anne_curtis_extra.jpgAnne Curtis is one of this decade’s It girls, and her popularity just keeps rising as the years go by. She’s gone a long way from her first ever showbiz gig back when she was 12 when she acted in the 1997 movie Magic Kingdom. Now she’s an in-demand endorser, leading lady, fashion icon, and TV host—and she even plans to release an album soon! But while Anne’s life might seem like a bed of roses now, this doesn’t mean she hasn’t had her share of hardships. What has Anne learned from her life experiences? Read on to find out.

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1.    SPEND TIME ALONE.

Take a break from your daily life, and spend time with one of the most important people in your life: yourself. When Anne’s four-month-old half-sister, Claire, died six years ago, she traveled alone to Hawaii to reflect and give herself space. “The gift I took from that time is that it allowed me to meet new people, to be independent, think on my feet, and not rely on anyone else,” Anne says. “It showed me I can have a quiet side. I’m so noisy; I’m so bubbly and talkative. But there, I found a reflective side. I can be that introspective person.”


2.    BE SPONTANEOUS.

Anne encourages people to do something adventurous from time to time—just like she did on her solo trip to Hawaii. “Traveling alone isn’t scary, really. The thing is, you have to have common sense. You don’t go anywhere without letting people know where you’re going; you have to be alert to your surroundings always. But if you have the resources and you feel you really need to do it—like I did—then go! You only live once.”


3.    LEARN TO ADAPT.

Anne spent her childhood in Australia with Australian father James Curtis-Smith, Filipina mother Carmen Ojales, and her two siblings. When she started staying in the Philippines to pursue a career in showbiz, Anne had to deal with adapting to a country that was then foreign to her. She recalls being displeased with her Australian accent. “I watched VHS copies of my old shows, and it was really irritating to listen to. Ang arte!” She eliminated it so well some people forget she once had it.


4.    WORK HARD—AND REAP GREAT REWARDS.


In 2008, Anne got her first Best Actress Award for the movie Baler, which had her playing a Filipina in the Spanish colonial period. The role came as a surprise to her because she didn’t think she looked Pinay, but her hard work paid off in the end, and she hasn’t stopped there. Anne hopes to be given “offbeat” roles that will help her test her limits. “I don’t know what the subject will be but I’d like the chance to play grey characters. A good actor can play anything: an alcoholic, a psychopath, something like that.”


5.    LOVE YOUR PARENTS.

Anne is grateful to her parents for making her the person who she is today. She is particularly close to her dad, whom she calls her “personal book of wisdom,” and notes how he always makes sense when she asks him for advice. Anne shares what he said about women her age growing up faster than the men. “He told me, ‘With you, I see you have matured. Just be easy-going, don’t get your knickers in a knot over men. Sooner or later, you’ll be over heartbreak without even noticing you’re over it. So stop crying, stop being foolish.’”


(First published in Marie Claire Philippines in April 2009 as “Free-Falling” by Andrew Paredes; adapted for use on Female Network; photo courtesy of PEP.ph)


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