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Xyriel: “Kung matino ka pong tao talaga, wala ko pong maiisip na masama.”

Xyriel Manabat, the adorable child star who gave us the iconic characters of Ana Manalastas (100 Days To Heaven), Momay, Agua and Bendita (Agua Bendita), is now a lady at 16. Recently, Xyriel trended online as she slammed some netizens who left lewd comments on her photos.

LOOK: Child star Xyriel Manabat now a stunning young woman

Now a full-time student, Xyriel would admit that she misses showbiz. Nostalgia would hit her as she looks back on her old shows. She misses the playtime on the set. Xyriel has without a doubt left a mark on the viewers that they still see her as a little girl to this day.

So the public was surprised to see her fully grown-up in her recent photos. Unfortunately, some social media users left rude remarks objectifying the minor. To prove that she’s matured enough to handle the situation, Xyriel aired a statement denouncing sexual harassment.

“Hindi po nakaka-flatter ‘yun kasi siyempre po nababastos po ako, eh… Ngayon lang po ba sila nakakita ng ganu’ng klase ng structure ng katawan? ‘Di ba po may nanay din naman sila, paano po nila nasisikmurang ganunin ‘yung menor de edad tsaka babae pa po,” Xyriel expressed.

She was upset at first. But after airing her sentiments, Xyriel realized that she isn’t responsible for other people’s opinion. She even thought that it was an empowering experience. “I feel empowered po because many people are supporting and protecting me from them… Sila naman po ‘yung may problema, hindi naman po ako,” she added.

The former child star stands by her opinion that a girl can dress up the way she wants to. Besides, respect isn’t measured just by someone’s clothing. “Doon po sa nangyari sa akin, wala po akong pinakitang kahit ano, eh. Talagang kung ano lang ‘yung dumi ng utak mo, ‘yun ang kailangang ayusin,” her bold response.

But looking at the positive remarks, Xyriel is happy that people still remember her for her past roles, even if those were almost a decade ago.

Now that she’s a teenager, Xyriel’s parents are extra protective of her. She follows strict curfew hours at home, at 7 PM the latest, unless she’s out for school-related activities. She isn’t allowed to entertain suitors until she’s 18. She revealed that she has a guy best friend just waiting for the perfect time. Their parents are aware of the setup.

On the use of social media, Xyriel pointed out self-discipline, to think twice before posting anything online.

Xyriel, wise beyond her years, described the young generation of Filipinas as brave. She expounded, “Kaya nilang i-conquer ‘yung ganitong klase ng mundo na mas marami na ‘yung challenges at mas marami na yung mga mata na akala nila pwede silang manghusga. Ang tatapang nila para magpatuloy at ipaglaban kung anong tingin nila ay tama at ‘yung sarili mismo nila.”

She told young girls like her to explore the world and allow the experiences to help them grow and know themselves better.