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Metro At 30: Maymay Entrata Continues To Live The Dream

With all that this Big Winner has accomplished in her blossoming career, she deserves to give herself a pat on the back for being successful in her career yet still managing to keep her humble self intact

This is a story of a girl who believed in the power of positivity, on making your wildest dreams a reality through hard work and perseverance, of wishing for the stars but always bracing for the worst outcome. This is the story of Maymay EntrataPinoy Big Brother season 7 big winner, reality star, international runway model, and Metro cover girl.

What does it mean to be a cover girl? For other publications, a cover girl may be a dime a dozen, but for Metroit is a distinct stamp that you have it, that you have made it, that you are it. That it, so described, is a mix of personal achievement, gravitas, and relevance, added with a dash of mystery and je ne sais quoi, that give each cover girl that special Metro touch.

That she is at this level is not surprising. After all, everyone is curious about this girl who is the muse of top designers Furne One (so much so that he asked her to walk in his Dubai show) and Mark Bumgarner (who dressed her up for balls and events). Everyone is curious about the girl who is often the subject of the Instagram posts of Edward Barber. Everyone is curious, and so allow us to unravel her mystery bit by bit.


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Star on the rise

Real, witty, and laidback—the real charm of Maymay is in the authenticity that she has shown inside the PBB house. As she emerged the winner of Season 7, it was clear to everyone that her endearing characteristics reached even beyond the reality show. In her interactions with fans, from her social media posts, she exudes a feeling of lightness and fun, never taking herself too seriously, yet still carefully toeing the line of what is expected of her.

This was the basis of many of her first acting roles—as Apple Toralba in La Luna Sangre, as Sunshine Camantigue in Loving in Tandem, Serrah Monseratt in Da One That Ghost Away, Princess Maulan in Fantastica, and Mary Dale Fabregas in Hello, Love, Goodbye. She expertly plays the pure-hearted young lass who places her trust that everything will be alright. Hopeful to a fault, her beliefs in firmly in place—these roles actually give insight into the psyche of Maymay. She shines in these roles because she is reflecting a little part of herself in them.

Yet acting doesn’t necessarily come easiest for her.

“Acting ang pinaka-challenging sa akin kasi masayahin akong tao. So minsan, nilalagay ako sa drama kasi nadadala sila sa iyak ko. Yun yung pinaka-mahirap sa'kin, kaya hanggang ngayonnagwo-workshop pa rin ako sa tulong ni Ms. Ana Feleo—one-on-one kami,” she reveals of her extra work with the dramatic actress.

It seems that the work has seemed to pay off, if you were to judge with the complexity of her recent role in Maalaala Mo Kaya, where she portrayed a similarly hopeful young woman whose hopes were dashed because of a rare cancer that afflicted the young. Here, her performance was subtle yet meaningful, and being paired with her onscreen partner (and best friend), Edward, certainly helped her cause.

Often, she cites Edward as a source of her strength and likewise a source of endless fun. We saw this when we photographed Maymay with Edward in the newly revived Escolta, the two dancing on the street with a la-70s-style amidst the throng of curious onlookers, or posing along the stores of Ongpin clad in their colorful frocks.

But more than Edward, we believe that the strength has always been within. It is innate, and it comes from her clear sense of who she is. To be honest, being in the spotlight does have its pitfalls—and at some point, stars often “lose themselves,” blinded by the lifestyle, the glitz and glamour and the love of the fans. This is not the case for Maymay.

For her, keeping her values intact is paramount.

Ang natutunan ko sa lahat ng ito noong nagsimula na nag-artista, ay ‘yung paano ko i-me-maintain si ‘Maymay.’ Na dapat hindi mawala ‘yung ako na p’wedeng mag-improve, pero hindi ibig sabihin na babaguhin ko lahat. Hindi ko hahayaang mawala ‘yung totoong ako,” she says.


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In her journey, she admitted that it wasn’t always the case. There was a time when she found herself on the path to becoming someone she wasn’t set out to be. Her family, thankfully, was responsible for keeping her grounded.

Dumating sa point na nahihirapan ako, pero dahil mas pinili kong bumangon at lumaban, bumalik ‘yung ako. Kailangan mo talaga siyakasi paulit-ulit eh. Proseso siya, so ang ginawa ko, bumalik ako sa amin, pumunta ako sa church ko, at unti-unting nabalik kung sino ako,” she says. “Huwag mong hayaang bitawan ‘yung [totoong] ikaw kasi ‘pag binitawan mo na ‘yun, mawawala ka sa tamang daan.”

She credits Gary Valenciano as a source of inspiration in her journey, appreciating his positivity despite the challenges.

Siguro po kasi, nakikita ko ‘yung sakripisyo niya at passion niya sa trabaho niya. Nakikita ko ‘yung pagiging positibo niya tapos naiisip ko, sa sobrang tagal niya sa showbiz, paano niya na-maintain ‘yun?Lagi kong iniisip na kakayanin ko din ‘yung ginawa ni sir Gary V. kasi kinaya niya kahit ilang dekada na siya dito.

Yet her biggest source of inspiration remains the most important woman in her life—her mother, Lorna. Her mother never fails to remind her of what truly matters in life: Finding happiness and remaining true to herself.

Isa pa sa pinaka-gusto ko na sinabi niya sa'kin nu’ng tinanong ko siya na ‘Ma, paano ‘pag hindi na ako artista?’ Sabi niya, ‘tatandaan mo lang ‘yung sinabi mo na madami kang pangarap. Kapag hindi bibigay sa’yo ‘yung isa, okay lang kasi madami pa naman ikaw na pangarap.”

These dreams, she made them come true one after the other, but despite all that, Maymay strives to live a simple yet meaningful live.


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Pushed beyond boundaries

One of those dreams, she shared with us, was finding herself solo on the cover of Metro magazine. That cover was very special, because it pushed her in a direction that seemed scary at first, but turned out to be pivotal in shaping who she is. The concept of the shoot focused on wardrobe essentials, and Maymay had a layout where she was to wear an oversized t-shirt that gave the impression that she was only wearing that.

Pinawisan ako dahil kinakabahan ako kung magagalit si Mr. M [Johnny Manahan] na makita akong parang naka-t-shirt lang,” she reveals.

Yet instead of refusing to do the shoot, she made her concerns known by the photographer Xander Angeles, and the Metro team, and soon, she found her rhythm.

Working with Metro gave her an idea of what it was like to explore a different side of herself, “Dati, sobrang conservative ako. Siguro nababaguhan pa ako, lalo na ‘yung first Metro ko lagi akong—‘okay lang kaya ‘to?’ Ngayon, unti-unti kong natututunan na ma-appreciate yung ibang side koibang anggulo ko,” she says, also realizing that one can be tastefully sexy and avant-garde, especially in the name of fashion.

This made her even more curious to find what suits her psyche when it comes to posing in front of the camera, and from here, she explored different styles to see what would work best on her innocent yet fierce persona, “Nag-search ako kung meron bang mga modelo na hindi masyadong kita lahat pero bongga pa rin—so doon ako sa side na ‘yon. Siguro mas pinili ko lang doon sa konti lang [kita] pero sexy pa rin—fashion pa rin.

For Maymay, a Metro girl is someone who knows herself well enough to be able to transform into different characters yet remains true to who she is. And as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Metro, she gives a sweet message for the whole team that supported her from the start: Sobrang nagpapasalamat ako dahil simula nu’ng lumabas ako sa Bahay ni Kuya, naging parte agad ako ng family ninyo. Sobrang pinag-pray ko na sana mas ma-share ninyo pa sa buong mundo ‘yung fashion na meron tayo sa Pilipinas,” she says.


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Onwards, always forward

As a young woman, she is often conscious of the fact that her dreams often carry multiple challenges, and more often than not, the bigger it is, the more uncomfortable you need to be. Yet, she never passes up on opportunities to do better, even if there are times when it might scare her.

Ako kasi ‘pag alam kong kaya ko, gagawin ko. Pero kapag feeling ko hindi ko kaya, sinusubukan ko parin na gawin para mapakita ko sa kanila at sa sarili ko na kinakaya ko,” she says.

While there is still a lot in store for this up-and-coming actress and model, she constantly gives praise to the people she worked with in this eventful year for her, “Highlight ng taon ko ‘yung Hello, Love, Goodbye kasi first time ko mag-shoot sa ibang bansa noonGusto ko rin ‘yung mga naka-trabaho ko sa Hong Kong kasi ako pinaka-bunso, kaya ako lagi nilang binibigyan ng advice. Ang dami kong natutunan sa kanila na hindi lang sa acting, pati sa disiplina bilang actress.”

With all the amazing blessings she received this year, she also thanked herself for never giving up on what seemed to be impossible for her before, and looks forward to a brighter and happier future ahead.

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

Photography Seven Barretto

Video by Chapters by Mayad

Styling by Eldzs Mejia

Makeup by Owen Sarmiento

Hairstyling by Jaymar Lahaylahay

Sittings editors: Geolette EsguerraGrace Libero-Cruz, and Kate Paras-Santiago

Production design by Kathy Sy King of Event Styles

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

Shot on location at City of Dreams Manila

Special thanks to Charisse Chuidian and Romina Gervacio of City of Dreams Manila; C&L Decor, Shop Rent Gala, 4th Wall, and 18th Floristry