Even a celebrity like Ella Cruz is not exempted from bullies as she recalled her experience with them during her high school days.
It was her first school in Angat, Bulacan that gave her such traumatizing experience, she shared during the virtual media conference of her upcoming series The Seniors on Tuesday, February 22 .
“To be honest, yung high school talaga ang isa sa mga pinakamagulong parte ng buhay mo. Kasi doon ko na-experience na ma-bully ako.”
Cruz was bullied due to her career as an artist. Her height was also one of the factors why bullies picked on her.
“Siguro kung magtatanong kayo kung ano po yung mga na-bully sa akin is isa is maliit ako. Tapos laos na artista daw ako kapag wala akong projects sinasabihan ako nang mga ganoon.”
There were also rumors against her that she used to bribe teachers to get good grades.
“Tapos sinasabihan nila ako na nakakapasa lang ako ng grades kasi daw binabayaran ko daw ang mga teachers kahit na lagi akong absent,” she continued.
It even reached a point where former classmates have harassed her for no reason.
“Tapos nagkaroon one time na I’m just walking sa hallway namin tapos bigla akong kinorner ng mga kaklase ko dito. Tapos bigla nila akong sinampal out of nowhere, nang walang reason talaga.”
Fortunately, she transferred to a school in Quezon City and met her true friends who did not care about her celebrity status.
“As in sila nagturo paano magmura, mga gano’n. Until now nagtutulungan kami sa business. Hanggang ngayon nagtutulungan kami. So yeah, masaya talaga ang senior year. Kailangang i-cherish nang lahat.”
Cruz was able to enjoy her senior year life because of her newfound friends, revealing that she broke the rules just to be with them.
“Sa senior year ko po kasi, kahit na-home study ako, ang rules kasi sa school namin dapat 2-3 days lang kami pumapasok to take exams. Pero ako, in-everyday ko kasi na-meet ko ang mga friends ko na totoo. Until now, even after graduating we’re still friends. Ang pinaka-blessing is na-meet ko sila during my senior year,” she added.
By doing The Seniors, she learned the reality that not everyone experiences similar struggles in life.
“Yung lesson sa mismong series is exactly what the creative said. Lahat tayo merong pinagdadaanan. P’wedeng sa kanya mababaw lang ang tingin mo pero para do’n sa kaibigan mo na ‘yon sobrang big deal iyon.”
The actress is also hoping to spread mental health awareness and educate Filipinos to accept that it is normal to feel depressed and down.
“I think yun ang gusto ko i-advocate na hindi ‘yon nabibigyan ng pansin. Sa Korea, malaki ang support sa mental health. Even sa ibang bansa they always look for psychiatrist for support system, ang dami-daming support group sa ibang bansa.
“And then dito ‘pag sinabing gan’yan ka baliw ka na agad, nag-iinarte ka lang. So siguro ‘yon ang pinaka-gusto kong i-take serious nating mga Pilipino yung mental health awareness natin.
“Kasi hindi mo p’wedeng sabihin sa isang tao whose depressed na you feel the same way, or you understand it. Kasi mas lalo lang nagkakaroon nang trigger button.”
The Seniors also stars Julia Barretto, Awra Briguela, and newcomer Andrea Babierra. It will premiere on Vivamax starting March 20.