Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bianca Gonzalez: “Have a good heart regardless of what happens around you”

She is one of the busiest, most visible hosts on ABS-CBN, with three regular shows: Pinoy Big Brother, Entertainment Live and and Y Speak on Studio 23.

Bianca Gonzalez makes an excellent host, because not only is she pretty and nice to look at; she’s even better to listen to. Articulate, well-read and blessed with a passionate interest in people and things around her, the 24-year-old knows what it’s like to be on both sides of the fence, having once been a housemate in Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition, which she is currently hosting.

Her experience as a celebrity housemate taught her about how difficult it is to walk the fine line between being a celebrity and an ordinary person. “When you’re a celebrity, people have these preconceived notions of you—they think they know you, based on what they see on television. You get judged all the time.”

Bianca has been through a lot, but now she’s recovered and looking forward to what the future will bring. “This year [2007] was my defining year, when I focused on me as a person. I told myself that after what I went through in 2006, the wheel has to go up. This year, I learned a lot of things, one of which is that ultimately, the one person you can really count on is yourself.”

In the question-and-answer session that follows, the dating boarder ni Kuya shares more of her career secrets and the lessons she’s learned.

You’ve hosted so many shows, some of which are no longer on the air. Which one was the most memorable or enjoyable for you, and for what reason?

Each show is different and special in its own way, but Magandang Umaga Pilipinas was a career turning point. Before I joined MUP, people said I was sobrang sosyal and that I had this AB image. Joining MUP, they said, ‘humanized’ me and made me more reachable by the masa.

Did Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition have the same effect?

Looking back, if I knew how that was going to turn out, I probably wouldn’t have done anything that people could use to my disadvantage. On the good side, PBB taught me how to be more independent. I learned a lot of things that 20somethings don’t always have the chance to learn—but in a setting like that, you have to. There were times I thought I wouldn’t survive, but on the whole, I became stronger, wiser and more independent because of that experience.
If you had to reduce it to just one thing, what do you think would be the secret of your success?

Honestly, it’s hard for me to say that I am successful because I'm so young and I do have my own set of trials, but I always say I am very blessed! Success—that’s really hard to measure! I would say the secret to succeeding over small or big trials in life is keeping a good and positive heart despite all the bad things happening around you.

What's the best career-related advice you've been given?

My brother told me before I started working in this business, "Know what you're worth, and prove you're worthy."
Who have been your career models? What have you learned from each one?

I learn from every person I get to work with! There is so much to learn in the industry, and I think every person I meet, from writer to PA (production assistant) to producer to co-host, I learn so much.

What is the best and worst thing about your current job?

The best thing about being a host is the power to touch people's lives by virtue of telling stories (like in Pinoy Big Brother) and by empowering them with their opinions (like in Y Speak). I'm able to get an important message across, able to inspire and touch people, able to make some kind of difference in their lives. That means the world to me.

The worst is all the intrigues that come with being in show business, and your values being challenged.

If you could switch careers even just for a day, what career would you like to try and why?

I would love to do humanitarian work for the United Nations. After finishing my studies and working for a few years, it may sound pretentious to some, but I really do wanna use the resources and talents I've been blessed with to help those who have less in life.

What advice would you give to those wanting to follow in your footsteps?

To dream big but keep their feet on the ground. :)


She is one of the prime talents of Star Magic. Currently making waves on ABS-CBN's primetime teleserye Maging Sino Ka Man, Bea Alonzo has established herself as one of the most promising actresses of her generation. Despite her being only 19 years old—she turned a year older on October 17—there is a maturity in her portrayals that was evident as early as her first teleserye appearance in Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay, where she had to convince audiences that she was a 20-something lawyer despite being only 15 years old.

Showbiz watchers predict that this young actress will be showbiz's next big thing. Let's ask Bea how she feels about all the attention being heaped on her, the lessons she's learned and her future plans.

How do you feel about your success?

Nag-e-enjoy ako. I love what I do. The success is just a bonus.

Do you sometimes feel that you had to give up a big part of your life in the name of your career?

Breadwinner ako, and I have a lot of commitments and responsibilities, pero okay lang yon. Like I said, I'm really enjoying my career, so I don't mind. It's all part of the job.

Who are the people who have been a big influence on your career?

Definitely, si Mr. M. (Johnny Manahan, head of Star Magic). Siya ang dahilan ng lahat ng ito. Parang tatay ko na siya eh. At siyempre, yung ibang mga taga-Star Magic like Ms. Mariole and my handlers. They've been a big help to me. At saka si Tito Archie Ilagan, who discovered me. I wouldn't even be in showbiz if not for him. Among my colleagues, si Shaina (Magdayao), who's my best friend. She was in showbiz ahead of me, and knows a lot about the business. She has been guiding me ever since. She taught me a lot. And of course, John Lloyd (Cruz).

Malaki talaga ang utang na loob ko sa love team namin. It's a big part of my career success. Hindi siguro ako makakarating sa kinalalagyan ko ngayon kung hindi siya ang ka-loveteam ko.

What is the best piece of career advice someone has given you?

Mr. M. told me, just recently, not to think about others too much and to just concentrate on my work and on what I'm doing. Sabi niya, “Basta alam mo ang ginagawa mo, 'yon ang importante.” The problem with me sometimes is that I think about others and what they say too much that I tend to get distracted. That's one thing I want to change about myself. I really need to learn how to focus more.

What is the best thing about your job?

That I get to entertain people and make them happy. That's definitely the best thing about it.

What is the biggest trade-off?

Of course, being in showbiz, I would say that it's the lack of privacy. Lahat naman yata ng artista, ganoon ang nararamdaman from time to time.It's not that we hate showbiz, pero siyempre, tao ka pa rin at kailangan mo pa rin ng privacy kahit paano.

I love my job, pero ang dami ko din na-sacrifice for it—like my studies. I was never able to continue my studies. That's something I'd still like to do in the future. I hope I get a chance to do that. Sayang naman kung hindi.
What has been the biggest benefit of having a career like yours?

Siyempre, nandiyan yung satisfaction sa job mo. At saka the earnings are also a big thing. Thanks to my job, I've already been able to buy a two bedroom condo at Eastwood last month. I was also able to buy a brand-new car. I wouldn't say I'm financially successful, but I like being financially independent and being able to buy the things I want and need.

What have your learned from being in showbusiness?

A lot. First of all, I've learned how to manage my finances.

And more important, naging mas mabuting tao ako, kasi siyempre, ang dami kong nakakahalubilo na tao.

At saka mas magaling na ako mag-handle ng problems. I've become more mature. I've learned to face things in life in a more mature way. Time management is also important, especially when you have so many things to do.