Iza Calzado in a promotional image for 'Starting Over Again.' Star Cinema
MANILA - Iza Calzado broke down in tears as she admitted feeling pressured to be "perfect" in showbiz, saying this has become a challenge in pursuing her purpose in joining the industry.
The 31-year-old actress could not contain her emotions in her interview in the latest episode of "The Bottomline with Boy Abunda," where she opened up for the first time about family problems when she was young.
Calzado's parents, Mary Ann and choreographer-director Lito, passed away in 2009 and 2011, respectively. Both died due to cancer.
Fighting tears, Calzado confirmed with Abunda that she struggled with her mother's "mood swings," with her often at the receiving end. Calzado opted not to discuss the cause of her mother's behavior, but shared that she (Mary Ann) was hurt from things that her father did.
Admitting her father also had gambling problems, Calzado said, "Siyempre frustrated siya (mother), frustrated siya sa bahay, sa family, frustrated siya sa buhay niya."
"When she sees me, I'm a reminder of my father, so may mga bagay na siguro na nagawa siya na masakit. I'm sure masakit para sa kanya, pero masakit lalo para sa akin," she said.
These difficult episodes, Calzado said, triggered excessive emotional eating which caused her to weigh over 200 pounds at one point.
'Hindi ako nag-iisa'
When she was launched by GMA-7 in 2004 as one of its primetime stars, Calzado had already been open about her struggles with obesity as a teen. While she was generous in sharing how she became fit, Calzado was evasive in discussing at length what caused her to gain weight.
"All these years, napaka-private ko," she told Abunda. "Iwas talaga ako tsismis. It's very hard for me to have to talk about my family like this."
"Pero kailangan din para maipakita sa lahat... I'm sure merong manonood nito at sasabihin niyang, 'Hindi pala ako nag-iisa.' Kasi po noong lumalaki ako, feeling ko ako lang 'yung gano'n. Pero ngayon, alam ko na hindi lang ako ang dumaan sa gano'n."
Calzado, who hosts the ongoing "The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition: Doubles" -- a project she has referred to as close to her heart -- added that she considers being a public figure a way to inspire others with struggles similar to hers.
"It would be so powerful if I could touch one or maybe even one million lives through my story. Because this is no accident. I'm here today because of God's blessings, because God gave me this opportunity," she said.
Industry of physicality
Breaking down, Calzado admitted it has been challenging to fulfill this personal mission, saying the demands of showbiz has taken a huge toll on her. In the same interview, Calzado said that earlier in her career, she had to undergo an operation to remove excess skin for a role, but eventually failed to clinch the part.
"Ang hirap po -- hindi ako perpekto. Ang hirap sa industriya na pilit kang ginagawang perpekto, pilit kang imina-market na perpekto," she said, crying. "Ang demands para sa 'yo para maging perpekto, napakalaki. Uusisain ka, kikilatisin ka ng tao, kahit in person. Minsan nakakabastos na."
Inspite of this, Calzado, who transferred to ABS-CBN in January 2012, said she is out to prove that she can succeed "even in this industry of physicality."
"Taas-noo ka pa rin dahil alam mo na meron kang pinapahalagahan, meron kang purpose... I will prevail, I will succeed, because the world, our lives go beyond that (physicality)," she said. "That is my purpose. There is always something deeper and more powerful than what is seen, and that is what matters most."