit na itong matapos," said Erich. "And it is reflected dahil may purpose po yung show naming para po maipakita sa mga kabataan na kung anuman 'yung mga kamalian ni Nene they would learn from it and also para maturuan ang mga magulang to guide their children properly by having open communication."
Now that Katorse is on its last week of airing, Erich looks back fondly on her show that aired for six months. "Sad ako kasi matatapos na yung Katorse. Siyempre ma-miss ko yung buong cast, staff and crew who really worked hard para mapaganda ang show. Sad din ako sa mga fans nina Nene, Jojo at Gabby kasi magtatapos na ang istorya nila."
The lead star of Katorse promises an exciting and should-be-watched ending. "Ipinapangako namin na maganda, kaabang-abang at kapana-panabik ang mga huling araw ng Katorse. Dapat n'yo tong subaybayan. Ito ang katapusang dapat panindigan."
'NENE' BLOSSOMS. No doubt, Erich has proven her acting mettle in Katorse and her character Nene became a household name. "Katorse is life-changing for me. Maraming doors ang nag-open," she pointed out. But her success does not end there; many are now anticipating her new teleserye, the political-family drama Tanging Yaman which tackles family values and presents social issues.
From the makers of the hit teleserye, Tayong Dalawa which starred the love triangle of Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson and Jake Cuenca, Tanging Yaman is ABS-CBN's first teleserye offering in line with its celebration of 60 Years of Pinoy Soap Opera. This new teleserye zeroes in the life of two different families—one fortunate and the other, ill-fated. How one family will affect the other is where the complexities lie.
Thankful for another project, Erich is overwhelmed by the trust given to her by the Kapamilya network executives. "Excited po talaga po ako and at the sametime siyempre po happy dahil ito pong Tanging Yaman, talaga pong pinaghirapan namin. Talaga pong pinag-isipan po para makapagbigay po ng bago sa mga manunuod. Nagpapasalamat po ako sa ABS-CBN sa tiwalang binigay nila sa akin. Pagbubutihin ko po ito," said Erich. She added, "Lahat po ng nangyayari sa akin, sobrang nagpapasalamat ako kay God. If not for Him, wala ang lahat ng ito."
In Tanging Yaman, she plays the role of Josefina "Fina" Dimaguiba. "Ako po dito si Fina, isang simpleng tao lang. Wala sa kanya yung mga yaman-yaman basta makasama niya ang buong pamilya. Di po siya papatalo, walang aatrasan. Medyo kikay na may pagka-jologs. Magbabago po ang ikot ng buhay ko at ng mga taong nakapaligid sa akin nang mabunyag ang katotohanan na ako pala ang tunay na anak ng presidente [played by Rowell Santiago]."
When asked the difference of portraying Nene in Katorse and now Fina in Tanging Yaman, she explained, "Very different. Kasi si Fina dito parang brusko at palaban siya, parang one of the boys. And si Nene naman, napaka-naïve."
The young actress also mentioned that she has been undergoing workshops for her role in the said series. "Nagwo-workshop po ako para mas maayos po ang pagganap ko sa karakter ko. Hindi na po kasi 'katorse' ang edad ko rito," Erich said with a laugh.
Witness how Erich Gonzales breathes life to the role of Fina in Tanging Yaman together with some of today's bankable young stars Melissa Ricks, Enchong Dee, Ejay Falcon, Matt Evans and Ron Morales. Topbilling the said drama series are seasoned actors Agot Isidro, Mylene Dizon, Jodi Sta. Maria, Leo Martinez, Nonie Buencamino and Rowell Santiago in his first teleserye.
Directed by Many Palo and Lino Cayetano, Tanging Yaman premieres on January 11 (replacing Katorse) right after Precious Hearts Romances presents My Cheating Heart.