Aside from being a devoted mom to son Jacobo and wife to businessman turned Davao del Norte representative Anton Lagdameo, Dawn Zulueta is taking her newfound role as a social activist very seriously.
"Na-achieve ko ‘yong role ko as a mom and I have a role as a wife. All of those pinangarap ko ‘yan and now another role that I really want to do, which I'm pursuing currently, is helping people," shared Dawn today, March 25, during a special press conference tendered by Unilab at the 9501 restaurant in ABS-CBN, Quezon City.
Dawn is the lead endorser of Unilab's Myra E along with model Isabel Roces, athlete-host Reema Chanco, and car racer Gaby dela Merced.
The lovely actress, who just turned 39, said that extending a helping hand to those in need comes naturally as she matures.
Said Dawn, "I'm so blessed. Feeling ko ang dami-dami kong blessings na parang it's high time na I share. Not only in terms of financial [help] but just of yourself...parang I wanted just to share."
When Dawn married Anton in December 1997, she was determined to put her showbiz career on hold to concentrate on being a wife. Her decision was bolstered when she finally gave birth to Jacobo in 2005. Having worked hard since she was 14, Dawn would rather take on worthwhile endeavors than worry about showbiz-related issues.
"It's not anymore so much ‘yong parang ‘Okay, what's gonna be our next big thing?' I'm not thinking in terms that way anymore, the way I used to when I was dalaga pa na kailangan next year ganito ang strategy mo. Hindi na, e. Hindi na ako ganyan mag-isip," she stressed.
"Ang iniisip ko na lang, what are the other areas that need help, doon naman tayo. Tumulong naman tayo, mas ganoon na," she continued before adding with a laugh, "sabi nga nila ‘wag ka ganyan mag-isip, Dawn, nakakatanda ‘yan."
NO TO POLITICS. Being married to a politician exposes Dawn to a gamut of social problems and that's why she's very active in championing various causes. But when asked if she's entertaining the thought of joining politics, Dawn's answer was a quick "No!"
"Wala akong hilig," she explained. "I'll campaign, fine, but I'm not gonna run. Actually it's more like I don't have the gut for it. I mean for me showbiz is already hard enough, but politics... No matter how straight you want to be, there will always be people who are crooked. How do you deal with them? That's the hard part. I will be very frustrated or assassinated. Who wants to be there, di ba?"
Interestingly, Dawn strongly resisted Anton's decision to run for public office. Even before they tied the knot, Dawn—knowing full well Anton's political lineage—revealed that she was already discouraging Anton from jumping into politics.
"Well, I always told him, even before we got married, I will only marry you if you will not get into politics," she recalled telling her then boyfriend.
But Anton's calling proved to be too much to be ignored. Mustering enough courage, the wealthy businessman finally told his unsuspecting wife about his desire to try his hand in public service. Dawn was very upset.
"Three years ago when his uncle already kept talking to him about the possibility na ‘Puwede ba ikaw na?' so we talked about it and I really told him, ‘Anton, alam mo pinag-usapan na natin ‘to. Ayoko, di ba? Sinabi ko na ayoko?'" recounted Dawn, mimicking the tone she used when she voiced her disapproval.
To settle the dispute, Dawn and Anton just prayed and weighed all the pros and cons. In the end, Dawn relented and gave Anton her blessings.
"Nakita ko nga na there is really a place for him to help. There's really a place for him there na puwede siyang makatulong. So ako, nakita ko rin kung saan ako puwedeng makatulong. That inspired me."
Although she's not as active as before in show business, Dawn realized that being a celebrity helps a lot in terms of pushing her advocacies and earning support from various organizations.
"Ngayon, happy ako because even if it's twice the work, I feel fulfilled because I'm doing something naman also para sa bayan naman, like [for] the youth," enthused Dawn.
"So I'm expanding my influence, parang I'm in show business pero parang nakita ko na mas nakakatulong pa ko ngayon sa kapwa ko."