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Entertainment

Maine Mendoza: I crave the simpler life

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Maine Mendoza: I crave the simpler life
Maine on her fi ve years in showbiz: ‘Since the beginning, go with the fl ow lang naman ako. I have no goals in mind na I want to reach this or I want to be on top of this thing. Whatever is given to me, I accept it. If there’s a good opportunity, I will accept it. If it’s for my growth as a person, performer, artist and host, I’ll grab it. That has always been my goal in this life — to grow more and experience different things.’
STAR / File

Maine Mendoza is hosting TV5’s newest program PoPinoy, touted as the “biggest” reality TV search for the next P-pop sensation.

With this Kapatid project, Maine is perhaps one of the fortunate few who’s been able to work with productions under the country’s three major networks. The 26-year-old actress-host previously did a movie for the ABS-CBN Films subsidiary Black Sheep, and of course, with GMA 7, she’s hosting on the long-running noontime show Eat, Bulaga and starring in the sitcom Daddy’s Gurl.

Maine wants to make sure she’s able to present something fresh and different in PoPinoy. (A primer on the show airs on June 6 at 8 p.m. on TV5, which is a week before the premiere on June 13, 7 p.m.) She told The STAR in an exclusive Zoom interview: “Since ibang show siya, iba din dapat ang treatment, kahit na kasama ko co-host ko sa Eat, Bulaga, si Kuya Pao (Paolo Ballesteros, also as a main host). We’re looking forward to offering something new to the audience. Ibang network, ibang show, so we don’t want PoPinoy to look or sound like Eat, Bulaga.”

Maine on her family: ‘I love how they’re very supportive not just of my career but also my personal choices in life.’

According to Maine, she can relate to the show’s contestants, citing her audition for her Yaya Dub character back in 2015. “Although I was very fortunate kasi konti lang kami nag-audition before and ako yung nakakuha ng job for Eat, Bulaga. Yun talaga yung pinaka nakaka-relate ako sa kanila kasi nakikita ko sa mga pop idols yung determination nila na makapasok and eventually, magtagal dito sa PoPinoy and manalo.”

If there’s any advice she’d like to share with the contestants, it would be to stay true to themselves and to everyone around them. “I think that’s one of the most endearing things about a person, especially if you’re joining a competition kasi nakikita nila yung true self mo, yung character mo, no pretensions and all. I think, dito sa mundo ng showbiz, it’s very refreshing to meet or see someone who’s very true to themselves and to the people around them. So, show everyone who you are and what you can do, and you’ll see that everything else will follow.”

With boyfriend Arjo Atayde.

The STAR asked Maine if she believes stars are born or made. “Stars are born because feeling ko it’s part of our destiny. It’s their destiny if they’re meant to be stars, but of course, it’s up to them if they’re willing to take the challenge just to get to the top,” she said.

That’s also how she views her showbiz career — it’s destiny. “Iniisip ko nga before, ang daming may gusto na makapasok sa showbiz and yung iba sobrang dami nilang pinagdadaanan auditions and everything. I wouldn’t say it was easy for me but parang hindi ko na kinailangan pagdaanan ang mga challenges na pinagdaanan ng iba so I would like to personally believe that it’s my destiny to be here.”

With fellow PoPinoy main host Paolo Ballesteros.
Photo from Maine’s Twitter account

To recall, it was as Yaya Dub that Maine first exploded into the entertainment scene, getting dubbed as the Phenomenal Star, owing in part to her accidental and phenomenal pairing with Alden Richards, also called AlDub. Even as their tandem went separate ways, Maine’s career has remained solid and strong.

But when she was just starting out, amid the wild reception, she also entertained thoughts that she could just be an overnight sensation. “I’ll be honest, parang na-feel ko naman na fleeting yung adulation ng mga tao sa akin at that time. But I had no problem with that because sobrang ini-enjoy ko lang yung chance na binigay sa akin... For as long as na-experience ko lahat, I had a really good time and I made relationships and friendships with other people, that’s more than enough for me.”

Maine added, “Also, I’m very realistic. I know this is not forever. Kung hanggang saan lang ang ibigay sa akin dito sa showbiz, OK lang din sa akin. I’m very happy because sobra-sobra yung blessings na binigay sa akin. And napansin ko rin sa sarili ko na I’m starting to do things that I told myself I couldn’t do when I was younger, so natutuwa ako na nag-go-grow talaga ako.”

Five (turning six in July) years into the industry, Maine can say that “everything’s going well.” “Since the beginning, go with the flow lang naman ako. I have no goals in mind na parang I want to reach this or I want to be on top of this thing. Very relaxed ako when it comes to my showbiz career. Whatever is given to me, I accept it. If there’s a good opportunity, I accept it. If it’s for my growth as a person, as a performer, as an artist and as a host, I grab it. That’s always been my goal in this life — to grow more and experience different things.”

Meanwhile, for someone discovered with the help of social media (via Dubsmash videos) and who wields influence in the online sphere as one of the most-followed celebrities, Maine admitted that her attitude towards social media has changed over the years.

“Di na ako gaano ka-active sa social media ngayon hahaha. Lalo na during those first parts, parang ang unforgiving sa social media so I learned to control what I share and what I don’t. I’ve learned a lot about social media usage — talagang in moderation. But the biggest lesson for me is, what people don’t know they cannot break. So alam na nila yun, na kung ano yung mga hindi ko shini-share, I prefer to keep it to myself and to the people I’m close to personally. Kung ano lang yung ipapakita mo sa public, sana happy na sila.”

One of the things she’s proud to share, throughout her showbiz journey, is her family. In a YouTube video by her talent management team All-Access To Artists, it was during the lockdown last year that she got to spend the longest time with her parents and four siblings in Bulacan since joining showbiz. “For four months, I was with my family every day and dun ko na-realize na sana, ganito nalang lagi. Sana lagi ko silang kasama. Di ko na kailangan lumayo kahit nasa Pasig lang ako kasi masaya pagkasama mo pamilya mo araw-araw.”

She further related with The STAR how supportive her family is.

“Actually, I love how they’re very supportive not just of my career but also my personal choices in life. And I feel like that’s very important kasi yung makakasama mo lang talaga sa journey mo na ito is yung family and friends mo. Parang yung supporters and fans, at some point titigil din sila, but your family and friends will be behind you no matter what. Very thankful ako kasi tanggap nila yung mga decisions ko and very happy naman sila basta happy ako.”

When asked if her non-showbiz, business-oriented family ever asked her to quit the industry, Maine said, “Ako na nga yung gusto mag-quit, sila yung ayaw, char!”

Nevertheless, showbiz is still very much part of what she sees for herself in the next five years. “Probably doing what I still love, still hosting. Actually, I’m very content with hosting on Eat, Bulaga lang and whatever is given to me. I’m really grateful for all the other projects being offered to me now.”

Her other wish is, “Hopefully, having my own family by that time. Oo (naiisip ko na mag-settle down)! Yan talaga yung goal ko in life, to have my own family. Number of kids? Siguro mga 54! Hahaha!”

Asked if her boyfriend of two years, actor Arjo Atayde, is “the one,” Maine gave out a shy laugh and said she hopes he is.

Her big wish for the moment though is for the pandemic to end. “Yun na talaga ang wish ko para maging normal na rin yung buhay natin lahat because I’m sure na miss na rin natin lahat makalabas, makapag-travel and siempre din mawala yung suffering ng mga tao. We’re very fortunate ganito na experience natin, but how about the others, the less-fortunate?” Maine said.

And what’s the first thing she’ll do once the pandemic is over?

“Mag-travel po. Mag-travel talaga. Mag-ma-migrate ako sa States at magka-cashier ako sa Walmart. Hahaha! Dream ko talaga yun, parang gusto ko talagang… I crave the simpler life,” she ended.

MAINE

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