“Life is a journey,” Pope Francis once said. “When we stop, things don’t go right.”
Meet four people who didn’t stop— at fame, fortune, and the adulation of millions. Despite achieving what many can only dream of (a thriving showbiz career, commercial endorsement, a major beauty pageant title), they went on to pursue what they believed to be their life’s purpose. (Read: Meet the ‘Raketero’ Who Found His Life Purpose With Esakay)
It took a lot of sacrifices and starting over, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. What about you: Are you living your life’s purpose?
Then: Actress and Environmentalist.
Chin-Chin reaped accolades from the Gawad Urian (Best Supporting Actress for Maalaala Mo Kaya: The Movie, 1995), First Asian Television Awards (Best Actress for Melinda, 1996), and Asian Television Awards (Best Supporting Actress for Desaparecido, 1998). She was also named Asian Hero of Time Magazine in 2003, and received a TOWNS (The Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service) award in 2004 as an advocate for the environment. (Read: Netflix Premieres Award-Winning Filipino Film ‘Lingua Franca’)
Now: Carmelite Nun.
After leaving show business in 2010, Chin-Chin resurfaced in March 2019 in a viral Facebook post that identified her as Sister Lourdes, a Carmelite nun. Many were surprised by the news, but the actress was actually inclined to this vocation. “I spoke to HaShem, to Our Heavenly Father, to The Source of All Life that made me become and exist, and said, ‘I would like to be true to you,’” she told portraitsinfaith.org in 2013.
Then: Actress and Commercial Model.
From appearances in teen vehicles G-Mik, Trip, and Berks, Heart blossomed into a serious television and film actress with roles in Hiram (2004-2005), Panday (2006-2006), Hiram Na Mukha (2007), Mulawin vs. Ravena (2017), and My Korean Jagiya (2018). And who could forget those years when her delicate beauty was in most billboards along Edsa?
Now: Artist and Philanthropist.
Using her real name, Love Marie, Heart has held several successful, sold-out one-woman shows both here and abroad. Her paintings have also been seen in the works of fashion designer Mark Bumgarner, editor and writer AA Patawan, local retailer Kamiseta, and luxury designer handbags.
But it’s her various advocacies that are winning fans over. An ambassador for the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, Heart promotes adopting AsPin (Asong Pinoy) in a campaign called Have A Heart For Aspin. She also supports children with respiratory diseases, thalassemia, cancer, and cerebral palsy, and recently received an Equality Champion Award for supporting the LGBT community. (Read: Heart Evangelista will start an animal shelter in Sorsogon—and we are all excited about it!)
Bea Patricia “Patch” Magtanong
Then and Now: Beauty Queen and Lawyer.
After being crowned Binibining Pilipinas International 2019, Bea Patricia “Patch” Magtanong and other passers of the Bar exams took their oath as lawyers before the justices of the Supreme Court in that same month. (Read: How Beauty Pageants Inspire Us to Handle Defeat Graciously)
“They’re two of my biggest dreams,” she told gmanetwork.com. “I’ve worked for years to be a lawyer and I’ve trained very hard to join the pageant. I’m so lucky that this year dalawa ‘yung blessings na binigay sa akin ni God. Hopefully, we will go for one more, the 7th crown for Miss International.”
“I want to be a voice for the voiceless, and I want to speak out for the marginalized sector,” says Patch who intends to advocate for the rights of prisoners, and plans to work with the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation.