Behind their flashy smiles and glitzy dresses, some celebrities had to endure trials and poverty before they made it big in showbiz.
Here are ten celebrities who went from rags to riches after persevering for years.
1. Arwind Santos
He is a professional basketball player of San Miguel Beermen in the Philippine Basketball Association who was the MVP awardee in 2013. Before reaching this success, Arwind lived his life as a scavenger collecting discarded bottles and metal. He was previously employed as a carwash boy and a pedicab driver.
2. Manny Pacquiao
Manny, also known as Pacman, once lived his life in poverty. He experienced eating only once a day and being homeless. He worked different jobs to make a living. He is now known as one of the world’s greatest boxers of all time having a net worth of almost P3 billion.
3. Willie Revillame
The popular host of Wowowin was once a jeepney barker and a newspaper hawker during his younger years before being named as one of the richest TV hosts in the Philippines.
4. Gretchen Barretto
Gretchen who is now an actress-socialite had to work hard at a young age to provide the necessities of her family. She has been with her partner Tonyboy Cojuangco for over two decades now.
5. Regine Velasquez-Alcasid
She rose to fame in the music scene and was dubbed as Asia’s Songbird. The award-winning singer narrated her past life in an interview: “Yung pinangarap ko noon, pinray [pray] ko kay God na sana matulungan ko yung family ko, kasi nga mahirap lang kami no’n. And I wanted to be a recording artist. What happened to me, dun sa pinangarap ko, dun sa pinag-pray ko, He gave me so much more.”
6. Jake Zyrus
The singing sensation rose to fame internationally when she was discovered via YouTube as Charice Pempengco by Hollywood TV host Ellen DeGeneres and by Oprah Winfrey. Since then, Jake had numerous singing gigs as a young artist. Jake was the breadwinner of his family who made a living by joining various singing contests.
7. Sarah Geronimo
The Popstar Royalty admitted that she was motivated by the hardships in life to strive for success. After her family business’ hit bankruptcy, Sarah struggled going to school due to their financial crisis. She also developed an ulcer when their family had no money for food. These struggles fuelled her decision to join showbiz .Sarah shared: “Hirap na hirap na po kami talaga. Naging driving force po talaga [iyon] para kumilos ako, mag-audition ako. Hindi ko na siya ginawa dahil sa pangarap ko, ginagawa ko siya dahil gusto kong mai-ahon ang pamilya ko sa kahirapan.”
8. Jericho Rosales
The Kapamilya actor is now known as one of the hottest leading men in the country. He was once a fish vendor but after winning as Mr. Pogi 1997, he earned his spot in showbiz. Jericho said, “Success is actually ‘yung mafu-fulfill mo ‘yung purpose mo.”
9. Vice Ganda
At a young age, Vice lost his father who was killed in front of him and his mother. His mother then worked in the US to support their family. He is now one of the most sought-after TV hosts, actors, endorsers, recording artists. He even owns his makeup brand.
10. Marvin Agustin
Before becoming a Kapuso actor, Marvin worked as a waiter at the age of 16. Currently, he owns several restaurants. Many see him as a “silent millionaire” but Marvin said that this is not true. “Hindi naman totoo na mayaman ako. Gusto ko maging inspiration ang story ko na hindi hadlang ang kahirapan o pinag-aralan.”