During her Tropang Potchi days, Bianca Umali said she was a "loser."
She was then nine years old.
During her interview for the Main Attraction of PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), she related, "Kumbaga lahat sila mayayaman, ako yung pinaka-poor. Ganun.
"Sobrang loser ko dati, as in ang baduy ko, walang pumapansin sa akin, wala akong alam, kahit music, wala akong alam na brands, yung hair ko noon, sobrang panget pa, and then ang kasama ko noon, lola ko."
Bianca was orphaned when she was 10, the age when her dad died due to heart attack. She lost her mom to breast cancer when was five.
She continued, "And then how I dressed up, alam mo yung laking lola? Nakatakong ako 'tapos yung mga damit ko noon, galing palengke or ukay-ukay, kasi wala pa naman, hindi ko pa afford, e.
"'Tapos dati, noong times ng Potchi, lahat noong mga kasama ko, yung mga damit nila, sponsored."
Didn't she have a sponsor?
Her clothes were bought by her paternal grandmother, Lola Victorina.
"Super duper baduy ko! 'Tapos kunyari, magthu-Thursday pa lang, bago mag-Thursday, weekends, ganyan, yung lola ko nasa palengke, mag-church kami 'tapos tuwang-tuwa ako, 'pag uuwi siya sa bahay, may dala siyang plastic ng mga bagong damit.
"'Tapos alam niyo yung plastic na galing talagang palengke, yung green na sobrang nipis na ang bilis mabutas, 'tapos yung aamuyin mo, amoy ukay-ukay? Ganon! Sobrang tuwang-tuwa na ako noon.
'Tapos yung shoes ko noon, siguro mga tatlo lang na paulit-ulit habang sila naka-Converse, naka-Adidas."
Her cast mates in the children's show were Sabrina Mannn, Miggy Jimenez, Ella Cruz, and Julian Trono.
The Kapuso actress also remembered the girls having an accessory box, "Ang dami nilang kuwintas, ako, wala. Kahit ni isa, wala."
Nine years later, Bianca is already among GMA-7's reliable leading ladies.
At 18, she's already living independently, and managing her own finances.
Now that she has more money, does she shop a lot? Her answer was no.
She does not splurge on clothes and shoes?
"Ay wala," she replied, before adding, "Alam mo, I don't know if it's like a trait or what, pero hindi ako materialistic na tao...
"Ako, hindi ako mahilig sa shoes. Hindi ako mahilig sa accessories, hindi ako mahilig mag-ayos ng sarili ko."
In short, "Wala akong luho."
But she won't think twice spending on two items, with food being the first one.
"Pagkain, oo, sige, pero kasi natutunan ko na okay lang gumastos sa food."
Another necessity for her: Books!
Bianca remarked, "Books lang ang luho ko, yun lang ang gastos ko. Like when I go to a bookstore, as in I hoard. Kaya when you go inside my room, ang dami kong books na bago pa.
"Kasi pag nag-shopping ako, as in ang daming libro, like 10 books or more, 'tapos hindi ko pa siya nababasa lahat. Kahit na ang dami ko pang hindi nababasa, nagho-hoard na ako ulit ng mga libro. Yun na yung luho ko."