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Lexi Gonzales on the joys of giving her family a more comfortable life

October 13 ------ One of the main reasons Lexi Gonzales decided to pursue show biz was to help provide for her single mother and younger brother, who has autism. And now, four years after finishing runner-up in “StarStruck” Season 7, she couldn’t be happier to see her dreams starting to come true.

“Our lives have become more comfortable. I was able to give them a home and I recently bought a car. Thank God my mother no longer needs to commute like we used to,” the Kapuso talent told the Inquirer at a media conference for the second anniversary of the weekly anthology series “Regal Studio Presents,” which airs Sunday afternoons on GMA 7. “My brother is on the autism spectrum, so he has a lot of needs in terms of schooling and therapy. I’m glad I can now give him the things he wants, things I couldn’t afford before. I’m starting to achieve my goals,” she said. “I also want to go into business. Show biz isn’t forever. And you won’t have projects all the time.”

Last year, Lexi landed a supporting role in the drama series “Love You Stranger” and became a cast member of the local adaptation of the popular Korean variety show “Running Man.” This year, Lexi landed her first lead role in the TV remake of the 1980 film “Underage” and was named one of NCAA Season 99’s courtside reporters.

Sense of fulfillment

“I’m thankful to GMA and Regal for taking me in. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to work for my dreams,” said Lexi, who’s setting her sights on new heights. “I feel content with every blessing I receive. There’s always a sense of fulfillment. But after that, you set newer, bigger goals.” Lexi was only 3 years old when her father left. “Babaero,” she said, laughing. They eventually reconciled. And while he doesn’t live with them, she remains in touch with him. “We’re closer now. There was forgiveness. It’s hard to hold grudges, especially toward a parent. He’s still my father,” she said. She also credited her parents for their unwavering support for her show biz career. “I have always wanted to sing and that was what I always did when I went to auditions. But there were times when I felt disheartened because I was bullied back in elementary and high school,” she related. “It was hard to enter show biz. Some people pulled me down, but there were others who lifted me up,” Lexi related. “That’s why I thank my parents, especially now that I’m in the process of ‘adulting.’” The show biz grind can be hectic and exhausting. And when things get too overwhelming, Lexi doesn’t think twice about seeking help. At 23, she already understands the importance of protecting her mental health.

Check on yourself

“They say that if you’re going through the easy path, you’re doing it wrong. I always have my mom by my side, as I face challenges. It’s important to check on yourself … Have enough rest because it can affect you, ” Lexi said. “I also have a personal therapist. Every time I feel like I can’t sustain myself anymore, I go for a session to help myself [and] see if I’m OK.” It’s about time, she said, that Filipino people become more open about issues concerning mental health. “I don’t understand why people find it weird that we can have mental health problems. People start questioning you when you’re going through something—as if you’re not allowed to feel down or experience hardships. I just hope we can change that. I hope parents can also be supportive of their children if they’re going through something,” she said. Lexi’s recent “Regal Studio Presents” episode, titled “Battle of the Exes,” had her paired up with Yasser Marta for the first time. “We felt a bit shy around each other at first. But since we’re both kalog, we got along eventually. We built the chemistry slowly but surely. Sometimes it just naturally comes out when you’re comfortable with each other,” she said. While she’s open to working with different leading men, being stuck in a love team is something she’s wary of. “When you’re in a love team, you’re likely to do similar genres. But I want to explore different projects and genres,” she said.



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