Bela and her Korean connection
Bela and her Korean connection
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - October 6, 2020 - 12:00am

Not many fans probably know that last February Bela Padilla was in South Korea to shoot a movie called Ultimate Oppa, a joint venture between Viva Films and Reality Entertainment in which she co-stars with Korean actor Kim Gun-Woo. It’s the story about Jay, a manager of a Hallyu star, and Yana, a Filipina who loves Korean stars. The actor has starred in the TV shows Fight My Way, Less Than Evil and Catch The Ghost.

It’s perhaps not a coincidence that Bela co-owns Britory, a skin care company headquartered in Seoul which is engaged in crafting products that create “glass skin that glows like snow.”

Wow, how did the partnership come about?

“It happened last year before I went to Korea for the shoot,” Bela told Funfare in a recent Zoom interview for the launch of Britory in the Philippines. “I was approached by one of the Korean company’s key staff. They wanted me to collaborate with them for any of their products that I am comfortable with, something that I could use as well. I opted for the serum and the face cream.”

According to Bela, while in Korea she noticed that the skin of Korean actors really had nice complexion. “The male actors have skin as beautiful as that of female actors. Maybe we can learn from them. I think we can factor in the weather and the climate. Korea is cooler as compared to the Philippines, which is hot, that’s why Filipinos are not so into applying too much lotion or elaborate skin care. Sadly, that will eventually take a toll on your skin later on in life.

“We have come up with products that are easy to use, like the serum. Once applied, it dries up on your skin fast and safe even if you go under the sun. But I would advise people to apply it at night before bedtime. These days, even men are taking good care of their skin. I have guy friends who are particular about their skin.”

Any other beauty regimen?

“You know, during this pandemic (it was raging when she came back from Korea), I’ve been very active. I do Pilates and, sometimes, I do boxing on the side. I’ve always loved eating healthy. That’s another thing we can learn from Koreans. They love liquid...ginseng and tea...and they take vitamins. We should incorporate these things into our diet. It’s not healthy eating salty food. I stick to a diet of vegetables and fruits, and lots of water. No soda for me, it upsets my tummy, and just a bit of tea at night. I love water; I consume four liters a day and that gives me a good skin.”

In this uncertain time when most everybody is grappling with mental-health issues, Bela has some pieces of advice.

“It helps that I write. I’ve been filling up my journals more and more. I encourage people, especially the young, to do the know, just write about what they feel. It’s a good release. Working out is also good for our mental health. By working out a lot, I release endorphins from my body. Attitude is also very important. Generally, I am a positive person. In this pandemic, there are days that don’t seem to be okay but I try to stay positive.”

Bela doesn’t just “fill up” her journals, she also writes scripts, four of which have been filmed and in some she also starred in — Camp Sawi, Last Night, Luck at First Sight and Apple of My Eye (a digital series for ABS-CBN).

“I just finished a script this morning,” she shared on the day of this interview. “I have done a few more and I have submitted them to producers. It’s up to them whether to use them or not.”

Asked from where she draws inspiration, maybe from her colorful (love) life, Bela said, “Usually from stories I hear from my friends. Or from music. I listen to a song and my creative juice starts flowing.”

She prefers alternative music, especially sad songs. “I don’t know why. Sad songs have a way of touching my feelings. I have a soundtrack for every movie or TV show that I do; I always have a playlist ready. If I have to cry in a scene, I first listen to a sad song. I love music so much.”

Incidentally, if ever she writes a script based on her own life, what would it be like, full of drama, full of romance and full of breathtaking scenes, with only a bit of heartaches?

“No. It would be like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) but something happier, something with magical realism.”

Bela Padilla (with Korean actor Kim Gun-Woo, her leading man in Ultimate Oppa which they shot in Seoul last February) is the face of Britory, a skin care company headquartered in Seoul which Bela co-owns and with which she collaborates in crafting products that create ‘glass skin that glows like snow.’

And who would be the leading men?

“My gosh,” she laughed, “sino kaya, sino ba? Maybe all the actors that I have worked with.”

Including her ex(es)?

“Ha?” she said, feigning surprise. “I don’t have any ‘ex’ from the industry.”

Okay, “case” closed.

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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