EXCLUSIVE: Mylene Dizon, #AgelessBeauty At 44, On The Cover Of Metro.Style
No matter how cliché it may be, this "Call Me Tita" star believes that genuine happiness is the secret to all beauty
"What makes a tita? Edad! 'Pag nag-umpisa na 'yung kaibigan mo o 'yung kaklase mo nu'ng high school o college na magkaro'n ng anak, na-level up ka agad na sa tita!"
Mylene Dizon answers this with a laugh when asked what she thinks makes a tita. In its most traditional sense, being a tita comes with age and experience. But in this day and age, older Filipinas are staying more youthful and dynamic than ever, so much so even millennials are embracing their inner tita earlier in their lives.
Mylene is a tita, but a proud one at that!
"Tita and proud" is exactly the statement the new iWant original series Call Me Tita aims to promote. The series, which is directed by Andoy Ranay and co-produced by Dreamscape Digital and Heaven's Best Entertainment, will show how one can embrace and come into terms with her inner tita. And it is a very timely sentiment, given that the role and image of being a tita today has changed. It premiered on iWant and ABS-CBN yesterday, and viewers may stream all its episodes now on iWant or catch it every Sunday evening on ABS-CBN.
The seasoned actress, who stars in the series as the #DemureTita Frida, acknowledges that she herself did not see titahood coming. "It didn't dawn on me until I turned 40. That's the only time I realized, 'Ay 'di na pala ako teenager! Akala ko teenager pa ako nu'ng 39 ako eh!'" she says with a laugh. "Bigla siyang nangyari. What makes a tita, tita, is suddenly, parang puto at pansit levels ang gusto mong meryenda. Hindi na tequila ang meryenda mo, hindi na happy hour. Or 'yung happy hour meron nang kasamang pansit. Pero may happy hour pa rin."
The word tita has been redefined, and Call Me Tita endeavors to tell the story of this change and showcases the realities of women in their 40s and 50s.
Laughter is the best medicine talaga sa lahat ng aspeto, pati na rin sa ating skincare. When you are happy, when you are laughing a lot, when you are laughing genuinely because you are in good company, it will show. It will seep through the skin. It's not just skin-deep, it's also glowing from inside
Mylene describes her character: "[She is] the most demure and soft-spoken in the group. She was a battered wife, but she doesn't want her family and friends to know kasi matatakutin siya sa mga bagay, na baka masabihan siya na mali 'yung ginawa niya, 'yung nanay kasi niya 'di maniniwala na she was battered. She's always the dehado one. In a way, for me, she embodies a lot of women now who are afraid to speak up even when they are being hurt already."
While it was difficult for Mylene to connect with the character of Frida, she says she understands the plight and struggles of her character when put into the perspective of what's happening in the society.
"We still live in a very unforgiving society towards women. We still live in this notion that women are just such and such, that are locked to do so and so things. We are mocked when we try to challenge our strengths, and we are always told that we cannot do it, that we cannot succeed because we are, after all, just women. So I'm also a victim of that somehow, even here in my work. That's why when we were offered to do this series, we were so excited because finally, we are going to be showcased as people who matter," Mylene tells Metro.Style.
And it shows that more than the coming-of-tita age that Call Me Tita tries to project, the series also wants to bring into the spotlight the dilemma of Filipinas who continue to be boxed by their roles and gender. And that's also why the show brings together different types of titas together in one show, to communicate that being different can be good. You will each have your own challenges, but you will also each have your own ways to conquer those, eventually succeed, and ultimately be happier.
Mylene stars in Call Me Tita alongside other fellow seasoned actresses—Cherry Pie Picache ("Thirsty Tita"), Agot Isidro ("Media Savvy Tita"), Joanna Ampil ("Hustler Tita"), Lorna Tolentino ("Missing Tita"), and Angelica Panganiban ("Tita in Training").
"We represent different types of women and we are most complex pa. There are so many types of women out there, especially Filipinas, and we are very strong," Mylene points out. "So we are just doing our little part. We are representing women from all walks of life."
We still live in a very unforgiving society towards women... We are always told that we cannot do it, that we cannot succeed because we are, after all, just women... That's why when we were offered to do this series, we were so excited because finally, we are going to be showcased as people who matter
Mylene is turning another year older this September, but her energy and youthfulness continues to supersede her age. For her, titahood is not about being old and grumpy, it's about being conscious of your age, but not really caring about it, because age is just a number. She believes that your body and your heart will follow what your outlook is in life. Age shouldn't stop you from ticking off items from your bucket list of things you want to do. In fact, Mylene reveals that she just learned how to surf when she was 38!
"Nu'ng bata ako, ang tita, ang tanda eh. Ang puti ng buhok, lola levels. Ngayon, ang lola nga 'di pa rin mukhang lola. I don't know what it is. Maybe we are now more conscious of our looks? Or, totoo pala 'yung science ng mga moisturizers na inilalagay natin sa mukha natin at 'di lang tayo ginagawang cash cows nitong mga malalaking kumpanyang 'to? Or, iba na 'yung pananaw ng mga kababaihan ngayon sa buhay na you're not locked into just being—pardon this, pero dati kasi, housewife ka lang. Nakakatanda, nakakamanang. Ngayon, hindi na eh! Housewives now are very hip about it," Mylene says.
And indeed, that should be the case. If you're a housewife, embrace it! If you're getting old, embrace it! But know that you have so much more to offer as a housewife, as a tita, and as a woman. That kind of mindset will not make you grumpier as you grow older, it will make you happier.
"Laughter is the best best medicine talaga sa lahat ng aspeto, pati na rin sa ating skincare. When you are happy, when you are laughing a lot, when you are laughing genuinely because you are in good company, it will show. It will seep through the skin. It's not just skin-deep, it's also glowing from inside," Mylene says about how being happy and loving herself have contributed to her youthful glow and unrelenting beauty. "And lots of water!"
Photography by Ria Regino
Art direction by Butchie Peña
Sittings editors: Grace Libero-Cruz, Geolette Esguerra, and Judy Arias
Makeup by Ting Duque
Hairstyling by Francis Guintu
Styling by Kat Cruz-Villanueva
Shoot assistants: Cara Tirona and Eli Montoro