Her Time to Shine
Coleen Garcia says goodbye to her soft, ‘tweetum’ roles and goes daring in fitness and in acting, proving to everyone that she’s more than just a pretty, baby-faced mestiza actress
Words by Mylene C. Orillo
Styled by Adrianne Concepcion
Make-up by Pong Niu
Hair styled by Renz Pangilinan
Photos by Doc Marlon
Shot on location: Patio Vera Restobar in Marikina City
Special thanks to Ana Yambao
Having a baby face can be a double-edged sword. While you’re always regarded as young fresh, and a baby, some people take it literally and won’t take you seriously, at least when it comes to serious stuffs such as acting.
Born on September 24, 1994, Danielle Claudine “Coleen” Ortega Garcia or more popularly known as Coleen Garcia has been regarded as one of the prettiest and baby-faced actresses in the Philippine entertainment industry.
The mestiza actress who was born of Spanish and Filipino descent started as a commercial model and has appeared in various TV shows and teleseryes such as My Binondo Girl, Wansapantaym, Oka Tokat, Little Champ, among others.
For quite some time, people see Coleen as merely a lookalike of a more famous actress. No one took her seriously as people couldn’t see her beyond her pretty face.
Recently, she started doing movies and teleseryes that depicts serious, daring, mature, and sexy themes such as She’s the One, Ex With Benefits, and Love Me Tomorrow. But what made an impression among televiewers was her impressive portrayal of a mentally challenged teenager on ABS-CBN’s long-time running show, Maalala Mo Kaya that earned her heaps of praises and positive reviews.
A coming of age
Coleen admitted that she didn’t prepare for this new and matured image and that it was more of a coming-of-age.
“Well, more mature than what I used to do because I used to do TV-backer roles so I’m definitely done on that. Now I don’t really want to go back to that. I want to take on more challenging, deeper roles with deeper stories.”
Alongside her matured roles, Coleen made sure her soft, feminine physique gets its share of transformation as well and her highly fitspirational photos featuring her abs and killer workouts on Instagram are proofs to it.
Last year, 23-year-old Coleen became a new “fitspiration” for many of her followers on IG after she posed in colorful bikinis in Maldives with her 34-year-old boyfriend, Billy Crawford.
As to how she maintains her toned and fit body, Coleen shares that she tries going to the gym as much as she can, but don’t really diet as following a strict diet doesn’t work out for her.
Apart from going to the gym, she tries to be active by walking a lot, running, and doing different kinds of sports such as soccer and boxing. “I also endorse this pill, which I use when I go to the gym because it has lots of L-Carnitin and green tea, which are really good for working out. It burns fat and gives energy at the same time so that’s what I use. So on those days when I really can’t go to the gym, I just try to at least walk a lot, run, and be active.”
The accidental celebrity
Looking back, Coleen never saw herself becoming a celebrity or an actress. She was pretty much shy and lacked confidence in talking to people. In school, she would never volunteer for anything and would never raise her hand.
“I used to be a no-person. I used to say no to everything. I used to be too shy. It all started one summer when I decided to just keep saying yes to see where the opportunities take me, to see where God leads me. And then, ironically, I just ended up in showbiz. I just keep saying yes to every good opportunity presented to me and then I just somehow ended up here,” Coleen shares.
Since taking up serious roles, Coleen noticed her life changed a bit; she grew up as a person and felt more matured.
“I feel more prepared now to take more serious roles. You know, it just inspired me more to act because you know I’ve been to It’s Showtime for quite some time. I’d never really give acting a chance. But now, I’m more inspired to actually pursue it.”
On meeting Billy
Coleen met her boyfriend, Billy Crawford, a Filipino-American singer and TV host, on the same noontime variety show. The two started out as friends, until one day, Billy started texting her and the rest is history.
“At first I found it very weird. And then you know it’s something that had to grow on you. It took some time for me to absorb and then our entire getting-to-know-you stage and everything took quite a long time. And it took a long time also for me to accept him in my life but when that happened, tuloy-tuloy na.”
While some people make an issue out of their more than 10-year age gap, Coleen says it doesn’t affect them at all. She’s grateful for Billy’s patience and sees him as the person she wanted to end up with, but as to when, not too soon.
“Billy is a very patient person. Grabe ‘yung pasensya n’ya!” Coleen remarks. “Actually for the first time, I feel like I’ve been with someone my age. I feel like it’s not something you’re supposed to feel pressure into.”
The two have been busy with their respective showbiz projects, but sees to it that they spend some time together to go on trips locally and abroad.
The couple is now celebrating their two-year anniversary. When asked for an advice on women in relationships, Coleen says they just have to know what they deserve and what’s best for them.
“Don’t sell yourself short because you always deserve the best. When you are with a person, just keep compromising, understanding each other, and looking at your partner as an equal. You’re both in a relationship. Pretty much all relationships last when you are both working on it.”
Coleen became a co-host for the noontime variety show in 2012 until she announced her departure from the show this year to prioritize her acting career. According to her manager, she’s currently busy doing a movie with Arci Muňoz and Jessy Mendiola.
On always being compared to other more famous celebrities, Coleen admits that it doesn’t bother her at all as comparison will always be a part of her chosen career as an actress and celebrity.
“We’re always going to be compared to other people. It’s just about knowing who you are so that when people compare you to other people, you don’t lose yourself, you don’t try to be other people, and you don’t try to compare yourself to other people.”
Coleen makes sure she doesn’t let showbiz be the center of her life. She keeps herself busy outside showbiz by spending time with her family, starting a few businesses, and traveling.
“When I have free time, I try to travel. I embrace it like when I have work, I work very hard, and when I don’t have work, I grab the opportunity to do everything that I can.”
Ten years from now, Coleen sees herself settled down, maybe with kids. “Kung 10 years from now ha. Oo naman. And then just happy. That’s my goal in life: To be happy, successful, and have a strong relationship.”