Maureen Wroblewitz chooses ‘dabarkads’

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Maureen Wroblewitz fulfills her grandmother’s wish to join ‘Eat Bulaga.’

She said the driving force behind her decision was the longtime dream of her 82-year-old maternal grandmother who wanted to see her regularly in the longest-running noontime variety show in the country

After her successful foray in the modeling world, Maureen Wroblewitz, the first Filipina to win Asia’s Next Top Model (ASNTM), sashays her way into the local television scene as the newest addition to the Eat Bulaga family.

The half-Filipina, half-German beauty surprised many when she made her noontime television debut in the program’s hit segment “Barangay Jokers.” Since then, the 20-year-old dabbles in different portions of the show.

Maureen disclosed that she had to decline offers from two competing networks when she decided to join Eat Bulaga. She said the driving force behind her decision was the longtime dream of her 82-year-old maternal grandmother, Iluminada Pojas, who wanted to see her regularly in the longest-running noontime variety show in the country.

“I’ve known the show since I was a little and I know that it is being watched by millions worldwide. As a matter of fact, my grandmother religiously watches it. It’s her longtime wish to see me regularly on television and me joining Eat Bulaga is, in a way, fulfilling that wish. At the same time, I want to try something new, venture into an unknown territory — live television. And what better way to do that than to be part of the longest and most successful program in the country,” she said.

A ‘natural’
Jenny Ferre, SVP for Creatives and Operations of Eat Bulaga, said that she and the management were impressed by the model’s determination, passion and fighting spirit. She added that the show likes to give opportunities to young people who dare to dream, just like Maureen.

“She’s a natural and has so much potential. When you talk to her, she has that charm and you’ll really feel that she’s here to prove something of herself. We like that attitude. She’s eager to show what she can do and at the same time very open to new ideas,” Ferre said.

She added that Maureen will eventually participate in other program segments but will just take one step at a time. She said they want her to fully embrace and adapt to live television. “She’s a model and it is understandable that she is not used to the television life. But she can very well carve her own path in this industry and we’re happy to be part of that.”

Admittedly, Maureen said she has a long way to go and is still getting used to working on a live television show and in front of a big audience. But she’s looking forward to meeting everyone in Eat Bulaga and to learn from her co-hosts.

“I still get nervous and I admire people who work live on television because it’s not easy. I just try to calm myself down and get help from the people who have always been there for me. It’s scarier but it is fun. I actually enjoy it.”

No time for bashers
As for the negative comments she’s getting for her lack of television experience or her poor Tagalog speaking skills, the model said she’d rather focus on the positives rather than the negatives.

“People always ask me if I get affected. Of course I get affected, I’d be lying if I say I didn’t. But I learned how to handle it and I think it is normal, sometimes I even laugh at the comments. I read it but I don’t really focus on them. I’ve already anticipated that I’ll have bashers even after winning ASNTM. If you decide to be in the public eye, not everyone is going to like you.”

Maureen added that nowadays, bashers rarely get to her nerves as she grew a thicker skin after joining ASNTM.

She recalled that early on the competition, when she started opening up to her co-models, some said negative things behind her back while others accused her to be unworthy of her spot in the model search.

“Some things happened off camera. Two weeks in, they were talking about me, they’re judging me. I was struggling because I never had that feeling growing up because I was never bullied in school. There are girls who are more experienced than me but they were eliminated and that just didn’t bode well with others. They always ask, ‘why are you still here?”

I’ve already anticipated that I’ll have bashers even after winning ASNTM. If you decide to be in the public eye, not everyone is going to like you.

The bullying, Maureen said, motivated her to perform better. She wanted to prove not just to her co-models, but also to herself that she can win the competition. “It’s very rare that you see short models in the runway but I used that to challenge myself to do better and to prove to everyone that even though I’m not the tallest girl, I can do things my way.  I just took that as a motivation and I will never let that bring me down.”

Asked for advice for people who are having a hard time fitting in, the model who lost her mother at the young age of 11, said it is better to surround yourself with people who are close and dear to you.

“You just have to focus on the positive things. What I like to do is I focus on the good things, especially those that will uplift my spirit.  It also pays to surround yourself with positive people and those who truly believe and love you, like your family and friends. Keep a small group of people whom you know and trust deeply. At the end of the day, you count on people who care.”

Right now, Maureen is grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the longest-running noontime variety program in the country. She said she’ll try to make everyone, especially her fans, proud.

“After ASNTM, I’ve been traveling around. For once, I’ll be in one place for a long time and I think that is great. I’m excited to explore more my roots and meet people along the way.

I also hope that they, the viewers, will also get to know more about me now that I am part of this big family.”

Catch Maureen and the rest of the Eat Bulaga “dabarkads” from Mondays to Saturdays at noon on GMA.

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