Andrea Brillantes (Facebook)

Without batting an eyelash, ABS-CBN actress Andrea Brillantes admitted in an interview with Karen Davila that she spent part of her childhood in a squatters’ area.

At an early age, Andrea served, together with her father, as a  family breadwinner.

The former child actor said she felt nostalgic when her previous series, Kadenang Ginto, shot for several days in the same depressed community where she grew up. She remembered the basketball court and nearby areas where she used to play as a young girl.


Andrea, born Blythe Daguio Gorostiza, started working when she was seven as a cast member of Goin’ Bulilit. She then transitioned from child actor to teen star and now, a rising dramatic actress.

In Karen’s very candid interview, Andrea revealed how poverty drove her to work hard in reaching for her star. Her story isn’t unlike those of many other true stories of movie personalities who similarly rose from the ranks. Many of them even became millionaires and politicians, proof that through hard work and focus, anyone can leave poverty behind and succeed.

 When you look at Andrea at 19, you’ll never see a trace of her poor family background. What you see  is a beautiful creation of God who loves her family and for whom she has built a lovely house.


 As stated earlier, Andrea’s story isn’t unique at all in the world of movies and show business.

For some reason, showbiz attracts a good number of people who come from families that are economically challenged. The reason is obvious. There’s a common impression that the roads in showbiz are littered with gold, and that young people have only to look good and perform well (sing, act, dance, whatever else) to make it.

While it is true that some contracts pay hefty amounts, not everyone is blessed with good opportunities.


Andrea’s story calls to mind the stories of other actors who have more or less the same family background and who also made something of themselves despite the economic hurdles.   

Long ago and far away, Hilda Koronel was discovered as a 14-year old pretty face in a poor community in Leveriza, Pasay. She rose to become a gifted, durable  actor.  

Others who went through more or less the same deprived childhood include Amy Austria, Jestoni Alarcon, Isko Moreno, Jay Manalo, Ejay Falcon, and so many others in the world of entertainment.

And, who can forget the personal history of Nora Aunor, now National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts, who joined singing contests and sold drinking water at a train station in Iriga City to support her family?

Source: Manila Bulletin (