AN ACCIDENTAL STAR
People Asia Online
August 19, 2000
Kristine Hermosa became a TV celebrity by accident. She just tagged
along with her sister who was attending an audition and ended up
getting the part instead. BING PAREL-SALUD gets the tale.
Her mother describes her as schoolmarmish because she often stays at
home, does not love the nightlife and absolutely can not stand the
smell of cigarette smoke .
And beauteous as she is, 16-year-old ingenue Kristine Hermosa once
didn’t even have the guts to audition for a TV role and got it only
out of sheer luck.
“I was with my older sister Kathleen, who was originally auditioning
for Ang TV. She was the one who knew how to sing and dance, and I
didn’t,” recalls Kristine. By a stroke of luck, the hesitant
would-be star caught the eye of the people in charge of screening the
hopefuls. She ended up as one of the kids in Ang TV, a comedy show way
back in 1995 that was some sort of a Mickey Mouse Club spin-off.
“I did not really enjoy my stint with Ang TV,” admits Kristine,
who was, like the rest of the dozen or so kids in the show, relegated
to the sidelines, occasionally appearing to make a few funny faces
after a skit. At that time, the more prominent child performers were
Antoinette Taus, Jolina Magdangal, Roselle Nava, Lindsay
Custodio,Victor Neri, Guila and Gio Alvarez.
Things started to change when she was chosen for ABS-CBN Talent
Center’s Star Circle Batch 4, which included Vanessa del Bianco,
Jericho Rosales and Dominic Ochoa. By this time too, Kristine has
grown to be a PYT — Pretty Young Thing — and was beginning to
attract a lot of following.
The big break came last year when she played Agnes, a 21-year-old
teacher who eventually marries her childhood sweetheart (played by
Marvin Agustin) in the mini series Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako (Book
One). Though she played a minor role in Book One, Kristine’s acting
savvy was noticed by the series followers, as well as the producers of
the show — so much so that in Book Two, the story already revolved
Like most Filipino soaps, Sa Sandaling Kailangan Mo Ako was a
tear-jerker that had all the dramatic elements meant to tug at the
heart strings: a young and beautiful martyr who gets slapped around,
forced to eat stale food by a tyrannical villain — this time the
mother-in-law — convincingly portrayed by Tessie Tomas.
Asked how she was able to play the role of a 21-year-old teacher when
she was in fact just in her teens, Kristine replies, “It was my
director Olivia Lamasan who coached, taught and motivated me. It was
more difficult to adjust in Book One since that was my first time to
do heavy drama and then play the role of a teacher. Then I sort of
became used to the role, so that when Book Two started, I didn’t
have such a difficult time anymore,” she elaborates.
Then came the movies, with Minsan Minahal Kita, a Sharon Cuneta-Richard
Gomez starrer; and Pera O Bayong, the spin-off of the popular game
show portion directed by Edgar Mortiz.
This early however, Kristine is learning that her new-found celebrity
status doesn’t come without a price, usually in the form of
intrigues like the one where she was accused of
“You get accused of doing things you didn’t do,” she avers.
“At first, it was so disheartening, but after some time, I learned
to cope. I used to explain repeatedly (about the issue) even to
friends, but then sometimes it gets to be irritating because there’s
really nothing to explain. I felt like saying, “C’mon, that’s
enough!” Needless to say, Kristine’s family was also affected,
specially her mom Mai, who was upset that her daughter was painted as
a scheming and devious hussy.
Fact is, it is difficult to imagine the winsome lass to be anything
but sweet. During the photo shoot, she was uncomplaining even though
it was apparent that the heat was making her itchy and uncomfortable.
During breaks she would sit quietly and hum to herself, every now and
texting on her cellphone.
“That’s enough to make her happy,” her mom laughs, adding that
Kristine has been given the moniker “manang” (old sister).
Understandably, Mai (from whose side Kristine got her Spanish looks)
is protective and at the same time proud of her daughter. “She gets
a lot of fan mail,” Mai discloses, “sometimes through email,
calling her the ‘gold mine’ of ABS-CBN. They also ask her what she
thinks about the fact that many are irked with her because she’s
very young but she’s getting all the breaks, and that she seems to
be a favorite of the Talent Center.”
Kristine realizes though that the fame she is experiencing now could
My ambition before was to be a flight stewardess,” she adds. “But
not anymore. I really don’t know what I’d like to be; things have
changed. But what I am intent on doing right now is to finish my
studies until college.”
Kristine’s mom puts it this way: “So why should they be envious of
her? She’s hot right now, she’s pretty, and that’s the way
things go. Tomorrow she may not be so hot anymore; it’s just that
it’s her time right now.”
But that’s precisely why.
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