June 14, 2019
Shaira Diaz had a rough road to fame. It didn’t seem like it in the beginning when she emerged as a promising newbie for a revitalized network and landed one project after another. But just as stardom was just at arms’ length, problems haunted the studio and she lost her shows one by one.
As her family’s breadwinner, it was a very challenging time for Shaira. As the 24-year-old actress recalled to Showbuzz, “It was 2016 when my parents separated. My dad was the only one working for us so you can just imagine kung paano umiikot ang pwet ko. Ako lang supposedly ang kumikita but I was no longer doing any shows on TV5.”
Life became harder and harder for the dutiful daughter and sister who had no idea where to find money to support her family.
“Siyempre there were needs at home. Kailangan bumili ng gas, may babayarang utility bills and my brother was going to school. So pag may kailangan, mangungutang ako sa tito ko.
“Nabaon nga ako sa utang kasi wala talaga akong makuhanan ng pagkakakitaan. I was so problematic but I didn’t want to show it to my family. Iniiyak ko na lang whenever I was alone.”
One day, things finally took a positive turn when Shaira received a call from GMA Network with an offer to do “Trops”— a late morning series.
“I was so grateful for that call kasi siyempre GMA ang show. I was so happy mapapanood ako doon. Sobrang thankful din ako sa former network ko because they allowed me to do the show.”
From Trops, Shaira went on to guest in other shows, and when her former contract ended, she found a new manager in showbiz veteran Arnold Vegafria.
“My decision to be under ALV’s management proved to be a very good move. Hindi na niya ako inalis sa GMA na gusto ko rin naman talaga. I was given a prime time show, ‘yung ‘Pamilya Roces.’ When the series ended, I got busy naman sa movie, ‘Because I Love You’ kasama si David Licauco.”
According to Shaira, the role in her first movie was very special to her because she really saw herself in her character, Summer.
“The only difference between us is our jobs, she’s a lady firefighter, but pareho yung pagmamahal namin sa pamilya, at pareho kaming breadwinner who will do everything to give her family a good life,” she enthused.
After finishing the movie, Shaira was thrilled to learn she had been cast in a new prime time series with no less than two major stars, Jennylyn Mercado and Gabby Concepcion.
“When we had our story conference for ‘Love You Two,’ hindi lang ako nagpahalata pero sobrang kinikilig ako,” she confessed.
Though starstruck at first, she is now comfortable with her idols and the rest of the team behind the show.
“We’ve all become very close and sobrang saya ng taping. We’re like family — pag kakain, sabay-sabay and we all bring something na niluto sa bahay.”
This togetherness and great working relationship is what Shaira believes to be the secret to Love You Two’s growing success.
“We have very good ratings. Mataas siya, panalo siya,” she proudly stated. “I think nag ru-rub-in ‘yung saya namin sa set sa mga eksena especially since it’s a rom-com so masaya talagang panoorin. Add to this na ang huhusay ng mga kasama kong artista. Si Jen, ang sarap ka-eksena kasi ang galing niya. I know now why she’s called the Rom-Com Queen. Si Kuya Gabby naman, if you’re not focused on the scene, you’ll end up just watching him because he’s just so good. I really thank GMA for putting me in this show.”
Now that her career is in full swing, Shaira is bent on making the most of it, having experienced how it is to be wanting in life.
“I’ve become so wise when it comes to handling money. Nagsisinop ako sa pera. Even with a regular show, I don’t say no to guestings. I always tell myself, what I’ll earn in a day’s work, hindi ko mapupulot kahit saan.”
Shaira has two other siblings. Her elder brother just finished his studies and waiting to work on a cruise ship. Her younger brother, on the other hand is still in college.
“At least pag naka-sakay na ang kuya ko sa barko, may katulong na ko. Ako rin naman, nag-aaral and I’m determined to finish college. Iba pa rin if you have a degree para may fall back.”
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If there’s one person who’s excited about Starstruck, it’s none other than Kyline Alcantara. She’s ecstatic to be chosen as the online host of TV’s original reality star search, along with the network’s biggest stars Dingdong Dantes and Jennylyn Mercado. And, of course the members of the council are just as impressive in Heart Evangelista, Cherie Gil and Jose Manalo.
Kyline recalled to Showbuzz how her nerves kicked in when she had to interview Cherie Gil. “I couldn’t talk. I was just looking at her and starstruck,” she admitted. “That was the first time I met her and I couldn’t believe I was right in front of her. Alam n’yo naman she’s always been my idol.
Eventually, it was the veteran character actress who kindly broke the ice.
“Can you talk?” she teasingly asked Kyline.
“Pwede po bang sampling-an n’yo ako, Ms. Cherie?” Kyline replied and the Cherie laughed heartily.
“I then told her how much I look up to her and ‘yung masampal ni Ms. Cherie sa isang eksena, kasama talaga sa bucket list ko!” Kyline swore.
As online host of “Inside Starstruck,” Kyline is tasked not only to give updates about the program but even juicy tidbits about the contestants.
“I-tsi-tsismis ko sila,” she laughingly quipped.
She will further join the hopefuls in different events.
“During the elimination, I will also be on hand para salubungin kung sino ang na-eliminate. I think that’s one of the hardest parts of my job. Pag na-eliminate, hindi maiiwasang maging emotional so pwede rin nila kong maging shoulder to cry on.”
Starstruck premieres on GMA on June 15, while Inside Starstruck is already available for viewing on the program’s YouTube channel with new episodes since June 10 from Monday to Friday.
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SHORTS… Sweethearts Barbie Forteza and Jak Roberto seem to be getting more in love with each other each day. Jak admits that they seldom have LQs [lovers quarrels], and if they do, they talk about it as two mature individuals.
It was Barbie who pinched-hit for Iya Villania for “Chika Minute” on “24 Oras” last Wednesday and Jak went with her to the studio. “PA muna ko,” he said when Showbuzz caught up with them at the make-up room.
…It’s Father’s Day on Sunday and Kapuso actor Mike Tan is excited to celebrate it for the first time with his baby girl Victoria. “Father’s Day has a greater meaning to me now. Iba pala pag may anak ka na. You want to do your best for your baby. Siya ‘yung inspiration mo; your motivation for everything. I feel that I’ll do everything for my baby. It’s a different joy that I feel whenever I hold her in my arms.”
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