I Feel U: Zsa Zsa Padilla and Roxanne Barcelo shared their love-filled journey to a beautiful life

Roxanne Barcelo glowed with joy as she caught up with I Feel U host Toni Gonzaga. The two were former contenders for the Metro Pop Song Festival when they were just teenagers. 

Looking at her career trail, Roxanne’s entry weapon in the industry was her talent in music. She was groomed to be a singer before she jumped into acting. However, due to self-doubt and fears that come with adolescence, she felt like singing was a scary territory. 

At 13, she had big dreams of pursuing music but life happened and finding her ‘sound’ wasn’t as easy as she thought. The reluctance, combined with how her career was surprisingly pulling her to acting, made her forego her musical dreams for a while. 

Kismet as it may seem, dreams that had long been ingrained in one’s heart will eventually happen at the right time. Roxanne did several songs in the past. But it was via joining Tawag ng Tangahalan Celebrity Edition in 2019 that she had more courage to conquer the music stage again. “I realized that all the things I’ve been so afraid of exist but they co-exist with courage and hope. It was on-cam where I was battling through going onstage, finding my strength and voice again.”

Those who watched her post-performance interviews for TNT would know her battle with self-doubt, apart from the grief of losing her father, who died due to stroke following an accident. 

Her father’s demise was the lowest point in her life. Dreading to lose her parents, it was a crippling ordeal that she didn’t know how to heal from the pain, or if she could still manage to move forward.

He was the greatest man she’s ever known. While he’s already gone, Roxanne still carries a part of him in her heart. Losing him made her realize that every moment, however mundane, has value. 

A beautiful plot twist happened when Roxanne didn’t only found the grit to pursue music but she was also given a man who would love her unconditionally. Just December last year, she announced her marriage with her non-showbiz partner, a foreigner who lived in Hong Kong. 

Following the surprising news about being a married woman, Roxanne next shared that there’s a bun in the oven. Blessings are pouring down on her and she’s overwhelmed with the pure love surrounding her. 

Asked why she kept her romantic life a secret, the singer-actress said she didn’t want to spoil something so precious. She described her husband as a great man, just like her Dad. He makes her laugh and feel loved. Her husband also wrote a letter to her late ‘Tatay’ when he proposed to her. Although she respects her husband’s privacy, Roxanne wishes to share more about him and finally identify the beautiful man soon.  

Looking at her colorful life, its ups and downs, Roxanne learned that the heart is a person’s greatest weapon. Life may be cruel at times but what matters is how a person kept the heart pure and full of love because someday the love will bounce back. “Save a part of yourself that is pristine and untouchable. I felt like that is the part of me that can never be changed or shaken,” she said of the greatest lesson life brought her.   
Sometimes she wishes that her father is still alive to meet her baby but even if that won’t happen anymore, she knows there’s someone looking over their family. She promised to make her father’s good deeds and memories be known to her child. 

She also hopes to create more music. There’s no doubt she loves acting and hosting as well but music brings her a different kind of fulfilment, knowing her father’s last wish is to see her sing again.

Celebrating her 38th year in showbiz, Zsa Zsa Padilla looks back at her stellar career and shares newfound passion in this episode of I Feel U.

Zsa Zsa started young in the industry. Although showbiz wasn’t her childhood dream, life had amazing ways of pulling her to the limelight. Her first music venture was via joining the Hotdog band. She eventually went solo and had her first concert at the Araneta Coliseum by her early 20s. That career feat fired up her love for music, fanning the desire to explore her artistry. 

“It made me hungrier as an artist. Anong susunod? Kasi kapag napuno mo ang isang venue, when you step out sa stage, tapos na ‘yun, eh. Palaging iisipin mo kung ano ‘yung susunod,” she said of how she keeps the fire burning.  

Expanding her horizon, she moved into acting and collected critically-acclaimed films under her belt. For Zsa Zsa, acting is an escape that allows her to be someone else for a while. She also enjoys doing soap operas especially when playing multifaceted roles that trigger creativity. 

Apart from these passions, she’s found her new love in farming. The property she shares with partner Conrad Onglao was built into an organic farmhouse called Casa Esperanza, taken from her real name. Conrad, a renowned architect, is almost done with the construction and aesthetics so now is the perfect time to fully exercise their farming muscles. 

While farming is considered a relaxing passion, Zsa Zsa would attest that it is not an easy task. She’s even nervous at how this new venture would turn out. Nonetheless, she’s hopeful. Besides, running a farm takes discipline, a quality sharpened by working in showbiz.   

Zsa Zsa also knows that one can never go wrong with passion. As long as the heart beats for that dream, it will turn out beautiful and fulfilling, however challenging. “Makikita naman sa trabaho mo kung wala kang passion for it… Syempre may self-doubt, siguro kailangan mo lang bigyan ‘yung sarili mo ng room for trial and error. You have to be forgiving. Kailangan din disiplina and I think it’s something instilled. Mayroon kasi tayong disiplina sa field natin. I think that trained us for life. Feeling ko, hindi ako titigil hangga’t hindi ako nagiging successful,” she said. 

The Divine Diva enjoys sharing the happy farm life on her vlog channel. The online venture started as just a hobby since she had a lot of footages to share. The first content elicited positive feedback and that’s how she fell more in love with vlogging. The hobby turned into an online show called “Buhay ProbinZsa” now available for streaming on TFC. 

Asked about wedding plans, Zsa Zsa said she has a good partnership with Conrad. They rely on each other, although a little time away adds more excitement. They’re in a stable relationship and just enjoying every minute of it, thus there’s no need to rush.

For the next part of the interview, Zsa Zsa looked back at her most notable projects under Star Cinema. In 1996, she did the critically-acclaimed film “Madrasta” alongside Sharon Cuneta and Christopher de Leon and directed by Olive Lamasan. It was a new experience to share the screen with Sharon. They used to just share the concert stage before working on this film. The Divine Diva and Megastar built a beautiful friendship over the years. It was even Sharon who introduced Zsa Zsa to Conrad for a blind date.

Another classic gold under Zsa Zsa’s acting resume is “Batang PX” topbilled by Patrick Garcia, who was his generation’s biggest heartthrob. Zsa Zsa has nothing but praises for Patrick’s acting brilliance. She also recalled that Piolo Pascual was part of the cast. As early as then, Zsa Zsa envisioned Piolo turning into a big star. She would look at him and think he’s made for bigger roles. She also reminisced the simple bonding times on the set. They were happy just munching down ‘manggang hilaw.

Working with artists from different generations, the seasoned singer-actress is amazed by how time flies. She mentioned John Prats, whom she worked with when he was just seven. She now performs with her contemporaries’ children as well.

“In your eyes, parang hindi na sila lumaki. Tapos makikita mo, ‘Ang tanda ko na talaga!’ Masaya lalo na ‘yung time na sa ASAP kasama ko si Zia at Karylle tapos si Martin kasama niya si Robin, si Gary din ‘yung kids niya. When I’m around them, I feel like they’re my children, too. Nakita ko silang lumaki.
Zsa Zsa misses doing teleseryes, but given the situation and lock-in setup, she decided to take a pause. She’d rather spend these uncertain times with Conrad. Especially when they’re at Casa Esperanza, the couple loves to bond over food and cooking.  In her recent vlog post, Zsa Zsa shared how she made a special pizza for her beau – little things that make him happy. 

Feel Pop

As Himig 11th Edition nears its finals on March 21, the composers and interpreters are starting to take on the pressure. In this episode of I Feel U, Zephanie Dimaranan and band Kiss ‘N Tell share how they feel about the upcoming grand showdown.

After winning the first edition of Idol Philippines, Zephanie is back on the contest world, this time as an interpreter for the Himig Handog 11th Edition. She owned up to feeling pressured and nervous. At the same time, she feels happy and blessed, calling this experience a dream come true. 

For this year’s music festival, Zephanie is handed “Tinadhana Sa’yo” which speaks of all the ‘hugots’ and pain of unrequited love. At one point in our lives, we’ve been blinded by love, giving our all, heart and soul, to a person who can never love us back. But, strange as love, even the one-sided feelings make us happy. As the song reaches the end, Zephanie gives her soothing take on the line, “Siguro sa dulo,” keeping listeners hopeful that one day, they will also receive the kind of love they deserve and keep on giving, be it from the same person or someone new. 

The music video likewise magnifies deep artistry, featuring mannequins which symbolize lack of emotion, a love ‘dead’ from the beginning.

As the band name suggests, Kiss N Tell creates music from real experiences. The band was formed by a group of friends who love to create songs as a hobby. They saw Jarea’s song cover online and thought she’d be perfect as their vocalist. She instantly fell in love with the band’s kind of sound and songwriting style. 

The band interprets a song that’s about the beauty of closures and moving forward after a breakup. Aptly titled Pahina, it encourages listeners to be brave enough to turn the next page and leave the previous chapter behind when love comes to an end.

Watch your favorite entry’s music video on Star Music’s official YouTube Channel.