‘StarStruck 7’: Rere wants out of Ruru’s shadow

By: - Reporter
/ 12:15 AM June 29, 2019

Rere (left) and Ruru Madrid

The competition has barely started for the 14 finalists of this season’s “StarStruck.” But already, 18-year-old hopeful Rere Madrid is dealing with not a few doubters, thinking that she only got as far as she did because she’s the younger sister of Ruru Madrid—one of GMA 7’s more popular young actors.

But that’s not the case, said Rere, who’s bent on proving that she made it to the finals on her own merits and not merely through family connection.


“Some people tell me that I don’t have to be nervous, as if implying that I’m a shoo-in for the finals because of my brother,” she told the Inquirer at a recent media event introducing the reality talent search’s Top 14. “But such comments only motivate me to prove them wrong.”

“I hope they give me a chance to show them what I can do,” she added. “I’ll do my best  and work hard on honing my  talent.”


Rere, whose real name is Athena Merrique, also has a sister called Rara. While the siblings’ pet names never fail to amuse people they’ve just met, Rere admitted that this used to  baffle her.

Unique nickname

“I think the idea to give us these nicknames came from a friend of our parents. I hated my nickname growing up. I was like, ‘Why did they do this?’” Rere said, laughing. “But I got used to it and eventually learned to love it. Now I think it’s unique.”

Rere has always wanted to be an actress, she said, and would go for it, regardless of Ruru’s personal plans. “I really want to do this. In fact, I did theater for Peta (Philippine Educational Theater Association) when I was younger,” the aspiring dramatic actress related.

While Rere finds herself drawn to the world of show biz, seeing his older brother work at a young age has opened her eyes to some of its realities. “He started when he was 14 and I saw him working really hard. Sometimes we wouldn’t even see him at home,” she said. “And that did make me think.”

Having a popular actor for an older brother is a double-edged sword. At least Rere doesn’t need to look far should she need advice.

“I’m thankful that I have someone who can give me tips,” she said. “One time, I asked him how to make acting look natural, and he told me to just put myself in the character’s shoes and live there.”


The downside, however, is that she’s almost guaranteed to spend her early years in the biz in Ruru’s shadow. “I know I will have to regularly deal with comparisons,” said Rere, who had been doing modeling before trying out for “StarStruck.”

“I have had my share of rejections when I do go-sees for modeling gigs or TVCs (television commercials). And I believe those experiences toughened me up for future challenges,” she added.

After the first series of tests, Rere and the 13 other finalists will be up for elimination this weekend. Still in the running are Pamela Prinster, Angelic Guzman, Dani Porter, Ella Cristofani, Shayne Sava, Lexi Gonzales, Abdul Raman, Karl Aquino, Kim de Leon, Gelo Alagban, Jeremy Sabido, Jerick Dolormente and Allen Ansay.

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TAGS: GMA-7, Rere Madrid, Ruru Madrid, StarStruck 7
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