Growing up along the railroad tracks, Barbie Imperial strived hard to provide her family a more comfortable life. The doll-faced actress now bares every single piece of her fairytale life story, from the challenges to success and stardom.
Barbie didn’t see herself making it to showbiz. Her childhood dream was to become an engineer, like her father, who she barely knew as a kid. Her mom raised them single-handedly. “Single mom si Mama then ‘yung brother ko naman iba din dad niya. Parang kung iisipin mo, magulo siya pero pinalaki kami ni Mama na sobrang close kami kahit wala ‘yung mga tatay namin,” shares Barbie.
Barbie says her mother didn’t have a stable job at that time. But they were sent to school and provided their daily needs despite the financial struggles. That was when she began to dream bigger for them, using the challenges as motivation.
All Barbie wanted was to save her family from poverty. One day, the reality show Pinoy Big Brother scouted for potential housemates in Albay. The Albayenos were all eager to join, thus Barbie decided to try her luck out of fear of missing out.
The unassuming girl was picked among thousands of hopefuls. However, her tenacity was continually put to the test. Staying inside the popular house wasn’t easy for a shy girl like her. She got evicted after two weeks, almost shattering the will to fight for her dreams.
Barbie was starting to believe that she doesn’t have a place in showbiz. She thought getting kicked out of the house early was a sign. Besides, she struggled to pass other auditions and go-sees. Barbie was scared for her future until she landed her first project via Kapamilya series All of Me. Not long after, she joined the girl group Girltrends on It’s Showtime.
She bought a brand new television set out of her first talent fee. By that time, they were renting a studio-type apartment in Quezon City.
Little by little, more offers came. Barbie isn’t choosy when it comes to roles and projects. Apart from the financial needs, she also likes to explore her artistry by playing unconventional characters. “Kahit anong role basta komportable ako tinantanggap ko po talaga. Ipaglaban Mo, ‘yung mga rape scenes, MMK, as in lahat, kontrabida mayroon din.” She didn’t stop honing her skills by taking acting workshops and advice from her seniors.
For Barbie, there’s nothing wrong with being on the sidelines. She was comfortable in doing support roles, what matters is she’s able to feed her family and showcase her talent. “Dumating na po ako sa point na baka hindi talaga ako pambida. Tanggap ko na siya talaga na baka ito na talaga ‘yun.”
But life doesn’t seem to stop surprising her. Barbie got her first lead role via Precious Hearts Romances Presents Araw-Gabi and was paired with no less than JM De Guzman. From living along the riles, Barbie is now living her dreams as a leading lady. Her success surely didn’t come overnight but it happened slowly, giving her the chance to savor every part of the journey.
Barbie was given more than she asked for and she couldn’t get any happier. “Nakakatuwa po kasi before talaga, pangarap ko lang na maahon ko sila Mama sa hirap. Kami, magkakasama kami, okay na ako dun. Pero nakakatuwa na may bahay na kami ngayon and may sasakyan,” she says.
Barbie would like to thank her 17-year-old self for taking the leap of faith of joining PBB, and for always looking at the bright side. She knows that even the bad parts of her story led her to where she is today.