GMA 7 star Kris Bernal jokingly admitted that she has a lot of traits in common with Lira, her sickly character in the afternoon soap opera “Hiram na Puso.”
“Lira will do everything for her mother. I’m devoted to my mom as well. I love her so much,” she said.
Perhaps sensing that she sounded too earnest, she quickly added in jest: “But I don’t have a heart ailment in real life!”
Her “heart” problems are of a different nature, she admitted—as talk inevitably turned to her recent failed relationships with singer Jay Perillo and actor Jolo Revilla.
In spite of it, she didn’t look any worse for wear. (She joked that she uses heartache to help her in the show’s crying scenes.)
She insisted that even though much ink was spilled about her breakup with Perillo in December 2011, she harbored no bitterness. “I always see him on the set of [the Kapuso variety show] ‘Party Pilipinas’ every Sunday. I’m happy for him and his new girlfriend, Gretchen Espina,” she says.
They’ve remained friends. “I still confide in him. I share my problems with him, but there’s nothing ‘special’ between us anymore.”
As for Revilla, they had a whirlwind romance late last year during the shooting of the Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Ang Panday 2” (which top-billed the suitor’s dad Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.).
“We both felt that things were going too fast,” she said. “We decided to take things slowly.”
Then one day she woke up and the thrill was gone. “It’s not good to force things. It wouldn’t have worked out in the end.”
Loving and losing have left her precious lessons, she volunteered.
She has learned to focus on herself first. “When I’m in love, I lose myself in my boyfriend. Now I want to prioritize myself.”
On top of her to-do list are self-improvement endeavors: “I’m taking voice lessons at the Center for Pop Music and acting workshops at the GMA Artist Center. I’m also enrolled in a culinary school under Ram Galura. I’m busy with my two Fruitas kiosks—one in San Juan and another in Quezon City. I also box. I keep myself busy. That’s my mom’s advice.”
Although she’s more discerning now, the dreamy-eyed romantic hasn’t become jaded.
“I’ve grown up,” she said. “I have no time for puppy love, crushes and other pa-cute stuff. I’m not here to play games.”
She means business, boys.
“I want a stable relationship,” she remarked. “I’m looking for someone decent, loyal, thoughtful and family-oriented.”
She conceded that she has had relationships with men from inside and outside the entertainment industry and has realized that “you can’t stop yourself from falling. But I would prefer someone who’s not in show biz. It would be more peaceful. There would be fewer intrigues.”
In sum, she simply dreams of a guy “who would treat me like a princess because I would treat him like a prince, too.”