IWANT’S ORIGINAL anthology series Ampalaya Chronicles brings another “hugot” story with its third episode: “Me and Mrs. Cruz.”

Based on the monologue “Me & Mrs. Cruz” by Jerome Dawis from Mark Ghosn’s collection titled Ampalaya Monologues, the show is directed by Real Florido and written by Bridgette Ann Rebuca.

The story follows a widow, Mrs. Eve Cruz, who is trying to recover from the loss of her husband. She meets a young flower shop delivery man, Caloy, who goes to work dressed up as famous musicians. Both develop a deep connection despite their 23-year age gap.

Director Real Florido said in a video that the third episode is a more layered story, since the first two episodes of the anthology, referring to “Adikand” and “Labyu Hehe,” focused on love stories between adolescents.

During an online press launch, Ina Raymundo, who plays Mrs. Eve Cruz, describes her character as someone who is full of regret after losing the one she loves. “The story taught me to value the people you love,” she said. “Do not take your loved ones for granted… You will be gripped with so much misery.”

Paulo Angeles admitted that he was pressured in preparing for the spoken word poetry because of the deep vocabulary used.

“Nung nasa set, mas maganda pala kung huwag mong isipin yung words. Mas maganda kung yung buong body mo gumagana, at kusa nalang siya lalabas sa bibig mo (When on set, it’s better to not think of the words. It is better to let your body work and the words will flow naturally),” he said.

Ampalaya Monologues is known for its “hugot,” or emotional pull, from a past experience in a romantic relationship. “Minsan hindi mo kayang sabihin pero dahil may ganitong klaseng art form, kapag napanood mo siya, tumatagos sayo (Sometimes you cannot express how you feel, but because of this art form, it overflows to you).” Mr. Florido said in a video.

Also in the cast are Kristof Garcia, and JM Mendoza, and Nicki Morena.

Ampalaya Chronicles: Me & Mrs. Cruz will stream beginning Mar. 26 on iWantTFC.com and the iWantTFC app (available on Google Play and App store) and iwant.ph. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman