MANILA, Philippines—Maine Mendoza on Sunday wrote an emotional open letter to fans filled with mixed feelings of gratitude and indignation over the support and attention her fans shower her.
The actress-TV host who rose to fame by keeping mum on TV poured her heart out in the letter. Unsure of what her letter would actually be about, Mendoza said the only thing she’s sure of is the need she feels to let some things out of her chest.
“I am wondering what this letter is going to be about. I do not actually know how to start writing this letter; and I do not actually know either if it is right to do this. All I know for sure is I need to let some things out of my chest. And I couldn’t find any other way to do it so I am writing here on my blog, like I used to,” she wrote.
Mendoza first thanked her fans for the “love and support” they give to her and Alden Richards, the other half of AlDub. She said that she’ll be forever thankful that they came into her and Richards’s life, and for the sacrifices they made for the love team’s sake. Although she was all praises to them in the opening of her letter, a change of tune ahead is visible with this remark: “By the end of this letter I am pretty sure majority of you are going to turn your backs on me and probably hate on me. Pero sabi nga nila (But as what they say), speak the truth even if your voice shakes.”
Mendoza recalled her rise to fame and how “happy” and “simple” it was for her and her fans when they were just starting out. She noted how she didn’t have to pretend to be somebody else to be accepted and loved.
“When I was new in the business, you all came to my life and loved me for exactly the way I am. Hindi ko kinailangang magpanggap para mahalin niyo. At nagpapasalamat ako dahil tinanggap at minahal niyo kung sino at ano ako bilang tao (I didn’t have to pretend to be loved by you. And I am thankful because you accepted and loved who and what I am as a person),” she said.
True to self
The phrase ‘being true to yourself’ would be the theme of Mendoza’s letter as it progresses. Two years after her new found fame, the call to be true to herself got even louder.
“I need to be honest, I am at this point where I feel like I live in a box. I have not been able to do what I want and say what I feel because every time I try to express my thoughts and feelings, some of you tend to misapprehend and invalidate them in so many ways,” Mendoza wrote, referring to AlDub fans.
She also expressed resentment over instances where she was told by fans what and what not to feel.
“Telling me I am not supposed to feel that way because I am “rich and famous”. Telling me I have no right to be sad and hurt because I have everything a person could ask for. Judging, blaming and getting mad at me for expressing what I truly feel just because you do not agree and it is inconvenient for you. Dictating me what I should feel and should not feel. Ang hirap [It’s hard],” she said
Although Mendoza is thankful for the support of her fans, she couldn’t bear how some of them dictate what she should do not only in her career but with her personal life.
“I just could not take how some people feel so entitled in so many things, hindi lang sa career, ultimo personal na buhay. Minsan nga tinatanong ko ang sarili ko, sino ba talaga ang gumawa sa akin? Ang Diyos ba o sila? Pagmamay-ari ba nila buong pagkatao ko para diktahan ako sa halos lahat ng bagay [Sometimes I ask myself, who really made me? Is it God or them? Do they own my existence for them to dictate me on almost everything]?” she asked.
The actress also confessed how these instances saddened her to the point of losing zest on her career.
“Dumating yung araw na naramdaman ko na para bang hindi na ako masaya. Na kahit sandamakmak ang biyaya ang natatanggap ko, nawala na yung ligaya sa puso ko. Hindi ko na makita yung tuwa sa mga ngiti ko at kinang sa mga mata ko. [The day came when I felt like I am no longer happy. That no matter how tremendous the blessing I receive, the happiness in my heart is gone. I could no longer see the joy in my smile at the sparks in my eyes],” she said.
“Nahihirapan akong dinidiktahan ng mga dapat kong gawin at maramdaman. Napagtanto ko na nakokompromiso na yung kalayaan at kaligayahan ko [I find it hard to be dictated of what I should do and feel. I realized that my freedom and happiness are being compromised].”
‘I am choosing myself’
“I do not want to compromise my own happiness for other people’s desires. So this time, I am choosing myself,” Mendoza wrote.
“I will forever cherish the presence of the whole fandom in my life. I do hope I have also given you enough joy for you to give me the freedom I believe I deserve. Freedom to feel what I want to feel, be what I want to be, and do what I want to do.”