Rhian Ramos shares her musings, recollections, and hopes of living to a hundred
This is an excerpt from MEGA’s November 2023 cover story.
Every morning, Rhian Ramos wakes up at around 8:00 and “stares into space, thinking about life,” while drinking coffee. If she’s not working, the staring-and-thinking session could last until 10:00 a.m.
Then, she’s off to do her workout. Chores, like doing groceries, come next. During the latter, fans could take notice. At five-foot-six, with long thick hair, and glowing skin sans makeup, she’s hard to ignore, even if you take away the fact that she’s one of the most recognizable actresses in the country today. She doesn’t mind the random “Hello, Rhian” or selfies, though. “I like to really take whatever positive meaning I give for myself,” she says. “I’m honestly touched and flattered by those interactions.”
Besides, she admits, it took a while for her, a self-confessed introvert, to get to this point. Ramos, who will turn 33 this October, began her acting career in 2006, when she was cast in one of the lead roles in the television adaptation of Captain Barbell.
After almost 18 years in the industry, she got used to mingling with people from all walks of life. “I think the first misconception about me is that I’m super confident and personable, when the truth is I’m actually quite socially awkward,” she admits.
Through those years, she found herself needing a long break after every event that required her to exhaust her evolving social skills. She didn’t know what it was that would “tire her out,” until she began reading about her traits and getting to know herself deeper: “That’s when I figured out that I’m an introvert. Like, ‘Oh, that’s why I’ve never had a problem with being alone a lot.’ I can eat alone. I can watch a movie alone. I used to sit in the school canteen and eat my meal alone, and it didn’t bother me.”
During the pandemic, she says she lived “super alone” and felt “quite relaxed” about it. “I spend a lot of time in my head normally, anyway,” she explains.
MIND OVER MATTER
So, we go back inside Ramos’s head because, we tell her, there seems to be a lot going on in there. She laughs and agrees. What does she think about, especially during that two-hour, morning routine? Work, basically.
“I think that’s really who I am, an actress,” she says about her career. “Yes, I enjoy doing a lot of things, but I know that my first and main love is really acting.”
During those first few hours in the morning, she mentally prepares for the day ahead, then bridges the gap between reality and the role—or roles—she’s currently bringing to life. “I find myself living in the future most of the time,” she says. “When I’m in my head, I like to dream, plan things. I’m a dreamer. And I think about my job all the time. I’m constantly thinking about my job. If I’m not watching something that I can pick up lessons from, I’m always thinking of different ways to get to emotions.”
That could turn out to be quite a heavy morning, we surmise. “It’s not always negative emotions,” she refutes our conjecture. “The way I keep myself sane when I have to reach negative emotions is by going to the base emotion of people all the time. This is why I think people are intrinsically good, because the base emotion, or the way to get to any other emotion, is to first love. You don’t feel pain if you don’t feel love. You don’t feel anger or betrayal if you don’t feel love. The base emotion always comes from a place of love, and then that’s how I get to every other emotion.”
This lightness and self-awareness must be why she has such an inner, radiant glow, from the moment she entered the studio this morning. That, and the fact that she makes it a point to take care of herself, mentally and physically—which brings us to another one of her hobbies: She watches a lot of documentaries before sleeping. The night before our shoot, she watched this documentary called Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, which is about people living past a hundred years old. With this, Ramos shares excitedly that the women in her family do live long.
“I have it in my head somehow that I’m going to have a nice, long life,” she says. So, we’re back in her head again. “I think the point of what I want to learn, though, is how to be healthy for most of it. So, physical activity’s a really big part of that. People that live in steep areas live longer because they’re always climbing up and down.”
She mentions Apo WhangOd, the internationally renowned centenarian, who first hand-tapped one of her tattoos almost 10 years ago. To get to Whang-Od, she says she then had to climb unpaved paths for hours. “Now, I lift a lot of weights. I like to run once in a while. I like to swim. I don’t get to do that often anymore, but I do enjoy it.”
Photography Shaira Luna
Creative Direction BRIE VENTURA
Art Direction JONES PALTENG
Fashion Direction KAT CRUZ-VILLANUEVA and RYUJI SHIOMITSU
Beauty Direction AGOO AZCUNA-BENGZON, assisted by MIA CASTRO
Styling RYUJI SHIOMITSU, assisted by KURT ABONAL
Sittings Editors PEEWEE REYES-ISIDRO and BAM ABELLON
Makeup RB CHANCO, assisted by KAITH TORRES
Hair RJ DELA CRUZ
Nails POSH NAILS
Fashion Assistant BITHIA REYES
Video Production REGINA ACERON
Videography KIM SANTOS
Shoot Coordination SAMANTHA ESTANIEL and LAURD SALEN
Shot on location STUDIO SIMULA