Teen star Bianca Umali looks sweet and innocent as she goes about her scenes in the GMA-7 hit primetime program Kambal, Karibal. She is Crisanta, a mild-mannered, kindhearted, and intelligent young lady. Her aura, however, suddenly shifts as she becomes irritable. Her eyes flare up, and a mere gaze throws off a wrathful mood. Her soft-spoken tone changes drastically into an angry one. In another moment, she takes on a third persona, as another soul joins in the characterization of her biggest breakout role to date.
Kambal, Karibal is a departure from the typical family drama on primetime television. Bianca’s Crisanta is the twin sister of Criselda, portrayed by Pauline. A rare sickness took away Criselda’s life but she continued to interact with Crisanta as a spirit. Things turned sour when the spirit of Criselda got jealous of the affection that Crisanta was receiving from their mother. Criselda was also envious of the attention that Crisanta was getting from Diego, whom Criselda also likes.
Because of this, Criselda took over the body of Cheska, the character of Kyline, in order to get back at Crisanta, feel the love from their mother, and be with the boy whom she likes. Such supernatural aspect has drawn the interest of fans and casual viewers alike. Bianca states, “Our highlight is of course, meron kaming sapi-sapi and now nagkapalit-palit na kami ng souls. I think that is what makes us stand out.”
She shares that she had high hopes for the show when it was offered to her. “Actually, I was excited for it because it was something different. Our story is something na hindi pa nagagawa on TV.” The public’s very warm reception, meanwhile, was something that she did not quite see coming. “It was actually unexpected. And parang ang nangyari kasi sa project is minadali siya. Kambal, Karibal aired last year but originally, the plan was to air it supposedly January palang this year. Napaaga siya so it was very unexpected.”
As she gets ready for more projects, Bianca discloses that she practices self-study especially now that she is busy with taping for Kambal, Karibal, fulfilling various showbiz commitments, and taking part in the live Sunday PinaSaya variety show. “Of course, I study more. Lahat naman talaga matututunan through study. I attend workshops but right now, I’m more on self-study. I read a lot of books on acting and I watch a lot of movies,” says the rising star who is in awe of Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence.
On the home front, she admires all of the Kapuso Queens such as Marian Rivera, Heart Evangelista, and Solenn Heussaff. “I look up to all the successful Kapuso Queens, actually, because they all have their talents, plus ‘yung confidence nila, and how successful and far they have gone already.” But she clears that she does not intend to pattern her career path to be like theirs. “I am not really aiming to take after someone. I mean, I want to take on mine and make a name for myself.”