Life has never been the same for Andi Eigenmann after playing the lead role in ABS-CBN's hit series Agua Bendita.
Aside from the two major projects—Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin and Galema, Ang Anak ni Zuma—that have been lined up for her, the 17-year-old actress's endorsements have been coming left and right.
"Hindi ko po mabilang," she said almost shyly when asked how many brands has she been endorsing to date. "Ito ang latest...and I'm honored to be chosen as a Pond's Girl. It's a dream come true."
In less than a year, there's no doubt about her increasing popularity meter, but the journey—according to her—has just begun.
In an exclusive interview yesterday, February 9, she told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "I have yet a lot to do to prove myself worthy of being called an actress, especially being probably, you know, in the level of...compared to the likes of my mother, my father, my aunt, my grandparents, and my kuya."
Andi is the daughter of Mark Gil and Jaclyn Jose; granddaughter of Eddie Mesa and Rosemarie Gil; niece of Michael de Mesa and Cherie Gil; and sister of Gabby Eigenmann and Sid Lucero.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, she gave herself a success rating of "5 or 6."
She said, "Let me think of a number but I'm not even halfway there. I started with Agua Bendita, I was a 2. Two lang. Siguro nung natapos ang Agua Bendita...Don't get me wrong, Agua Bendita changed my life and Agua Bendita did so much to me, especially, in connection with this industry. But siyempre, it doesn't mean, just because Agua Bendita was a hit, and I was a part of it, doesn't mean 9 na agad ako. Siguro 6 or 5. Siguro...Kasi, isa pa lang naman nagagawa ko, e."
So, early on, she has already instilled the "never-be-complacent attitude" in herself.
Andi explained, "I have yet to prove myself. My goal here in the industry, my vision is for people to know and to see that I am a versatile actress, that I am serious in this craft, in what I'm doing. That I'm doing this for them, and I'm just doing my job, that is it.
"So just because I did Agua Bendita doesn't mean that I've achieved that goal already. Yes, as an actress, as a successful one, probably yeah, because I've gone with the stepping stone."
ATTITUDE PROBLEM? Almost at the same time she became a household name, rumors about her "attitude problem" surfaced.
In an article published in Manila Bulletin last September 4, 2010, writer Alex Brosas's source said that Andi's "mood swings and temper" had some members of the staff, including her handlers, complaining.
Recently, a group of fans in Iloilo claimed they were snubbed.
She admitted, "Minsan kasi, totoong nangyari pala 'yon, pero hindi pala ako aware." That's when she's with non-showbiz friends, who want some privacy.
But in a previous interview (CLICK HERE to read article), she denied being a snob to the Ilonggos during the Dinagyang Festival held last January 23.
Andi explained, "I don't think it's true kasi ang mga tao nakapaligid lang sila sa amin. Nasa loob kami ng mga tents. Bawat labas mo, kitang-kita mo sila. Hindi lang sila makakalapit. Hindi po ako nag-snub. 'Saka ba't naman ako mag-i-snub? Every time na may magha-hi sa akin, magha-hi talaga ako."
Is she just being misconstrued? Or, she's not handling her fame well?
"Not at all," she emphasized. "Because for me, I think I am educated enough to know that being successful as Agua Bendita is not enough for me to get a big head, di ba. I have a lot more other things that I can say would make me, you know, be so boastful, or turn into such a snob, rather than just be a successful actress.
"Being an actress is just the same as probably getting a degree in medicine or law. Why is that? Kung lalaki ulo nila because of that, yes, puwedeng lumaki ang ulo bilang actress. Pero hindi, e. Siguro kapag naging ano ako...I mean, iba...Yung mga ideas ko in my head, baka mawala ako sa sarili ko. Baka umangat yung feet ko [from] the ground, but then again, I'm not...
"I think I'm educated enough. I know how to act what and how not to, so I don't believe it," she said seriously.
ACTING FIRST. Going to college is the farthest thing from her mind, for now.
Andi studied elementary and high school in Miriam College, but "I'm taking my opportunity here in the industry first while I can. And then, I'll go back to school," she said.
What does she want to pursue?
Her answer: "I wanna do so much things. It's not merely about my ambition, like what I want, what career I want to take on in life or in the future. I just wanna do a lot of things that would be fulfilling, you know, that would take my life worthwhile....
"When I come back to school, either I would take up Psychology and/or Journalism, or scriptwriting, or, ang dami talaga...film!
"Basta film, connected sa film, psych, philosophy...uhm, ang dami kong gustong gawin. Siguro, like, it doesn't mean naman maraming beses akong mag-aaral para lang magawa lahat yun. Pero I'll do some things that are connected to all of those, like, you know, I can take up Psychology and then just write or publish a book [even if I did] not study it. But I can choose to just take it up or, basta..."
But for now, "I'm an actress. It's my number one priority. It's is my number one goal, you know, to be successful in this industry. So I'm doing this first, and then, I have a lot of other things I want to do."
Is she following a time frame?
"Wala," she replied. "I'm not in a rush at all. I mean, you only live once."