MANILA — Actress Carla Humphries has moved to Los Angeles, turning her back on a career in the limelight in the Philippines, she revealed.
Humphries shared her personal milestone in the latest vlog entry of model Michelle Madrigal, who filmed the episode during her visit to LA.
Humphries, a former Star Magic artist whose acting career started in 2003, recalled that she had originally intended to stay in LA, prior to the pandemic, for just a week.
“It was really tough because I hadn’t really planned on moving to the United States,” she told Madrigal. “I was here for a week and my friend had told me, ‘You should totally come to LA.’ And I came here thinking, ‘Tingnan ko nga kung I can live here.’”
“I didn’t have any big ideas na I’m going to come here and I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that. I was like, ‘Tingnan ko nga,’ because I feel like everyone in my life has a different stage already, and I felt like I needed to search for myself in another place. And I felt like LA was calling me,” she said.
Her first weeks in the US were marred with uncertainties and struggles as the pandemic prevented her from getting settled properly.
“Sa totoo lang, I was overwhelmed because I was in a new country, I had no family and friends in Los Angeles,” she said, narrating that a friend and his family eventually took her in during the lockdown.
Humphries at one point grappled with depression — a struggle compounded by the physical absence of her close friends and family.
“Mahirap talaga. You’ll cry a lot. And I moved here alone. No family, no support system… I was alone mentally. Mentally, I was in the Philippines, thinking of the worst, worrying about my family, didn’t know if I should go back or stay here,” she said.
Aside from challenges concerning her mental health, Humphries also had to navigate a new life, literally and figuratively. Unlike in the Philippines, where she had a car to get around, Humphries now opts to “walk at least 10 miles a day.”
“You need to struggle and hustle,” she said, belying the impression that those who move to the US automatically live a comfortable life.
Humphries, for instance, said she had wanted to “stay in the creative field” for a job.
“But also, you have to be able to support yourself day-to-day. And until now, everything that I spend, I still convert it to pesos. And I’m like, ‘Wait, I’m going to eat fruit for 500 pesos? Why?’” she said.
Her ups and downs so far in LA have made her realize how “resilient” she can be, now that she is apart from the comforts of her home in the Philippines.
“The beautiful thing about the Philippines is you’ll never feel alone. Kahit you’re around strangers, hindi ka magugutom. You always have people ask you how you are. Here talaga, it’s like every man for themselves because it’s hard enough to support yourself,” she said.
“So, if you find enough good people who will give a helping hand, then you’re very lucky. But it’s not always the case. And you’ll really grow up here.”