Andrea’s Interview with Karen Davila

Kapamilya star Andrea Brillantes finally bared her personal truth about her career, love, and life in an intimate interview with Karen Davila. 

Andrea is known to stir buzz on social media every now and then. Being one of the most popular local celebrities on social media, with over 17.8 million TikTok followers to prove it, a large part of her life is exposed to the public. But, even if it’s a large part of her life, it’s not all of it. There is more than meets the eye, after all. 

Andrea didn’t grow up in a glamorous lifestyle. Her parents had to support all four kids and they separated, leaving Andrea with a broken family. She described her life before fame, “Sa squatters lang din talaga kami nakatira before, pero may work naman both parents ko dati. Pero lumaki talaga ako sa grandparents ko.” 

If you recall the squatters’ area in Kadenang Ginto where Cassie and Romina lived after losing money, that was the exact same place Andrea used to live when she was young. 

Because Andrea was left to live with her grandparents, she was always watching movies and shows on television. When she would play, she would do it by herself and then role-play different characters. This was when it clicked with her mom that Andrea has the potential to be a star. 

Her mother took her to her first audition, but young Andrea was shy and quiet. She didn’t get the part and her mother figured that that showbiz life wasn’t suited for her anyway. 

The point that really triggered Andrea’s drive to become an actress was when her brother encountered an accident. When they were kids, Andrea slammed a sliding door, and glass accidentally fell on his brother’s face, which left ugly scars. While it was a complete accident, Andrea felt guilty for the whole event. 

Andrea’s aunt suggested she join a local pageant. Andrea was willing to join so that the cash prize would go to his brother’s medical expenses. In this event, she won some money for her brother and gained the confidence she lacked when she first auditioned. After that pageant experience, it was the seven-year-old her who told her mother that she was finally ready to become an actress and tried auditioning again. 

At the age of 7, Andrea was already part of “Goin’ Bulilit” and earning money to support her family. By the age of 10, she was giving additional financial support to her parents for their household needs. 

Definitely, Andrea matured earlier than most. She sacrificed a lot of her childhood working and had to selflessly give the money she earned to her family. As a child, it wasn’t always easy for her to understand why she had to give the hard-earned money she made. She wouldn’t get to treat herself as much as her other celebrity friends did and felt pangs of jealousy from time to time. But, at the end of the day, she knew her family had to come first. 

Andrea and her family slowly lived more comfortably than before because of her success as a child actress. After about ten years of blood, sweat, and tears, she was finally able to give her family the house they’ve always wanted. They’ve never had a home. They always rented and moved, so it was Andrea’s dream to provide their family with one they could call their own. 

It was when she got the prime role of Marga in the famous afternoon drama ”Kadenang Ginto” that pushed her to buy a lot and build a house for her family at the young age of 16. “Noong nagkaroon ng Kadenang Ginto, binaliktad niya life ko. Ang daming blessings na dumating,” she explained. 

The load of responsibilities that Andrea had to bear as a young breadwinner is not known to many, which makes it easy for people to judge her. Her baby voice, especially, is what people criticize the most. 

“Voice ko talaga siya pero hindi siya ‘yong napipili ko subconsciously. Bigla lang siya nagswi-switch… Bunso ako at ‘di ako lumaki sa parents ko so baby-baby talaga ako dati-dati pa,” Andrea explained. She went on to describe it as something both good and bad. When it comes out, it can be a sign that she’s super comfortable with you or sees a father or ‘kuya’ figure which she didn’t always have. Although, sometimes, it can also come out she’s shy or scared. 

It’s something she can’t always control, except when she’s acting for work, so she just shrugs off all the haters that fixate on it. “Wala po talaga ako magagawa… Kahit na anong gawin ko, wala talaga sa kakayanan ko na mabago ‘yong paningin ng mga tao kung ‘yon ‘yong pipilitin nilang tingnan,” she added. 

Instead of listening to the hurtful words of others, Andrea focuses on being a good person. She’s shared before that she has different wallets in her bag. One for her own money and one for charity. She makes it a practice to put her smaller bills in the charity wallet so that she can quickly hand money to the less fortunate people she meets on the street. 

From time to time, she would also give donations and large amounts, which to some might be too excessive. But to Andrea, it doesn’t matter. She knew the hardships of growing up without money. To her, she must give back her blessings, “Para maisip pa rin nila na merong may paki sa kanila at handang tumulong sa mga katulad nila.”

These days, Andrea is happy with her life – her love life, especially. Although, she did admit it was very challenging at the beginning when several people talked about it online. 

Before meeting her boyfriend Ricci Rivero, she was still moving on from a heartbreak. Many netizens bashed her online for playing a victim when she was simply confused and heartbroken at the time. She also experienced the loss of her aunt who died, so she was both moving on and grieving. 

At one point, Andrea just wanted to give up. But she looked as her mother who lost a sister and her family in need and said to herself “Laban pa rin ako. Kailangan ako e. Kailangan talaga ako ng family ko. Kailangan ko maging matatag.”

From this point on, she continued her work and understood her worth more. She disregarded all the hate she was getting and affirmed, “I deserve more. I am worth more than this… Napakabuti kong tao. Kung ‘di nila nakikita ‘yon, sila na ‘yon. Basta ipagpapatuloy ko ‘yong pagtatrabaho ko at pagiging mabuti kong tao.” So when Ricci came into her life, she welcomed his love with open arms. 

There are still many difficulties in Andrea’s life, but she is set on fighting more each day. “You only live once” is one of her mottos, so she does her best every day in order to live without any regrets. All the challenges now will eventually pass so there’s no reason for her to give up. 

Get to know Andrea Brillantes on a deeper level by watching the whole vlog!