KC Concepcion: ‘My life has been like a reality show’
10 THINGS - Bianca Gonzalez (The Philippine Star) - June 15, 2014 - 12:00am

Imagine this. From the moment you were born, the whole country has known your name. When your parents separated, everyone had something to say about it. The whole country also had a front-row seat when you got your heart broken, moved abroad, posed sexy for a magazine, and even when you were doing nothing. How does one handle a life like that? Here are 10 things you should know about KC Concepcion.

1. On life in the limelight: “I didn’t realize it was weird until I saw The Truman Show. For me, my life has been like a reality show since I was born.”

“I was around five years old. I remember when we would be in the car, people would be banging the windows. I would always get nervous around a lot of people kasi feeling ko I could get lost in the crowd. I remember it would be noisy, there were so many people, they were rowdy,” KC recalls. “It was normal for me. But I knew that when we’d get home, tahimik. And at home we never spoke about showbiz or shows.”

“I remember nalaman ko na ikakasal ulit yung papa (Gabby Concepcion) ko when I saw it on the news. I was in the dirty kitchen at home, and ako pa nagbalita sa mom ko (Sharon Cuneta). I was eight years old.

“I remember a story that there was a guessing game among the nurses when I was about to be born. Is she a girl or a boy? My mom came up with the name Kristina, papa ko came up with Cassandra. And then a doctor there came up with KC. I was supposed to be (nicknamed) Sandy, pero naging KC.”

2. As far back as she can remember, even in school, she was compared to her mother, the Megastar.

“In school, I remember a fan made me sign autographs, but copying my mom’s signature. I didn’t wanna do it, bakit ko gagawin ‘yun? And at a young age! I found it weird. May identity crisis din na nangyari sa akin. Parang we are one and the same, but we’re not,” KC reveals.

“In I.S., the few Filipino teachers I had, nagkataon naging teachers din niya. So they would compare, ‘How come your mom is this or that, or how come when your mom was here…? When she’d laugh, tahimik siya, but you laugh so loudly.’ I felt, I don’t know, nakakatawa eh, anong gagawin ko? It was too much. It is okay to be compared at work, but hanggang sa school ba naman. Parang, nakakapagod na,” she explains. “The hardest part of being an International School kid is not being able to see your friends often and always having to adjust to new people.

“Paris was nice. I felt like a normal girl,” she recalls of her college days in the American University of Paris. “They didn’t know anything (about me). Hindi yung parang sinasabihan ng magulang or yaya na, ‘O, be friends with her.’ They just like you, they just wanna hang out, you just share the same interests.

“When I graduated, I was advised to just hit the ground running. I thought I would get into a corporate job or advertising. I thought I could be a travel journalist. Kaya lang when I went home to Manila, there were movie offers, commercials. Nagalit pa nga sa akin lolo ko, on my Pangilinan side, he said, ‘Bakit ka pa nag-iisip ng ibang trabaho, God is giving you those offers for a reason.’ So I tried it out; why not? Then it became fulltime, because it was so time-consuming. Then I realized, this is actually a career.”

3. On nurturing her relationship with mom Sharon and dad Gabby: “So many things have happened already. It’s a whole new time in our lives, a new chapter. You can’t be stuck, you have to keep moving.”

“She was the youngest, coolest, hippest mom in every parent-teacher meeting. In jeans, button-down polo, loafers, her forever emerald cut earrings, and a ponytail,” KC recalls growing up with her then-single mom. “She was always my Valentine. Yeah, it was me and her against the world. I remember when she would be heartbroken she would cry to me. But you know, so many things changed. She got remarried and it was a 180-degree turn. So many adjustments, and the whole world was watching. Even if we’re (like barkada), she makes sure I don’t forget that she’s my mom.

“We spent time in Batangas, me and him, and nothing changed,” she shares about her newfound closeness with her dad. “As much as so many things have changed, how we are is the same. The feeling lang na nagda-date kayo ng tatay mo, that means a lot. Even if my stepdad (Kiko Pangilinan) is there for me, it’s a different relationship with my papa. What my papa and I do is we make memories. He taught me how to make memories. Not everything has to be so intense and emotional and dramatic. With him, it’s just chill.” His term of endearment for her? “Baby,” KC says, imitating her papa and giggling.

4. On the most bizarre of all the rumors spread about her: “That my sister Miel is my daughter!”

“First of all, sabi nila, kaya daw ako nag-Paris when I was 18 is because I was pregnant. And I didn’t know it was such a big rumor because it isn’t true! I didn’t mind it. It was funny eh, but when your family starts to ask about it, then it gets real. Parang, wait lang, showbiz can actually ruin relationships,” KC recalls. “In showbiz, there can be smoke when there’s no fire, unfortunately.

“So when they didn’t see any tell-tale signs, sabi nila, nagpa-abort daw kasi ako. Ano ba talaga? Nabuntis ba ako or nagpa-abort? They said anak ko daw si Miel (Pangilinan), because I wasn’t here when she was born. They said my mom paid so and so millions para daw tumahimik yung mga tao. Then when we adopted my brother Miguel, si Miguel naman daw yung tunay kong anak. Even they’re confused! Also, when I was 12, I went to the States for a year and studied in Boston. Kaya daw ako lumipat ng school is because I got kicked out because I was caught smoking in the bathroom. Huh?” KC laughs and shakes her head.

Having to deal with rumors and unsolicited comments all her life, does she still get affected now? “It makes me want people to get to know me more. If you know me, how I am, how I think, kayo na mismo makakaalam if (rumors are) true or not. Instead of allowing other people to introduce me, I’ll do it myself. That is why I am so passionate about photos, sharing myself on Twitter and Instagram, and my blog before, it is my way of letting the fans in, so that they can know me.”

5. On the decision to enter show business full time: “Siguro it was my way of self-preservation.”

“When others enter showbiz, it is their choice and they know that rumors and issues come with the package. I can’t escape it anyway because even if I’m not in it, I still feel like I am. So I said, sige na nga, mag-aartista na ako. Anyway, I love acting, I might as well get into it by choice so I don’t feel so invaded,” KC shares.

On balancing fans’ expectations and the projects she wants to do: “I think by now people already know that I’m more exploratory. I also get the guidance of people in the industry para naman may meaning yung ginagawa ko, hindi yung basta para maiba lang.  Sometimes it’s also your feeling, like you wanna do something and you don’t always know why,” KC explains. “It really feels like a reality show because people think they know you. But they see how you were presented to the world or how you were packaged. So if you do something like Rogue (magazine), they go, whoa. But actually I’ve always been more of the creative type.”

6. On the biggest relationship lesson she’s learned: “That a person who is perfect on paper is not always the perfect person for you.”

When asked to share a few of the things she’s learned from love and relationships, she laughs and says, “Oh, my! A lot!

“A guy could be perfect on paper. Check lahat. Family background, looks, your family loves him. But, if you aren’t in love, he’s not right for you,” she explains. “Also, I’ve learned that kilig yung possessive, pero huwag O.A. Kilig yung kaya ka niya, pero huwag O.A. Konting temper is okay, pero huwag O.A.”

“Sometimes you think that you want this and this,” she says about love and falling in love. “And it has only happened to me once, or maybe twice. Talaga. When you fall in love, wala ka nang ma-explain. Wala siyang sense, na-inlove ka eh. Well, I’m really not the expert. I’m just a girl,” she laughs.

“He has to get along with my sisters and friends. Big deal sa akin na he can hold his own, that he doesn’t freak out if he’s surrounded by my friends. I just want someone I can be silly with. Who is attentive, who just wants to get to know me, someone I can learn new things from.”

7. KC in numbers:

2: number of theater roles she’s had. As supporting cast in Little Mermaid, and as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She also did a cameo in Katy the Musical

70-plus: estimated number of magazine covers she has done

6: number of years she has been National Ambassador for the UN World Food Program

6: number of passports she has filled. “I really started traveling when I was 16.”

512,000-plus: number of Instagram followers on her account, @xtina_ontherocks. “At that time I was into cocktails. So it’s not on the rocks as in trouble, as in a drink on the rocks. I didn’t want the name to be so commercial.”

8. KC loves traveling and describes the perfect day in three cities she’s lived in:

Los Angeles: “Definitely a sunny day with a cool breeze, driving down Sta. Monica by the beach with my girl friends and music blasting. We’d do yoga, probably see a concert, and we’d have a nice pool party with a great view at night. Just laughing and just super chill.”

New York: “Spring time with the cherry blossoms. I would just be walking the whole day. I’d probably have lunch in Shake Shack with no line. Maybe an outdoor film event with my friends. Go to Williamsburg to have the best coffee and take lots of photos.”

Paris: “Paris is just perfect in general, it is where my heart is. Paris is my alone time place. I’d love to be stuck all day in a place with high ceilings and big windows and the sun shining through, listening to jazz, making an amazing painting that day. Or do my photography, or be on my bike, or cook all day, too. So romanticized.

9. She admits to currently being obsessed with health and fitness. “It’s like going to war against my genes.”

“I’ve always been active, but to study what really works and to really do it every single day, I’ve only been at it the past month. I have a nutritionist and a private trainer na tutok,” KC shares. Her workout of choice is Plana Forma and Forma Asana.

“I’m not a morning person, so to wake up at 6 and have breakfast cause you have to have the right breakfast every day is such a big thing for me. It started with my trainer in L.A., he asked what’s my goal? Honestly? I wanna battle the genes. I’m so sick of being labelled. I just wanna have the body I want. I wanna go to the beach and be in my bikini, I wanna have to not worry about how to cheat my clothes or how to cheat my pose. I’m doing it for me. There was a time I got pissed. I’m eating well, I’m active naman, how come I’m still not happy? I don’t shy away from talking about it because it’s interesting how the body can morph so fast. If you stick to it and do it right. It’s a revelation for me, I never thought my body could change. This is without any cosmetic surgery or pills, it’s pure eating and exercise. It’s like a new adventure for me and I’m curious to know what’s gonna happen.”

10. KC admits she really chooses to leave and travel regularly. “I love Manila, but sometimes it feels like a golden cage.”

“Later on, I’d want to be based here in Manila and one more place, I feel like a gypsy,” KC shares. “I’m all about making memories but I can’t live without working. I love my job but sometimes talaga it gets high octane. It’s always good to know what is new and what people are doing in other places. It is good to get out and come back, always come back.”

“I definitely will go back to work, I wanna work and be on set,” she says when asked about her next career move. “It isn’t even a question of me having so many choices, I know what I want to do and I know what I love doing. It is more of where do I bring it now, where am I gonna take it, and what else can I do.”

* * *

I realize that 10 items are not nearly enough to paint a picture of KC’s life and thoughts, joys and struggles. The only thing as colorful as the judgments about her are the many facets to her personality. “It’s weird being packaged and boxed by people. It really feels like a reality show and people think they know you,” she says. “I was born into this and I just had to adjust to this world. I come from a different place compared to other artists, at pinapakilala ko lang ang sarili ko.”

* * *

Email me at askiamsuperbianca@yahoo.com or message me on Twitter and Instagram @iamsuperbianca.

 

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF PARIS BEAUTY AND THE BEAST BUT I KNOW LOVE PEOPLE SO I TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM
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