I shot this portrait of ravishing GMA actress Kris Bernal in 2010 when I worked with a skincare brand on the invitation of a friend. This is my favorite shot of her. At that time, I was 7 years into my photography work, and have just been shooting mostly stars from ABS-CBN (the other big network.) I said to myself, what brilliant young lady — beautiful, very talented, with a “light of her own” wherever she walked. At that time, Kris had just starred in “Koreana”, a top-rating GMA TV drama. It helped that I liked Korean stars, and was totally inspired during my photoshoot with this young drama diva.
Two years later, I would find myself in a conference room with Ms. Kris Bernal and the handsome actors Aljur Abrenica and Benjamin Alvez for a motivational viewing for their upcoming teleserye, a Filipino version of the hit koreanovela “Coffee Prince.” I was in the meeting on the capacity of Head of Talent Development for GMA Artist Center, and Kris, and the actors are now my artists. I would remind Kris of that photoshoot session (one of very many for her), and we would beam in joy in the reality that we are indeed, working together again, and will be so for the next many months and years. In the many days that followed, more and more I realized what a true STAR Kris really is.
In “Coffee Prince” she would tape for three days a week (for up to 20 hours a day) in wet Tagaytay weather, playing the role of boy, and wearing a short wig for all that time. One cannot know just how difficult that all was — there were times she’d get sick, and still work until the taping is finished. The production crew and her co-actors have only good things to say. She is highly professional. But what’s really special about Kris Bernal is that in between tapings, I would ask her to attend workshops back at the station, and she would come looking as ravishing as she did in the photo above. I don’t mean “all made-up and hair-styled”, I mean, that light that follows her everywhere she goes — she still has it. After 20 hours of taping, she was happy, radiant, and seem ready to take on another day.
I know television production. It changes the way people look after a while. I think Kris transcends that because she knows she has to, and she has to look like she has control over it, and not the other way around. A true Star is always up in the sky for us to look up to, and should never be seen touching the ground. The rest of the showbiz world would argue — “it’s the acting awards” or “the box-office hits”, or “the many commercials”, or the “many famous flings..” that makes a Star. Not to trivialize all that, but one could have all that, and still would not LOOK like a Star. Beyond all the trappings, we must see the radiant attitude and masterfully-maintained image despite the arduous work and mind-boggling stress. Many have mastered this technique, not just in showbusiness, but in other businesses everywhere, in other worlds, places and situations. Everywhere, people are judged for how they looked, and often, it’s a great boost if you looked as good as you are. It should be an ideal to always ambition for. Kris achieved it.
And now, if we can all just stop complaining about how hard the stuff we do is, and we begin to LOOK the part, well, something must be learned here.
Do Your Thing Very Well.
Look Like It’s So Easy.
Wash up and rest a while.
Shine brightly and dazzle them.