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Metro At 30: Blockbuster Queen Kathryn Bernardo On Living A “Normal Life”

Even with the phenomenal success of the Queen of Hearts turned blockbuster queen, Kathryn remains as the humble, down-to-earth, and fun-loving girl Filipino audiences loved throughout the years

You alone are the benchmark for your success. This was proven this year by Kathryn Bernardo, who broke her own box-office record set by The Hows of Us, with her latest film, Hello, Love, Goodbye, now the highest grossing Philippine film of all time. It was her first movie in years sans Daniel Padilla as her love interest—a move that took her beyond her comfort zone. She knew she had to push herself harder, and this was the stellar result. Indeed this has been her best year yet.


Ang ganda nagsimula ng year na ‘to tapos tuloy-tuloy, ang daming bagong blessings. I’m very happy kung ano lahat nangyayari ngayon,” she begins. “I think best year ko itong 2019 career-wise and personal kasi ang daming learnings and parang year siya for growth. Very important ang year na ‘to sa akin.”


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The highlight of it is her OFW-themed drama with Alden Richards, she reveals, as it was a challenge that later turned into her biggest accomplishment in life thus far. “I think na-challenge niya ‘yung bravery ko as an actress, as Kathryn, kasi major decision siya sa akin. Malaking move ‘yung ginawa ko na umalis ako sa love team muna with KathNiel, and then I took the risk of accepting this project and being paired with Alden na galing din sa ibang love team,” shares Kath, expressing happiness about taking such leap. “Grabe ‘yung pinagdaanan na process bago nangyari ‘yung lahat ng ito, bago ako nag-yes sa project, but I’m glad I took the risk kasi kung hindi, I think pagisisihan ko siya ngayon.”


The film’s success was definitely one she didn’t expect. “Itong nangyari sa movie, sobra sobra siya from what I asked for kasi hindi ko alam na p’wedeng maulit ‘yung parang nangyari sa The Hows of Us,” she tells Metro.Style. “Hindi ko in-expect ‘yung naging reaction ng mga tao and I’m very blessed—’yun ‘yung perfect word. ‘Yung ‘thank you,’ kulang na ‘yun to express how thankful I am sa mga nangyayari sa akin this year.”


She’s very proud of the movie as it has served as an instrument for others to be aware of the hardships that come with being an OFW. “More than just its earnings, ang dami niyang OFWs na naapektuhan, ang daming realizations after watching it. Parang naging eye-opener siya sa lahat na ito ‘yung mga OFWs natin and kailangan ‘yung ginagawa nila.”



On being in the showbiz industry

It’s amazing how Kathryn has kept the fire burning for her acting craft throughout the years. “Ever since naman, I’ve been very passionate with this—my work—but now, feeling ko iba. Grabe ‘yung love ko sa passion na ‘to,” she says, adding that she enjoys learning from every project she works on. “Ganito ako ngayon because of my learnings from this job kasi mahirap siya na trabaho and this job teaches you about life, good or bad man ‘yan, and tinuturo niya kung paano mo hina-handle ‘yung mga bagay.”


“I started when I was seven and I didn’t know how to handle things. Mag-gro-grow ka talaga nang maaga dito sa industry na ito so mas alam mo kung paano i-handle 'yung problems, success, and failures as well,” she continues, adding that all these have only make her stronger. “Grabe, ite-test ka ng trabaho na ito and once na-pass mo ‘yung test na ‘yun, you’ll feel good about it.”


Fans can expect the actress in a teleserye soon, she teases. “Medyo nagtuloy-tuloy kasi ako so medyo breather muna ngayon to recover. ‘Yun ‘yung nire-request ko every time I do a project para lang mag-recharge ako and maalis ako du’n sa character. I’m looking forward to my ‘me’ time, then after that, soap na. Back to work.”



On being a Metro woman

It seems just like yesterday when the now big star first graced the cover of Metro magazine. “My first-ever Metro cover was in 2013, sobrang daming nangyari since then. I think ngayon mas naging comfortable na ako in front of the camera. I enjoy shoots now, hindi na ako masyadong kinakabahan. I think mas nag-grow ako in a way, mas naging confident ako over the years, and witness ang Metro du’n,” she declares, adding that she has been an avid reader of the magazine since she was a teenager. “I’ve known Metro for years. Wala pa ako, may Metro magazine na. Every time nakikita ko ‘yung magazines nila sa bookstores, parang grabe, hindi lang siya dahil maganda ‘yung cover but dahil may sense ‘yung mga stories nila, ‘yung mga features nila.”


She always finds herself inspired after reading its articles. “I learned a lot from Metro growing up. Very empowering ang Metro magazine. Ang laki ng respeto ko sa Metro,” she says. “It’s more than just fashion, it’s more than just wearing beautiful clothes and getting pretty on the cover. May personal (touch) din kasi ‘yung Metro so as a reader, gusto ko makita ‘yung iba’t-ibang angles na ‘yun. I was a fan of Metro magazine and I still am a fan.”


It’s also interesting to note that one of the women she looks up to, along with actress Marian Rivera, is Metro Vanguard Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo. “I have high respect for women who balance work and being a mom and ‘yung family time nila. Finofollow ko kasi sila sa Instagram and nakikita ko kung gaano sila ka-hands-on sa family nila but at the same time, ang ganda pa rin ng reputation nila sa industry na ito,” she says. “Ang dami nilang iniwang lessons so ako‘yung mga younger generations, marami kang makukuha sa kanila kasi someday, you want to be like them. Ang saya na naba-balance nila ‘yung pagka-superstar nila sa pagiging mom, pagiging anak, at pagiging normal na tao.”


I learned a lot from Metro growing up. Very empowering and metro magazine... It’s more than just fashion, it’s more than just wearing beautiful clothes and getting pretty on the cover


Silver top and skirt by Neric Beltran


On living a “normal life”

Even if she’s now one of the biggest stars of her generation, she makes sure to find her calm in living a normal life. “I balance my life kasi parang every day nasa work ako, may ginagawa ako so I make sure I have time to do the things that make me human. I make sure na may ginagawa pa rin ako na ako ‘yung nagpa-plan na gusto ko,” she declares. “Very important sa akin 'yung nafi-feel ko na normal ako. So ayun, balanced na artista Kathryn, on days off, hindi siya artista muna then magva-vacation ako once in a while to recharge and after that, you can give more kasi mas naka-recharge ka.”


She then stressed the importance of work-life balance in a field that could get too demanding. “Important ito para hindi ka ma-drain or maubos sa industry na ito and para masaya ka pa rin. Kung gaano ka ka-busy, if you love what you’re doing, masaya ka pa rin talaga kasi ikaw ‘yung pumili ng ganitong life eh.”


Very important sa akin 'yung nafi-feel ko na normal ako


Gray sequined dress by Steph Tan


On health and fitness

Apart from dancing, hosting, and eating, working out likewise helps her de-stress from the hustle and bustle. She has a love-hate relationship with lagree, a high-intensity, low-impact workout that gives one’s cardiovascular endurance and core strength a boost. It changed her life, according to Kathryn. “I want to buy my own machine, gusto ko sa bahay ko, kasi nakakapag-workout ako before, ang dami ko nang na-try but this one for me is the best one especially for toning. Whole body workout na siya and you do it for forty-five minutes and ramdam mo the next day, super sore ka na the next day,” she reveals, adding she also stays fit under Body by Mama Kat. “Tinuruan niya ako how to balance everything kasi si Mama Kat, hindi niya ako dine-deprive sa food especially because she knows I’m a foodie.”


On cheat days, she gives into her cravings, but makes it a point to keep it balanced by drinking healthy juices at the start of her day. “Medyo hindi ako ma-veggies so tina-try ko mag-juice ngayon every morning para ma-compensate ‘yung mga kinakain kong junk food kasi big fan ako ng food and kailangan ko lang ng something to balance it,” she shares.



On life and the future

As she works on bringing out the best version of herself, Kathryn focuses on embracing her flaws and imperfections. “It’s a process. Every person may timing about self-love and self-acceptance, and recently ko lang din 'yun nakuha so for me, don’t rush kasi kailangan mong madaanan ‘yung process na ‘yun para ma-accept mo ang sarili mo nang buo. ‘Yun ‘yung nangyari sa akin eh. Once you accept yourself fully and wholeheartedly, I think that’s the best reward you can give to yourself. I’m happier now,” she says.


Her life has gotten better and better each day and she hopes to continue enjoying it all. “Cherish this moment kasi never mo na ito mababalikan and while enjoying this moment, don’t forget who you really are kasi medyo overwhelming ‘yung mga nangyayari and this can change you but try to be yourself pa rin,” she tells her present self. “Enjoy mo itong process na ito kasi it’s going to be stressful, it’s going to be hard, marami pang dadating na challenges, but enjoy mo lang ‘yung process kasi it’s part of the journey and I think marami akong matutunan dito sa mga nangyayari ngayon.”


It’s a process. Every person may timing about self-love and self-acceptance



Produced by Kat Cruz-Villanueva, Ceia Ylagan, and Judy Arias

Photography by Seven Barretto

Video by Chapters by Mayad

Styling by Eldzs Mejia

Makeup by Justine del Rosario

Hairstyling by Chris Rodil

Production design by Kathy Sy King of Event Styles

Styling assistants: Carl Alberto, Gabby Gamboa, Nix Bueno, Aubrey Cazzandra

Special thanks to KFC PhilippinesC&L Decor, Shop Rent Gala, 4th Wall, and 18th Floristry