‘Annaliza’ child star reveals being bullied on the set

MANILA, Philippines - Andrea Brillantes accepts the award for Best Child Performer (Annaliza/ABS-CBN 2) during the 27th Philippine Movie Press Club Star Awards for Television awards night held at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, northeast of Manila, on 24 November 2013. (Voltaire Domingo/NPPA IMAGES)
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In an unexpected turn of events at the Star Awards for TV held recently, ten-year-old Andrea Brillantes revealed she has been bullied on the set of her previous show.

In a tearful acceptance speech, the Best Child Performer said she was somehow grateful that bullying inspired her to hone her craft.
 
“Thank you rin sa mga nangbu-bully sa akin, sa mga nagsasabing pangit ako, na hindi ako mananalo, na hindi ako sisikat.”
 
Her admission came as a surprise to everyone who attended the ceremony held at the AFP Theater in Camp Aguinaldo—including her mother, Mabel.
 
“Nagulat kami kasi sinabi niya 'yun dahil hindi 'yun ang pinractice namin (na speech),” Mabel told Yahoo Philippines OMG!.

Andrea’s mother conceded that her daughter was traumatized by bullying.
 
“Dati pa naman siya nangyari. Na-bully siya pero 'yun nga kasi nagkaroon siya ng kaunting trauma. Hindi rin siguro kaunti kasi hanggang ngayon bitbit niya.”
 
Mabel, however, declined to disclose the show whose cast members bullied the 10-year-old child star.
 
Prior to starring in "Annaliza," Andrea appeared in other ABS-CBN shows such as "Goin' Bulilit," “Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Alyna," "E-Boy" and several "Wansapanataym" episodes.

Avoiding the bullies
 
The child star’s mother said Andrea opened up about bullying a long time ago, but lamented that she could only do so much since she’s worried that meddling might affect her daughter’s career.
 
“Wala kasi hindi ako pwede mag-react e. Syempre noong time na 'yon inisip ko rin 'yung career ng bata,” she said. “Hindi kami, kumbaga, hindi kami lumaban.”
 
And even while bullying happened on the set, Mabel said she couldn’t look after her daughter since mothers are off-limits in some areas of the shoot: “Hindi ako nagbabantay sa set kasi bawal e.”
 
When asked if they sought professional help to deal with bullying, the mother said they just tried to avoid the situation through “some entertainment.”
 
“We always talk about it tapos ang ginagawa na lang namin nagdadala kami ng computer (ng laptop), ng coloring book. Ine-entertain namin ang sarili namin. Ako naman nagdadala ng libro para less chika.”

‘Vindicated’

Now that “Annaliza” is doing well in the ratings game and Andrea’s acting has been recognized, the child star feels vindicated by those who bullied her.
 
“Ang feeling namin at that time (during speech) kaya siguro nasabi ng bata, feeling niya napatunayan na niya (ang sarili niya).”

Mabel is also proud that Andrea’s character in her current series has inspired her daughter to become stronger.

“Proud naman kami sa kanya kasi mas naging strong siya. Hindi siya tumiugil na ma-reach ang dreams niya. Kasi ngayon na ginagawa niya ang “Annaliza,” natutuwa daw siya sa turnout ng script, sa daloy ng istorya, kasi lumalaban na si Annaliza ngayon. Sa first season kasi tahimik lang siya, sinasalo niya lahat.”
 
“Masayang masaya siya ngayon. She's a very bright kid. Napakabait niyang bata. Ngayon sa tingin ko very strong na siya. Nagasalita na siya ngayon.”

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