Gina Pareño recalls hardships prior to fame

Published July 30, 2021, 2:40 PM

by Neil Ramos

Could you imagine award-winning actress Gina Pareño driving a tricycle?

Well, she did.

She told “Tunay Na Buhay” recently how she had to do it to help her family earn extra income.

Born Geraldine Acthley, the 71-year-old would go on to sell fried bananas at the Sampaguita Pictures compound.

It was where she had a taste of showbiz, appearing as “extra” in a slew of films.

Her take home pay? P10.

Life changed for Gina when she won a dance contest on TV in 1964, going on to sign as contract star of Sampaguita Pictures.

Trouble would come to haunt Gina when she tried prohibited drugs.

“Yung akin naman na bisyo na ‘yon actually hindi bisyo na adik-adik na akong ganun. ‘Yung akin lang gusto kong tumikim. Eh nadali ako sa tikim,” she recalled.

Hitting rock-bottom was an eye-opener for Gina.

“Naayos ako at mas lalo akong tumibay,” she said.

 In 2006, she gained international recognition for her role in “Kubrador,” winning Best Actress for the same at the Osian Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema and at the Brussels International Independent Film Festival.

Gina also won the Metro Manila Film Festival Best Supporting Actress plum for her role in the hit “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo,” repeating the feat at FAMAS and the Film Academy of the Philippines Awards the same year. 

She would go on to earned several recognition including a Best Actress award for her performance in “Serbis.”

Gina is not retiring any time soon.

“Ayaw ko. Basta ako, go nang go. Gusto ko umarte nang umarte,” she said.

She just finished three projects last month and is looking forward to do more movies.

For now she keeps busy with TikTok, where she has over 1.7 million followers.