MANILA, Philippines -- Her restless, jolly disposition onscreen is true for Melai Cantiveros off-camera, but for the former "Pinoy Big Brother" champion, her "biggest insecurity" is something she's had to live with since her tumultuous days in high school.
"Ang ngipin ko, kasi one seat apart," Cantiveros told "Showbiz Inside Report" in an interview that aired Saturday, when asked on her source of insecurity.
Her high school classmates were able to have their teeth fixed. But this was not the case for her.
"Kasi dati 'yung braces, pag high school, pag may braces ka mayaman ka 'di ba? 'Sosyal, may braces siya,'" she said.
"Pero hindi ko nakuha kasi mahal nga 'yon sabi ng mama ko," she added.
Her classmates' braces weren't all she envied, the "PBB" alumnus recounted.
"'Yung mga classmates ko naglalagay ng special cream sa mukha, pulbo lang sa akin, kasi pulbo lang ma-afford," Cantiveros said.
"Kami, pinalaki kami ng mom ko na kung ano ang ibigay, 'yun lang ang kaya," she added.
Her fortune changed when she became one of the housemates of the "Double Up" edition of "PBB," wherein she emerged champion in 2010.
Since then, Cantiveros has become one of the most visible PBB "graduates" along with Kim Chiu, Sam Milby, Gerald Anderson and Ejay Falcon.
Now a mainstay of the late-night gag show "Banana Split," Cantiveros is also reportedly among the cast members of an upcoming ABS-CBN primetime series.