This is your first-ever magazine cover—and it’s FHM. How did you get ready for all this? Did some heavy convincing and internalizing take place?
I researched about FHM, yung past covers. I looked at the pegs also and checked kung kaya ko ba or hindi. Siyempre I checked my limitations din. Sinabi ko rin sa close friends ko, nagtanong ako: “Okay lang ba kung ganito ako, kung makita ako nang ganito?” Parang nag-survey ako sa sarili ko. Ha ha! Naninibago sila pero at the same time mature na rin naman kami, so, sige. Yes, I internalized. Kailangan kasi kumportable ako sa shoot, wala akong dinadala or iniisip. And I went to the gym. Hindi man ako pumayat agad-agad in time for the shoot, I feel physically fit. Feel ko ang sexy-sexy ko. Nakakaganda din ng aura yun, ha ha!
We stalked your Tumblr blog and you said something about growing up and out of your tweetums image. We guess an FHM cover was your first stab at adulthood?
Yes. It’s about getting out of my comfort zone, actually. Ever since kasi ang binibigay sa akin, since bagets ako, is pa-tweetums. Hindi na ako masyado nag-e-enjoy dun kasi ever since, I wanted to be a dramatic actress talaga. Mahilig ako sa heavy drama. So naisip ko, if I don’t start going for mature roles, hindi ma-chachallenge yung sarili ko sa pagarte at hindi ko matatawag ang sarili ko na artista. Kasi hindi ko magawa yung mahirap eh, I’ll always be doing the normal bagets roles I usually do.
Most celebs your age rely on get- famous-quick schemes and they seem to be doing well, too. Is it really that easy to become famous?
No, because I started when I was nine. Yung iba kasi, biglaan ang pagsikat. Pero ako, naniniwala ako na pag pinaghirapan mo, mas tatagal. Hindi lalaki ang ulo mo, kasi you know where you started, you know what you went through. Pag sinayang mo yun sa pagtaas mo, mahirap na.
And how are you safeguarding yourself against the fame monster? It seems pretty fun to be swept away by fame, actually.
My mom is always there to guide me. If she notices something is off, pagsasabihan niya ako. Napapansin ko rin naman yun sa sarili ko, pag medyo umiiba na. Ha ha! Minsan kasi pag marami ka nang naririnig madali nang yumabang, pero ako, lumalabas lang lahat sa kabilang tenga. I don’t let it sink in. If it’s criticism, I know it’s for the better, so I just do better the next time para hindi na nila masabi yun.
You sound really mature for a young woman, so now we’re thinking that we’ve misjudged your generation. Since it’s a long time ago for some of us, can you tell us what being 19 is really all about? What are you guys into?
Hindi talaga ako pala-gimik. Wala akong bisyo. Ha ha! I hang out with my friends, we have dinner, go
malling. Occasionally I do go to gimiks, when I get invited. Pero usually, taong-bahay ako eh. Sorry, hindi talaga ako palalabas eh! Ha ha! I draw, mga sketching-sketching. I watch movies, mahilig ako dun. Or nagsusulat-sulat ako. I go out with my friends from high school who are not from showbiz para maiba naman. Bonding lang. There are times when I’m out with friends and siyempre nakakailang pag may lumapit and humihingi ng picture. Parang nakakabastos din sa kanila, so ginagawa ko we stay in one place na lang, wala nang pagala-gala.
Your parents must be pretty happy about that. But isn’t this the age for all that? Shouldn’t you be all out on the town, exploring what the world has to offer?
Yes, it’s actually only now that I get to explore. Yung mga hindi ko na-try dati, gusto ko nang subukan ngayon.
Now that sounds intriguing and begs the following question: Like what?
Wait! Ha ha! Like going out alone, without my mom. Go out of town, ganun. Hindi ko masyado nagawa yun dati kasi strict si mommy, hindi niya ako pinapayagang lumabas. When I was in high school, hindi ako naka-experience kahit retreat. So, wow. Ha ha! As in! Dahil na rin I was starting in showbiz my mom was being very careful with me. So I had to agree with her, siyempre. Hindi ako nakapunta sa extracurricular activities noon, so ngayon, kung ano yung gusto ko, I can try. I go to workshops, to voice classes…anything na gusto kong subukan.
Oh, we thought you meant that you are currently enjoying an obligatory rebelde phase.
No, it wasn’t anything like that. I know naman what’s right and wrong. It’s not like dati hindi ko na-experience yung inom-inom, so now iinom ako. It’s not like that. It’s my choice na ayoko uminom. Gusto ko lang mag-adventure. Lahat gusto kong ma-try eh, lahat ng hindi ko pa nagagawa dati at gusto kong ma-experience, like wakeboarding, having my own business. That one I’m already thinking about.
So none of that “You only live once” stuff those kids are going on about? No trying stupid new things for the heck of it?
Choice ko not to. For example, wine is okay, but yung lasing na lasing ka? That’s not me. As for boyfriends, I’m allowed na magpaligaw, but I feel I’m not yet ready. Gusto ko munang ma-enjoy yung kung anong meron ako ngayon sa career ko.
Boo. But we must take our hats off to you for deciding that. Still, you must have a type, a kind of guy you’d want to date, eventually?
I think it’s too idealistic naman if sabihin ko exactly what type of guy. It really all depends if makakasundo ko siya. I want kasi friends muna, tapos hayaan na ma-develop, para natural yung chemistry, hindi pilit. Parang, I like this about him, kaya kami.
READ MEG IMPERIAL'S FULL INTERVIEW IN THE DECEMBER 2012 ISSUE OF FHM PHILIPPINES, NOW AVAILABLE IN DIGITAL EDITION AT SUMMIT NEWSSTAND, CLICK HERE!
PHOTOGRAPHY: PAOLO PINEDA
STYLING: ALYANNA MARTINEZ
MAKEUP: AMANDA PADILLA FOR MAYBELLINE
HAIR: AVRIL SEGUN
SPECIAL THANKS TO MR. VINCENT DEL ROSARIO, MS. CLAIRE DELA FUENTE, MHIT PIMENTEL, MR. CARLO CHUNGUNCO
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