• Monday - Friday after FPJ’s Batang Quiapo
  • Monday - Friday after FPJ’s Batang Quiapo
Kaila regards mom Janice as her hero

After four years of being in the show business, fast-rising actress Kaila Estrada was able to make it within the years that she has been in the industry. And just on February 19, Monday, she further solidified her ties with ABS-CBN as she finally got to sign her first-ever contract, making her a certified “Forever Kapamilya.”

Although she’s not the type who would dream too far nor get ahead of herself, Kaila disclosed that she’d always wanted it to happen. Thus, sitting alongside ABS-CBN executives during her contract signing really felt surreal for her and she had nothing but gratitude to be in that moment.

From being a model, the Linlang star decided to follow in the footsteps of her superstar parents Janice de Belen and John Estrada in local showbiz in 2020. As both of them currently work in ABS-CBN, Kaila divulged that she also envisioned herself having her own career here and being managed by Star Magic.

“I think, when I decided that I wanted to give acting a shot, sabi ko, gusto ko talaga sa [ABS-CBN] at sa Star Magic. No’ng time na ‘yon, hindi ko pa in-expect, wala pa akong idea sa kung ano ang magiging journey ko, kung ano ang mangyayari. I just knew I just wanted to start here,” she recounted to ABS-CBN News resident showbiz insider MJ Felipe during her interview for an episode of “On Cue.”

She recalled attending the casting during the pandemic without telling anyone, except her manager in the modeling agency that she’s been a part of, as she wanted to see if she could do it on her own. And just in case she has failed in this pursuit, she sees herself going back to school to take up a culinary course and become a pastry chef, which is something that her mom did as well.

When asked where she is in her career right now, Kaila initially found it difficult to answer. But as MJ mentioned other people’s perception of her as an actress, she conveyed how truly blessed she is to be entrusted with significant roles in the projects that she has starred in.

“I think, I’m very fortunate to have been given the opportunities to explore these characters na not necessarily lead, but have a very strong impact in the stories. That’s pretty much the best way I can explain what my career is at the moment,” she stated.

Just like other actors, the Can’t Buy Me Love actress, of course, would love to do lead roles, too. However, she’s not really in a rush since she is still happy with where she is right now and feels that everything is just falling into place at the right time.

“I feel like that’s really how it is meant to happen and I’m enjoying the journey. I feel like with everything that’s going on, ang dami ko kasing natututunan. And I feel like I’m building up a lot of experience. So, when the time comes that they do cast me as a lead, I know by that time that I’ll be ready for it,” she related, adding that she actually aims to be an actress as long as she can be.

She might have doubts at first regarding her acting capabilities, but it was the workshops that she went through, which were held via video conference calls due to the pandemic restrictions, that made her fall in love with the craft.


Stepping out from the shadows of her parents

Even though she’s grateful for her parents and proud of what they have accomplished in the industry, the proud daughter of John and Janice confessed that there’s a part of her that wants to step out from their shadows and be recognized for what she can bring to the table rather than be just known as their daughter.

“I wouldn’t say that there’s a huge effort to do so, but I’m just glad din na people are starting to appreciate the characters that I’ve portrayed. And that for me is the biggest win,” she said.

As she’s always been open with her mom since she still lives with her, Kaila reminisced about that instance when her dad sent her a video of him and his FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano colleagues at their lock-in taping bubble while watching an episode of her first-ever series Viral Scandal, which really made her kilig. Although they didn’t tell her anything, knowing that her parents make an effort to watch her on television is already enough to warm her heart.

Apart from her mom and dad, she also imparted getting kilig when Vice Ganda approached her during the rehearsals of the ABS-CBN Christmas in December 2023 to congratulate her for her impeccable portrayal of Sylvia in Linlang, which was only shown in Prime Video then.

She may be one of the most promising stars in the country right now, but Kaila revealed that she’s not yet used to the attention she has been getting from people, such as when she goes out to do personal errands. At the same time, she’s still in utter disbelief that she’s already doing what she is doing at present, which makes everything overwhelming in the best way for her.

With the continuous successes that she has been reaping, she revealed that it’s her mom who serves as her anchor and keeps her grounded. She couldn’t help but be emotional as she talked about how her mom has been her ultimate hero.

“Though she is not a stage mom and she’s not constantly there beside me or watching over me, which I appreciate now that I’m older, I realized that a lot of my strength comes from her talaga,” she conveyed. “And also being in the same industry as her, she just constantly amazes me.”


Highlight of her career so far

Since it’s her first time to seal the deal with ABS-CBN, the 27-year-old actress regards her “Forever Kapamilya” contract signing event as the highlight of her career at the moment.

But aside from that, it would be the opportunity to work with people that she used to watch on TV, such as her Linlang co-stars Maricel Soriano, JM de Guzman, Paulo Avelino, and Kim Chiu, as well as her Can’t Buy Me Love castmates Agot Isidro, Rowell Santiago, Maris Racal, Belle Mariano, Donny Pangilinan, and Albie Casiño.

She considers it a dream come true for her to be here and be a Kapamilya, and to be able to work with people she looks up to. She also looks forward to working with Jodi Sta. Maria, Angelica Panganiban, and Angel Locsin since she used to watch them, as well as with both of her parents someday.

With regard to the genre she wishes to work on in her next project, Kaila said that she would love to do a romance-comedy series or movie, just like the ones that she’s been binge-watching recently. She also loved the idea of being paired with a Korean heartthrob that MJ suggested, and it’s going to be the next career milestone she will manifest.

She then teased about working on another project after Linlang and Can’t Buy Me Love, which she’s not allowed to talk about yet. With how obviously focused she is on her career and how busy she’s going to be, she related that she’s “not actively seeking” a romantic relationship at present.

“I feel like my priority right now is really my career and I feel like I don’t wanna be distracted. So, parang hindi ko pa siya ginagawan ng time at the moment talaga,” she said. “I know myself well also. You know when I’m on like a steady path, it’s hard for me to balance a number of different things.”

Besides, nobody is wooing her yet, but she’s willing to entertain or welcome the person who would come into her life.