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Roll with it

Life is all about opposites. Every good comes with the bad, and triumph tastes so much better following a series of defeats. Falling down is hard but we must learn to roll with the punches as the stars themselves will tell you.

MARK HERRAS
Mark grew up never wanting for anything. His parents were doing well in business and everything was being served to him on a silver platter.

That all changed, however, in a blink of an eye. When he reached 16, his father invested most of their money in a scheme that bankrupted the family.

Hard as it was, it proved to be a boon in the end as it prompted Mark to join “StarStruck,” the reality-based talent-search show of GMA 7. He won.

With the success, though, came the women. Among those that were romantically linked to the dancer-actor through the years were Jennylyn Mercado, Ryza Cenon, Cristine Reyes, Rhian Ramos, and Marian Rivera. He was eventually tagged a playboy.

Later, Mark got his handler pregnant. It was the biggest controversy he faced in his career and everyone thought it was over for him – save that Mark is not one to give up easily. He faced the music and his fans stood by his side.

Today, Mark is busy as ever. Apart from continued appearances on TV, he has also put up a gym with friends.

“Sobrang happy ako sa buhay ko ngayon,” Mark said in a recent interview. “Lahat kasi parang ang ganda ng nangyayari like may mga shows ako tapos ito nga ’yung gym, imagine in one month binalik kaagad ’yung investment namin.”

The 30-year-old credits his good fortune to girlfriend Winwyn Marquez with whom he is now engaged.

“Nakakabilib siya, nakakahawa ’yung vibes niya,” he said. “Laking pasalamat ko na dumating siya sa buhay ko.”

Does this mean he doesn’t look at other girls anymore?

“Ah wala, wala, matanda na ako para diyan,” he maintained. “Kaya nga engaged na eh.”

Told how his story could inspire others who are going through a rough patch, Mark smiled and said, “Ganyan lang naman ang buhay. Sa bawat pagsubok, dapat tuloy-tuloy ka lang.”

KATRINA HALILI
Like Mark, Katrina first gained notice via “StarStruck.”

She went on to gain even more fame for her shapely curves, appearing in the cover of many men’s magazines, most of which would hail her sexiest of all. This led to many TV and movie assignments along with profitable endorsements.

But then a controversy came along that almost crushed Katrina’s career. The industry rallied behind her and soon she was on her feet again.

Today, Katrina, a single mom, is still at it and doing well.

“Ang goal ko ngayon ay ang maki-lala bilang versatile actress,” she said. “’Yun tipong kahit anong role kayang gawin, kahit mapa-drama o comedy pa ’yan.”

Katrina has also invested in a small resort in her native Palawan.

“Malakas kami ngayon, summer eh,” she enthused.

If the 31-year-old is working harder than she ever did, it is because of her child, now four years old.

“Siya ang dahilan kung bakit patuloy akong nagpupursige at ayokong mawala sa focus.”

Katrina wants to set a good example to her daughter, noting, “Simula nu’ng dumating siya sa buhay ko, gusto ko lahat ng pinapasok ko, lahat ng ginagawa ko tama.”

KIM DOMINGO
Kim is among fastest rising stars today, thanks in part to her killer curves.

She’s no overnight sensation, however.

“High school pa lang ako noon, pa extra-extra sa mga ilang shows, mga teleserye, pero hanggang du’n lang,” Kim shared. “Nag-dancer din ako noon sa ‘Wil Time Bigtime,’ nag-modeling… maraming beses din akong na-reject like sa mga artista search, reality shows.

That time, feeling ko, parang wala na talagang pag-asa.”

Thanks to social media, she is now a bonafide celebrity, juggling TV shows, movies and endorsements galore.

“Nakapagpundar na rin ako ng bahay, isa sa lola ko, tapos isa din sa akin,” she related.

But success comes with a price and for Kim, it came in the form of seemingly unending online bashing.

“Masakit lalo na at kung ano-ano ang sinasabi ng iba pero hindi ko na lang pinapansin,” she said. “Ang sa akin nagtratrabaho lang naman ako, nangangarap ng mabigyan ng maayos na buhay ang sarili ko at pamilya ko.”

Many people don’t know that behind the beautiful face is a sad story.

“Maliit pa ako nang naghiwalay ang tatay at nanay ko,” Kim related.

“Lumaki akong hindi ko kilala ang tatay ko. Ang meron lang ako ay isang lumang picture niya.”

Kim has been making efforts to touch base with her father, a Frechman, admitting, “kahit siguro saan ako makarating sa buhay parang hindi kumpleto, may kulang.”

Her toiling is yet to bear fruit but Kim is hopeful.

“Siguro matanda na siya ngayon pero hindi ako mag-gi-give-up, naniniwala ako mabibigyan ako ng pagkakataon na makilala man lang siya kahit paano.” (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan) (NR Ramos)

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