Although Barbie Forteza is one of the most sought-after Gen Z stars today, she encountered her fair share of rejection prior to her rise to fame. ICYDK, the Maria Clara at Ibarra actress recently revealed that she actually used to be a victim of bullying when she was still in school.
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“Nabu-bully ako sa school t’saka ‘di rin naman ako nag-e-excel masyado sa academics,” Barbie divulged to Karen Davila in an interview last March 2, 2023. Barbie further confessed, “Noong naging excuse kong um-absent ang pag-aartista, na-enjoy ko rin.”
Apparently, Barbie was bullied for four years before she could afford to transfer to a private grade school. At the time, one of her classmates would blackmail her into giving her weekly baon.
“Naka-dalawang school po kasi ako. Grades one to four, public school po ako. Tapos grades 5 and 6, medyo nagko-commercial, medyo may ipon ng kaunti, nakapag-private school na po kami,” Barbie shared. “Noong public school ako, binu-bully ako dahil hindi ko pinapa-utang ‘yung isa kong kaklase. Mga lima-limang piso, pambili ng lunch, ng recess.”
Whenever Barbie refused to give her money, her classmate would list her down as “noisy” so she would have to clean the classroom every day. She explained, “‘Pag hindi ko siya pinapa-utang nililista niya ako sa noisy. ‘Pag noisy ka, kahit hindi ikaw ‘yung cleaner, maglilinis ka on that day.”
“So laging ganoon, so minsan pinapa-utang ko siya. Hanggang sa umabot sa 25 pesos ‘yung utang niya sa’kin,” she added. 25 pesos may not seem like a lot of money in today’s market, but it was already a big deal for students from humble backgrounds like Barbie.
Since then, Barbie has learned to surround herself with positive people instead: “Mas naging mindful ako in choosing my friends. Hanggang ngayon nadadala ko pa rin, lalo na sa ating trabaho.”
We couldn’t have said it better, Barbie!
You can watch Barbie’s full interview here: