Better late than never. With summer just around the corner, “StarStruck” winner Sarah Lahbati got to spend a belated winter holiday in Europe last month with fellow GMA 7 stars Derrick Monasterio and Enzo Pineda.
The guys joined Sarah in Geneva, Switzerland, for her homecoming concert on February 11.
Sarah left Europe three years ago to join the reality talent search “StarStruck” here. She recalled that she had left without saying goodbye to her buddies.
Upon her arrival here, family and friends were waiting at the airport. “I was surprised. They carried banners and popped noisemakers,” she recounted.
At her concert, she was anxious at first, but when she saw the crowd singing and dancing along, her tension melted away. “We had fun. Apart from Enzo and Derrick, Mico Aseron also performed with me.”
Mico, who is based in Switzerland, had British singer-songwriter Phil Collins as mentor, she explained.
After the concert, she took Enzo and Derrick to Saint-Serge in France, a mountain resort 20 minutes away from Geneva, by the Swiss border. “My dad taught me how to ski when I was seven,” she said. “Three years later, he taught me snowboarding, which was more difficult.”
She tried to teach Enzo and Derrick how to snowboard. “They kept falling. But they were able to stand for a short time.”
They also visited Paris, where they stayed for three days.
“We were billeted at a hotel along the Champ-Élysées, and we went shopping and visited the Eiffel Tower,” she said. “Derrick and Enzo kept taking photos all throughout.”
She admitted that she got to know rumored suitor Derrick better during their European holiday. “Traveling together brings friends closer,” she pointed out. “We kept teasing Enzo, who couldn’t let go of his cell phone while we were abroad.”
After more than a week, when it was time to go home, Sarah turned on the waterworks big time.
“I couldn’t help crying after seeing my dad in tears. Plus, all my friends were there to see me off,” she reminisced. “I realized that we had not changed that much after three years. Our friendship and love for each other had remained the same.”
Upon her return, she started work on the upcoming series “Rancho Paradiso,” which also top-bills Richard Gutierrez and Carla Abellana.
She is both “nervous and excited” to work with Richard. She does not want to think about the possibility of “falling” for her leading man. “I want to focus on work.
I do not want to disappoint people, especially since this is my first prime time soap.”