MANILA, Philippines?After a concert tour in the United States, singer-actress Sarah Geronimo is on a 14-city Philippine road show that has taken her to places like Dagupan and Bacolod.
It?s her chance to touch base with local fans ? especially the kids who look up to her, she said.
Adult fans call her Laida or Dorina, the characters she played in the movies and on TV, but children call her ?Ate Sarah.?
?It feels good to know that I inspire and influence kids,? she said during the Lucky Me launch, her latest product endorsement with John Lloyd Cruz. ?But I know that, with fame, comes a big responsibility,? she added.
That?s precisely why she?s very careful with her decisions. She handles this challenge, she stressed, ?with the help of my parents.?
?I rely on continued guidance from my mom and dad,? she said. ?They teach me everything that I need to know ... to avoid things that might harm me in the end. I?m thankful that they?re always there for me. I wouldn?t know where I?d end up without them.?
Does she agree with some observers who insist that her parents are too strict?
?There were times that I felt bad when they didn?t allow me to go out at night, for example,? she said. ?But later on I realized that they were right.?
Does she ever feel the need to rebel?
?Not really rebel, but I just want a taste of freedom,? she explained. ?I guess it?s the beginning of my independence. After all, I?m not getting any younger.?
She turned 21 on July 25.
Even her fashion sense has become more daring, said Sarah who?s endorsing Unica Hija, too. ?I can bare a little skin, but not go sexy,? she pointed out.
She?s ready to grow up, but not revolutionize her image just yet.
?As an adult, I have to make certain decisions on my own,? she admitted.
The last major decision she made on her own concerned her film career.
Her handlers in Viva Films wanted to make another romantic-comedy because of the popularity of her tandem with John Lloyd, but she nixed the offer.
?They wanted to pair me with another leading man,? she said. ?It was magulo (confusing). There was talk of a movie with Gerald Anderson and Rayver Cruz. But I explained to them that, as much as possible, I want to do something different.?
She didn?t want to be accused of stealing Gerald from Kim Chiu, she said, just like when she was matched with John Lloyd who?s the partner of Bea Alonzo.
Now, the plan is to pit Sarah with Judy Ann Santos.
?I hope the movie [with Judy Ann] pushes through,? she said. ?I?m happy that Viva respected my decision.?
Speaking of which, she said that she respects John Lloyd?s decision to live his own life and woo Ruffa Gutierrez, as reported in the news.
?It?s no big surprise. He?s lovable naman.It?s his right to enjoy himself [in the United States]. We have to respect his choices.?
In the same way, she implores her fans to ?respect? her decisions as well.
?I know that fans can be possessive,? she said. ?And I appreciate their efforts ... that they want to get involved in my life out of concern for me. I guess, that?s their way to show their love for me.?
She asserted, however, that she got hurt when some people alleged that Rayver was just ?using? her to get famous.
?I got affected. It hurt me when they said that Rayver only befriended me because of my success. It made me think ... Are there no sincere people left? We just have to respect Rayver?s decisions as well. If he chooses to court another girl ... that?s his choice. In any case, he has always said that we?re only friends,? she said.