Meryll Soriano’s journey to finding her true selves
Behind the scenes, award-winning actress Meryll Soriano is a regular girl: one who took ballet classes in her toddler years, played in her high school volleyball team, and is into all kinds of artistic hobbies, including graphic design. “I always had the passion and interest for it, but my stepfather Hideo Naguchi was my greatest influence,” she says.
Soriano was nine years old when she met her stepfather. Together, they would frequent book stores to purchase supplies to create everything, from toys to Christmas decorations like candy canes. Since then, her fascination with handmade objects and Japanese culture began. “I started collecting magazines to the point that if the house were to catch fire, it would spread fast with all that paper.” With a growing closeness to “Papa Guchi,” Soriano tried her hand at graphic design together with her friend Ryan Vergara of Everywhere We Shoot. “We created everything in MS Word then; there wasn’t even PowerPoint.”
While Vergara went on to take up multimedia arts in college, Soriano continued her show business career. “It wasn’t the great dream [to be in showbiz]; it was the most natural thing. It was just there,” she admits. “I really didn’t know [if I had wanted to be an actress] because I grew up in the industry. I really thought everyone in the family would turn out to be a director or an actor, even a lighting director or cameraman, because I grew up on set.”
Soriano reveals wanting to quit showbiz in high school, to try her hand at living a normal life and pursuing her other passions, but she couldn’t just let it go as she was committed to a sitcom. During the sitcom’s four-year run, she dabbled in her other interests whenever she could. “I started photography when I was 14 years old, and I also painted during that time. I even tried out writing. But photography was my thing,” says Soriano. She pursued it as a hobby, focusing on shooting textures, still life, landscapes— basically anything but people. She needed an outlet that didn’t have anything to do with moving and talking subjects, that didn’t have anything to do with her being in front of the camera.
At 19, troubled and confused by what path to take as she didn’t see any purpose left in doing