Sweet-faced Meg Imperial, to those who have not seen her in the Joel Lamangan movie Menor de Edad, gives off the impression of innocence, a newbie in the entertainment circuit.
But in Menor De Edad, Meg was able to play the troubled young Jen, who struggles in an impoverished life with her abusive mother and her lesbian lover. Jen tries to escape her miserable household by joining an all-girl clique whose initiation ritual requires her to sleep with her male teacher (played by Wendell Ramos), who does not cooperate.
Jen cries rape to get back at her teacher for pushing her away. The legal battle that ensues gets media attention, and from there it's all downhill leading to a more sinister fate for Jen in the end.
Having pulled off the challenging role of Jen with flying colors, the 20-year-old Meg has earned the respect of her colleagues.
An acknowledged talent, Meg is not one to wave her accomplishments about. She is simply grateful that the risks she took—accepting a daring role in Menor De Edad, transforming herself from babe to bombshell in FHM’s December 2012 cover and transferring from TV5 to the ABS-CBN network—had all been worth it.
The actress tells PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that after signing a two-year contract with the Kapamilya network, she was immediately cast in two episodes of Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episodes and in the teleserye, Galema.
Galema, which stars young actress Andi Eigenmann, is an afternoon soap that began airing last September 1. Meg plays the antagonist to Andi’s character in the teleserye.
Despite all that, the actress, who started out as a model, feels she isn’t quite there yet. “Nandon ako sa point na kailangan i-push pa para maka-level,” Meg admits.
She relates the advice of her manager, Viva Entertainment’s big boss, Vic Del Rosario.
“Sabi nila Boss Vic sa akin, hot daw yung ABS-CBN para sa akin kasi I’m new.
“Sabi nila, ‘Kailangan galingan mo nang galingan. Pakita mo sa kanila na worth it yung pinapakita nila sayong pangangalaga.’”
LESBIAN ROLE. Slowly, with hard work, she is determined to reach the pinnacle of her acting career.
Meg says she does not mind working most days of the week. She tapes for Galema Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And every Tuesday and Friday, she shoots for the book-to-film project, ABNKKBSNPLako?!
“Natutuwa ako sa everyday na meron akong ginagawa. Kasi before, [I keep] waiting and waiting, di ba?
“So, at least ngayon, yung everyday ko, meron akong pinupuntahan na work!”
The actress says she is ecstatic that she is a part of ABNKKBSNPLako?!, a comedy/drama movie in the making based on the popular novel by the recluse Bob Ong. The book wistfully weaves the memories of the author from when he was an elementary student to his early days as a writer.
In the film, Meg plays the role of Portia, who became a lesbian after her best friend, the character of Jericho Rosales, rejected her during their growing up years.
“Nagkagusto ako nung bata ako sa kanya. But na-reject niya ako kaya naging lesbian ako in the process—as in nanliligaw ng babae, nagkaka-girlfriend!
“Ganun yung role ko, imagine?,” Meg relates, half-giggling.
Does she feel uncomfortable about the role? She says:
“Hindi, kasi one of dream roles ko yan!
“Ever since nung bata ako, gusto ko siya ma-try sa TV or sa movie na i-play yung pagiging tomboy.
“Kasi sobrang babae ako lagi!”
Doll-eyed and foxy, Meg is a shoe in for baddy roles. With her mestiza features, the actress can just be handed one kontrabida role after another, which was the case when she was in TV5’s Glamorosa and now in ABS-CBN’s Galema.
ONE OF THE BOYS. Meg reveals that she relates more to boys than to girls, which may be a drawback in a new environment.
In ABS-CBN, for instance, Meg says she has not mingled with the other female talents because, one, she isn’t the type to force a conversation with people she barely knows and, two, befriending girls does not come easy with her.
But there are women whom she professes to admire. She mentions the actresses Kristine Hermosa and Dawn Zulueta.
Meg then opens up about her natural ability to connect with the opposite sex.
The young actress blurts out, “I’m one of the boys kasi! So, if may makaka-close ako, unang-una niyan, mga lalaki.
“Ako kasi kung makipag-usap ako, para akong lalaki. Pag yung topics pa, pambabae, hindi ako minsan maka-relate."
To Meg, girls have the tendency to be exclusive, preferring the company of their most trusted set of friends. In her view, boys, for some reason, are more expansive.
She explains, “Ang boys, open, though wala silang ime-mention na name, kiss and tell or something, pero they will share their experience, which is for me, na-a-appreciate ko kasi nalalaman ko yung iniisip ng mga lalaki.
“Gustong-gusto ko talaga siya. Parang getting to know the other side!
“Siguro pag nagka-relationship ako, alam ko yung ikikilos ko.
“Alam ko yung sensitive side nila, di ba? At least less yung drama and all.”
A THREAT TO GIRLS? Doesn’t it worry her, that being a guy’s best friend may be misconstrued and get her into trouble, especially with girlfriends who may see her as a threat?
The actress dismisses the notion and assures that she knows her boundaries as she herself draws the line of platonic friendship with her guy pals.
“Ayaw ko makasira ng relationship. Ayaw ko rin ng gano’n e, na pinagseselosan ako.
“Iwas ako sa gano’n.
“Kahit best friend ko siya, hindi na kami ganun ka-close kasi meron na siyang love life,” she declares.
ADVISE FROM A GIRL PAL. Being in the know about how guys usually feel in relationships and what they repetitively complain about their girlfriends, Meg hands three pieces of advice to girlfriends who want to keep their men.
First, know your men well—know the little things that make them happy and what little things tick them off or make them angry.
“Kailangan ganun, e. May ingat factor din. Hindi lang sila mag-iingat for you,” the actress cautions.
Second, be a mystery to your significant other. Men, according to Meg, want challenge and the way to do it in a relationship is to keep them pursuing you.
She stresses, “Ang gusto ng lalaki, mystery. [Importante na] ma-maintain yung mystery sa isang babae.
“Parang in the process, every day may nalalaman [pa] sila sayo.
“Kasi kung isang araw pa lang, alam na nila lahat sayo, ano pa yung tutuklasin nila sayo? Hindi na sila interested!”
Third, be fair in the relationship. Meg says, it’s perfectly fine to make the effort sometimes.
“Siguro yung [dapat] equal yung trato niyo. Hindi [ikaw] lang magpapaamo, yung puro siya yung magso-sorry.
“You have to say sorry din if na-offend mo siya or something like may naggawa kang kahit na maliit na bagay.”
An important point, Meg says, is it’s okay to be the one to ask the guy out for a date: “Kasi kinikilig din ang lalaki. At least kahit minsan marinig nila na gano’n. Kikiligin sila!
“Nagsasawa din yung lalaki kung wala ring effort ang lalaki, parang hindi worth it yung pinapakita nila sayo.
“Konting effort lang na parang meron din siyang aabangan sayo.”