Bernard Palanca relates hitting rock bottom in Australia

"There came a time nga na I had to line up in asoup kitchen para lang makakain ako. That was the time na walang-wala akongpera. That's how my life was there, but I had no regrets kasi it really made mea new person. Mas naa-appreciate ko ang buhay ngayon, unlike before na I tookeverything for granted," relates Bernard Palanca.



Ang laki ng ipinag-iba ng outlook sa buhay niBernard Palanca. After nga niyang magdesisyon na manirahan muna sa Melbourne,Australia, for almost a year, doon daw niya na-realize ay importansya ng buhayat kailangan niyang harapin ang kanyang mga problema at huwag taguan ito.

Inamin ni Bernard na after ngang hindi magingmaganda ang ending ng relasyon niya with Meryll Soriano (may anak sila na si Elijah, who will turn one year old on August 27), doon daw nagsimulaang mga problema niya at ang tanging naisip niya ay ang magpakalayo at magtago.

"For me, that was the last thing I have to do. Walaakong trabaho, wala akong tirahan, I gained weight and I lost most of thepeople who I thought were my friends. In short, I was a total wreck. Konti nalang, nasa edge na ako. I was really messed up during those times.

"So I wanted to get away from it all and I decidedto go to Australia and start a new life. At least doon, malalayo ako sa lahatng mga hindi magagandang bagay na unti-unting sumisira sa akin. I need to stayaway from the demons that haunted me for so many years. I said to myself, thisis the time to make amends with myself. I want to be a changed man. Kapagbumalik ako, ibang Bernard Palanca na ako."

HITTING ROCK BOTTOM IN DOWN UNDER. Hindinga raw naging madali para kay Bernard ang manirahan sa Australia. Nakitirasiya sa isang kaibigan doon pero ayaw naman niyang iasa ang magiging buhay niyarito.

"I needed to work para mabuhay ako roon. Nakakahiyanaman sa kaibigan ko na he welcomed me into his home pero ayoko namang magingburden sa kanya.

"I did a few jobs there pero hindi regular kasi Ididn't have the proper papers yet. So, I earned very little and nakiki-share paako sa gastusin sa bahay niya. I didn't mind doing that kasi nga it was asacrifice I had to do para mabago ang kinamulatan kong buhay.

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"There came a time nga na I had to line up in asoup kitchen para lang makakain ako. That was the time na walang-wala akongpera. That's how my life was there, but I had no regrets kasi it really made mea new person. Mas naa-appreciate ko ang buhay ngayon unlike before na I tookeverything for granted.

"Noong kumikita kasi ako dito before, I was anextravagant spender. Kapag may pera, I buy many expensive things. I didn't carekung may ipon ako o wala because alam ko na may trabaho ako parati. I wasliving that kind of life that meant nothing.

"Ngayon ultimo pinakamaliit na barya, iniipon ko.From being somebody with money to becoming somebody with nothing will reallychange you. It was a rude awakening but I learned and I grew up."

SUICIDAL. Inamin nga ni Bernard na muntik na siyang magingsuicidal noong nasa Australia siya. Pakiramdam niya ay wala nang nagmamahal sakanya at kung mawala siya ay hindi naman daw siya hahanapin.

"I almost came to that point of taking my life,"pag-alaala ni Bernard. "That was the time na feeling ko everyone was against me,hated me and doesn't want to talk and be with me. Even with my family members,parang iniiwasan nila akong kausapin.

"It was a sad episode for me and walang ibangpumasok sa utak ko except to end it all. Pero I woke up from that nightmare. Iknew that I had to do something and I struggled literally to be a better personnow. If I want people to be happy with me, I have to be happy with myselffirst.

"Maramiakong tinapon na masamang gawain ko. I shaped up and had a fresh perspective.Kumbaga, I rehabilitated myself and I had God to thank for all what hashappened to me.

"For the first time, I really prayed hard to Godand asked for forgiveness. I wanted to change at alam ko that only God can helpyou change. He did it for me and now I'm a living witness to that."

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WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS. Umuwi ngalang daw si Bernard sa Pilipinas dahil sumakabilang-buhay ang kanyangstepfather at magbi-birthday ang anak nila ni Meryl. Hindi niya inaasahan namagkakaroon siya ng mga trabaho sa TV at pelikula.

"It all came sabay-sabay. Umuwi lang ako to attenda family matter and to be with my son on his birthday. Then suddenly I wasgiven a role in the movie A Very SpecialLove. ‘Tapos I was offered to be part of a new show called Hush Hush on TV5. ‘Tapos may mga ibangoffers pa na dumarating. So it's really a big blessing and I'm surprised by itall.

"Siguro nga ito na ang kapalit ng mga nagingsakripisyo na pinagdaanan ko. God really works in mysterious ways and it issomething that I will share with everybody. Tamang-tama lang na nagkaroon akong work because I was given the responsibility to handle the schooling of myother siblings. Plus I need to save up for my son as well."

ANNULMENT WITH MERYL. Kinuwentorin ni Bernard na inaayos na rin nila ni Meryl ang annulment papers nila. Gustona rin ni Bernard na malagay na sa ayos ang lahat.

"The papers are in the works now. Nag-usap naman nakami ni Meme and we agreed na mas maganda ang ganito. We have our own lives nowbut we still have our son Elijah.

"For me, I want this to happen because I want Memeto be free. I don't want to stop her from meeting somebody else. Baka nga namanmatagpuan niya ang tamang lalake for her and I might find a girl din na para saakin.

"But right now, I am not dating. Wala lang becauseI want to work muna. Sa pagplano at paggastos sa first birthday party niElijah, a lot of my savings was put into it. But I don't mind because it's myson's birthday and no amount of money can level with the happiness na binibigayniya sa buhay ko ngayon."

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