Julia acts beyond her age
Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - March 14, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - She may not look it but Julia Montes acts beyond her age when it comes to providing for her family. She takes pride in taking care of her mom, grandmother and two younger brothers and sharing with them the fruits of her labor as a young Kapamilya artist.

Only turning 17 on March 19, Julia has already realized the dream of owning a house and lot where she will be moving in with her family a few weeks from now. The two-storey house, located at Valley Golf in Antipolo, is her birthday gift to herself.

Ganun po talaga ’pag kuripot,” quips Julia on her ability to acquire the property at a young age. But kidding aside, the latest acquisition will put an end to her worries about paying for a monthly rental home. For those not in the know, Julia has become the breadwinner of their family since her lola Flory’s salon business in Pandacan closed shop. Her parents, now separated, are both deaf and mute. Julia says she didn’t get the chance to meet and know more about her German father.

“Before, it was my lola who was providing for our needs — food, schooling and other expenses — through her salon. And since she always accompanies me in my tapings and meetings, she had to close it. But I promise to put up a new one as my gift to her.”

Giving her brothers Patrick, 15, and Paulo, 10, a good education is also on her bucket list. Education, she explains, is one tool to have a good life.

“I want a secure life for them. So I hope to continuously work not just for myself but for my family as well,” shares Julia who also plans to take up business management in college when classes begin in June.

On-cam, Julia’s maturity vividly  reflects in the character she portrays in Walang Hanggan. Playing Katerina, the young lady torn between two loves, takes Julia away from the roles she

had done before. These days, televiewers no longer see the contravida in her as the scheming and envious Clara in Mara Clara or the free-spirited teeny bopper Tammy in Growing Up.

“They say that I’m fit for the role because in real life I think and act maturely. But I find it harder to portray the underdog, crying buckets (of tears) oftentimes. The most challenging part is to show with conviction how to act as a wife.”

Breathing and living the character is Julia’s perception of good acting. In fact, for her to totally imbibe Katerina, she never takes off the wedding ring she is wearing in the teleserye even outside of the Walang Hanggan set. Sometimes when hesitation sets in, her director and co-stars are there to guide and give her a tip or two.

“Coco (Martin) is really intense and I could really feel his emotions. That’s why I always try to bring out the best in me. Paulo (Avelino) is also good although at first, parang nahihiya pa s’ya. Now, he also gives suggestions on how to make our scenes together look realistic,” describes Julia of her leading men.

Asked if she has set some limitations in playing mature character, Julia replies, “Yes, yung talagang kissing scenes. At my age, it’s not proper naman for televiewers to see me na laging ganun ang eksena. I want to set a good example to girls my age.”

Does she feel that she has become more popular than her contemporary Kathryn Bernardo?

 “Many people say that probably because they are seeing me every day on TV but it doesn’t mean na naungusan ko na s’ya. In fact, Kathryn is in Bhutan shooting for a big soap. It’s a big project and I’m happy for her.”

Are they friends in real life?

 “We’re more like sisters. We are each other’s critic and we do share secrets. Although we don’t get to see each other that much these days, the friendship remains strong.”

Kathryn, she says, also knows that she has a big crush on John Lloyd Cruz. “I wish to work with him someday.”

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