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“Why pretend to be someone else when you can just be yourself? I don’t see any point in being fake to yourself and to the people around you just to have a certain branding or just to convince people that you are this and that.

We’re told that luck is what we make of it. Often, we equate the quote to mean we have to relentlessly work hard to achieve our dreams. In some degree, there’s truth to the maxim. But the statement also signifies that we have to be open to the coincidences and serendipities the universe sends our way. Such was the case of Maine Mendoza back in 2015, when she became an internet sensation by becoming the Dubsmash Queen. From then on, Maine rose to fame seemingly overnight, even being part of the country’s longest running noontime show Eat Bulaga.

Childhood dream

Maine shares that entering showbiz has always been a secret dream of hers. “I can still remember, as a kid, I wanted to do scenes [I see] on television or billboards. Pero hindi ko alam kung saan ko ‘yon nakuha because I used to be a really shy kid. But I had this thing before na sinasabi ko ‘you’ll see me on TV eventually when I grow up,’” she said.

Life in the spotlight

Maine lets her crazy and creative side out in her videos. That was when she discovered the concept of Dubsmash during her downtime at the office. The rest, as she says, is history. “When I graduated, I didn’t know what to do with my life. And then this happened. Sobrang unforeseen naman ‘to eh, nobody expected that I would go into show business,” Maine says. TV network GMA catapulted her popularity after naming her Yaya Dub in Eat Bulaga’s first Kalyeserye. The character is a perfect fit for a girl who wasn’t afraid to express herself. That’s what truly drew us to Maine: her fearlessness and enthusiasm. She nailed comedy and reality TV.

As Maine navigates the precarious waters of showbiz, she’s wary of that very situation: to be packaged into an image she’s not. Authenticity is her expression in a world that seeks out branded personas. “Why pretend to be someone else when you can just be yourself? I don’t see any point in being fake to yourself and to the people around you just to have a certain branding or just to convince people that you are this and that. It doesn’t make sense to me,” she continues. Yaya Dub has come to a close in Maine’s life and career. Although she admits that a part of her will always relate to Yaya Dub, she asserts that she’s more than just that character who is the other half of Aldub. “People are accustomed to the character Yaya Dub. Ako naman, since Kalyeserye ended a year and a half ago, I want to separate from that role. I want people to know na I’m more than a wacky face. May pangalan naman po si Yaya Dub. The person doing that character, that role, is Maine Mendoza.”

Showbiz is real hard work, and the star embraces the whole package with no regrets. “I was given more than I wanted and I’m just really thankful with everything that I have right now, even if I don’t deserve some of those things. ‘Yung privacy lang siguro ‘yung talagang downside of the industry. Everybody’s eyes are on you. Every action you do gets scrutinized. But apart from that, I’m really happy with everything.”

Always forward

A year and a half after taking on the role of Yaya Dub, Maine is more than ready to discover herself in other fields. She released her first autobiographical book entitled Yup, I Am That Girl in October 2017, and is currently working on her album. She also opened a fast food franchise in 2017, and has recently launched Humans of Barangay on Facebook, a collection of stories from the people she meets everyday, with the goal of championing their inspiring lives. “Hindi naman pwede na you’ll keep doing the same things. You really have to keep going to grow. I want to explore new things because I’m the kind of person na sobrang takot mag-risk or mag-try. I really have to believe in myself na I’m capable of doing new things,” she relates. And capable she is. Having proven her mettle and garnering accolades from Gintong Kabataan Awards, Metro Manila Film Festival, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, and PMPC Star Awards to name a few, it won’t come as a surprise that Maine will continue to flourish in the passions she has yet to discover. At 23, there’s still room to grow for an artist like her in an industry she can treat as her canvas.

“Every Sunday, after church, I go to SM with my family. Kami na nagsasara ng mall. Naririnig na namin ‘yung ‘magandang gabi sa inyong lahat…’ Seryoso, sinasarahan na kami ng ilaw!”