“To be honest, na-expedite ‘yung adulting ko.”
Being one of the biggest names in Philippine entertainment and with a fiercely loyal and huge following has not insulated Sarah Geronimo from the debilitating headwinds brought by the annus horribilis that is 2020.
The COVID-19 lockdown, along with the economic and political upheavals it has brought has taken a toll on the entertainment industry. Her marriage to celebrity actor Matteo Guidicelli, which was not without controversy, also added another layer of challenge.
“To be honest, na-expedite ‘yung adulting ko,” Sarah said in a virtual press conference arranged by insurance firm Manulife. “Ngayon ko lang na-experience how to handle my own finances, how to budget, how to invest.”
Before her marriage, Sarah admits most of her affairs were managed by her mother, Divina Geronimo. Her contentious relationship with her mother has been widely reported in media for years.
“Ang mama ko po talaga kung kaya niya gawin lahat, gagawin niya para sa mga anak niya para lang hindi maistorbo ang mga anak niya. Ganun siya ka-loving sa mga anak niya, so ngayon natututunan ko na lahat, with the help of my husband,” Sarah said.
“I grew up na very dependent talaga sa aking parents, kasi talagang grabe naman talaga mag-alaga ang aking mama and daddy. I keep reminding myself now na hindi na ako single. I have to accept na hindi na ako single. Iba na ang priority ko sa buhay, my priority now is my husband kasi yun ang reality ng buhay ng pag-aasawa, na ang priority na is your husband and the family that you will be building with your husband,” Sarah said.
(Read about their wedding in February on latestchika.com)
As Mrs. Guidicelli, Sarah has now started to take control of her finances. “We are learning together. Sabay kaming natututo sa buhay, sa paghawak ng pera, sa pag-invest ng aming ipon, so it’s a continuous learning process,” Sarah said.
She now considers putting money in property and health insurance as best investments for one’s future.
Sarah considers the uncertainty brought by the pandemic as one of the biggest challenges she has faced this year.
“Mentally talaga para kang nakulong lang and in terms of career mo. Yung job, you also worry about it, kung may mangyayari ba sa trabaho ko, paano na ito, paano na yan. Pero mas naapektuhan talaga ako sa uncertainty ng buhay, lalo na may kinakaharap tayo na virus. It’s a constant battle in your mind,” she said.
“Maraming struggles itong dinulot ng pandemic—physically, mentally, emotionally. But nagpapasalamat tayo sa Diyos dahil ok pa naman lahat.”
She said what helped her to pull through the difficult year was her unyielding faith.
“Ang nakatulong lang sa akin is my faith talaga. Now more than ever kailangan natin kumapit sa faith natin.”
Another area that Sarah admits she is having an issue with is staying physically fit while at home, a challenge compounded by her newfound passion for cooking and baking for her household.
Sarah said she may have even gained a bit of weight due to stress eating, but she tries to compensate by whipping up healthy dishes.
“Importante na hindi lang masarap kinakain mo kung di healthy din mga niluluto at hinahain mo, so that is a challenge for me lalo na ngayon nagluluto na ako, kasi even yung desserts din may way to make it healthier.”
As evidenced by her husband’s glowing reviews online, Sarah has recently taken up baking. She shared though that being a home baker wasn’t easy in the beginning, as there was even a time when Matteo threw up her first batch of homemade bread.
I grew up na very dependent talaga sa parents…My priority now is my husband kasi yun ang reality ng buhay ng pag-aasawa.
“Nag-start yata ako sa bread, yung umpisa nga yung bread ko pinatikim ko kay Matt. Naluwa pa niya sa tigas eh,” Sarah recalled with a laugh. “So talagang inulit ko hanggang mag-lasang tinapay na siya.”
Now, aside from bread and cakes, she also cooks some of her favorite Filipino dishes such as kare-kare and pinakbet though still with “a shortcut version.”
Working from home, Sarah said cooking for Matteo has been one of the things she looks forward to daily. “Now that I have learned to cook, mas ginaganahan ako sa buhay, mas ginaganahan akong bumangon sa umaga,” Sarah said.
To offset the calorie gain, Sarah said she also tries to find time in the morning to run with Matteo, who is also a passionate triathlete.
“I’m very lucky kasi ang aking partner sa buhay ay very active, so malaki ang influence niya sa akin to stay healthy, eat healthy, and stay active so pinagpapasalamat ko yun,” said Sarah.
From the heights of showbiz royalty, Sarah said being grounded at home has made her more appreciative of the simple things in life, such as the gift of family.
“Most of us are busy sa kanilang buhay and sa kanilang dreams and goals in life na nakalimutan mo na yung essence of family, being there for them, na pag kumain kayo sa hapag-kainan mag-uusap talaga kayo eye-to-eye, at hindi nakatingin sa gadgets.”
Sarah said raising little kids is something that she has also been thinking about.“Iniisip ko paano kung nagkaroon na ako ng anak. Paano ko ba sila mapapalaki ng tama.”
If their little ones ever try to dip their toes in showbiz, Sarah said she will be supportive, but studies should come first. “Para sa akin, gusto ko unahin muna ang pag-aaral. Importante talaga yung mga degree ka na natapos,” said Sarah.
But for now, she said they plan on enjoying each other’s company and, when the world somehow begins to normalize, travel a bit.
“We want to enjoy itong stage ng buhay namin as husband and wife,” said Sarah.
Banner photo from Platinumlist.net