How Xyriel Manabat reacts to comments on her looks

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
How Xyriel Manabat reacts to comments on her looks
As a child, the ABS-CBN Star Magic artist Xyriel Manabat would hear comments from people saying that, ‘You are a good actress but you are not beautiful.’ The former child actress' perception of beauty would change over time.
Photos from Xyriel Manabat's Instagram account

MANILA, Philippines — Hearing comments from people that she was not pretty enough to be an actress while growing up, Xyriel Manabat doubted herself. But as time went by, the 20-year-old realized what it meant to be truly beautiful in her own ways.

“Actually, when I started entering showbiz when I was younger, even though I had plenty of shows, I never gave (myself) that confidence or appreciation that I deserve,” the former child actress recalled during an interview at a Star Magic event.

Xyriel began her showbiz career in 2009 after finishing third runner-up in “Star Circle Kid Quest: Search for the Kiddie Idol.”

“As a child, laging tumatak sa akin or laging comment sa akin, like I would always hear this from my co-workers or from my family, is that, ‘You are a good actress but you are not beautiful.’ Parang sa market ngayon, hindi na ganyan ang labanan. Kahit gaano ka kagaling kung hindi ka naman maganda (it doesn’t matter). I would always hear this comment ever since,” she continued.

As those words got stuck in her head at such an early age, that became one of the reasons why she wanted to focus on her personal life when she took a hiatus from showbiz.

“Because when I was a child, I was not that strong. When I was younger, magaling akong makinig to the point that I became empathetic. I felt what they felt so I doubted myself. Baka magaling nga lang talaga ako (na actress), hindi talaga ako maganda,” she said.

As she matured, she realized that the perception of beauty varies from one person to another. “(It’s like) for them, yung galing ko, yung ganda ko lang in acting nakukuha nila, OK. I mean there are people who would appreciate my beauty, what’s inside, talent or appearance-wise.”

So, she told herself that if other people could appreciate her beauty, she herself should also recognize her own value.

“So, I embraced it,” stated the Kapamilya actress. “And I’d look at myself and tell myself kahit dugyot-dugyot ako when I wake up or oily: ‘You are beautiful.’ I would convince myself na mali sila, maganda ka at magaling ka.”

Having a boyfriend also added to her glowing aura these days, admitted Xyriel. She is in a two-year relationship with her boyfriend, who was then her best friend.

“People say that when you are treated right, you glow. And when you are with the right person, you don’t forget to take care of yourself,” maintained Xyriel. “You don’t forget to improve yourself and it’s an added confidence ‘pag every day someone gives you a compliment.”

“Kahit kagigising mo lang, he wants to take a picture of you. It really boosts my confidence. And once you are confident, kahit anong beauty standard, hindi na lalagpas sa’yo. Hindi na papasok sa tenga mo. But once in a while, I still (have) insecurities,” she added.

In explaining how she’s able to maintain a stable career and relationship, she pointed out that it really helped that her partner understood her profession.

“Before I went back to showbiz, me and my boyfriend were just friends. He and Kuya Zaijian (Jaranilla) were my best friends at the time na down ako. I didn’t know if I should accept (acting) offers and go back (to) showbiz kasi medyo maingay na ulit yung name ko.

“But they're the ones who push me, saying, 'You can do it.' And if ever there's a challenging role or whenever there's that feeling like you can't do it, as long as you're ready, you can do it. But they're the ones who tell me that.”

Xyriel and her beau put a label on their relationship while she was filming the revenge drama series Dirty Linen.

“I made it clear to him the things that I want in our relationship, the things that I don’t like, the things that I want to do and the things that he should understand. I don’t want him to think that just because I got into acting first before we became a couple, wala siyang voice in our relationship,” she shared.

“So, I would always tell him that if you are not comfortable sa nangyayari, sa nakikita mo, sa naririnig mo, just let me know. You don’t have to adjust. So, I think assurance and communication (are what make our relationship work). And the way I reason out, I don’t invalidate his feelings. Sobrang dali and sobrang smooth (referring to the relationship). He is also a very understanding boyfriend.”

Xyriel was likewise firm in saying that she doesn’t want her boyfriend to be also from showbiz. “I want peace, ayoko ng mga nakikisawsaw.”

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