Regardless of the final outcome of this year's StarStruck V, Japanese-Filipino Nina Kodaka is determined to follow her childhood dream of becoming an actress.
GMA-7's reality-based artista search will conclude its fifth season on February 21 at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
In an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last Thursday, February 4, following the mini-fashion show staged by the remaining finalists at the Activity Center of TriNoma Mall, Nina mentioned the sacrifices she had to endure just to make it here in the Philippines.
Nina auditioned for StarStruck while in Japan, and leaving her home country to stay in Manila for an indefinite period was not an easy decision.
Like many other artists before her who grew up in another country, Nina's apparent weakness is her difficulty in speaking our national language. While most viewers find the broken Tagalog endearing at first, Nina understands that it could also be a career drawback in the long run if left uncorrected.
Nina addressed her shortcomings, saying, "Katulad ngayon, pag walang camera kaya ko magsalita nang tuloy-tuloy. Pero pag may camera, pag naka-microphone ako, natatakot kasi ako magkamali ng Tagalog kaya mabagal, mahina ako magsalita kasi nasanay na akong pinagtatawanan pag nagsasalita ako."
MEETING IWA MOTO. Now that the fifth season is about to end, Nina said she's both excited and sad at the same time. The remaining contenders share the same sentiment about not wanting the show to end.
Among her batchmates, Nina singled out Diva as one of her closest friends. She used to like Sarah Lahbati but a particular incident prompted Nina to have a change of heart.
According to Nina, Sarah voted for her ouster in the competition one time without considering their friendship.
"Nasaktan lang ako kasi hindi ko ine-expect. Siguro sa kanya wala naman siyang intensyon [na masama] pero nasaktan po talaga ako," lamented Nina.
Sarah defended her action, however, by explaining that it was her strategy to motivate Nina, not put her down.
"Sabi niya para daw galingan ko pa," Nina recalled being told by Sarah. "Ayaw ko po isipin na masama ang intention niya. Lumalabas po kasi sa mukha ko pag ayaw ko sa isang tao."
But Nina's face brightened when asked about her encounter with sexy actress and former StarStruck alumna, Iwa Moto. Both are half-Japanese and Nina considers Iwa a role model, citing the actress's determination to succeed as a trait worth emulating for any newcomer.
"Nung una natakot po ako sa kanya," Nina smilingly confessed. "Pero ang bait pala niya... Sobrang cool siya."