IN BEAUTY: Sheena Halili

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Sheena went on a brief hiatus after StarStruck, then made a comeback a few years later via Marimar, followed by Ako Si Kim Sam Soon. "Hinintay ko ang work," she says. "'Yon talaga ang nangyari, aminin na natin 'yan."

But she's grateful for the years when she was out of the limelight: "Alam mo, na-experience ko 'yong walang work. So papahalagahan mo trabaho mo ka


Sheena Halili was Ms. Comedy for as long as she can remember. The trouble is, she made people laugh even if that wasn't her intention.

"No'ng high school, comedy daw ako talaga," she recalls. "Di ba, pag high school, kapag may nagtatampo, kailangan buong grupo nandiyan, magsasabi kayo ng sama ng loob n'yo? Kapag turn ko na, umiiyak ako, pero sila tumatawa. Kasi nga daw nakakatawa 'yong facial expressions ko—'yong mga sinasabi kong words na parang bigla na lang daw lumalabas sa akin."


She had the same effect on her family: "Laging may mga hirit ako na natatawa sila na hindi ko naman alam na nakakatawa!"


Sheena, the eldest in a brood of three, tells YES! she's the only comedian in the family. Her parents and her two younger brothers are usually serious. "Si Mommy, hindi ganito. Nagagalit nga siya sa akin. 'Babae ka ba o bakla?' tanong niya sa akin. Minsan, may sinasabi kasi ako na hindi naman daw dapat sabihin sa edad ko, dahil babae ako at ang liit-liit kong tao. Si Daddy, hindi naman kikay siyempre, di ba?"


Her knack for comedy, however, came in handy when she auditioned for the reality-TV show StarStruck. At that time, she was a skilled model and dancer, but was a complete neophyte when it came to acting. This was when her kikayness helped her pull through. She came up with a monologue that had the audiences in stitches. It went something like this: "Hay, naku, ang ganda-ganda ko! O, bakit kayo nakatingin diyan? Bakit kayo tumatawa?" That earned her a slot in StarStruck.


How she learned about her inclusion in the show is a scene straight out of Sheena Universe.


"May mga perya, di ba, sa eskwelahan? Foundation Day yata 'yon o intrams. Nando'n ako sa taas, nakasakay ako no'n sa octopus, 'tapos nalaman ko. Sumigaw ako: 'Ahhhh! Tigil n'yo 'to! Tigil n'yo 'to!' Tumigil talaga. 'Tapos, bumaba ako. Nagtatalon na ako: 'Nakapasok ako sa StarStruck!' Kajologan, e, pero totoo, di ba?"

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MISS SENSITIVE. Because of her bubbly personality, it took a while for Sheena to learn to cry in front of the cameras. But she later discovered a sure-fire method that helps her to this day: "Kung sino-sino 'yong iniisip ko na mga mawawala sa buhay ko."


It also helps that she's inherently sensitive. "Totoo, sensitive ako. Kaunting ano lang.... ay! Affected ako kapag minsan tatawagin ka ng fans: 'Sheena!' 'Tapos, hindi mo sila naririnig. Sasabihin, 'Uy, ano 'yan, suplada naman!'"


Sheena says she tries to be nice, but thinks that acting like Ms. Congeniality 24/7 is a tall order. "Feeling nila, pag artista ka, hindi ka na puwedeng sumimangot. Hindi nila naiintindihan na tao lang din lang kami. May mga tao pa minsan na hindi nice sa 'yo."


Hurtful experiences such as these are among the memories she taps into during dramatic scenes.


That showbiz is not for the faint-hearted is a fact that Sheena has learned to cope with. "Natutunan ko, maging strong dapat. Ipakita mong matatag ka, ipakita mo na may desisyon ka para sa sarili mo."


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