I Feel U: The essence of a modern-day dalagang Pilipina according to Kristel, Elha and Xyriel

As the world continues to evolve, the image of a “dalagang Pilipina” has become bolder and wiser. In this episode of I Feel U, host Toni Gonzaga discussed these changes with modern-day Filipinas Kristel Fulgar, Elha Nympha, and Xyriel Manabat.

The show opened with a quick interview with teen entrepreneur Chloe Barraza. At 17, Chloe now runs her own baking line. The love for baking started when she was a kid when her mom introduced her to the pastry world and taught her the basics. She backed this up with baking lessons for kids and watching online video tutorials.

From using ready-to-bake ingredients, Chloe bit by bit improved her techniques. “I started with using boxed cake mix and developed by trying different recipes online,” she shared.

Chloe’s parents have always been supportive of her passion that they convinced her to sell her homemade goodies. With enough help and encouragement from her family, she decided to manage her own business. Her parents’ background as entrepreneurs was a big help.

The teen businesswoman encouraged her fellow millennials to look past the doubt and challenges in creating a business. Instead, focus on the progress.

“There will be times na mase-stress ka talaga or there will be days na you would compare the progress of your business to the progress of others businesses. What matters the most is your business and yourself. Never give up and always look at the brighter side. These experiences are where we’ll be learning the most,” she advised young entrepreneurs like her.

Chloe makes a variety of baked products including the bestsellers classic chocolate chunk and choco-pistachio cookies and smores cupcake.


Elha Nympha

With her amazing vocal prowess and bubbly charm, Elha Nympha won the hearts of many when she joined The Voice Kids and emerged as the champion later on. Now, all-grown-up at 16, Elha once again wowed the public with her glow up.  

NOON AT NGAYON: Mga nakakagulat na transformation photos ni Elha Nympha

The singing champ appeared on I Feel U sporting her new blonde hair and bold red lipstick, yet wearing the same sunny attitude she had since she was little. And as she put her own spin on Moira Dela Torre’s “Tagpuan” for a quick ‘birit’ sample, Elha proved that her chops didn’t change at all. She keeps on practicing at home and performs online while we’re still on quarantine.

Since she had the luxury of time, she decided to focus on her weight-loss journey. “Nag-start ako sa small goals po na, ‘dapat next week, ganito na ‘yung weight ko.’ Paunti-unti po. Hindi ko na lang po namamalayan na naglo-lose na pala talaga ako ng weight. Then, hanggang ngayon nagda-diet pa rin po ako,” Elha shared. She keeps a no-carb diet and exercises 2-3 times a day.

Growing up in the public eye has both its advantage and disadvantage. There is pressure of course. On the bright side, Elha has the power to inspire other people, especially teenagers like her dealing with body issues. With this, she posted her workout routine for her followers.

The young songstress has also become a hot topic because of her relationship with Brian Gazmen, 20. They met during a guesting for Magandang Buhay, became a squad alongside It’s Showtime TNT Boys member Mackie Empuerto, and unexpectedly fell in love.

The bliss of first love brings Elha the motivation to improve herself. She would admit that Brian was one of the reasons why she decided to lose weight and became more confident. When asked what made Brian a cut above the rest, she mentioned that he is patient.  

There are clashing opinions about teenage romance. But for Elha, having a boyfriend at 16 can also be healthy as long as there is proper guidance involved. She stressed that people have different levels of readiness. She allowed the bashers to comment whatever pleases them. She doesn’t have time for the hate, anyway.

On the critical issues about modern fashion trends, Elha believes that girls can dress up the way they want to and the public must respect their choices. She added that bullying and harassment is a major cause of low self-esteem among young ladies.

On the use of social media, Elha thinks young people must use the platform responsibly.

With her unbreakable confidence and courage to work on her dreams, Elha is indeed the epitome of a modern “dalagang Pilipina.” She said that her generation of young ladies is brave and strong. And as a message to fellow Gen Zs still trying to figure their place in this world, Elha pointed out the importance of originality and keeping it real.


Kristal Fulgar

Before she became an online influencer, Kristel Fulgar was one of the child stars who brought us good vibes in the kiddie gag show, Goin’ Bulilit. Now at 25, the young woman appears more confident and certain of her career path.

Kristel entered showbiz at the age of 8. Thus, she can attest to the beauty and challenges of growing up in the public eye. Her showbiz life is an endless cycle of ups and downs. It went more difficult when she reached the so-called awkward stage or the tween years. Since the projects slowed down, Kristel decided to focus on her studies. In college, she juggled full-time acting gigs and schooling and still graduated on time. The Kapamilya beauty is a Communication Arts degree holder.

As the digital age reached its peak, Kristel found herself diving into the online sphere. Although acting and vlogging are both related to entertainment, she stressed that they are different. She mentioned that creating digital content is more challenging yet fulfilling. “’Yung sa pag-aartista, mayroon po akong director, scriptwriter, aarte na lang ako. Unlike sa digital, sa paggawa ko po ng mga vlogs, ako po lahat,” Kristel shared.

Kristel is also known as a huge K-drama fan. She even learned to use the Korean language just by watching Koreanovelas and self-studying. The obsession is so real that Kristel can also write in Korean alphabet. “Pinakamadali raw na language na pag-aralan, isulat, at basahin sa buong mundo ay Korean,” she assured.

IN PHOTOS: Kristel Fulgar’s friendship with her big boss gives us K-Drama feels!

It seems like the Korean addiction opened up several opportunities and happy times for her. Kristel swooned the netizens when she uploaded her photos with Korean businessman Yohan Kim she fondly calls as “Big Boss.” Yohan is the CEO of a popular skincare brand that has Kristel as one of its influencers. They became good friends and they often collaborate on her YouTube channel.

Fans also ship Kristel and her constant vlogging partner, Benedict Cua. They garnered a huge following so they decided to put up their joint channel.

But who is the real “oppa” in Kristel’s life? The Kapamilya actress revealed that she’s an NBSB or No Boyfriend Since Birth. And she seems so happy with the single life. She promised to only entertain romance when she’s matured enough or close to marrying age. She envisions herself settling down at 30, only five years from now. Still, she doesn’t want to rush into love.

Kristel keeps just the right balance of traditional and modern beliefs. On the critical issue about a millennial girl’s style of clothing, she said that she makes an effort not to look too daring while still keeping it fashionable.

“Dahil gusto ko rin protektahan ‘yung sarili ko at hindi ko po mako-control ‘yung utak ng mga tao na pwedeng makakita sa akin, so ang way na ginagawa ko, eh ako na po ‘yung nag-a-adjust,” she explained.

On the responsible use of social media, as one of the most followed stars on YouTube, Kristel wants to promote the use of digital platforms for positivity. “Ang dami na po kasing problema ng mundo, so sana sa social media, doon na lang tayo maging positive. Para good vibes, ganyan na lang po ang mga i-share natin.”

Kristel’s conservative upbringing in this modern time makes the image of a “dalagang Pilipina,” she described as principled and not easy to get, truly admirable. And as a message to fellow Gen Zs  still trying to figure out their place in this world, Kristel highlights self-love as the first step to knowing one’s core.  


Xyriel Manabat

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.