Criza is making it known that fame won’t get in the way of her being real and living a colorful life with Flormar.
Under normal circumstances, being a teenager isn’t easy. As Olivia Rodrigo memorably sang in brutal, “And I’m so sick of 17 / Where’s my teenage dream / If someone tells me one more time / ‘Enjoy your youth,‘ I’m gonna cry.” It’s the stage in a person’s life where they are going through big physical, mental, and emotional changes while also figuring out who they are and what they want to be. But when you add the pressures of fame and the entertainment industry, things become that much harder.
This is something Criza knows all too well. She was introduced at only 13 years old to the general public through her stint in PBB. After she left the blue and yellow house, she entered into a growing acting career, with her biggest role to-date being that of Max’s best friend, Naih, in the hit series He’s Into Her. Despite being in the industry for only a few years, Criza is already considered to be one of the next Gen Z stars to watch out for. She’s even been connected to different brands, including the international newcomer to the Philippine beauty scene, Flormar. But with this attention also comes the pressure and expectation brought about by being a public figure. But as Criza herself put it: she’s not letting fame and attention change the expressive and colorful person she is.
BEGINNINGS IN THE INDUSTRY
As a self-described outgoing and fun person, Criza never imagined herself being an actress growing up. In fact, her first dream was to work in the tourism industry. “As a kid, ako yung bata na walang profession na gusto. Hindi pumapasok sa isip ko na maging doctor or engineer.” It was only when she was 13 that she set her sights on being an artist. Luckily enough, the new season of PBB was casting and she passed her audition.
Even though Criza’s time on the reality show was short-lived, she made a name for herself with her fun and bright personality. She described her time there as a great learning lesson. Specifically, she opened up about how when she left the show, she was bashed and judged because her outgoing personality was seen by some as her being bossy. That experience helped train her for what was to come. “Diyan ko natutunan na mas mahirap ang challenges pag labas ng bahay. Doon ko natutunan kung paano i-handle ang sarili ko and i-handle ‘yung judgment and hate.” Still, she says that her time in PBB was her most memorable experience in the industry so far. And as Criza points out, she knows herself more so she doesn’t let the hate comments get to her.
FROM PRESSURE COMES DIAMONDS
One big issue that most teenagers face is being insecure about how others perceive you. Criza has felt this as well, especially as a young actress. “Masaya siya pero on the other side yung kalaban mo kasi ‘yung insecurities mo, sarili mo, at pangarap mo. Hindi madali talaga pero sobrang masaya siya kapag gusto mo.” While that pressure might be overwhelming for some people, Criza just takes everything in stride and expresses how she just enjoys the process.
Pop culture is filled with many stories of teen stars who get overwhelmed by the fame and attention. But Criza is well aware of the fact that at this point in her career, she has to learn and grow. “Yung ma-expose ka sa hate and kilala ka lang ng tao, mahirap ma-grow sa ganoong factor. Nagugulahan ka kung magugustuhan ng tao ang sasabihin mo. Feeling ko po sa katagalan, masasanay mo na rin paano iha-handle ang sarili mo and mago-grow as a person.”
She’s quick to point out though that she isn’t dependent on what other people say about her – far from it. She sees the people around her as a guide to becoming a better person. She lives life on her own terms. This mindset is reflected in how she handles pressure from her public job. “Sa first po parang lagi kong iniisip na kailangan matunton ko ‘yung standards para ma reach ko ‘yung expectations nila. Pero parang nakakapagod din po kapag naka-depend ka sa ibang tao.”
Instead of doing what she feels other people will like, Criza sticks to what she knows and moves forward from there. “Parang natutunan ko nalang ibigay nalang ‘yung best ko and parang hayaan ko na lang whatever happens. Parang kinontrol ko na lang ‘yung sarili ko na tanggapin yung mga pangyayari. At least I gave my best para hindi nalang ako nalulungkot every time.” Criza is comfortable in her own skin. And this is something she hopes people at her age take to heart. “Embrace kung ano ang kaya nila, ‘yung capabilities nila sa lahat ng bagay, ‘yung strength nila at siyempre lahat ng tao may weaknesses. Be confident na porket may mga bagay na hindi nila kaya ay mahina ka na or hindi mo ma-meet ‘yung expectations ng tao, or hindi pa dumamadating ‘yung time mo, nawawalan ka na ng pag-asa.”
THE UNAPOLAGETIC FLORMAR BEAUTY
Given how confident and self-assured Criza is, it’s no wonder that Flormar noticed her and her unapologetic beauty story. “For me, yung unapologetic beauty, parang embrace mo lahat, accept lahat ng flaws mo. You do not need to apologize for being who you are. Positive ka sa sarili mo. Tanggap mo talaga kung sino ka. Hindi kailangan mag depend sa sinasabi ng ibang tao.” Just like Flormar, Criza sees beauty in color. This is why even though she has grown as a person since becoming an actress, she hasn’t changed who she is fundamentally and retains the pre-fame expressiveness. “In terms of growth, yes I grew as a person. But my personality hindi po talaga. Kung sino ako before entering [PBB] house, ‘yun pa rin po ako.”
Knowing and accepting herself, Criza takes to beauty to enhance and highlight what makes her unique. While there will be a leaning towards the natural and fresh, the lure of colors or bold trends will always be hard to ignore. With the offerings of Flormar, there is a lot of space to explore and play. Whether it be vibrant pigments that punch up a look or skin-loving products, there is something for you to discover with Flormar. And this is a commitment and quality that Criza relates to. She is very open to the possibility of expanding who she is; whether it be through beauty, fashion, or her professional career. Clearly, there is a lot to learn and love with her at every chance to uncover her most authentic self.
CRIZA TAA AS WHO SHE IS
Just like the mission of Flormar, Criza has a clear vision in her mind of what she wants to achieve in her career and life. This is what motivates her to move forward. “Yung mga pangarap ko at yung mga gustong kong marating sa buhay. Hindi po ako papayag na hanggang ganyan lang doon lang magagawa ko. Gusto ko marating lahat ng gusto ko at matapos ko lahat ng kailangan kong gawin at siyempre para sa sarili ko and of course, sa lola ko.”
Speaking of Criza’s lola, she is a major part of Criza’s life and is one of, if not the, biggest sources of inspiration in her life. “Kasi since I was born, she took care of me. Siya na itinuring kong mommmy and bukod sa pagiging nanay, she made me feel that I didn’t need a dad. Because she gave me everything and parang hindi niya ako pinabayaan.”
Though she has great aspirations in acting, Criza still deals with a lot of the same concerns other teens face. After a hiatus to focus on her career, Criza is will be returning to school this December – specifically homeschool. And as with other teenagers, she has her doubts. “Natatakot din po ako kasi yung work ko, pressure at sobrang daming magiging school work so kinakabahan po ako.” She has also expressed that, while she wants to explore, go out, and do a lot of things, the pandemic has made that difficult. She’s hoping that once things get better she’ll be able to expand and explore her horizons because she doesn’t like to cage herself in one box.
Criza adds that even if she’s growing up in the spotlight, she doesn’t find it hard to balance being a teenager with being a celebrity. “Honestly, hindi naman siya mahirap kasi sa time po ngayon, doon ko na rin na-experience ang teenage life.”
KEEPING IT REAL WITH FLORMAR
From reality show contestant to a rising Gen Z actress in just a few years, Criza is currently experiencing what many hope to achieve in the industry. But it’s not all been sunshine and flowers for Criza. In fact, she wants to dispel the myth that being famous is a pure dream come true. “I think ‘yung rejections lang po kasi daming taong takot ma reject at takot hindi mapansin kaagad. Parang akala mo nandoon ka na pero hindi. Lagi kang mare-reject kasi marami kang kasabay at maraming mas magaling sa iyo.”
This didn’t deter Criza nor should it deter people who are thinking of entering the industry. “You have to work on yourself and accept the fact that not all the time, may mag accept sa iyo. Hindi porket nare-reject ka, hindi ka na magaling or hindi mo na kayang gawing yung binibigay na role sa iyo. It’s just not your time. Be patient lang talaga.” But one thing is for certain: as part of the next generation of stars, Criza is hoping to leave her mark in the industry, especially when it comes to how women are portrayed in popular media. She wants to bring color to the one-dimensional stereotypes that movies and series can often default to when it comes to female characters. “Empowered as a woman. Kapag nagpe-play ka ng role, parang it always has a lesson. Parang gusto ko makita ng mga tao na dun sa character ko, in the future, makita ang pagiging empowered ‘yung woman.”
A true embodiment of a Flormar beauty, Criza is just looking to live her life and continue to strive in her career. She is well aware that while she is seen as a young star, she still has a long way to go. She aims to improve on every new role she gets and won’t give up even if it seems like things are going nowhere. Aside from this, she continues to navigate her life like a member of Gen Z who’s learning more about herself every day. Criza is a woman unapologetic in beauty, emotion, and self-expression. Her honesty, assurance, and confidence are what help her stand out from the crowd.
Photography by ED ENCLONA
Art Direction by ANGELO RAMIREZ DE CARTAGENA
Fashion, Beauty Direction and Styling by LYN ALUMNO
Makeup by ANTON PATDU
Hair by CATS DEL ROSARIO
Production Design and Shoot Coordination by MJ ALMERO
Photographer’s Assistant ALEXIS DAVE CO
Styling Assistants RAF VILLAS, CLARISSE FURIO