Carla Abellana on her screen partner-turned-avid suitor Geoff Eigenmann: "I know that regardless of what will happen, siya yung tipong tao na malalapitan ko for anything."

Photo: Noel Orsal

"Ang bilis! It's been a roller coaster ride! Sabi ko nga, 180-degree turn talaga, e—from a simple, quiet, normal life, then all of a sudden, public na."

Carla Abellana's eyes lit up and her dimples showed as she described her yearlong journey in showbiz. (CLICK HERE to read related article.)

"You seem to have made the right choice," PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) told the 21-year-old actress in an exclusive interview held at The Peninsula Manila hotel in Makati City.

Carla said, "Yes, hindi ko talaga inisip ang lahat ng ito—itong showbiz. But I grabbed the opportunity, and thank God, ang daming magagandang nangyayari."

GLOWING BEAUTY. Her Pond's White Beauty endorsement is the most recent addition to her portfolio. "Last year pa lang po, I was already informed by my manager, twice na. Talagang sinabi kong, 'Go for it,' since talagang this is my dream. I've been a loyal Ponds user, e," she beamed.

The daughter of actor Rey "PJ" Abellana added, "So we really prepared for it, ang daming time to prepare for it. We shot out of town for the provincial TVC [TV commercial], nag-shoot kami ng Manila TVC, 'tapos nag-pictorial kami twice. Andaming preparations for the endorsement and ngayon, formally, ilo-launch na siya this Sunday."

Her beauty was glowing and she gave a sweet smile upon hearing our comment, "May isa pang nagpapaganda...?" Could it be her screen partner Geoff Eigenmann?

"Yes, he's courting me," she said. She underlined that this was no gimmick.

"The courtship formally started this year lang, the start of this year," the granddaughter of '50s star Delia Razon confirmed. "May formal na gano'n, na talagang nagpaalam pa sa barkada ko. O, di ba, kilig. Haha. Nagpaalam pa sa tatlong best friends kong girls. May approval talaga, with the blessings of our families."

THE REAL SCORE. The Kapuso star put emphasis on the "start of this year." Carla said people might be thinking that the pair, who starred last year in the series Rosalinda, have been dating since end of 2009, but the real score then was purely friendship.

"Maraming nag-iisip na, 'Ow, last year pa 'yan, sila na sila na...' pero hindi. We've been really close lang talaga. Kasi he's the type of person na hindi mo makikita as a love team partner or as a crush or as a whoever leading man. Good friend, e, he's been very honest, a gentleman, open. Siya yung type na puwede mong sabihan ng kahit ano and he would give you advice, so I'm thankful for that."

And now that the son of Michael de Mesa and Gina Alajar has started courting her, how are things so far?

She answered, smiling, "Bahala siya sa buhay niya. Haha. No, we're okay. He's in the States now with his family, nagbabakasyon. Ayoko naman kasi masyadong distorbohin kasi enjoy naman siya with his family. And he'll be back naman next week, so pagbalik niya, work na naman kami."

Any chance of the friendship going to the next level?