Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Carla Abellana: Cautious, yet optimistic on love

Iris Joy Abarquez - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - It seems like things are really getting serious between multi-talented actress Carla Abellana and versatile actor Tom Rodriguez. At the sidelines of the former’s contract renewal with GMA Network, the Kapuso star confirmed she and Tom have recently started dating.

For someone who has been down that road before, Carla understands it well enough that, this time, she needs to exhibit a more careful approach on love. And despite the pain of the past, Carla remains optimistic about falling in love again.

“Masaya ako ngayon. You wouldn’t want to enter into a relationship na hindi ka malakas, hindi ka confident, at hindi ka happy. I would say, I’m definitely ready na. Maganda na if you enter into a new relationship, buo ka na ulit, malakas ka na ulit,” she said.

No pressure, no expectations

Carla shared she was particularly won over by Tom’s sweet disposition, kindness, and independence. “Kung sino ‘yung leading man na napapanood ng mga tao sa TV – off-cam, he’s really so simple at napakabait. ‘Yung alam mong napalaki siya ng maigi talaga. At a young age, he’s very independent. He doesn’t rely so much on other people.

Kaya niyang gawin ang mga bagay sa sarili niya lang, kaya niyang tumayo. Very responsible,” she described.

She’s also impressed whenever she gets to learn something new from Tom who considers reading a huge part of his life. “Saka marami kang matututunan sa kanya kasi mahilig siyang magbasa. And he’s very talented also. In terms of science, art, music, everything, ang dami kong nalalaman.”

For Carla, labels don’t really matter in a relationship. “I don’t think assurance comes with the title naman. For me, it comes with how you are with the person, how secure you are, at kung sino ka bilang tao kapag magkasama kayo. Kung loose ka ba or masyadong  uptight, or if you become better if you are with the other person. Pero siyempre bilang babae gusto natin ‘yun, security-wise. Pero maganda rin ‘yung hindi kayo masyado nag-iisip na heto na ba ‘yun,” Carla explained.

Full-fledged Kapuso

In a contract signing attended by Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, President and COO Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr., SVP for Entertainment TV Lilybeth G. Rasonable, and Carla’s manager, Arnold Vegafria on Monday, March 23, Carla officially marked her loyalty as a Kapuso, adding another three years to her six-year stay in the network.

“It’s been six years. Parang kahapon lang.‘Yung six years na ‘yun, dumaan na parang overnight lang. Ganoon kabilis ‘yung panahon pero ang daming nangyari. Ang dami kong nakatrabaho, iba’t-ibang director, iba’t-ibang production, iba’t-ibang stories, iba’t-ibang genre.

Basta masaya ako,” shared Carla.

“I completely trust my manager. I guess working with him in the past six years, nakita ko naman na naging maingat naman siya in terms of choosing, saka nagustuhan ko naman talaga lahat ng ibinigay ng network sa akin. Kapag sinabi nilang maganda ito, alam kong maganda,” the actress added.

If Carla were to name the most memorable project she has ever done in GMA-7, what would it be? “‘My Husband’s Lover’ ‘yung sa tingin kong pinakamagandang project na nagawa ko. Ito ‘yung pinakanagustuhan ng mga tao, ‘yun ang naalala talaga nila. In my opinion, mahirap pantayan ang ‘My Husband’s Lover,’” she said.

Asked who among the Kapuso actors she would like to be paired with,  Carla picks “Second Chances” actors Rafael Rosell and Raymart Santiago and Primetime King Dingdong Dantes, no less. “Ang dami ko pang hindi nakakatrabaho. Sila Rafael, Raymart, and Dingdong, I haven’t worked with them. With Dingdong, sa hosting lang. Pero baka mag-guest ako sa Pari ‘Koy soon,” she said.

How about a possible on-screen reunion with Tom? “Ang alam ko, hiwalay muna kami ni Tom sa trabaho, para maiba naman. Pero we’ll see, depende pa rin naman sa management ‘yun,” Carla explained. “As an actress, that’s part of our work talaga, na you’ll get to work with not just different leading men but different sets of artists. Ako mas open ako sa ganun, mas napa-practice mo ‘yung craft mo,” she added.

Public image, handling criticisms

As one of this generation’s stars who’ve maintained a wholesome image, what advice would Carla give to younger, newer celebrities?

“Number one, you have to believe in yourself. But in this industry, dapat mag-iingat tayo. Kailangan makikinig tayo sa mga mentor natin like our managers, handlers, and to the network. Remember that you can be yourself. Kasi ang hirap din naman kung kakargahin mo ‘yung trabaho na ito bilang artista na hindi ikaw ‘yan. Parang non-stop kang magpe-play ng role. So you can be yourself pero you have to be careful. There’s a certain image that we have to protect,” she answered.

On dealing with criticisms: “Kailangan malakas ka. You can’t have a weak heart. Although tao rin naman tayo, hindi naman tayo robot.

Masasaktan at masasaktan ka talaga. You just have to be open to that. You cannot please everybody. Especially now with social media, may lalabas at lalabas talaga na hindi maganda or hindi totoo. You have to be prepared lang and be open na it happens to everybody. Kailangan i-handle mo lang ‘yung issues very well. If it’s not true, you need not speak up about it, you can just ignore it. Alam naman ni God ‘yung totoo, hindi naman kailangang i-defend mo pa ‘yung sarili mo.Kung i-defend mo man, once lang and that’s it. Kung totoo naman, there should be a formal or proper way of handling the issue. Hindi puwedeng aatakihin mo lang ‘yung issue ng ikaw lang. Siyempre kakausapin mo ‘yung manager mo, how do we do this, how do we address the issue. Hindi puwedeng lahat on your own,” she ended.

Carla is regularly seen on GMA-7’s weekend variety program “Sunday All Stars” and the comedy-sitcom “Ismol Family.” (FREEMAN)

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