Find out how Singapore played important role in this Filipino starlet's life

19 June 2013 / 3 years 4 months ago

She’s good-looking and talented.But while she may not be a big name over here, this 22-year-old is one of the biggest stars on Philippine TV. She even co-stars with a senator.Starlet Rhian Ramos’ star continues to rise. She’s just concluded filming for one of the most expensive TV series made in the Philippines, and has already locked into another show that starts shooting next month.“I just spent the last eight months working every day and now I’m starting work again! But I love what I do,‘ she tells The New Paper on Sunday during an interview at Novotel Clarke Quay.She’s in town for the Philippine Independence Day Celebration at Hong Lim Park today, where she’ll be showing off another of her talents ‘“ singing.While Independence Day was celebrated in the Philippines on June 12, today’s event is sponsored by SingTel, which is launching the Fiesta Pack on mio TV, a collection of three Filipino channels.TNPS took the chance to sit down with the effervescent Ramos to chat about fame, food and her family’s uniquely Singaporean connection.It was an early start. Appearing in a commercial at 15, Ramos was courted by GMA Network, one of the country’s major broadcasters, for a TV show.With two years of high school left to complete, she was initially hesitant about the leap. Not everyone, felt the same way.“It was my parents who told me I might regret it if I didn’t try.“They told me I could try it, and if I didn’t like it, I could go back to school and live the life I always had.‘Her manager and aunt, Mrs Ida Ramos Henares, is seated on a nearby sofa. Mrs Henares has looked after her niece for most of her career, having been a vice-president at GMA.Her Welsh father, Mr Gareth Howell, met Ramos’ mother in Singapore over two decades ago, when she was here as a singer. The couple got married here.“If not for Singapore, I wouldn’t even exist,‘ she says with a laugh, adding that her older sister, Nadine, was born here.While it’s only her third time here, she has already fallen for one aspect of Singapore ‘“ the food.Her eyes light up when talking about chilli crabs and “that salted egg dish at Jumbo Seafood‘ that she first tried two years ago.“I can’t remember if it’s crab or prawns now, but it was so good,‘ she exclaims.Nearly seven years and over 20 TV shows later, Ramos hasn’t looked back.Given her looks, it’s no surprise she is a regular fixture in FHM Philippines’ 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll, reaching 12th place in 2009.She’s also graced the covers of Cosmopolitan and beauty magazine Blush.Just three weeks ago, Ramos finished work on Indio, the 97-part, historical-fantasy epic said to be GMA’s most expensive production this year.In it, she plays the role of Dian Magayon, goddess of all flying creatures. But possibly more extraordinary is that she shares screen time with actor-senator Bong Revilla.His status led to some issues.“When we were doing action scenes, I didn’t want to hit him. He is a senator, after all,‘ she says, stifling a giggle.But things haven’t always been so rosy for Ramos.In 2011, she went through a very public break-up with disc jockey Mo Twister. He made a number of allegations, including that of Ramos having undergone an abortion.She took legal action against him. He has since relocated to the US.The strain made her take a year-long hiatus from acting to recover from the scandal.“In the past, I was very concerned about what people said, and tried to defend myself. But I realised you can say all you want, people will still assume what they want to.“These days, I actively don’t read any gossip. I’m a much happier person for it.‘For now, Ramos says she just wants to focus on taking a break before embarking on a top-secret project that she says involves “reaching out across the region‘.She’s also looking at starting a fashion line.But top priority on her list: a long overdue family holiday.“My family and I, will be going to England early next month to visit my grandparents. I haven’t seen them since I started working seven years ago.‘

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