Apr 17
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Neri Naig: On her way to fulfilling her childhood dreams

Author: The Manila Bulletin

I know that I have reached stardom if I'm already doing a movie with Aga Muhlach!"

She added that she looks up to him as an actor and that most young actresses today have always dreamt of making a movie with Aga Muhlach.

Eighteen-year-old Neri Naig almost didn't have a chance to continue her showbiz career if she wasn't determined and if she had a weak heart for failures. It is because Neri didn't make it as one of the 10 finalists to the recently concluded Star Circle Quest. Neri lost to Sandara because the latter received more text votes than her.

"I was able to recover easily because of Boy Abunda. On national TV and even TFC I heard him say sorry because grabe daw talaga ang judging. Wow. Feeling ko before he did not like me pero after the contest he said that I was his favorite. Inisip ko sana noon pa niya nasabi sa akin yun. That really helped me," smiled Neri.

"I also believe that there's always a reason why things happen. Siguro hindi lang ako nababagay na makasali sa Top Five."

Not making it to the Final 10 of "SCQ" was not a total failure though for her. Because now she is in "SCQ Reload, Ok Ako!" and she appears regularly in "ASAP Mania."

In "SCQ Reload," she plays herself with a twist. She may be ambitious, driven and independent in real life, but her TV character is spiced-up as a social climber and a promo-girl for different night events. Both her personas believe that women and men are equal!

"I am very happy with the show. This is a show where we can prove our talents and maipakita na karapat-dapat talaga kami sa show na ito and as Questors. Masaya kasi mas lalong makikilala kami ng mga audience and our fans...same ugali namin ang mga characters na binigyan lang ng story," she related.

So how much of her is she bringing to her TV character?

"Halos pareho kami especially in being independent at pagiging palaban...I believe in equality po saka mas gagamitin ang utak kaysa sa puso at mas pipiliin ko ang career if I am made to choose."

Aside from her TV gigs, Neri is already basking in her becoming a movie actress. She is in the John Lloyd and Bea Alonzo's movie "Now That I Have You" which started showing yesterday. She plays the dream girl of John Lloyd's character. In the works for her right now also is Star Cinema's suspensethriller-love story called "Lihim." She will portray the young character of Gloria Diaz. She will work alongside Claudine Barretto and Diether Ocampo.

"I'm really excited about this movie because I'm a Claudine Barretto fan. Kung papanoorin ninyo ang SCQ, lahat ng roles ni Claudine ginagawa ko at ang hirap! My favorite movie is Kailangan Kita,'" she shared.

Now that her career is taking her places, Neri shared that her parents' main advice is for her to finish her education.

"Sabi nila sa akin, kahit gaano kahirap, kahit pakonti-konti ng units, I must do everything to finish my college education." Neri is a sophomore Masscom student at the University of Baguio.

In her younger years, Neri didn't really think of becoming an actress. "Bata pa lang ako, sinasabi ko na na gusto kong makilala sa buong Pilipinas. But I didn't know then how I would make that happen."

Then when she was 16 years old, her mother convinced her to join a beauty contest."She told me to try it out. I did and I made it."

She won as 2nd runner-up in the Northern Luzon Beauty Pageant. That was the first and last beauty contest she joined citing the hardships that went with it. She'd rather act than be a beauty contestant.

Among other things, Neri wants to excel in drama. She wants to explore and bring out the best in her as a dramatic actress. She also would like to become a good TV host someday.

"I hope I'll have my own soap opera in the future and hosting jobs kasi masayang mag-host," she quipped.At the moment, Neri is without a boyfriend (he broke up with her boyfriend from Baguio last February) and she has no plans yet of having another one. But her ideal man must have good looks, must carry himself well and must be brainy!

Will she ever consider doing a sexy movie role someday?

"Ayaw ko, may talent naman ako." She surely made her parents (especially her dad who's working in Saudi) happy with her answer.

Source: The Manila Bulletin