Kris Bernal, Thea Tolentino and the women they consider role models

by Nikko Tuazon
Mar 22, 2019
(L-R) Kris Bernal looks up to fellow Kapuso actress Heart Evangelista (not in photo). Meanwhile, Thea Tolentino sees Carla Abellana (not in photo) as her role model.
PHOTO/S: @krisbernal / @theatolentino on Instagram

Female empowerment takes centerstage every March being the month that celebrates women.

This year, women's rights advocates around the world are pushing for the hashtag #BalanceForBetter which aims for a gender-balanced society.

The Philippine Commission on Women picked the theme #WomenMakeChange for this year's celebration of International Women's Month to "inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change."

The local enterainment scene is, of course, filled with women who have inspiring stories.

In line with this month's celebration, (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked several GMA-7 stars to name other women they look up to, and how they served as their inspiration.


Kris Bernal names fellow Kapuso star Heart Evangelista as her biggest idol.

The Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko actress explains via Instagram messaging, "Heart is a whole person, not just a pretty face.

"Mention her name and instantly you think of acting and beauty, but also humanitarian and animal cause."

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"What I love about her is she’s very passionate about helping people."

The 29-year-old Kapuso actress also admires Heart's compassion for animals.

"I also admire her love for animals through her #AdoptDontShop campaign. This has inspired others to consider adoption. Heart is a combination of smart, artistic, passionate, and driven.

"She has never been afraid to express herself, emotionally or artistically which help empower women to appreciate and embrace their own selves."


Meanwhile, Kris Bernal's Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko co-star Thea Tolentino looks up to Kapuso prime-time actress Carla Abellana.

Thea tells via Instagram, "Super bait niya, super fresh niya, di ba? Sana ganun ako lagi ka fresh kahit pag gising ko."

Thea has yet to work with Carla in a project, but the Protégé Season 2 winner has a lot to learn from her.

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She says, "Yung paano mag-manage—kasi ang tagal na niya sa showbiz. Kung paano makipag-usap sa mga tao.

"Kasi minsan may mga araw na hindi ako okay, e, pero kailangan pa rin nakangiti. Paano yun?"

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Sahaya actress Bianca Umali says her lola, Victorina Umali, is her "superhero."

Bianca explains via Instagram messaging, "My superhero is my grandmother who I call 'mama.'

"She has taught me everything and she is one of the reasons I am who I am today."

In a seperate interview with, Bianca says she also looks up to Sahaya, the character she's portraying.

"Kapag napanood o nakilala siya ng mga tao, makikita nila kung gaano niya kamahal yung kung anong meron siya.

"Things doesn't have to be big for her pero yung mga simpleng bagay na kahit... for example yung bangka niya or yung kwintas niya, sobrang malaking bagay yun para sa kanya.

"And kung paano niya ipaglalaban yung paniniwala, yung kultura, at yung pamilya niya, gagawin niya yun."

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Bianca Umali's love-team partner Miguel Tanfelix says his mom Mary Grace Tejeros tops the list of female figures he looks up to.

He explains, "Siyempre, ang dami ko natutunan sa kanya, and sa 20 years na nabubuhay ako, ang dami kong natutunan, ang dami kong gabay na nakuha sa kanya.

"She's very strong and inalagaan niya kaming mabuti ng mga kapatid ko, and mapagmahal siya."

One thing Miguel learned from his mom that he applies in life is to always be kind.

Miguel says, "Yung kahit anong gawin sa 'yo, maging mabait ka pa rin sa kapwa.

"Well siyempre may limitations pa rin tayo, pero as much as possible maging mabait ka.

"Kumbaga, ginawan ka ng masama... Binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng tinapay."

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Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix's Sahaya co-star Ashley Ortega picks her mom, Kathleen Nordstrom Samson, as her role model.

"If it wasn't for her, I'm not the person that I am now," she says in an exclusive interview with at Watsons Philippines' exclusive block screening for the movie Captain Marvel last March 6.

Ashley continued, "Being a strong woman 'cause she's a single mom. We're three, e, tatlo kaming magkakapatid.

"Ever since we were young, siya na yung nagpalaki sa amin, so she's a strong woman."

The 20-year-old actress also says she also adapted her mom's undaunted personality.

"Siguro yung pagiging tough, especially sa showbiz, maraming negative around, di ba?

"She taught me well... Actually, hindi naman niya tinuro, e, nakita ko lang sa kanya like growing up."

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Kyline Alcantara also picks her mom Rowena Alacantara as her biggest role model.

She explains, "My mama is my forever role model of course, before I idolize and look up to other women. It has always been her.

"What I am now as a person and as an artist is all because of her.

"If she didn't raise me to be brave and to conquer each trials with flying colors then I wouldn't be here.

"But, more than anything, my mother's courage is her trait that I admire the most."

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Newbie actor Joaquin Manasala looks up to Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot.

The 25-year-old model-actor admires Gal's determination and perseverance to achieve her dreams.

Joaquin tells, "From ano, from humble beginnings, naging super star siya, di ba?

"Mabilis yung pagsikat niya. Na-inspire ako sa kanya, gusto ko magtrabaho... ituloy ang hard work para makamit ko rin yun pangarap ko."

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David Licauco also picks his mom as his role model.

"My mom kasi, she's very prim and proper and she has her values even before pa."

The best lesson David learned from his mom is to always be passionate in every thing he does.

"My mom kasi is a very passionate person so I guess yun yung pinakamalaking lesson na inimpart niya sa akin, yung pagiging passionate niya.

"Na very important yung passion sa lahat ng ginagawa mo."

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(L-R) Kris Bernal looks up to fellow Kapuso actress Heart Evangelista (not in photo). Meanwhile, Thea Tolentino sees Carla Abellana (not in photo) as her role model.
PHOTO/S: @krisbernal / @theatolentino on Instagram
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