Posted at 04/10/2013 5:55 PM | Updated as of 04/10/2013 6:01 PM
MANILA, Philippines -- After a decade in showbiz, Sarah Geronimo admittedly is only starting to learn how to balance being the country's "Pop Star Princess" and a 24-year-old daughter behind the camera.
In a one-hour, uncut interview released online early this week, the Kapamilya singer-actress spoke at length about her struggles as a "public figure" and simply "being Sarah Geronimo."
The interview, where she appeared alongside "It Takes a Man and a Woman" co-star John Lloyd Cruz, was first aired last month on the entertainment talk show "Showbiz Inside Report" as an 18-minute segment, but excluded parts where Geronimo addressed questions on her "struggles" in her decade-long career.
One question posed by "SIR" host Carmina Villaroel pertained to the singer's difficulty being "judged" as one of the country's most popular artists: "Maraming naka-witness sa journey ninyo, so personal niyong buhay at sa career ninyo. Maraming intriga na ang napagdaanan ninyo. Gaano kahirap maging Sarah Geronimo?"
Geronimo responded: "Ako, honestly mahirap, mahirap po. Kasi nandoon 'yung struggle mo na, sino ba talaga ako?"
"Sino ba talaga si Sarah Geronimo na nakilala nila ng 10 years dito sa business na 'to? Sino si Sarah Geronimo na anak ni mommy, ng mga Geronimo? At 'yun 'yung palaging nagtatalo -- becoming my real self at kung ano 'yung gusto ng taong makita sa akin. May struggle doon," she said.
The singer-actress, who first rose to fame after winning the singing contest "Star for a Night" in 2003, added that her years in showbiz have helped her in finding her "true self."
"Merong positive na nabibigay, kasi parang 'yun 'yung guide mo to become a good person. In a way, magulang mo sila, 'yung career na meron ako ngayon," she said.
Admitting that she is still a "work in progress," Geronimo said she is slowly discovering her "identity," but is still far from being able to define herself. "Mahirap! Masyadong mahirap sabihin muna ngayon," she said.
One turning point, Geronimo recalled, was when she was forced to come to the defense of her parents, specifically her mother Divine Geronimo, who became the target of criticisms for allegedly "preventing" the singer from having any romantic relationship.
"Hindi lang naman [para sa akin]," the Kapamilya actress said of "speaking up." "Kasi 'yung parents ko rin eh, sobra na silang, bina-bash na, sobra na. 'Yun 'yung talagang nag-trigger na, 'Ah, ganoon ah. Teka muna.'"
"May conclusion na sila eh, na, 'Teka muna, hindi niyo po alam kung ano ang totoong nangyari,'" she added.
Asked what she feels is the most hurtful comment made against her parents, Geronimo paused, before saying, "Ayoko na pong anohin, huwag na lang po."
Although her being in the limelight exposed her family to intrigues, it is the same career that Geronimo credits for providing them with a more comfortable life.
On what she considers to be an "unforgettable" effort she has done for the benefit of her family, Geronimo said, "Ako kasi po hindi ko siya binibilang. Lagpas lang. Hindi ko nga naiisip."
"[Iyong pagbibigay-saya sa pamilya ko] naman 'yung main reason talaga kung bakit ako pumasok sa show business," she said.
Geronimo recalled that as an aspiring singer, she felt like giving up after numerous failures, but was pushed to continue pursuing a career in showbiz to escape poverty.
"Gusto ko na po talaga bata pa lang ako, pero dumating 'yung time na wala na gusto ko na magi-give up kasi wala namang nangyayari. Pero nung nakita ko na sobrang hirap na hirap na kami... Para sa pera kung bakit ako sumali sa contest," she said.
'Don't let fame change you'
Admittedly, however, being "Pop Star Princess," whose achievements have also been recognized internationally, comes with a price. "Siyempre mahirap po mag-artista, public figure. Mahirap, maraming kapalit," Geronimo said.
At times when she feels overwhelmed by work and certain intrigues, Geronimo said she tries to remind herself of the comforts her career has afforded her over the years.
"Minsan nakakalimutan mo 'yung mga small things. Hindi [lang] small things, 'yung talagang malaking pagbabago sa buhay mo. Dati mahirap kayo, wala kang makain, walang pambili ng shampoo, toothpaste, pamasahe.
"Kung iisipin mo ngayon, may Jollibee ka, meron kang Sunsilk, may shampoo ka na, meron ka pang lotion, 'yung mga whitening lotion, may aircon ka na, 'yung mga ganoon --
"So 'yun na lang 'yung titingnan mo po kapag malungkot ka o depressed ka," she said.
Amid her immense success in the industry, Geronimo said she is careful not to compromise her values. She also expressed thanks to her parents, who she credits for the sound advice on handling her being a public figure.
"[Ang advice nila], 'Don't let fame change you.' Itong show business na ito, pwede niyang baguhin ang values mo, ang pananaw mo sa buhay, sa kahit ano. At mahirap iyon, kasi mahirap i-please ang mundo at ang Diyos nang sabay," she said.
Edited by Sarah_L'Etoile_Eternelle, 10 April 2013 - 11:52 PM.