That's not because he considers himself too big or too good for the soap opera genre. Like the saying goes, there are no small roles, only small actors. It's just that, says Aga, he cannot manage the punishing taping schedule of a soap. "I cannot act in a TV drama because I can't take the schedule, where they shoot one sequence after another every day, four to five times a week, from 5pm to 5am the following day," explains Aga.
Aga also finds it difficult on the emotions. "I can't handle what they [teleserye actors] do, where one minute, they're crying, then the next minute they're happy, and after that, they cry again," he says.
What Aga has become known for on television are his sitcoms. He has done several, on ABS-CBN alone. There was Oki Doki Dok, where he played a veterinarian, and Da Body and Da Guard and Pilya and Da Pilot opposite Joyce Jimenez. His most recent one was Ok, Fine Whatever with Edu Manzano and Bayani Agbayani, which ran for four years.
Now, Aga is making a television comeback, still on ABS-CBN, of course, and in the very familiar role of a doctor. The sitcom is titled That's My Doc, but this time, he's playing not a veterinarian, but a pediatrician who goes to the US to work as a nurse, but ends up suffering from homesickness. He decides to come home to the Philippines to live with his aunt, played by veteran comedienne Nova Villa.
This is Aga's first sitcom in a year. It took a while to bring to the screen, reveals Business Unit head Alou Almaden. "We took our time with this because we didn't want a half-baked programme. We wanted something that we could really be proud of," she says.
But why another sitcom in which Aga plays a doctor, albeit this time, a doctor of humans and not animals? "Yes, he's still playing a doctor, because we found out that up to now, people still call him Dok Aga," she says of her star. "But we changed the character to a paediatrician, so the image would be closer to kids."To people who point out that since he's seen it and done it all after 24 years that he should now retire and let the next generation of actors take over, Aga says he's only just begun. "I still have to make a living," he says with a laugh. "There's still so much ahead of me."
With a focus on a knowledge-based economy, the UAE charts a course for the next century
Award-winning Chef Fabrizio Marino of Atmosphere Kanifushi, home to the only contemporary, Michelin-star, vegetarian restaurant in the Maldives talks about his culinary rendezvous with the greens
It will feature breathtaking projections, weaving an inspiring narrative of unity and collective action as it highlights the country's sustainability journey
The discourse should always be two-sided; the minds must meet and transact ideas; there must be space to agree and differ, and bridges must be built