getting to know her much deeper the second time around
Everybody deserves a second chance. Right. We say that as though we have an endless supply of it. But what if this is the case: Not everybody deserves a second chance. Second chances are reserved for those who’ve actually dismally failed. They’re for those who’ve seen luck truly run out on them. They’re for the genuinely down and out. You can’t just say you deserve a second chance— if you keep telling yourself that, with every little failure you go through, then maybe you just feel entitled.
Looking at it this way, Angel Yap— Pastillas Girl for a while—truly deserves it.
When her Youtube video went viral two years ago, it was not exactly met with general adulation. When she went on national TV and was pitted against another new viral sensation at the time, she endured the wrath of countless foulmouthed bashers. And then the sky completely fell on her when her mother died tragically. You’d have thought she was better off disappearing. But she didn’t. Angel has survived and we can’t think of a more beautiful, braver girl for it.
“Two years, parang ang bilis lang ng panahon. Well, I must say that for the past two years it was tough. I mean without my mom, it's not the same anymore,” says Angel. “But these kind of battles taught me how to be stronger. I'm still fighting and I'm trying to focus on the present than dwell in the past. So right now, I'm building myself up again. Catching up with my family, working harder for my future and just trying to start all over again. I mean, we always have second, third, fourth and infinite chances in life, right?”
On hindsight, we know that there was no way Angel could have planned for it. “One day I'm just a normal person, the next day my love life is the talk of the town!” But Angel turns out to be the kind of person who, when opportunity presents itself, grabs it and enjoys the ride for all its worth.
“To be honest, being on national television was a great opportunity for me and that's something one cannot say no to. I’m not the type of person who lives in “what ifs.” Maybe if I didn’t crossover to national television, I’d still continue doing viral videos. But either way, I don't regret any of it.
Back then, as much as I'd love to become an artista, my parents didn’t allow me to attend go-sees or join contests on TV. Then as you grow older you realize na those kind of dreams, mahirap talagang abutin and eventually you'll give up. But then everything happened so fast. Life changing talaga,” Angel says.
We don’t know how celebrities survive it, all the trolling and bashing. A real person of no big consequence with maybe less than a hundred followers on IG or Twitter would have been tickled pink to be receiving any kind of attention no matter how vile. But to be receiving thousands of toxic comments every day is sickening. And to think Angel as Pastillas Girl then wasn’t even a real celebrity yet.
“You have no idea how hard it was for me to face that kind of hatred every day. Of course may mga tao na nagtatanggol sa akin and nagmamahal and may mga tao naman na kahit wala naman akong ginagawang bad sa kanila, they hate me so much, as in nakakaloka talaga,” Angel says. “At first sobrang hirap talaga. There were times na you’ll doubt yourself, too. May mga times na naiiyak na lang ako kasi too much na. But then I realized na whatever you do, good or bad, meron pa rin talaga silang masasabi at masasabi as if they know who you really are.
“So dumating ako sa point na I really don’t care kung ano ‘ng iisipin nila. I’ll just do my own thing whatever makes me happy as long as wala akong tinatapakan na ibang tao. I believe in what they say “judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are.” Kaya to those who believe in me, to those who doubt me, they became an inspiration for me to do more. I’m not proving myself for them. I’m proving myself to myself because I know what I deserve,” Angel adds.
After her life as Pastillas Girl on It’s Showtime, Viva Entertainment took her in as a new talent. Although things have yet to blossom for Angel, she is not idle. Currently she is co-hosting a game show called Dobol or Samting on cable channel Viva TV.
“One thing I understand about showbiz, nothing lasts forever. There’s no guarantee and it’s up to you how you sustain it and that’s the hardest part. I’m very thankful to ABS-CBN and to my It’s Showtime family for opening a door for me. After the Pastillas Segment, yun na lang naman na talaga yun kasi the thing is, hahanapan lang naman talaga nila ako ng Mr. Pastillas and then after they found me one, yun na yun. And then my mom died. Ang bilis ng transition ng mga pangyayari. It was tragic. I was really shattered and I needed time to move on. I gave myself time to grieve, I thought I also needed to distract myself and to work to sustain myself and that’s where Viva came in, they became my second family after It’s Showtime.”
Angel is working to stay in the business for long. “I’m doing acting workshops already and I also had some minor roles where I played the best friend of the bida. I really want to pursue a sexy-comedian kind of role, I think it fits me well. Or maybe the mataray/ kontrabida type. I’d be happy to accept roles like that para walang effort masyado, ha ha! I’m gonna slay it. But I’m also looking forward to other roles that can challenge my boundaries in acting.”
Angel assures us that she hasn’t changed much from who she was before Pastillas Girl and after it. “Although I was kind of naive before, and sobrang vulnerable rin. Sobrang simple ng life ko dati—gising nang maaga, pasok sa work, uuwi na. That’s it. It’s my routine. Unlike now, iba na rin kasi. Iba na yung nature ng work ko. And you know what, after everything, I’d say I’m stronger than ever. I’ve got bigger dreams and I feel like I’m ready to take on the world. But yeah, overall I’m still the old me. Upgraded lang siguro— Angel version 2.0!”
For someone who’s been through a lot, Angel’s positivity is refreshing. She says she’s really just starting to let people know who she really is. She plays at describing herself in the third person. “She’s a person and a real one. She’s genuine. She’s unstoppable and whatever comes in her way, she’s brave enough to face it and fight back as long as she’s right. Don’t underestimate her, she’s not perfect but she’s not weak either. As Taylor Swift said in “Look What You Made Me Do”, ‘But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time. Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time.’”
So it’s only proper that we reward a girl with such drive her first magazine cover.
“It’s like a dream come true! Are you kidding me? I still can’t believe it. This is something I will still need to used to.”