The woman without a face: Pilar Pilapil
- J.P. Laza and Rycky Pilapil () - July 13, 2006 - 12:00am
"The role I'm dying to portray is the myself in the story of my life." - Pilar Pilapil

A couple of weeks after hitting the shelves, the life story of award-winning actress Pilar Pilapil turned bestseller in National Bookstore's list selling more than 10,000 copies. Now on its second run of the pages and a book launch soon to hit Cebu, this writer caught up with the former beauty queen in her new-found sanctuary in the northern isle of Malapascua. In an intimate encounter, she gave us a preview of what's in store for readers and fans. Amidst all the glitz and glamour, politics and show business, pain and sadness, she shares how she found redemption and reward.

J.P. Laza: You are probably one of the most beautiful faces to ever hit the silver screen, why "Faceless"?

Pilar Pilapil:
Life's journey is never easy. There are certain circumstances beyond our control that allow one to falter, thus losing face, if not lose personal identity along the way. This book is not merely about me baring my soul to everyone but, more importantly, it's how I rose to the occasion and conquered myself. Regaining my identity, my true self with the guidance of the Divine.

JPL: Aside from the above mentioned, what are your primary reasons to pen this autobiography?

Pilar Pilapil:
Inspiration. I know my personal journey will enlighten and serve as guidance to women of all ages on the value of life as a woman, as a person. At the same time, I wish to touch the hearts of parents so that they may love their children, no matter what. Build that strong foundation within the family.

JPL: There are some intimate details that you mentioned in the book, did you have any qualms on the mention of names?

Pilar Pilapil:
Made mention are the people relevant to my life's journey: men and women who had the greatest impact and influence in shaping my subconscious, character and principles (I guess a few names should be altered for obvious reasons, but still the story gives the true essence of Pilar).

JPL: You write so fondly of your family and your hometown. How important is family to you and what were your fondest memories of Liloan?

Pilar Pilapil:
"Love answers all behavior" and it all starts in the family. Growing up with an abusive father and a submissive mother was a little too difficult to bear for a young girl but, in retrospect and speaking now as a parent, I understood everything. It made me a person, a better mom to Pia. And yes, all the characters you meet in the book are for real. My beloved aunt Filomena who raised me for the most part was such a character. She was very religious, always dragged me to church. Ironic, I grew up with somebody who died a virgin and I turned out the exact opposite. I love my hometown! Nowadays, I visit friends and relatives as much as I possibly can.

JPL: Doy Laurel was one person who obviously made a lot of difference in your life, how was he, as a person? Did you know that he was attached when you were involved?

Pilar Pilapil:
I was very much aware of his status. But he was a very thoughtful person, he genuinely cared for me, thus, I learned to love him.

RP: Did motherhood change Pilar?

Pilar Pilapil:
Truthfully, I was never ready to have a child back in 1973. But Doy and I decided to have the baby. Show business took a backseat, then. My life changed the moment I held Pia in my arms. My priorities changed. With the interest to provide for my daughter and knowing that she could never grow up in a normal family, I began to work immensely for our security.

JPL: You said that one of the most heartbreaking decisions you've ever made was leaving Pia in California with your sister. After this book, how did this affect your relationship?

Pilapil Pilapil:
Pia got to know more than a hundred percent. Her confusion at an early age was finally explained and the whole picture is now vivid. Now she understands why I made my decisions then. With that said, our relationship is stronger than ever.

JPL: How is Pilar Pilapil then and now?

Pilar Pilapil:
The struggles are still there. But the turmoil and personal conflicts are gone. Now I face my struggles head-on, with the grace of the Lord.

JPL: Tell us about your Foundation?

Pilar Pilapil:
The Pilar Pilapil Foundation was conceived in 1997. We minister mainly to unwed mothers, abused women and children, substance addicts and more. We have had several programs since we started, like medical and dental missions, gift giving and community outreach. Our Ministry house in Apas, Lahug, houses our Praise Church and a school for street children. We aim to help communities and households through faith and the love of God.

Currently, we do not have that much supporters. Hopefully, with this book out we would be able to gain more friends and generous souls so that we can continue our noble mission. In fact, all the proceeds of this book go to the Foundation.

JPL: Any message to all the women out there?

Pilar Pilapil:
Buy the book. I hope my own personal journey inspire not just women but parents, as well, and more importantly, young women who are at the brink of maturity and womanhood. Yes, we can achieve love, marriage, fame and security with determination. And, while on the road, choices have to be made. We herald the good ones and learn from our mistakes. Our personal search can be very frustrating but if we offer everything to the Almighty, content is at hand. Real identity is found in God.

RP: This may be an off-the-track question but for the benefit of your many fans, when are we going to see Pilar back on the screen?

Pilar Pilapil:
For now, I'm putting all my energy in the growth of the Ministry and the Foundation. This project and my new home here in Malapascua are extensions of our Ministry. It's home and sanctuary all together. We do welcome visitors and guests to stay. Income generated is of course to help fund our various projects. And as for my fans out there, don't worry a talk show is currently "in the talk". Scripts and other projects are coming in. I'm just waiting for things to settle within our Ministry. In God's time, you will be seeing me on TV and perhaps on the big screen. And I promise, it's going to be a comeback!

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