Before she was hailed as showbiz’s Multimedia Superstar, Toni Gonzaga had quite a bumpy road to stardom. She experienced loses and rejections that crushed her self-esteem then but has now made her stronger and more confident.
In an episode of TWBA, Toni looked back on her early days in the business when she’d line up at every possible audition with her Daddy Bonoy. Her only dream then was to be a singer but platforms like reality talent show wasn’t a thing yet. She said aspiring singers only had noontime show contests as stepping stones. Thus, the limited singing opportunities forced her to explore other fields.
“Walang platform na pwede kang kumanta. So, noong nalaman ko na may modelling, hosting, acting, sabi ko, ‘madami pala!’ Kung meron lang acrobatic, pinasok ko na rin. Lahat, pati gardening, papasukin ko talaga,” shared Toni.
There were days when self-doubt would creep in. She can remember feeling so small around mestiza models auditioning for a facial care brand, “It’s for the face, so sabi ko, maybe they are looking for Asian beauty. Pagpasok mo, puro mga models na magaganda talaga. Siyempre, ‘yung self-esteem mo parang, ‘Shucks! Paano kaya’.”
Toni might feel insecure but she wasn’t the type to cry over rejections. The only time she cried was when she lost on her first singing competition. It was a national TV singing contest and she was the youngest contender, “I didn’t make it sa top three. ‘Yun ‘yung unang-unang iniyakan ko.”
Defeat was easier to overcome after that competition, “Parang hinanda na rin ako ni Lord. ‘Yung mga sumunod parang, ‘Ah okay.’” It’s worth noting how Toni’s never-say-die attitude brought her to where she is today, a reminder for every dreamer that failure only happens once you decide to give up.