Princess idinetalye ang traumatic childhood

April 27, 2020
Princess Punzalan
Princess Punzalan

HALOS abot-kamay na ng Los Angeles, California-based Filipina actress na si Princess Punzalan (Bernadette Vela Punzalan-Field) ang kanyang Hollywood dream. Kapag wala na ang coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic ay may sisimulan siyang Hollywood film na may pamagat na “The Interview” na may kinalaman sa mga foreign nationals na  nagnanais na makakuha ng green card o mag-migrate sa America.

Sa ngayon, si Princess ay meron nang American agent at manager.  Si Aileen Bailin of Connect Entertainment Group ang kanyang tumatayong agent habang si Brandon Cohen ng BAC Talent ang kanyang business manager. Si Bily Hufsey naman ang kanyang acting coach.  Billy owns Billy Hufsey School of Performing Arts in L.A.

Nung isang taon ay nakagawa si Princess ng isang international movie, ang “Yellow Rose” kung saan tampok na mga bituin ang Broadway Filipino stars na sina Lea Salonga at Eva Noblezada at dinirek ng US-based Filipino-American director na si Diane Paragas na isa rin sa mga producer ng pelikula.

Princess has been taking acting classes for more than a year now at dito siya na-discover ng kanyang talent agent ngayon na si Aileen Bailin.

Ayon kay Princess, she auditioned for “Yellow Rose” matapos siyang i-recommend ng isang kaibigang director sa Amerika.

“I am so happy I got the part,” aniya.

“The movie was supposed to be distributed and  have worldwide premiere this April but the pandemic happened,” dugtong pa niya.

“When we were filming (the movie), the director (Diana Paragas) asked me why I was not working as an actor in the US because she sees that there are roles for me.  That planted an idea in my head and I asked my husband (Jason Field) what he thought about it.  It resonated with him and said that we should move from San Diego to LA to get closer to the auditions,” patuloy ni Princess.

“We moved.  And I have been taking acting classes for more than a year now,” patuloy niya.

“When you have an agent and manager here, an actor is kinda required to attend classes to keep you sharp,” pahayag ni Princess.    

“Yellow Rose” is going to be distributed worldwide by Sony,” aniya.

Although isa nang registered nurse si Princess matapos siyang mag-aral ng nursing sa Santa Monica College in California (with honors) in 2015, hindi siya nagta-trabaho ngayon dahil sa kanyang domestic responsibilities sa kanyang mister na si Jason at almost six years old daughter nilang si Ellie.

“My daughter needs me to be home right now.  I am her home school teacher since the schools are closed,” ani Princess. 

Taong 2005 nang mag-relocate si Princess sa Amerika with her American husband matapos silang ikasal sa Pilipinas kung saan sila unang nagkakilala.

Si Jason ay dating diplomat assigned in Manila.  They were introduced to each other ng kanilang common friend who believed na match ang kanilang personalities at ugali.

“True enough, nauwi sa kasal,” natatawang pahayag ni Princess.

Dalawang beses ikinasal sa Pilipinas sina Princess at Jason.  Isang civil wedding in Cavite nung May 5, 2005 (5-5-05) at Christian beach wedding in Boracay nung May 14, 2005. They are soon celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary.

Pastor ang nakababatang kapatid ni Princess na si Paolo Punzalan (siya ang nag-officiate ng wedding nina Sarah Geronimo at Matteo Guidicelli), hindi ito ang nag-officiate ng kanilang Christian wedding sa Boracay dahil gusto niyang naroon ang kapatid niya as a family member.

“Para ma-enjoy din niya ang event” paliwanag ni Princess.

“We  (she and Jason) were together (for) four years before we got married,” aniya.

Of course, everybody knows na ex-husband ni Princess ang game show host-producer and businessman na si Willie Revillame but the uncouple remain good friends until now.

“Ay, magkaibigan po kami. Di naman po kami naghiwalay na magkaaway,” ani Princess.

“And we even saw each other in January (2020).  Kinumusta ko siya kasi nabalitaan ko na naapektuhan ang tirahan niya sa Tagaytay,” patuloy pa niya.

Ulila nang lubos sa mga magulang si Princess at ang kanyang younger siblings na sina Paolo, Reuben at Men.  Ang radio-TV host-actress-producer na si Helen Vela ang kanilang ina habang ang veteran  radio-TV broadcaster at dating IBC president na si Orly Punzalan.  Helen died on February 14, 1992 habang nung January 6, 2005 naman sumakabilang-buhay si Orly kaya hindi na rin nito inabutan ang wedding ni Princess with her second husband na si Jason Field four months later.

Princess started her showbiz career in 1984 sa pamamagitan ng pelikulang “Lovingly Yours, The Movie” produced by her mom, the late Helen Vela under Hyper Vision Productions na siya ring host-producer ng kanyang long-running radio-TV program of same title.

Princess also starred in her own drama anthology, “Princess” na tumagal ng dalawang taon (1987 – 1989). The program was replaced by a weekly sitcom, ang “3 + 1” na tinampukan nila ng kanyang inang si Helen Vela kasama sina Ronaldo Valdez at Marissa Sanchez.

Nang sumakabilang-buhay ang ina ni Princess in 1992, siya ang nagpatuloy sa telebisyon ng drama anthology na “Lovingly Yours” at umabot pa ito hanggang 1996.  Magmula noon ay nagpatuloy na lamang si Princess bilang isang actress.

Ang pagiging mahusay na actress ni Princess ay lumutang nang husto nang kanyang gampanan ang papel ni Selina Pereira-Matias na siyang nagpahirap sa character na ginampanan ni Claudine Barretto sa hit ABS-CBN TV series na "Mula sa Puso."  Magmula noon, there was no stopping Princess from portraying villainess roles na kanya namang mahusay na nagampanan.

Ang pagiging effective ni Princess sa mga kontrabida roles ay dahil na rin sa meron siyang pinaghuhugutan.  Unknown to many, isang abused child si Princess  ng kanyang dating yaya dahil parehong nasa work ang kanyang parents na sina Helen at Orly.  Hindi makapagsumbong noon si Princess sa kanyang mommy dahil sa sobrang takot.  Aksidente lamang ito na-discover ni Helen nang minsang mag-day off ang kanyang yaya dahil ultimo ang kanyang ina ay ayaw niyang lapitan sa takot.  When she finally opened up to her mom ay saka ipinakulong ang kanyang yaya.

“The yaya was not patient.  She did not want to hear me cry or complain. When I do, she physically hurt me.  Sampal, untog sa pader, suntok sa sikmura, kurot na maliit at inilalagay niya ako noon sa sako pagkatapos ay itatali at ilalagay sa loob ng cabinet para di niya ako marinig,” pagbabalik-tanaw ni Princess na talagang na-trauma noon sa kanyang yaya.

“From that experience, naging defeatist po ako.  Pakiramdam ko, hindi ako mananalo sa kahit na anong labanan.  Napakarami kong pinagdaanan na abuse,” lahad pa ni Princess na pang MMK o Magpakailanman ang kuwento ng buhay.

We even encouraged Princess to write a book na kanyang kinu-consider.