Andrea Brillantes has always been a dreamer. Back when she and her family still slept on the floor, when her biggest joys in life were eating ice-cold skrambol after school and spending hours at the nearby internet rental shop, she already had dreams of being someone, of becoming “a big thing.” And after almost a decade of hustling and putting in the work, she’s finally enjoying what it feels like to live one’s dream—whether it’s something as ordinary as having air-conditioning at home or as major as performing in California for an ASAP show.
She isn’t about to stop dreaming, though. Aside from the material comforts she’d like for her family to have, such as a dream house to call their own, Andrea wants to get better at her craft and be the best actress and performer she can be. “I remind myself to improve, but also not to change too much,” the 16-year-old reflects. “I just pray that the blessings continue and the success of (drama series) Kadenang Ginto goes on.” She then jokes, “I also wish to get taller, but that seems impossible now.”
Andrea’s long experience in show business has given her wisdom and strength that belie her young age. In 2016, she shared her insights and experiences in her book, Goals, including beauty secrets she found to be effective. Now, she makes her bid in the beauty industry with her own line of cosmetics, Blythe for Careline. Named after heavenly bodies, the products are easy to apply and can even withstand long taping hours. But she wasn’t always into beauty. She credits her kaartehan to her mother, who had inspired her to come out of her shell and pursue her dreams.
Her mother helps her get through the rough patches of showbiz. “She used to do my makeup, hair, even my styling,” Andrea reveals. “I learned how to project that awra in pictures from her. In fact, she now manages my Instagram account.”
Having six million followers on social media, the young actress is aware of her responsibility, especially among younger fans. She tries to present a hopeful image to them, despite the inevitable negative comments thrown her way. Praying helps her overcome them, as well as relying on the people who truly matter: her mother, her elder sister, her grandparents, and her team at work. Andrea is a believer of YOLO ever since she first heard of it. “We have to make the most of life, so we should love ourselves enough not to be affected by what strangers say. You can vent to people you trust, you can cry, you can pray, but the choice is yours if you want to dwell on the negative or on the positive. You can always rise again after falling.”
It’s advice that works, and Andrea’s achievements that manifest this belief. Sky’s the limit for her, though: She dreams of more challenging roles, more awards, and even more pets. She adds, “Hopefully, in five years, I’m just happy and content.”