Kristoffer Martin unusually chose to spend his birthday alone on Wednesday, November 20.
He turned 19—marking his final year as a teenager.
The always gregarious Kristoffer, who stood out in the Kapuso network’s batch of Tween Hearts stars, said that it was his own request to his parents to have the day to himself.
He was thankful that his family understood.
“Iyon kasi iyong gusto ko. Gusto ko hanapin iyong sarili ko.
"Iyon talaga iyong purpose ng birthday ko for me,” he pensively told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an interview on November 22, two days after his special time-off-from-the-world day.
On his birthday, he woke up to balloons and a birthday cake in their living room, which his parents arranged.
After blowing the candles, they let him drive off “to find himself.”
In spite of wanting to go solo that day, Kristoffer was grateful for the love they showed.
“Natuwa ako kasi iyon iyong bumungad sa araw ko…
“Pero, gusto ko pa rin panindigan na sosolohin ko mag-isa iyong birthday ko,” Kristoffer said, sans his ready smile.
When he was finally alone that day, he said that he heard mass, let time pass in Eastwood, Quezon City, and ate at his favorite restaurant, Cerchio, in Tomas Morato.
He ended his day at the Sayaw Pilipinas benefit concert for the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda.
“I want to find myself, iyong nawala,” he reiterated.
Two months after his relationship with young Kapuso actress Joyce Ching ended, Kristoffer is undergoing a phase.
“Siguro kasi, ano, masyado kong sineryoso ang lahat-lahat.
“Siguro, nawalan ako ng oras para sa sarili ko. Pero I have no regrets.
“Siguro, iyon lang iyong na-realize ko na after what happened to us, parang nahirapan akong umangat, nahirapan ako...”
YOUNG COUPLE. In a July 2013 interview by GMANetwork.com, Kristoffer said he and Joyce first met in 2010, while working on the soap opera Endless Love.
He recalled that Joyce had read him a Bible passage while the two were hanging out on the set. That gesture moved Kristoffer.
“Na-build iyong feelings ko sa kanya noong binasahan niya ako ng verse ng Bible. Iyon, doon ako tinamaan.
“Parang naisip ko, 'Pinadala ka ba ng Diyos sa akin? Anghel ka ba?'”
He would eventually ask Joyce if he could court her, but being both too young at that time—they were still in high school—the chinita beauty refused.
Not one to easily give up, Kristoffer pursued Joyce, and eventually, she said yes.
The co-GMA talents would deny being in a relationship for a long while.
They would finally become comfortable admitting they were a couple only this year.
In an interview by PEP.ph last July, Kristoffer talked about how seriously he takes his relationship with Joyce.
He said he is one to give his best to make a relationship work.
“Lalo na kapag nakapag-pondo na kayo sa isa’t isa, at maayos naman iyong foundation nito, hindi ka na dapat natatakot dahil matagal na kayo.
“Kasi, di ba, kaya nga tumatagal ang isang relasyon dahil mahal na mahal mo yung girlfriend mo, 'tapos mapupunta rin pala sa wala?”
In October , both Kristoffer and Joyce would admit in the round of interviews that their relationship is going through a rough patch.
By November, the young couple’s split would fill the headlines.
COPING. Barely two months since their reported split, Kristoffer is finding it difficult to get back on his feet.
He finds it surreal how he manages to get through each day.
“Actually, hindi ko rin nga alam, e. Kasi parang every time na gigising ako, parang ang bigat agad.
“It’s always like that. It’s been going for like two, three months na.
“Parang I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to make myself happy.
“So, iyon lang, naramdaman ko na sobrang down kong tao these past few months.
“Sana mahanap ko rin iyong happiness na hinahanap ko.
“Sana mahanap ko rin. Alam ko andiyan lang siya. At konti-konti, konti-konti.”
Going to school has become a breather for the actor.
Kristoffer, who is taking up his undergraduate entrepreneurship degree in the San Beda College in Mendiola, Manila, said: “Buti nga may school ako, e. Nababaling ko kahit papa’no iyong attention ko, e.
“Mas na-e-enjoy ko iyong school. Sayang nga T-Th [Tuesday, Thursday] lang schedule ko, e.
"Siguro kung every day iyon, baka limot ko na agad iyong problema!”
His schoolmates have been good company lately.
He remarked, “Pag nasa school ako, belong ako, e. Parang tao lang ako.
“Di ko maramdaman iyong problema ko sa buhay. Hindi ko maramdaman, walang labelling na artista ka. Lahat pantay-pantay.
“Iyon ang gusto ko sa San Beda. Although may nakakakilala, mostly mga first year.
“Pero most of them, friendly, kilala ako, pero hindi naman sila yung nandudumog. So, happy ako sa gano’ng environment.”
BEST FRIENDS. Kristoffer did not deny that Joyce is still special to him. He said that although they have mutually decided to end their relationship, their friendship remains.
The young actor admitted that Joyce is still his confidant.
“Ang status namin ngayon, we’re best friends. Pero we make it a point na hindi kami lalagpas do’n muna.
“Actually, mahirap nga siya, pero ngayon iyong communication namin less. Sobrang less.
“Minsan, dumadaan iyong isang week na hindi kami nagkaka-text. For us to grow din.”
“Kasi mamaya, masyado kaming nakakapit, e. Mamaya, masyado kaming maging kampante.”
While many have advised against keeping their communication lines open, Kristoffer feels that no one really has a full grasp of what he is going through.
“Ang daming nagsasabi sa akin na hindi dapat ganito iyong ginagawa ko sa buhay ko.
“Pero alam mo, iyong kahit sabihin mong sinasabi nila, siyempre hindi rin nila alam iyong pinagdadaanan mo, e.”
He aims to be happy, he said. But right now, he is still coming to terms with the breakup.
“I want to be happy because I know I deserve to be happy. Everyone deserves to be happy.
“Pero hindi ko pa lang talaga kaya ngayon. Although nagiging masaya [na ako], pero hindi pa buo.”
EXPECTATIONS AT 19. Kristoffer knows he will get through this phase. He expects himself to become more mature now that he just turned 19.
“Kasi may mga immature things din ako na ginagawa pa. Nari-realize ko pag alam kong mali na.”
He also wishes for “peace of mind.”
“Kasi before, ako iyong tipong lalaki na lahat ng gusto ko, gagawin ko. Lahat, as in lahat.
“Wala akong iisipin kung, ‘Kaya ko ba ito? Kasi ganyan-ganyan.’
“Gagawin ko [dahil] masaya ako. Pero ngayon, ewan ko kung bakit nawala.”
He figured out that he lost his drive along the way.
“Iyon pala iyong nawala sa akin, iyong pagiging ma-push ko sa sarili ko. Masyado kasi akong naging dependent sa mga bagay-bagay….
“Iyong happiness ko naka-depende sa [ibang] tao.”