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Bianca Umali: Her own woman


Turning 18 and gaining legal age status are all formality for actress Bianca Umali.

The Kambal Karibal star strikes someone as mature beyond her age. The teen star sat down with the press early this week to talk about her debut, happening tonight at a posh hotel in Mandaluyong.
She was not given to giggling whenever she was asked the requisite ''kilig'' questions surrounding her perennial TV partner Miguel Tanfelix. She would offer just a shy smile, and tell her excitement as it is without the additional squeal.
She also knows her priorities are not tied to anything tangible. In fact, she seems to be at a loss for material things she wants.
"I can't think of anything else. I don't know what I want. A lot of people ask me what I want as a gift. I can't think of anything, maybe because I don't have anything that I wish for. For now, I'm contented with everything that I have. I'm not looking for anything. If there are still things that are going to be given to me, I would be thankful, even if it's a simple gift," she said in Filipino.
Such was her honest answer, but the press continued to pry as they usually do. Her answers, though, were somewhat a surprise. Instead of wishing for luxurious items as a gift to herself or from her loved ones, she wishes she can afford time. "Maybe time to be able to go on a vacation outside of the country. I don't wish for anything material," she eventually conceded.
Her demeanor is not a surprise for those who have been keeping tabs on her. It is no secret that Bianca lost her parents at an early age. She grew up with her grandmother. It was her lola who raised her to be a fine young woman.
It must be why she had to grow up fast. Fancy birthdays were never her thing; her last memory of one was when she was seven years old, a time when her dad was still alive. It was a children's party held in a fast-food chain. After that, birthdays have become intimate with only friends and family.
She only agreed to a debut party because she was convinced that turning 18 is but once in a lifetime.
This in itself is telling: she had to be convinced that it will be a worthwhile event. And even if she gave in, she still showed she is her own woman.
"Everything's personalized," said Bianca about her coming-out party. There will be no unifying theme, she said, but everything including her gown designed by Dubai-based designer Fay Reyes, is all her. That's as far as she wanted to reveal, holding her own surprise, not budging with more details about her party.
At 18, she is considered as a promising star with a few projects already under her name. Since she started as a child star and is now transitioning to adulthood, what does she consider as her biggest achievement so far in such a short amount of time?
"I would say my biggest accomplishment is being independent. It's not that easy. I'm proud to say that I'm independent," she enthused. "This year, when I turn 18, I want to improve myself not just in terms of career, but in terms of what I can do. Self-improvement is my goal for this year."
Her debut signals a new chapter for Bianca. As a new chapter unfolds, she hopes to continue growing and fans and supporters can count on that. Among the must-watch for this young star are more out-of-the box projects, which she said includes her current role in top rating drama Kambal Karibal. Again without giving much details, she just said that she wants to pursue more challenging projects that she can sink her teeth into.



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