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Now that she's 18, Isabelle Abiera stressed that her priority is her career. "Gusto ko muna bigyan ng time ang career ko, kasi, di ba, pag love life puro love-love na lang? Kailangan araw-araw kayo magkita. Like sa ngayon, gusto ko, araw-araw may trabaho," she says.

 

Photo: Noel B. Orsal

With 1930's Hollywood Glamour as the theme of the party and Greta Garbo as her peg, Isabelle Abiera will completely embrace another chapter of her life as she turns 18 this Sunday, August 29, at the Grand Ballroom of Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City.

The 5'6" stunner with Irish-Italian blood is a standout in the crowd. She is often mistaken as one of those Brazilian models that recently swamped the Philippines. But she proudly claims she's Filipino.

Isabelle was just 13 when she was launched as a Star Magic Batch 15 member. She did small roles in ABS-CBN's Astigs and Abt Ur Luv and a hosting stint in Channel V. However, her showbiz career was put on a hold when she left for U.S. She also had braces and put on some weight during that time.

Without the braces and a more svelte figure, Isabelle made a comeback into the industry as one of the regular hosts of the defunct noontime program Wowowee, followed by an acting stint as the villain in the afternoon soap Rosalka.

THE DEBUT. Complementing her personal style and the theme of the party, the debutante will wear a gown by Edgar Allan.

Her escort for that night will be her Rosalka co-star, Felix Roco.

During her solo conference yesterday, August 23, Isabelle was asked if there's a budding romance between her and Felix. She replied, "Alam kong pang-showbiz yung sagot, pero wala talaga and hindi din siya nanliligaw." Besides, Felix is rumored to be going out with Kapuso young actress Glaiza de Castro.

When asked again if she has any suitors, Isabelle answered in a matter-of-fact tone: "Wala, feeling ko, baka natatakot sa akin kasi matangkad ako." She added that her priority now is her career.

Aside from Felix, her other 18 roses are Dominic Ochoa (who played  the role of her father in Rosalka), Lloyd Zaragoza, Alfonso Martinez (her first love-team partner in Abt Ur Luv), Matt Evans, and some personal friends. She would also ask Star Magic head Johnny Manahan to be her first dance. She looks up to Mr. M as her father since she grew up not having contact with her biological father.

Other celebrities who are expected to dress up like Holywood stars in Isabelle's debut are Coco Martin, Sam Concepcion, Andi Eigenmann, Empress, Megan Young, Lauren Young, Nikki Bacolod, Maricar de Mesa, RR Enriquez, Carmen Soo, Jed Montero, and Valerie Concepcion.

SERIOUS IN ACTING. Now that she will be turning 18, Isabelle plans to take the business of acting seriously. She reveals that she prefers acting more than hosting because as an actress she "could challenge herself in things she thinks she is not capable."

When she was in the States for a year, she auditioned for some Disney shows but realized she is really a Filipina.

"Iba pa din talaga yung humor natin dito, hindi ko minsan masakyan doon. And I want to really be a serious actress and hindi lang 'yong pa-tweetums-tweetums," she said.

Isabelle, who is a niece of former actress Ana Abiera, also said that if she could have the time and the resources, she would want to take acting courses in the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York. Some alumnae of this institution are Claire Danes, Angelina Jolie, Scarlet Johannson, and Uma Thurman.