Growing up, we’re always reminded by people around us to look back at our past and always be grateful when talking about it. We even have this old adage, “Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan,” that stemmed from the Filipino “utang na loob” culture.
Now, people may not say it, but it seems like we’re only expected to speak of positive things about our past because, after all, that has led us to where we are right now. And if you say otherwise, you can expect them to call you an ingrate.
And this is what just happened to Hope Elizabeth Soberano, formerly known in the industry as Liza Soberano, one of the brightest Filipino stars of today
The 25-year-old Fil-Am actress has been the talk of the town lately after releasing her vlog, “This is Me,” on her YouTube channel last February 26. In the 14-minute video, the Filipino star detailed everything that happened to her in 2022.
She went on to candidly talk about the reasons why she left her previous management, and share her personal thoughts about her showbiz career. The star then gave a more detailed story about how she signed and transitioned into new management, what she’s been up to lately, and how she’s able to have full control over what career direction she wanted to take.
Liza got candid and sat down in front of the camera to reveal what she felt about her showbiz career, sharing how she was pigeonholed throughout the span of 13 years and how she felt about being “a flower for so long.”
“I’m 25 years old now and I think people forget that I’ve been working for 13 years now since I was 12 years old. And I’ve been in six feature films, over 500 episodes of teleseryes, and have only really dabbled into three main genres: romance, comedy, and drama,” Liza said.
“And since I was 16, I had only really worked side-by-side with one main co-star with the same production company rotating around the same three directors. And during all those years, I was never really asked for my input, my thoughts, my ideas,” she continued.
Despite this and outgrowing her career, Liza remained grateful for the things she was able to experience professionally and personally courtesy of her career. She has also acknowledged the fact that she was able to live a comfortable life and take care of her family.
As soon as Liza dropped her vlog, it has been making headlines left and right. Her vlog statements have caught the attention of many Filipinos and as expected, it ruffled a lot of people’s feathers.
Liza’s former talent manager Ogie Diaz said the screen name Liza Soberano has provided for her family. Boy Abunda expressed disappointment and told the star not to “disregard that your managers put into who you are today.” A former TV channel executive, although not directly and not mentioned, even tweeted to tell the actress to think before “she opens her mouth.”
Then some strangers took offense with Liza’s statements about what she felt about her career, calling her many things like ungrateful and “walang utang na loob.”
On the other hand, many Filipino users poured messages of support for the star. Some people defended Liza and understood where she was coming from, while others called out the irrationality of the “utang na loob” culture.
Now, I have a lot of things to say about this issue, so let’s unpack them.
First thing first, Liza is NOT ungrateful. From the very beginning of her vlog, the star has already said that the video “isn’t a story of bitterness and regret.” Rather, it’s “a story of growth and gratefulness.”
The star has also reiterated over and over again that she’s grateful for everything that has happened to her even when she was still in her previous management. She acknowledged the fact that she was able to live and experience a comfortable life because of them. Her tone was even filled with sincerity.
Liza didn’t even speak ill of anyone nor attack the management she was in. She just revealed that a celebrity like her has a career that isn’t always picture-perfect.
Yet, people are so quick to crucify her because they have interpreted her statements differently. They also felt like they were entitled to call Liza many things, saying that she owed her previous management all the milestones she achieved. Heck, they even emphasized the “Kung hindi dahil sa amin wala ka sa kinatatayuan mo” narrative, which reopened the toxicity that reeks in our “utang na loob” culture.
Liza already gave credit where credit is due. What more do people want from her?
And can we stop treating as if Liza didn’t work hard enough to be where she is right now? Much like her management, she also put her nose to the grindstone throughout her career. It’s unfair that some people dismiss her effort when in fact she’s also part of her own success.
Another thing I wanted to point out is that there’s nothing wrong if Liza has outgrown her showbiz career. It’s not a crime if she wanted more; if she wanted to take her career in a different direction; if she wanted the freedom to explore her passion and the world. It’s not wrong if Liza wanted to stay true to herself by leaving and moving out of her comfort zone, and if she wanted to take the reins of her career and life.
I bet you a hundred peso that if a male celebrity did something similar like what Liza did, the response wouldn’t be the same. You’re all not ready to have that conversation, anyway.
Let’s leave Liza alone. Let’s stop sticking our noses into her business and telling her how she should live her life. Sure, she’s a celebrity and her life is displayed in public, but that doesn’t permit us to dictate what she should be doing. At the end of the day, she’s like us: a human being.
Other POP! stories that you might like: