(Users of the ABS-CBN News mobile app can view this slideshow via an Internet browser.)
MANILA – It has been 11 years since Sarah Geronimo was first given the title "Pop Princess" after she won in the talent competition “Star for a Night.”
Following her victory, Geronimo landed a record deal with Viva Entertainment, which still manages her career up to this day.
Over a decade later, "Cheche Lazaro Presents" joined the 25-year-old singer as she looked back at her humble beginnings.
“Sobrang gagaling po ng mga co-finalsits ko and text voting po 'yan eh. Throughout the competition, kulelat talaga ako. Hindi ako nagna-number one. Talagang hindi ako napapansin. Weakest link ang tingin ko sa sarili ko noon,” she recalled.
Only 14 at that time, Geronimo said she just lifted her performance up to God.
“Nagdasal ako nung bago ako lumabas ng stage. Sabi ko, 'Lord alam ko po na magagaling 'yung mga kalaban ko. Mahina po 'yung laban ko pero ibibigay ko 'yung best ko para sa pamilya ko at para sa inyo. Thy will be done. Kung ano po ang gusto niyo,'” she said.
Little did she know that her victory marked the start of her journey to stardom.
“Sobrang hirap po ng buhay namin noon. Dumating 'yung point na kaya ako sumali sa competition is hindi para sa dream ko pero mainly para suportahan yung family ko financially kasi wala na kaming makain, wala na kaming pamasahe, lagi na kaming absent sa school, promissory note na lang lagi. Deprived ako sa pagkain. Kaya ngayon, sobrang takaw ko talaga. Wala pa kaming shampoo, toothpaste,” she shared.
But her more comfortable life now also has a price.
“May pambayad na kami pero kailangan ko namang mag-concentrate sa career ko. Kailangan ko i-give up 'yung regular schooling ko sa UST pero naituloy ko naman. Nag-home study ako sa Angelicum College,” she said.
Despite this, Geronimo said she is still privileged to have a career that she really loves.
Since her "Star for A Night" win, Geronimo has achieved numerous milestones. Aside from best-selling albums, Geronimo also proved herself as a live performer as DVDs of her concerts have all achieved platinum status.
As an actress, Geronimo has appeared in numerous TV series. Since 2003, she has topbilled four Kapamilya soap operas. She has also been named as the Box Office Queen following the massive success of her romantic-comedy trilogy with John Lloyd Cruz.
She has also made waves internationally after bagging nominations in various award-giving bodies recognizing her performances.
With these milestones, Geronimo said she would do her best in taking care of her voice which is her key in this business.