Barbie Forteza on doing what she loves and working hard for one’s dream

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Barbie Forteza

Newbies in showbiz can learn a thing or two from actress Barbie Forteza.

One of GMA Network’s busiest talents, the 22-year-old lead star of the primetime drama series, “Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday” makes it a point to count her blessings, grateful for the chance to do something she loves.

Breaking into the entertainment scene at the age of 13, Barbie is now on her 11th year in the industry, making one memorable project after another.

In a recent media conference in Cebu, Barbie said her decision to join showbiz surprised her mom because she had been a shy child.

She recalled that she was around eight years old when she and her Mom, an avid fan of actress Sharon Cuneta, were watching the Megastar’s drama film, “Madrasta” on TV. The young Barbie blurted out: “Paano po pumasok sa TV?”

“Kasi feeling ko dati ‘yung mga artista literal na nasa loob ng TV,” she said, laughing at how naive she was. “Sabi ko, gusto ko yan. Gusto kong gawin yan.”

Referring to her mom, the actress said: “Nagulat sya nung nalaman nya na gusto kong mag artista kasi mahiyain ako dati, hindi ako nagpa-participate sa mga school activities, wala akong sinalihang kung anu-anong club… kasi yun talaga, magiging public property ka (pag nag artista ka).”

Barbie Forteza and Dina Bonnevie
Barbie Forteza and Dina Bonnevie play mother and daughter in GMA’s latest primetime drama series “Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday”.

But Barbie, obviously, was destined to be a showbiz star. GMA Network paired her with fellow teenager, Joshua Dionisio in the 2010 drama romance series, “First Time.” The fans enjoyed the young loveteam but Joshua eventually bowed out of showbiz.

Barbie, on the other hand, soldiered on, determined to fulfill her dreams, with the support of her home network.

“Laking pasasalamat ko lang kasi nga, binuild-up kami together, umalis man sya, hindi ako pinabayaan ng GMA. Hindi nila ako sinet- aside just because wala na ‘yung partner ko,” Barbie said.

“Talagang hinanapan nila ako ng way para maka excel mag-isa na parang na meet nyo na yata lahat ng leading man ko. Kada punta ko ng Cebu for a show, iba ang kasama ko,” she added with a laugh.

Barbie Forteza and Kate Valdez
Barbie Forteza (Left) takes the role of “Anak ni Waray while Kate Valdez (Right) plays “Anak ni Biday”.

Indeed, Barbie has made her mark on television without being attached to a permanent loveteam. She has starred in several successful teleseryes, including the top-rating “Inday Will Always Love You,” some scenes of which were shot in Cebu. She also made movies and even got acting awards for some of them, the most notable of which was as Best Actress at the 36th Fantasporto International Film Festival in Portugal in 2016 for the film,” Laut” where she portrayed a Badjao.

The actress shared that since being in showbiz had always been her dream, she has always enjoyed work despite the punishing work schedule.

“Hindi ko sya iniisip. Hindi nag si-sink in sa akin na nagta-trabaho ako kasi bata pa lang ako, na e-enjoy ko sya. O, taping tayo. Tapos, kinabukasan, eroplano tayo. Punta tayong Cebu, punta tayong Davao, Iloilo. Ganun ako ka enjoy nung bata ako na hanggang ngayon, ine-embrace ko sya dahil okey ang pamilya ko,” she said.

Barbie said she is not one to decline a role unless it’s beyond her capabilities, offensive, or sexy, something she’s not ready for.

“Respeto nalang syempre sa network na nagtiwala sa akin, na alam ko naman na hindi ako pababayaan, so bakit naman ako tatanggi,” she said.

Main Cast of Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday
Main Cast of Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday during a presscon in Cebu.

For “Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday,” Barbie is the “palaban at matapang” Ginalyn. But she’s soft when it comes to her family, she said.

A TV adaptation of the popular 1984 movie with the same title, the series also stars Kate Valdez, Snooky Serna and Dina Bonnevie. Portraying important roles are Migo Aldecer, Jay Manalo, Teresa Loyzaga, Faith da Silva, Tanya Montenegro, Benedict Cua, and Ms. Celia Rodriguez. Directed by Mark Sicat dela Cruz, the series will also feature the special participation of Jason Abalos, Pinky Amador, Mike “Pekto” Nacua, Yanna Montenegro, Franco Gray Nerona, Lovi Poe, and Max Collins.

“Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday” will premiere tonight on GMA Telebabad.

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