Louise de los Reyes: On her own
A new home and a new life await this single girl. She misses the family home in Cavite, she says, but GMA 7 actress Louise de los Reyes has settled nicely in her own condo unit in Quezon City. She moved into this bachelorette pad last August.
Condo living has its perks, she points out. For one thing, as it has lent her more flexibility vis-à-vis her work schedule. “I can be in GMA 7 in minutes. Or I can set meetings in any of the nearby restaurants.”
The condo is located in a bustling commercial center. “There’s a mall in the area. If I need anything—a new dress or pair of shoes for the next taping—I can get it very quickly. If I am in the mood to cook, I walk to the supermarket.”
Among her specialties are pasta dishes, steaks and California maki. For breakfast, she usually has just a bowl of cereal.
All in all, Louise is pretty self-sufficient at 21. She has an assistant for some chores, but she is used to doing a lot of things by herself now.
For starters, she does her own makeup (as she did for this Living Stars shoot). Her mom used to be a constant companion, but now Louise reports to the set on her own.
Sometimes her parents, siblings, nephews or nieces come to visit. There’s a kiddie pool in the condo complex.
She’s a country girl at heart, though.
“Though Cavite is urbanized, it is still more laidback than the city,” Louise says. “The air is fresh; the pace is slow. I wake up relaxed. In the city, everyone is in a hurry.”
Living on her own has taught her a lot. “I learned to manage my monthly budget. I make sure to set aside money for the bills—phone, Internet, cable, power.”
She counsels other young people not to abuse their freedom. “Some kids hold parties in their condo units. The noise could disturb the neighbors.”
In any case, Louise has little time to party, since her waking hours are dedicated to the Kapuso series “Kambal Sirena,” where she plays the dual roles of a mermaid and her human sister.
She relates, “Taping schedules are not fixed. I am constantly on call. Sometimes we tape every day, or every other day.” Apart from “Kambal Sirena,” she appears regularly on “Sunday All Stars.”
She’s not complaining. “Each job is a blessing,” she says.
There is immense pressure in headlining a primetime show, Louise admits. “How you handle it is up to you. Turn it into the kind of tension that motivates you to excel.”
She’s used to working double-time. Last year, she graduated from the Lyceum of the Philippines in General Trias, Cavite with a degree in Foreign Service.
“I still can’t believe how I was able to graduate,” she says. “I was like Superwoman at the time. My mom was a big help, managing my schedule.”
She remembers often reporting to class sleepless and weary after a marathon taping. “But I was a dedicated student, though I had my share of cutting classes and cramming for exams. I loved learning something new every day,” she insists.
She hopes to put her degree to good use someday. Her big dream is to work in a Philippine embassy in Europe.
When she is not busy, she heads to the gym—either Elorde or Gold’s.
“I used to work out almost every day—sometimes twice a day,” she says. “I love the rush that exercise gives me.”
She’s currently into circuit training, running and yoga. “I go to different places to try different exercises so I won’t get bored,” she confesses.
Louise recently decided she would learn to play a new musical instrument this year. “I can play the piano a little,” she says. “A cello is too big so I bought a violin.” She plans to take lessons soon. “I’ve discussed it with a teacher from the University of the Philippines in Diliman.”
She is not easily daunted. She couldn’t swim when she took on the role of a mermaid. By the time the cameras started grinding, she could not only swim; she was scuba-diving as well. She is now a licensed scuba diver.
She recounts a happy experience: “For fun, we went with our divemaster, [former action star] Jess Lapid Jr., as far as 63 feet underwater in Anilao, Batangas. We didn’t notice that we had gone down that deep because there were lots of things to see—colorful fish and coral!”
Aside from Batangas, they also shoot in Bolinao (Pangasinan), Subic and Cavite. She did not bother making summer plans this year because working on “Kambal Sirena” is one big summer holiday for her.
“We always shoot in resorts,” she says. “I am often swimming in the ocean.”
She has a mind to sign up for extreme sports adventure in Cagayan de Oro. “I’d like to go whitewater-rafting, or try the zipline.”
On the quieter side: Louise has taken up a new hobby—writing essays and posting photos on her blog. At home, she’s usually glued to her MacBook.
“I spent a lot of time on role-playing games online. Now, I write… about anything… my thoughts, feelings. But my Tumblr blog is not under my name.” (She has two blogs—one is public, the other, a secret account where she can freely express herself.)
When not blogging, she takes it easy in the spiffy condo. Her unit was fully furnished when she moved in, but she wanted a distinct, vintage Parisian look. She scattered white picture frames and silver trinkets all over the living room. “White-and-silver décor breaks up the monotony of the red sofa and gray walls,” she notes. “I’d like to paint the walls white, though. The other colors would be powder blue, lavender and baby pink.”
She installed drapes at the bedroom entrance for a little privacy and to give the pad a homey vibe. “We are not allowed to add doors,” she explains. Needless to say, her favorite spot is the bedroom.
“The design is conducive to sleep and helps me to come up with new ideas,” she says. “I am most creative when I am in my bed, doing nothing.”
She lined the headboard with Christmas lights. “I got that idea from another blogger on Tumblr.” When she’s resting, the Christmas lights provide just the right amount of illumination, she says.
The bed is surrounded with stuffed toys, mostly from friends and fans. She bought the big panda; the small one is a gift. Panda is her nickname for ex-BF Enzo Pineda.
“Like a panda, Enzo is tall, but gentle and sweet,” she says. “His family is good to me and my own family.” She hopes to remain friends with him.
Enzo got her a stuffed puppy from Las Vegas; a Hello Kitty doll is from screen partner Alden Richards. “He says I’m like a cat, cute but sexy,” Louise explains.
This time alone is the best gift, meanwhile. “It is perfect for self-reflection,” she says. “I am focusing on myself. I’d like to travel more, learn new things.”
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