Why is Bela Padilla not accepting any teleserye project?
Actress-filmmaker Bela Padilla is back in Manila to promote her latest endorsement, as well as to finish an upcoming movie.
On June 21, Bela was introduced as the latest endorser of Dear Face collagen drink at the Manila House Club, Bonifacio Global City. At the time, she was just in the Philippines for two days as she now resides in London.
During her interview with the press, including FreebieMNL, Bela admits the reason why she decided to migrate to the United Kingdom, and it has something to do with the shutdown of ABS-CBN, her home network.
She narrates, “To be completely frank, I made my decision when ABS-CBN closed down. I really was affected by that, I felt hurt by it. I felt people decided on my livelihood without having experienced being on set, without knowing how hard it is to finish a project.
“You guys were able to decide without meeting the people whose lives are changing forever. I felt like if we couldn’t be protected on a basic scale, it just doesn’t feel safe.
“So, I wanted to find a place where I feel completely safe, where they don’t pull the rug under you and say, ‘Sorry, wala ka nang trabaho today.’ I just felt that changed my mind talaga.”
It was on July 5, 2020 when Congress junked ABS-CBN’s application to renew its broadcast franchise, causing the closure of the network and the retrenchment of most of its employees.
Bela started her career in ABS-CBN, using the screen name Krista Valle, in 2008. She then moved to GMA-7 in 2010 and moved back to the Kapamilya network in 2015, which remained her home network until its closure.
For Bela, it was easy to transfer to London since she is already a British citizen.
Adjustments to living in the U.K.
Even if she is a British citizen, Bela still had to make adjustments when she migrated to London because she grew up in the Philippines.
She says, “Sabi ko nga, parang seven years old ako uli. Yung, you don’t know where to walk, like, safe ba dito kapag gabi? Things like that.
“I’m relearning everything kasi dito sa Manila, kahit saan mo ako dalhin, hindi mo ako mabebenta, taga-Manila ako, e! Pero sa U.K., parang I’m relearning everything.”
She, in fact, has yet to explore the whole of London because aside from the fact that she’s still settling herself, she also continues doing work for her film company.
“Honestly, right now, I’m just setting my rules in U.K. I’m marking things, like, this is my favorite cafe right now, my favorite library. This is where I go to the gym M-W-F, this is where I go T-TH-S.
“Like, I’m setting my routine but kasi, filmmaking is such a consuming thing, so, it really takes up all of my time. So, as much as I would like to say that I’m just there existing, there are still so many things that I do like pre-production, post-production.”
But what makes her happy is how she has met new friends and at the same time, meet fellow Filipinos residing in U.K.
“Actually, the Filipinos are super sweet, like, feeling ko because I’m always in the Filipino supermarket, alam na nila yung mga binibili ko, e. Yung Pillows kapag sad ako, bagoong.
“I have an electric bike right now, so I’m so happy. Mabilis siya, para siyang motor, kung saan saan ako nakakarating.”
But does she see herself living in the U.K. forever?
She admits, “For now. I don’t know where I’m gonna go next, parang right now, I feel like the pandemic made the world so small. Parang we’re all just citizens of the world now, we don’t have to be locked in one place.
“Like, for all of us lalo na oh my God, ang bilis ng AI ngayon. Parang it’s taking over everything and everyone, our world got smaller and smaller because of the pandemic.
“So, I feel like you can be based anywhere and still be completely functional as a person.”
Doing showbiz remotely
Speaking of being based anywhere, Bela is one of the lucky artists who are living in another country and is still able to regularly do projects in the Philippines. She remains a contract star of VIVA Artists Agency.
She says about this, “I feel very fortunate kasi, like I said kanina, the pandemic really made the world small. So, ngayon, I can even work from there.
“Dati siguro, 10 years ago, if there’s an artista who moves to the States or something, walang Zoom na pwede silang mag-meeting with Boss Vic [Del Rosario] or ABS-CBN na parang, ‘What’s my next project?’ Now the world really got so close, so it’s easier.”
Currently, Bela is staying in the Philippines for three weeks to finish her movie with JC Santos titled “Wish You Were The One.”
She also knows that her set-up is not cheap, going back and forth to the Philippines and living alone in the U.K. But actually, it was her past shows that sustained her cost of living.
“Okay naman I think because I worked so hard when I was in the Philippines, so, talagang work hard every day, wala rin akong time gastusin yung pera ko, so nakaipon din po ako.
“Ang saya, well dati, noong time na yun nalulungkot ako na grabe, hindi man lang ako makapunta ng mall kahit bumili ng jacket, wala akong panahon. So, puro online or personal shopper; I wouldn’t experience really shopping for myself.
“So, I’m happy I went through that because now I have savings. So, it paid off and like I said, I like investing in little things. I like to experiment and try things so I don’t keep my eggs in one basket. So, I’m sustained by that.”
Aside from her film company, Bela is part of the Tipsy Pig group and she also has a business with her brother.
While she is now a freelancer, Bela still keeps ABS-CBN her priority in terms of TV projects. However, it seems like she’s not too keen on accepting teleseryes for now.
She explains, “I’ve been offered a lot of seryes in the last three years, pero parang there’s nothing rin kasi that really speaks to me or parang ako right now, maybe because of the pandemic din, we saw a lot of people got ill, we lost a lot of loved ones, we lost a lot of time, I’m not gonna invest a year of my life in a project that won’t help anybody.
“Like, if you don’t learn anything from it anymore, I feel like it’s a waste of time. I don’t wanna sound snobbish or anything like that, this is my thinking right now if parang the audience won’t gain anything from what they’re watching, I’d rather not be a part of it anymore.”
Banner Art Dani Sison