Entertainment

Nova Villa reveals spirituality leading to highest Papal Award

Nova Villa reveals spirituality leading to highest Papal Award

MANILA, Philippines — Veteran actress Nova Villa revealed how she got the Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice, the highest award given by the Pope to lay people.

During a recent virtual press conference for GMA’s new TV series “Owe My Love,” Nova said that while she was glad to receive the award, she was not expecting it.

“When I received the award, feeling ko cloud nine, kumbaga. First time nangyari sa’kin ‘yun. Sa buong buhay ko, ‘di ko inexpect. ‘Di ko nga alam kung ano ‘yun,” Nova told Philstar.com.

“Medyo may takot ako ng kaunti. May ipapagawa kaya sa akin ang simbahan? Mayroon kayang something big na gagawin ko? I don’t know. ‘Di ko alam. Ipinaubaya ko na lang kay Lord lahat,” she added.

The veteran actress said she’s surprised at how the Vatican knew about her church service because she does it discreetly.

“Ako naman po ay gumagawa lang ng mga bagay na maka-Diyos, sumusunod sa Diyos nang walang fanfare, walang nakakaalam. Nagtataka ako kung papano nila (Vatican) nalaman ang mga ganun,” she said.

“Habang nabubuhay tayo, I think we are being an awardee kapag po tayo ay sumusunod sa Panginoon at ang kanyang mga utos, mga bilin n’ya sa atin ay ating ginagawa – to be good, to be nice to people, especially to the poor. Ang importante po ay ‘yung pagtingin ng Panginoon sa atin. Pero isang karangalan din po na magawaran ng ganoong award,” she added.

Nova said she is ready to face any challenge in her life knowing that she’s close to God.

“Alam mo, bata pa ako, masasabi kong I’m close to God. Andami ko nang naranasan sa buhay ko. Lahat na ng pagsubok pinagdaanan ko na. Dugo na ang aking nailuha. Gutay-gutay na ang puso ko. ‘Yung mga gan’un, pero nakahawak pa rin ako sa paanan ng krus. At hanggang ngayon, hindi ko na ‘yan mabibitawan, sapagkat nakita ko at na-prove ko na andun ang lakas ko,” she said.

“Ano man ang dumating, pandemic man, COVID man, handa ako… I will always embrace any pagsubok na dumating sa buhay natin. Because I’ve proven that the more you’re closer to God, the more ka Niyang niyayakap, at I have proven that in my life."

Related: Nova Villa gets highest award for lay people from Pope Francis

In "Owe My Love," Nova plays the grandmother of Lovi Poe. Her character is a grandmother who balances everything in a household and is the one who shares Filipino values among her family members. She gives happiness amid family problems.

Nova said she’s happy that she’s included in the cast and she loves lock-in taping.

“Parang nakawala sa koral. Type na type ko… Nag-eenjoy ako kasi antagal ko na nakakulong sa bahay… Dito bumabaha ang pagkain. Enjoy na enjoy kami!"