Liza Soberano believes she has finally "earned the right" to be herself after all these years.
"Hey… It’s been a while. I know I’ve been distant, but please know it wasn’t my intention to make you feel abandoned. I was going through some changes and everything was coming at me so fast. I didn’t have the time to fully process what was going on and slowly found myself getting lost in the motions. But I’m ready now. So, to fill you in on what’s been happening, let’s rewind a bit," Liza opened the vlog.
Throughout the video's 14-minute run, she narrated major milestones that took place since the COVID-19 pandemic started, interspersed with clips from her life since 2020. Liza then got candid in front of the camera as she finally revealed how she felt about her showbiz career as a whole.
Here are key takeaways from the revelatory vlog through Liza's own words that she wrote and delivered herself.
Gratitude for her manager, James Reid
A "very lost and introspective" Liza was in limbo coming out of the pandemic, having just ended her contract with Star Magic.
"At this point, I had been working for over a decade with no real break since I was a kid. The pandemic was the first time in my life where I was allowed to stop and be still. This forced me to think: I didn't have a childhood nor did I have the chance to grow and become an adult on my own terms. I had always been told what to do, what to wear, what to say, and what not to say. I know this was for my own good. It was to protect me and my career, but it was a career I had no say in. A career that in many ways wasn't mine," the actress admitted.
She then clarified that her vlog is "not a story of bitterness or regret." Rather, it's quite the opposite, "a story about growth and gratitude."
Liza went on to recall how she got to decide her own path.
"The randomest thing happened. James Reid reached out to me wondering what I was up to and seeing if I wanted to collaborate. I knew of his music label and admired the mission and vision behind it. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided I wanted to see what this could look like for me," Liza recalled.
From there, she met Reid's Careless Music team, whom she described as a group of young, passionate, hardworking people busy with different projects and their own individual dreams. "I loved their energy, I loved their freedom, and I love how ferociously ambitious they all were," she said."
Soon enough, she found herself working at the record label's office almost every weekday, describing the nine-to-five as "the closest thing I had to experiencing a corporate job."
Taking charge of her career
Thanks to Reid and Careless, Liza was able to explore a different skill set in an entirely new environment. They initially worked on her small enterprise, learning how to build business models, studying financials, and understanding branding.
"I love the way they respected my vision and intelligence as I did theirs. They were supportive of me and worked hard on my small projects without asking for anything in return," the young adult said. Within a few months, the team became her "family."
"I eventually sat down with them and told them that I was ready to let them manage me as Liza Soberano and I'll never forget the conversation we had. I asked them what the plan was for me and they said, 'I don't know you tell us. We're here to support whatever your dreams are.' That's when I knew I had found my team," Liza reminisced.
She explained that she had been approached by many management companies before, but it was the first time that she was asked what made her happy. "People were shocked when word got around that I had signed up to a startup company, but what they didn't understand was that I chose a team that wanted to support my vision rather than lay one out for me," she clarified.
One of her proudest experiences was shooting her first audition in years and landing the role just a couple of days after submitting the take. This was the role of Taffy in the upcoming horror-comedy film Lisa Frankenstein. Already, this was a career breakthrough for Liza, who felt she was pigeonholed into limiting projects for much of her showbiz career.
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Foray into writing and directing
"I'm 25 years old now and I think people forget that I've been working for 13 years now since I was 12 years old. And I've been in six feature films, over 500 episodes of teleseryes, and have only really dabbled into three main genres: romance, comedy, and drama. And since I was 16, I had only really worked side-by-side with one main co-star with the same production company rotating around the same three directors. And during all those years, I was never really asked for my input," Liza confessed.
With all of her ideas and thoughts waiting to be unlocked, Liza felt she was being told to be "just a flower for so long." Interestingly, she penned a poem entitled A flower's dream that she posted on social media several days ago. "I wonder if flowers dream/Do they dream of having wings," Liza wrote. Her poem was praised by Hollywood co-star Kathryn Newton and her supportive beau, Enrique Gil.
"I'm slowly starting to dip my toes into the world of writing and producing and it's such an exhilarating feeling that I've never felt before," Liza elated.
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Recently, she worked closely with a brand during pre-production meetings, storyboarding, and scriptwriting.
"I'll be launching this partnership with this brand on Monday, Feb. 27, so please stay tuned. I'm so excited for you guys to see the commercial. This was my first-ever jab at directing and I am just so excited to see everyone's reaction to it. It's nothing like I've ever done before, that's for sure. And I'm sure a lot of you guys will be shocked and will be surprised. But I had the best time working on it and working with this team so I hope you guys will show it some love," Liza said.
Reintroducing Hope Soberano
Finally, Liza ended the video by reintroducing herself as Hope Soberano, her real name. Earlier in the vlog, she said she didn't choose the foreign name "Liza" for herself.
She expressed gratitude to her supporters, everything she has experienced professionally and personally, the brands she's worked with, the places she's been to, as well as being able to support her family and live a comfortable life.
"I know I've been getting some backlash and I obviously know that it would be much easier to just stick to what has been working for me to stay forever the same. And I know and I understand that it's unfair to all the lives of fans. But I hope you understand that by doing so, by giving into the pressure of doing what everybody else wants for me, I am being unfair to myself, Hope Soberano. I've sacrificed my childhood, I've sacrificed my freedom, and I've sacrificed my happiness to present Liza Soberano to the world. And I think that I've earned the right to finally be me. To finally be able to do things for me as Hope Soberano," she concluded.