After going through a painful breakup, Nikki Gil is now back on her feet.
At a press lunch on November 6 at the Mango Tree Bistro in Trinoma, Quezon City, the singer-host-actress is blooming, spirited, and jovial.
She is obviously happy to receive a new blessing in her career in the form of a latest endorsement deal with clothing brand Maldita.
Add to that her new ABS-CBN teleserye Maria Mercedes, which is doing well.
Nikki says she is glad that she has freed herself from the hurt and pain caused by her recent separation from singer-host Billy Crawford.
DEALING WITH THE BREAKUP. It has taken nearly four months since the breakup before Nikki finally opens up to the press.
While she has kept mum about the reasons behind the breakup, she seems more comfortable now discussing her journey through heartache.
“It was a gradual thing,” Nikki tells PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), briefly describing how her relationship with Billy ended.
“It was a classic case, so by then, parang we had already been spending less and less time with each other, and I had already been, like, ‘What’s going on? What’s happening?’
"It was already there.
"And because I’m not clingy, I would try to keep myself busy while he would be doing something else.
“So, like, parang I was able to heal my own wounds by myself, because nga it was a gradual thing.”
In the beginning, Nikki says she tried to deal with the breakup as if nothing big happened.
She went straight back to work, even if she was still pained by the end of her five-year relationship.
She says, “Kasi, never akong nagka-cancel ng work for personal [matters]. Hindi ako iyong, ‘Hindi ako papasok kasi may pinagdadaanan ako.’ Never.”
But eventually, the pain became too unbearable.
“Noong hindi ko na mapaghiwalay [ang emotions sa work], umalis ako.
"Iyon iyong time na nag-States ako. Two weeks lang naman. I just needed to get away.
“Kasi akala ko nga, parang, pwede kong itawid na, 'Sige lang, work-work ako.' Akala ko okay iyong ‘Sige lang, dedmahin natin.’
“E, may MYX ako noon, e. So, sa MYX, parang ‘Hey guys!’ chuchuchu—energy!
“'Tapos, heto na: ‘Hey guys!’ ‘Tapos maya-maya, ‘Huhuhuhu…’
“Sabi ng boss ko, ‘Pauwiin niyo iyan. Pack up na.’ Kasi nakita naman nila na trinay ko naman, pero hindi talaga kaya.
“Iyong boss ko, sabi, ‘Tama na. Hindi puwede kasi hindi naman biro iyong pinagdaanan mo.’
“So, iyon, nakatulong. ‘Tapos pagbalik ko, I can talk about it na without being emotional.”
Nikki says she never planned to hide her story from the public: “Kasi, alam ko naman na part iyon ng trabaho ko, kailangan kong ibahagi ang personal life ko. Kailangan talaga, hindi puwedeng hindi.
“It’s just a matter of time, e, and now’s the right time because I’m okay na, I’m no longer emotional.
“I’m not gonna say anything that I will eventually regret kasi wala na ako sa peak ng emotion. Kasi ganoon iyon, e, di ba, kapag nasa peak ka ng emotion, baka kung anong masabi ko.”
And Nikki prefers that her emotions cool down before she faces the public.
During her two-week-long hiatus, she even stopped herself from using social media.
She explains, “No, that’s not the venue for me. Kasi, why would you… It doesn’t work for me.
“I have nothing against those who do it—that’s their account, they can do what they want—but, for me lang kasi, that’s a very real thing.
“I’d rather discuss it with people involved lang and not share it with the rest of the world.”
MOVING ON. Today, Nikki proudly shares her story about moving on, saying she wants to inspire others out there going through the same experience.
She says her journey begins with her letting go of the bitterness in her heart.
“Why? Because being bitter makes you ugly, and when you’re back in the market, you don’t want to be ugly,” Nikki says, laughing.
“So, parang for me, I’m just thinking that para huwag kang maging bitter, you should be thankful that these things happen, because an ex is always a step closer to who you’re really destined to be with.
“So, you know, when something like this happens, it means something good is coming your way.
“It prepared you for something better, for God’s best for you. So I just look at it that way because, you know, what’s the use of being bitter?
“I mean, it doesn’t help anyone, it doesn’t change anything. It just gives you the sucky feeling, and it leaves you thinking about it, then you get depressed and distracted.”
It helps that Nikki was never alone in dealing with the pain. Her family, of course, was there to back her up.
"Of course, they were also hurt because he was like family.
"But we just treated it like a death, the death of a relationship, the death of someone, iyong ganoon.
"Malungkot na pangyayari, pero wala tayong magagawa, we have to move on, life goes on.
"Of course, they were also very protective of me, and they were hurting with me, pero sila naman iyong talagang nakasalo diyan.
"They made sure na, may point na, 'Enough, let’s move on.'"
Nikki adds that pondering about what happened and giving your self time to mourn really helps.
But after a while, she says, you have to learn to pick yourself up from the fall, and stand and walk again.
“They say when you know what you deserve, you don’t look back. That’s what it is. Someone tweeted that to me, I can’t even remember who.
“I think that’s what helped me really move on from it.
"It’s because I know that I did not deserve what happened, so I’m able to pick up the pieces of my broken heart, and think, ‘I’m taking this somewhere else.’”
Does she have any regrets?
Nikki muses, “I’m a firm believer in destiny, in fate, and that everything happens for a reason. And I would like to believe that there’s a reason for why it happened.
“Of course, may regrets, na parang, 'Why did it have to last that long?'
"Sayang iyong time, when it could have ended two years and, you know, it went on for five, so may ganoon.
“But then, you know, God is the author of our stories. There’s a reason for why it was written that way, and I just have to accept it and take from it what I can, and just try it out again and get it right next time.
“I’m sure a lot of women can relate to that, and I just wanna turn it into something good.
“Maraming nagtu-tweet sa akin that they’re going through the same thing.
"I just want to encourage them that it’s not the end of the world, that you can bounce back just as quickly as I have been able to, and life goes on and you learn to be happy.”