Rica Peralejo excitedly tells PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) about her new career—a college freshman at the Ateneo de Manila University.
She happily narrates, "I remember distinctly that last January, the girl from Ateneo na tinanungan ko kung kailan lalabas ‘yong [Ateneo College Entrance Test] results, sabi niya baka February 14. And then I said bago ako matulog, sabi ko, ‘Lord, I came by faith na ito na ‘yong pa-Valentine's mo sa akin.' I slept na.
"And when I woke up, first text I got from my mom was ‘CONGRATS!'—all caps. And then I knew right away kung ano ‘yon. Confirmed na pumasa nga ako, Creative Writing."
The 26-year-old actress added, "Kinabahan pa ako. ‘Yong nilagay kong second choice, Psychology. Noong na-pass ko na, doon ko lang naisip na, ‘Hay naku, ang syonga-syonga mo naman, o! ‘Yon pang quota course ang nilagay mo sa second choice!' Sabi ko, 'baka ito pa ‘yong reason kung bakit hindi pa ako makapasa!'"
GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. Rica admits that she is very excited to go back to school.
"It has always been my dream, more than being famous or anything else. I'd be a student talaga. Parang ako nga kung magkakaroon ako ng heaven, it would look like campus grounds. You know kasi, I'm so much of a student. I'm a learner. I'm very young inside," she explains.
She added, "It's something that I really want my kids to see about me. You know, they can take everything away from you, but the knowledge that you have, the education—and it's very important the kind of school you're in, the values of that school, if they revere to the God you worship, di ba? ‘Yon yung very important sa akin."
Rica takes a more jolly tone.
"Grabe ‘yong dream ko talaga! Grabe ‘yong fire inside of me to go back to school kasi, e! E, I never got the chance lang," she exclaims.
Rica explains that her whole high school life is very different than most people.
"I was under home study for two years, and the other two years I took PEPT [Philippine Educational Placement Test]. So can you imagine, four years of no formal schooling and I passed Ateneo! I'm like, ‘Wait, this is clearly not me!'" she managed to joke.
CAREER VS. SCHOOL. Rica currently stars in ABS-CBN's Sineserye Presents: Palimos ng Pag-ibig, which will premiere on March 5. The soap opera will run for six weeks.
She says her career will have to take a backseat when the school year starts.
She explained, "I'll be very honest, if they want to negotiate with me and my schedule, why not? But starting June, my life is going to be school. If they want to be second or after that, I don't want to be unfair also, 'di ba?
"Hindi naman ako magko-commit sa isang bagay na hindi naman pala ako puwedeng mag-commit 100 percent. If they're willing to make me commit 30 percent lang, I'm blessed."
Rica reiterates how important education is for her.
"It's not a fallback. Pag-aartista is my fallback. It's the other way around," she stressed."I'm always gonna be an artista. I'm always going to be a performer, but I'm pretty sure that my purpose is way beyond this. God is not limiting me. Why should I limit myself, 'di ba?" ended Rica.