Actress Angelu de Leon admitted she felt so down after her second Bell's Palsy attack last November 2016 that she almost left show business.
She told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at a recent press conference for Mulawin vs. Ravena, "Kasi may moments talaga na na-depress ako, parang sinabi ko, what if hindi na bumalik yung face ko."
How did she overcome depression?
"I would let it get to me for a time. Pag naiyak ako, iiyak ako, but I didn't show it to my kids.
"My husband would sometimes see it, pero hindi nagpapa-baby, sinasabihan ko na huwag niyo i-baby, don't make me feel...
"After noon, hinga ako, magpe-pray na ako 'tapos magbabasa ako ng Bible. Then this came in.
"Wala akong hindi maigo-glorify, si God. This is all by grace."
Then she resolved to act.
She said, "Kailangan may back-up ka, di ba? Kahit naman may faith ka, hindi naman siya pwedeng blind faith, na parang... I know a lot of people are praying for me."
That was also when she hit upon the idea of putting up a business.
Angelu continued, "Eventually, sabi ko lang, parang kailangan kong humanap ng ibang business.
"I would even advise it to healthy young girls or everyone.
"Para maging wealthy ka, you have to have five sources of income. Wealthy, ha. Hindi lang yung hindi ka lang komportable."
But then, she was offered a good role in Mulawin vs. Ravena.
In the show, she portrays the human Lourdes, a role first played by Amy Austria in the 2004 version.
"Sobra akong fortunate kasi I want to think that alam nila yung pinagdaanan ko, di ba?
"And to be offered this after kong… hindi pa nga ako masyadong magaling noon when they offered it, e.
"I also accepted it because, sabi ko, it's a good role and an opportunity [too good] to pass up...isang beses lang ito dadating sa 'yo, yung mga ganitong roles."
Angelu said she prayed first before making a decision about the project.
She related, "Pinagdasal ko rin. Sabi ko, ready na ba? Pag nakita ba nila yung face ko, would they know the difference?
"Meron pa ring konti pero sabi ko, 'Kebs! Hangga't humihinga, hangga't kaya mo magtrabaho, go, fight!'"
Angelu's faith also kept her strength despite the depression that came along with her condition.
The 37-year-old actress said, "Prayer, worship, faith. Kasi it really comes, e. It really haunts you.
"Kasi parang, what if. For me, what ifs are demons in your life and it really gets to you if you're weak in faith, pag wala ka.
"Kasi obviously, you'll always have that family. Pero kung spiritually, you're dead, ang hirap niyang labanan.
"Small voices in your head, it's telling na what if. It will come."
In the June 21 episode of Mulawin vs. Ravena, Angelu was seen doing a crying scene. She was also aware that the part of her face affected by Bell's Palsy would come out on the screen.
She wrote on Instagram, "I also noticed na pinakahalata yung bells palsy sa face ko with this scene (I hope it didn't bother you last night).
"There are still some movements on my face that are weak and i get (super) conscious of it some (most of the) time but it should not stop me from doing what i LOVE to do. (PUSH LANG ANGELU!)"
Watching the particular scene reminded Angelu of the Bible Verse 2 Corinthians 12:9 which talked about weaknesses.
She then continued, "In my weakness i will give God the glory na naitawid namin ng maayos ang eksena at nagpapasalamat ako sa talentong binigay niya sa akin at higit sa lahat sa suportang nakuha ko sa LAHAT ng kasama ko sa show, sa mga bosses sa GMA at sa mga sumusuporta sa Mulawin vs Ravena. (Special thanks to my family of course!)
"Life does not need to be perfect, it NEEDS to have a purpose. Kaya PUSH (PRAY until something happens) everything will turn out good according to His purpose."
Angelu is still under medication, and undergoing therapy to complete her healing.