Andrea Brillantes looks back on her struggles as child actress and young breadwinner


Andrea Brillantes has opened up on her childhood and bared her struggles growing up while having to help her parents provide for the needs of their family as a child actress.

In an interview with Karen Davila posted last July 9 on the veteran journalist’s Youtube channel, the 19-year-old actress shared how she entered the industry at the age of seven and became the family’s breadwinner at 10 years old, while they were living at an illegal settlement. 

Having to help shoulder the needs of her family, her school tuition fees, and the cost of electricity bills and other utilities with the money she earned from her projects, Brillantes said that at a young age, she has already became exposed to the difficult realities of life.

“Hindi naman talaga siya naging mahirap para sa akin, ang naging mahirap po para sa akin noon is ako yung bunso, tapos bata din yung mga kapatid ko noon,” she said, recalling what it was like to support her parents. 

“Yung struggle ko dati, since bata sila, hindi pa nila alam kung gaano kahirap kumita ng pera. Ako kasi bata pa lang ako, naranasan— namulat na ako na ang hirap. Hirap hirap kumita ng pera,” the young actress added. 

Due to being her family’s breadwinner at a young age, Brillantes also said that she had sacrificed a lot, which, in turn, caused her to miss out on her childhood. 

Among these sacrifices, according to the young actress, were the dream schools that she wanted to attend, but ultimately had to give up on because of her family’s circumstances at the time. 

Back then, Brillantes said that she also had thoughts about “sharing” what she has earned, stressing that she had no qualms about sharing her money but at times also felt hurt when she wanted to keep certain things as her own.

“Pinaka-masakit sa akin sasabihin nila ‘madamot ako’, pero para sa akin gusto ko lang din yung minsan yung sa akin,” she said, referring to her older siblings and added that they have since become more understanding and grateful of her feelings and situation. 

According to Brillantes, having to shoulder such responsibilities at a young age has certainly affected her as she felt confused with maturing and coming of age early. 

“Nung nag-15 ako, bumalik ako sa pagkabata kasi natakot ako, sabi ko ‘ayaw ko, ayaw ko’ ganyan,” the young actress said.

She then mentioned that this experience physically manifested in her tendency of talking in a soft, child-like manner.

“Yung pagb-baby talk ko na laging nagte-trending kasi voice ko talaga siya pero hindi siya ‘yung napipili ko,” Brillantes said.

“Bigla lang siyang nagsi-switch kasi nung bata ako, kulang din ako sa pansin. Kasi nga bunso ako, hindi ako lumaki sa parents ko, baby-baby talaga ako dati-dati pa,” she added.

The young actress shared that her “baby voice” was “sometimes good and bad,” explaining that it often comes out when she feels either comfortable or uncomfortable with the person she is with and when she is excited, or happy. 

“Feeling ko may nakikita akong father figure sayo or kuya figure, ate figure, kasi lumaki din ako sa broken family, so wala akong masyadong father figure talaga” she said, adding how her grandfather who stood in as her “father figure” died early. 

When asked by Davila whether she feels hurt or offended when people make fun of the way she speaks, Brillantes said that she does not.

“Hindi, kasi kahit ako, hindi ko din maintindihan,” the young actress said with a laugh.  

“Bumabalik at bumabalik talaga siya. Nababago ko lang siya kapag may role ako kasi trabaho yon at tsaka kailangan. Feeling ko part talaga siya ng childhood ko na nawala,” she added.

Brillantes first appeared in the children’s comedy television series Goin’ Bulilit back in 2010. In the same year, she also appeared in the ABS-CBN drama series Alyna, where she played the character named Sofia Alvaro.

She has since starred on television drama shows Annaliza (2013), Hawak Kamay (2014), a remake of Pangako Sa ‘Yo (2015), on hit afternoon series Kadenang Ginto (2018), and the film Wild Little Love (2019).