i remember that one afternoon in 2009 when the production team of boystown was looking for the perfect girl to play the role of karen. the management wanted to launch a new teen actress. for boystown, she will be paired with enchong dee and robi domingo.
i suggested several names of budding teen stars to the ep -- your name was included. i didn't know you personally, i only saw you in anne curtis' dyosa where you played one of the diwatas. a bit player. but there was something about you that made me remember your name and even bring it up to my ep.
a few days after, the director texted the whole creative team -- "guys, we found our karen! her name is jessy marasigan. maganda. maputi. magaling umarte. she's perfect for the role"
i told the director, "direk, sinong jessy marasigan? baka mendiola." and he said, "ay oo nga, jessy mendiola pala."
and that was how we finally met.
IRENE and BETTINA
on that same year, i would be writing two more shows for you. you became a regular guest in George n Cecil where you played dino imperial's girlfriend... and who can forget bettina in katorse? the perfect girl that was meant for enchong's jojo, who eventually became ejay/gabby's fake girlfriend.
we still weren't friends around this time. we'd just say hi and make beso to each other whenever we'd bump into abs.
in 2010, i was asked to watch snooky serna's 1980s movie bata pa si sabel because we were to make a tv adaptation. my headwriter and i developed and presented Sabel and the management approved it. i was excited because i learned you would play the title role. (iba kasi talaga kapag gusto mo iyong artistang sinusulat mo).
but, i was assigned in green rose and idol, and another team was tapped to do sabel. that time, i was just ecstatic to be doing a project with my other two favorites -- alessandra and sarah. those two shows were dream-come-true shows for me!
but then i learned that if something is meant for you, whatever happens, it will end up with you eventually...
when idol ends, i was asked to be part of sabel. and that was where our friendship began.
you came from sabel taping and you texted me and requested to wait for you so we could arrive together. because "nahihiya ka."
a month after, during our unit's christmas party, we again attended the "after party" together. we had vodka and singaporean squid head, and talked about our show and our lives. that was when i learned a lot about you... and got to know you as a real person and not as an actress.
and on that same night, we were introduced to someone who would become a big part of your life...
when i had aneurysm in january 2011 and was hospitalized for weeks, you were the first person i saw when i woke up from a long sleep.
that year, we became close friends. we'd meet regularly for dinner or coffee and talk about each other's lives. that was when our relationship stopped from being coworkers and i became your "ate noreen."
one thing i really admire about you is your maturity. you were only 18 when we became friends but we got along really well. matured ka, childish ako -- so we met in the middle (hehe)
during those dinner and coffee meet-ups, you'd tell me about your personal life, your wishes and dreams, and your frustrations and disappointments. and as your ate, i was there to listen, and comfort you, and give pieces of advice.
looking back, andami na pala nating pinagdaanan. i was a witness to the many changes in your life -- hindi lang sa career but most of all sa personal life.
i remember when you shared that your dream was to have a movie. and then one day, you wanted us to meet because you were excited to talk about your audition for the reunion. and i was there at the premiere night of your first movie, so proud of you dahil finally natupad na ang wish mo.
natatandaan ko rin, last year, you wanted just one tvc so you can buy a new car... you were given a couple of tvcs and i teased you noong minsang sinundo mo ako sa bahay gamit ang bago mong sasakyan.
unti-unti mo na natutupad ang mga pangarap mo, jessy... unti-unti mo na nararating ang gusto mo. and as your ate, i am so proud watching you reach your dreams.
marami ka pang gusto gawin, i know. ang dami pa nating dreams -- yung dream role mo na snatcher sa quiapo, iyong dream project mo na soap, iyong indie film na matagal na natin pinaplano...
and you patiently wait and hope that these will all come true someday.
lagi ko nga sinasabi sa iyo, "kung para sa iyo ang isang bagay, anuman ang mangyari, mapunta man ito sa iba, mawala man ito sa iyo... sa iyo pa rin ang bagsak nito."
hindi lang yan tungkol sa career. tungkol din iyan sa tao. o sa relationship. but i wont go into details kasi your personal life is not for public consumption...
pero maraming beses ko na gustong sabihin para mapagtanggol kita.. para malaman nila kung ano at sino ka talaga... at kung alam lang sana nila ang totoong nangyari at nangyayari...
i wish people would know the real you -- sobra ka kung magmahal sa isang tao. pero hindi nawawala ang pagmamahal at respeto mo sa sarili mo. napaka-patient mo. napaka-sweet. napaka-forgiving. at napaka-bait.
kaya naiinis ako kapag may nababasa o naririnig ako na paninira sa iyo... kasi alam ko ang totoo. kilala ko ang tunay na ikaw.
sana lang, as years go by, kung ano iyung core mo, hindi iyun magbabago... yung paninindigan mo, iyong self-esteem mo, iyong prinsipyo mo-- sana hindi mawala habang paakyat ka ng paakyat sa career mo.
sinabi ko na ito sa iyo noong hindi ka pa sikat -- "huwag kang magbabago kundi ako mismo sasampal sa iyo..." sasabihin ko pa rin sa iyo ngayong sikat ka na... "huwag kang magbabago kundi ako mismo sasapak sa iyo,"
mahal kita, jessy. sobra. alam mo iyan.
at ngayong birthday mo, sana maging masaya ka. sana matupad lahat ng dreams mo sa career mo, at sa pamilya mo... at sana, mahanap mo na ang right guy who will give you the love and attention you truly deserve, iyong hindi ka iti-take for granted, iyong hindi ka sasaktan, at iyong handa kang ipaglaban at ipangtanggol. dahil a girl like you deserves a man who will treat you right.
at kapag nahanap mo na siya -- kung sino man siya -- ako ang unang-unang magiging masaya para sayo!