Freeman Cebu Entertainment

It's hard to believe Francine Prieto is loveless

POP ARAZZI - POP ARAZZI By Nathalie M. Tomada -
"I also find it hard to believe," Francine reacts cheerfully, echoing our incredulity upon learning that this breathing example of loveliness was, indeed, loveless.

The 23-year-old actress had her first and last boyfriend ages ago, a short-lived relationship that happened before she entered showbiz. And she swears there aren't any suitors either turning up on her doorstep.

"I think I should already put up an organization for those with no boyfriends-forever!" declares Francine, smiling to her ears. Surely, this girl is jesting!

But, never mind. Without a romantic spark plug, Francine still sparkles with charm and niceness that is no put-on. As in the past, she relates with interviewers like meeting old friends. Small wonder the girls in the group during the interview in last Saturday's Kapuso Day at the Mandaue City Sports Complex would readily agree that she's the kind of beauty that would not send you to fits of envy.

Francine also manages to step away from being pigeonholed as the ditzy Jingle in the GMA 7 sitcom "Bahay Mo Ba 'To?"-her most prominent role to date-by being sensible to talk to. Asked if she ever worried over being typecast for life as a "bimbo," she admits that initially she had reservations, but she's happy that people have so far disassociated her from the role.

She has since joined the bevy of funny beauties in the top-rated "Bubble Gang." The 5'10 tall Francine was also cast as the icy queen Avria of the fantaserye, "Etheria," and looks forward to the prospect of doing another drama, after all, an award is one of the lifetime goals she indicated in her GMA 7 website profile.

Away from the public eye, her real-life roles include being a breadwinner. The pressure sometimes gets to her, as she is also paying for the amortization of a brand-new home and her second car. Her being the eldest, however, explains the responsibility she feels toward helping shoulder the schooling of siblings and some expenses at home. Studies are another priority for Francine who is determined to finish her Psychology degree at Adamson University and then make headway in her dream of becoming a doctor.

These goings-on in her life are what hold her back from rushing her love life. She also points out the fact that she really is a homebody, thus, limiting opportunities to make new acquaintances. "I hardly go out," she reasons, making a face. "I don't like the nightlife."

In "Bahay Mo Ba 'To?" Francine is head over heels in love with Keempee de Leon, whose character Harold is openly gay and openly disgusted with Francine's misplaced affections. Their odd TV coupling crackles with effortless chemistry so much so their tandem has found a place in QTV's "Bongga Ka Star!" and well, has prompted questions on the real score of their friendship.

Contrary to a recent report in a magazine, Keempee did not court her, but tried sending feelers. "Sigurista si Keempee," she says simply.

So, what is her type of guy? "Looks are only secondary, I'm really after the personality," she says.

After a fainting episode that was triggered by dieting and diet pills, Francine says that to lay off unwanted pounds, it's better to just sweat it all out with exercise. "I've now been eating right, and I work out when I have the time," says Francine.

As for keeping her skin glowing, she suggests sun block and is very careful with her choice of facial soaps. She doesn't use colored ones because for her they're higher in chemical content.

The direction her career is going is noticeably parallel to that of her closest friend in showbiz, Diana Zubiri, seemingly making a successful transition from the sexy mold to the wholesome department.

"I can still do sexy in films if the material is good," says Francine who still has an existing contract with Seiko. "Pero sana tuloy-tuloy na to."











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