Divine Lee is saving up for a lot where she and boyfriend of three years Victor Basa hope to build their dream house.
But it’s not on a Globe Asiatique property, which her dad Delfin Lee owns.
“I’m not part of the team. I don’t know anything (about the business and the estafa case her dad is now facing). Ako ang unang maba-bash kasi ako ang nasa harap,” the model-turned-TV host opened up.
So she has resigned herself to the fact that “at a certain point, you just realize people don’t understand.”
Divine adds that she’s helpless against the bashing.
“Wala akong magagawa if they’re bashing me because of my Dad. People will crucify me because of my last name. I guess I have to deal with them. And I can’t stop working. I have to earn a living.”
Contrary to her socialite image, Divine has been earning a living she was 14. She got paid P 5,000 a show from her modeling stints. And so, she got hooked.
Divine further relates that she ran away from home and modeled in Hong Kong at age 17.
“Mine is a very traditional family. I was cut off kasi ayaw nila ng modeling.”
Back then, she goes on, her family felt modeling was like being a “bomba star.”
So she shuttled from Manila to Hong Kong and back for two years until competition from younger, taller Brazilian models whose modeling fees were fifty percent less than what she was getting forced Divine to stop.
She knew modeling is not forever, so Divine put up her own retail line at 19. She also finished her Economics course in Ateneo.
The course is a far cry from Divine’s present job as segment host of TV 5’s showbiz-oriented talk show “Ang Latest.” But she doesn’t mind. In fact, she’s enjoying her career to the hilt.
Divine asked the show’s bosses if she can go on field to get the feel of what’s happening around her. And she doesn’t regret her decision.
Lessons from the experts
“Marami akong natutunan sa field. I interviewed Ate Guy (Nora Aunor) and she was so humble. She admitted that she wished she didn’t return (from the US) anymore but there are things she had to do for herself and her career.”
Divine also got tips from fellow reporters about how one can make a celebrity in a hurry to stay for more questions.
“They told me to hold the person’s hand para hindi makaligtas,” an amused Divine reveals.
She also learned how to feel the subject’s mood first before asking a sensitive question.
If Divine seems a natural host, it’s because she just loves to talk.
She relates how Victor secretly recorded her words while they were on the one-and-a-half hour trip back to Manila from Tagaytay.
“Ang dami kong kuwento the whole trip, and he was not saying anything!” Divie bursts out laughing.
This, she goes on, could be the secret of their “close-to-engaged” relationship with Victor.
“Hindi ako pwedeng magkadyowa ng madaldal kasi mawawalan ako ng airtime.”
The ALV talent has found a new calling, and she loves it.
“That’s the only thing I can do. Wa naman akong talent for singing, dancing and acting.”
That’s okay. The gabfest that is Divine Lee is enough.