We always think celebrities live the best life based on what we see on camera. But more often than not, there are chapters in their life that we know little about.
There's no better time to put their stories of hardships and survival on the spotlight than today, in this season of Lent. May their real-life anecdotes inspire us to never give up on life no matter how hard it gets, just like how they went through theirs:
Hasna Cabral first opened up about her life as a single mom to two kids with autism during her "Pinoy Big Brother: Otso" stint. But what we heard from her is actually just one of the many challenges she faced prior to joining the reality show.
During her "Magandang Buhay" guesting in 2019, Hasna opened up about her ex-husband, who left her 10 months into their marriage. According to her, they broke up just before she entered "PBB," admitting that she actually wasn't emotionally prepared when she became a housemate.
With her back-to-back struggles with her failed marriage and the bullying issues of her children, Hasna said she reached a point where she felt angry at God. She questioned Him why she had to suffer that way.
As much as she despised the Lord, it was also her faith in Him that saved her from her darkest time. "'Yung exact thing na sinabi ko sa anak ko, pinaalala sa akin ng Diyos na God is teaching us lessons in life para mag-grow tayo, ma-improve natin ang mga sarili natin. From that day, bumangon ako. And then after nun, tinawagan na ako ng 'PBB,' 'yun na 'yung chance."
For the longest time, people saw Marjorie Barretto in a bad light. Since becoming a mom at 19, Marjorie has become a subject to various rumors that end up with the public hating on her.
Case in point: her being the "bad person" in her previous marriage with ex-husband Dennis Padilla. The comedian finally owned up to his shortcomings as a husband 14 years later, which Marjorie didn't expect to receive from him.
“I never thought the day would come that he would say na may kasalanan din siya sa breakdown ng marriage namin. He said na it was his temper, it was his anger,” she said in an interview with Toni Gonzaga in May 2021.
Even with all the hate thrown at her, Marjorie never spoke ill of her husband. If any, she wishes him a good life. “I would like for him to continue his new journey as a less angry person. Para ma-enjoy na niya the remaining years of his life, na he’s part of all of his children’s life."
Her choice of not planting hate on her heart gave her equally kind and beautiful children, whom she raised all on her own.
We know Candy Pangilinan as a great comedian and actress, but not many know the pain she carried for a long while.
In an interview with Toni Gonzaga in May 2021, the actress opened up about her failed marriage with her ex-husband of 10 years. The red flags were already there even before they married, according to Candy, but she chose to push through in the hopes of him changing.
However, that never happened. Even after they got married, her ex remained the same with all his illicit affairs. He left her for good just a month after Candy gave birth to their son Quentin.
Since then, the actress navigated through parenthood all on her own. From raising a toddler, to a child diagnosed with autism and ADHD, Candy persevered through it all. She even thought of her failed marriage as a blessing, and that the Lord is preparing her for bigger things.
"Everything was a blessing. 'Yung hiwalayan, parang hinanda ako ni Lord. Binago niya 'yung pagkatao ko, 'yung mindset ko, 'yung perception ko about things para handa ako for Quintin," she said.
Imagine finally living in your dream house only to sell it years later? That's what happened to comedian-turned-vlogger Bearwin Meily.
In an interview with Ogie Diaz in June 2021, Bearwin revealed that he was already struggling financially even before the pandemic. He lost in the election for Taytay councilor, he's no longer getting TV projects, and he has no source of income to pay their house's monthly amortization. Hence, he resorted to selling their house to make ends meet.
According to him, it was a decision he surrendered to the Lord. “You surrender in a sense na kahit hindi mo matanggap na ibenta mo 'yung bahay mo, ibebenta mo, eh. Binenta namin 'yung bahay namin."
Indeed, this decision led him to greater things. He now runs a corndog business and can send his children to good schools.
“Where I am right now, it's really a big blessing compared to others. Napapa-aral ang anak sa pagluluto."
Herlene Budol, also known as "Hipon Girl," might be a happy-go-lucky girl, but it doesn't mean she hasn’t had her fair share of challenges. During the pandemic when she lost her PHP100K worth of savings due to complacency.
That time, Herlene felt like she failed her family for not being able to support them in the most trying time.
"Umiiyak ako araw-araw. Dumating ako sa puntong parang ayoko na, ayoko na magpakita sa pamilya ko. Nahihiya ako, back to zero kami. Walang-wala na talaga kahit ngayon, walang-wala na akong pinagkukunan ng pera talaga. Kasi sa akin lahat umaasa buong pamilya ko," the comedian-host revealed in an interview with Toni Gonzaga in July 2021.
Fast forward to 2022, Herlene went from 0 to 100: she now has a thriving career in vlogging with over 1.7 million subscribers, has finally bought her own car, and even starred as a lead in a rom-com series.
Gigi De Lana
A former kontesera, it was quite a journey for Gigi De Lana before she became the "Cover Queen" she is today.
The "Hello, Heart" actress recalled in an interview with Karen Davila in September 2021 how she almost quit singing just right before she won the daily round of "It's Showtime's" "Tawag ng Tanghalan." During that time, she was on the verge of giving up due to back-to-back rejections from her previous auditions, including "X Factor" and "The Voice."
"Noong hindi ako nakapasa, uuwi kami sa bahay, iiyak ako. [Naiisip ko] baka hindi naman talaga 'to para sa'kin, baka tama si mama," she recalled.
But when she finally had her big break in "Tawag," followed by her viral covers on Facebook and Youtube, Gigi realized the value of her persistence.
Now an official Star Magic and RISE artist, Gigi is finally living her dream of becoming a singer and touring the world to share her talent.
Read more stories here:
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WATCH: Marjorie Barretto takes daughter Erich to first day of school after 2 years
Gigi De Lana’s ‘I Don’t Want to Wait’ cover gets approval from Paula Cole
'PBB' ex-housemate Hasna Cabral says ex-husband married her out of pity for being a single mom
Candy Pangilinan touches netizens with post about son Quentin