Kathryn Bernardo may seem to have it all. At the cusp of turning 21 years old, Kath is at her prime in the showbiz world—she's got beauty, fame, and a solid love team to boot. But beneath the surface, the Kapamilya star has, in fact, been subjected to bullying.
In a report by ABS-CBN, Kathryn details how she experienced bullying when she moved to Manila from her hometown of Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija:
"Kasi grade 3 ako [nung] nag-transfer [ako] dito sa Manila. So dun ako dati sa Cabanatuan lumaki na simple lang ang lahat. Parang na-shock ako na ganito dito sa Manila. Tapos may mga classmates ka from before—lalo 'pag new student ka, ganyan—of course, may mga minor bullying."
The bullying was only to get worse once she joined showbiz, and more so now, in the age of social media. Being part of one of the biggest love teams today makes her an easy target of online trolls, but what makes it worse is that her family gets hit as well:
"Siguro 'yung sa cyber bullying 'yun 'yung pinaka-worst sa akin. Parang lahat ng naiisip mong masakit parang nasabi na 'yun sa akin. Mas na-offend ako 'pag dinadamay sila mama, my niece na four years old lang—lahat sila dinadamay nila."
To help other children deal with bullying, Kathryn has been a staunch supporter of the non-profit organization Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Phil Inc., a charity that gives access to Filipino children in need of cleft and palate surgery.
She says, "Ako nga na normal na tao nabu-bully, what more 'yung ibang mga bata na 'di sila confident physically tapos ibu-bully mo pa."
Adding, "Dapat maging isa tayo sa mga taong nagpre-prevent ng [bullying] kasi 'yung iba, kapag tino-tolerate 'yung ganyan, iniisip nila na okay lang."
Follow Jacinda on Instagram.