MANILA, Philippines – It was during the 1980s when former sexy actress Lala Montelibano rose to fame and captured the silver screen.
She became popular through the sultry roles she portrayed in various movies, and together with Pepsi Paloma, Myra Manibog, Sarsi Emmanuel and other sexy actresses, Montelibano’s star shone brighter.
But life has not always been sweet for Montelibano. In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN anchor Korina Sanchez, she related what she had gone through since the early years of her life.
Her own mother pimped her at the age of 11.
“Opo. Bale siya po ang ...kumbaga, parang sample na nandito ako sa isang kuwarto, nandito rin 'yung Amerikano, tinitignan niya lang po kami kung ano ang ginagawa sa akin,” she said.
According to Montelibano, it was during the wake of Paloma when talent scout Rey dela Cruz saw her and asked if she wanted to become an actress.
“Noong inililibing po si Pepsi Paloma, nakiusyoso po kami sa last lamay. Sabi ni Rey dela Cruz, maganda ka, gusto mong mag-artista? 'Opo, opo,' sabi kong ganun. Hindi ko na naintindihan. Sabi niya, 'Gusto mong mag-bold?'” she recounted.
For more than 3 years, Montelibano’s career thrived. She even bagged a best supporting actress nomination in 1986 at the prestigious Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) awards for her movie “Kailan Tama ang Mali” directed by Celso Ad Castillo.
When she was 18, she left her career and, without hesitations, decided to just become a mother. She had 4 children. But her relationship with the father of her children didn’t last long.
Due to financial constraints, Montelibano was forced to leave her children with their father so she could go back to Manila and work.
“Sa pinsan ko po (ako nag-stay). Naghe-help ako sa kanya maglilinis ng bahay, maglalaba, kapag magluluto siya... Lahat ng gawaing bahay po. Tapos ang pinaka[trabaho] ko po, nagke-caregiver po ako,” she said.
She never thought this would be the start of another calvary in her life.
“Lalaban ako ng patayan makuha ko lang ang anak ko. Kahit saan ho ako pagtrabahuhin, kahit ano, huwag lang sila mawala pati 'yung komunikasyon na ngayon gusto rin nilang tanggalin. Huwag daw akong kausapin ng mga anak ko,” she tearfully said.
For the full story, catch "Rated K" at 8 p.m. on Sunday on ABS-CBN.