Nothing, not even the pandemic, can stop the star of Barbie Imperial from shining bright. But despite quite a stellar career, the actress is not blinded by fame and glory.
Barbie has said it a lot of times already and she will never get tired of sharing her inspiring, humbling journey to showbiz all over again. She said everything came unexpectedly, even her audition for Pinoy Big Brother which paved the way for her entrance to the ‘biz.
According to Barbie, she simply lined up in the jam-packed auditions in her hometown in Albay because of FOMO or fear of missing out. She didn’t want to feel out of place when friends and schoolmates gossip about the big event the next day, although she was unexplainably restless upon learning about the auditions. Going with the flow, she surprisingly got in and the rest, as they say, is history.
When she was evicted, however, the pretty Bicolana thought it was time to go home for good. But unexpected projects and popularity greeted her in the outside world. The newcomer would grab every chance that landed in her lap, however small the role is.
When she bid It’s Showtime and the all-girl group GirlTrends goodbye, Barbie once again assumed that it was going to be the end of her ‘artista’ life. Thankfully, it wasn’t, until harvest time finally came. She reaped the fruit of her patience and perseverance – her first lead role via afternoon soap Precious Hearts Romances Presents Araw Gabi.
Keeping with the trail of unexpected blessings, Barbie’s Kapamilya series Bagong Umaga pushed through amid the pandemic.
She’s also starring in the MMFF entry “Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim Ng Bandanang Itim” as the leading lady of no less than celebrated comedian Vhong Navarro. She plays Devie, Mang Kepweng’s secretary and sidekick with a surprising character twist
Barbie realized that comedy requires precise timing, quick wit, and natural hilarity, so she thinks drama is easier done. The good thing is she had generous co-actors, so she eventually learned how and when to add candid reactions and jokes, albeit doubtful of her comic chops at first.
“Mang Kepweng: Ang Lihim Ng Bandanang Itim” is an entry to the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival made available by UPSTREAM via local and international screenings. The comedy film also stars Bayani Agbayani, Ryan Bang, Ion Perez, Fumiya Sankai, and Yamyam Gucong.
In the second part of the interview, Barbie was asked to name three persons and three celebrities and the presents she plans to give them this year. She would like to grant her mom’s wish to have a big family reunion in Bicol and gift her brother with a visit to his baby. She’d also love to treat herself to a solo backpacking adventure. But considering travel restrictions, she knows all these will remain just a fantasy this year.
On the celebrities she’d send gifts to, Barbie named Karla Estrada and DJ Jhai Ho first, her top two showbiz confidante and the people who never cease to believe in her and give her much-needed boost and advice. DJ Jhai was one of those who prophesized that she’d make it big someday.
Barbie would also love to send Christmas gifts to Sunshine Cruz, Ara Mina, Loisa Andalio, Sue Ramirez, Michelle Vito, Tony Labrusca, Kiko Estrada, and Diego Loyzaga. Her wish for 2021 is to have more projects and sustain her friendship with these co-actors.
Barbie, known for her genuine character, gamely reacted to assumptions about her as well. She denied being a spoiled brat and ‘maldita.’ Instead, she owned up to being ‘mataray’ but only when her loved ones are attacked. She isn’t ‘maarte,’ either. She can even eat street foods and show up in public barefaced.
The truth is she’s a loving daughter and sister. She has her soft side as well and she is the sweetest idol to ‘stan.’ She replies to her fans on social media and even chats with them once in a while. When it comes to her supporters, Barbie is generous of attention and appreciation because, at one point in her life, she was also an ordinary fan like them.
Get to know more about Bagong Umaga’s Cai in this episode of Hotspot.