Cristine Reyes on her 20-year career: Blessed and grateful

Cristine Reyes looks forward to doing more wholesome and less daring roles

Cristine Reyes was a bit emotional as she renewed her contract with Viva Films last week, the giant outfit that has been managing her movie career for the past 15 years.

Looking teary-eyed and with her voice breaking, the sexy actress said: "Hindi ko inexpect na tatagal ako ng ganito sa industriya. Nakaka-overwhelm pag sinasabi na 20 years na ako dito, and 15 years with Viva."

(I did not expect to last this long in the industry. It's overwhelming when they say I've lasted 20 years here, and 15 years were with Viva).

Cristine was barely 15 years old when she joined Starstruck Season 1 as one of the finalists in 2003. Now 34, she has definitely wised up with all her experiences in life that included "challenges, trials, losses, and wins."

She's certainly blessed to have made it with a few box-office hits to her name. Opting to sacrifice her career to settle down in 2016 (with Ali Khatibi) and have a family was one challenging move. The bitter part was that the marriage didn't turn out to be successful. Cristine felt like she was starting from zero again and picked up the pieces with much anxiety.

"I was contemplating back in the day when I wanted to have a family and live a peaceful life and I thought I would succeed but I failed. I prayed talaga (kung) kaya pa ba kasi usually maraming bagong pumapasok, marami na ring magaling. That's why I'm really thankful. Kung ano ang meron ako ngayon pinapahalagahan ko sya talaga kasi ayoko nang mawala," Cristine mused.

(I prayed if I could still do it because there are lots of people who enter the industry and they're also very good. That's why I am really thankful. I give importance to what I have now because I don't want to lose it.)

Cristine Reyes (center) with Viva's big boss Vic Del Rosario (left) and Veronique Del Rosario-Corpus (right)

When asked what the highlights of her 20-year career were, Cristine expressed only gratitude to everyone who made it happen for her in the industry.

"I'm blessed to have a management like Viva. They really take care of me and they never left my side even with all the ups and downs. Viva trusted me even if I didn't prove myself worthy. Of course, I owe everything to StarStruck because they got me as well. But I'm also thankful to ABS-CBN because they gave me so many teleseryes and they trusted me with Eva Fonda. My first show in ABS was a starring role," Christine noted.

She added that she's likewise open to work with GMA which she considers her "home network. Some people in GMA I consider already as family friends. We still have dinners so I'd love to work with them."

The actress added: "I'm really thankful to God to have all these blessings in my life. So now that I am much more mature, I'm grateful to have what I have. If you compare me (to) before, I was very playful, I was not serious with work. But now, I appreciate everything that I have."

Cristine is also thankful that she's now given more leeway to try other roles, far from the provocative scenes she did in the past. She announced that her next film will be a comedy and there's another one that will pair her with Baron Geisler. She said she has "a good working relationship" with Baron as they did Eva Fonda before.

Her past is past. These days, Cristine considers herself a "happy" single mother who is inspired by her eight-year old daughter Amarah whom she calls "very kind and very smart."

"Amarah is a big factor in all my life decisions. I think she straightened up my life. She's my fortress. I want to give her everything I didn't have," she pointed out.