She could’ve easily turned her back on show business but God has other plans for Kristel Fulgar.
The 22-year-old started her career as a child performer. She was a regular on the long-running kiddie gag show “Goin’ Bulilit,” alongside the likes of Kathryn Bernardo and Julia Montes. Going by the rules of the show, Kristel was taken out of it when she hit her teens.
During that awkward stage, Kristel continued her studies.
“Tinapos ko on time ’yung high school and college,” she shared in an interview.
“Actually gusto ko na rin mag-give up (sa show business nu’n). Inisip ko, pwede naman ako kumuha ng regular job either sa advertising or airline industry, pero ’yung nga may mga nagsabi na tuloy mo lang, andiyan ka na.”
Joining the series “Pangako Sa’Yo” proved providential to Kristel. She formed solid bond with co-actor Sue Ramirez, who encouraged her to pursue singing.
“Kinukulit niya ako, try lang daw namin, tapos upload lang sa YouTube ganu’n,” Kristel related.
Getting the hang of it, Kristel did and posted her own videos.
“Nagkataon kasi bago ’yung phone sabi ko subukan ko lang kumanta mag-isa,” she said. “’Yung cover ko ng ‘Love Yourself’ ang unang napansin. Akala ko nga swerte lang, pero nagtuloy-tuloy eh.”
Most of her videos have gotten millions of hits, including her cover of “Secret Love Song” with former “Goin’ Bulilit” co-star CJ Navalto. As of this writing, that video has had a staggering 13 million clicks.
“Sobrang sarap ng feeling, pero nakakakaba at the same time, may pressure din kasi may takot na hindi ko alam kung hanggang kailan tatagal ito.”
Asked how she got CJ involved in the venture, she said, “Kinausap ko lang siya, pumayag naman.”
Already, many are thinking something romantic is going on between the two but Kristel shot down the notion.
“Malinaw ako sa kanya sa umpisa pa lang, trabaho lang talaga,” she said. “Ayoko pa rin naman magka-relationship at this point, gusto ko kasi if ever, first boyfriend ko last na din. Old fashioned ako eh.”
But what about the kilig moments they show on the videos?
“Pinag-usapan namin ’yun to make our followers happy,” Kristel maintained. “Ang maganda du’n si CJ gentleman talaga, he respects my boundaries.”
How to make it
Kristel is not selfish in sharing insight into her success on social media.
She shared, “Una diyan dapat marunong ka makinig sa requests ng followers mo, ibigay mo kung ano gusto nila.”
“At tsaka ’wag mo isipin ’yung kikitain mo,” she added. “Ako personally, wala naman ako kinita du’n kahit maraming hits kasi covers sila eh. Pero I earned something else naman, fans, projects – ’yun ang mga benefits ko.”
Kristel is the first ABS-CBN artist to receive the Silver Play Button award for reaching 100,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel. She became part of the top-grossing Mae Cruz-Alviar rom-com, “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Kristel is starting with a new opportunity as part of the upcoming sitcom “Rikipedia.”
There are no concrete plans yet, but Kristel disclosed there are already talks about her doing an album for release under Star Music. It is something she looks forward to, admitting, “Feeling ko hindi ako kumpletong singer kung wala akong album.”
She is already busy writing songs, believing fans would like to hear her do originals. “Iniisip ko din kasi kapag ganu’n parang pinaghirapan ko talaga, ako talaga.”
Before the album comes a concert. On July 8 at the Music Museum, Hills & Dreams Events Concepts Co. in partnership with EG ENGO presents “4 Of A Kind: The Un4gettable Concert” with Kristel, Sue, Maris Racal, and Loisa Andalio. (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)