get­ting to know her much deeper the sec­ond time around

FHM (Philippines) - - Pulse - WORDS JAKOB KEANE VIRI

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.”

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