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Phoemela Baranda confessed on Sunday a secret she had kept for 15 years — the daughter she had when she was 19.
The model, TV host and actress, 33, made the revelation in an interview on the ABS-CBN program “Buzz ng Bayan”, where was joined by her daughter, Kim.
Baranda said she got pregnant with Kim at the height of her modeling career and made the decision to hide it upon the urging of her mother. They fled to the States on the fourth month of her pregnancy.
She said her mother disapproved of her relationship with her boyfriend at that time, even though he wanted to marry her. She did not identify him.
Baranda tearfully admitted that Kim was raised thinking she was her aunt and, later, her sister. She only told Kim the truth after her mother had passed away in 2009 and Kim was already 11.
Baranda said she lived like a single woman for many years, but her mother’s untimely death became her wake-up call.”Kami ni Kim, inaayos ko ngayon. She’s giving me a chance to fix everything,” she said.
Baranda admitted that she’s still trying to win Kim’s love. “Hindi kami ganun ka-close, sa isat’ isa. But I’m trying my best na makabawi sa lost time,” she said.
She said she decided to introduce Kim to the public because “I owe it to her, to our relatives, and my close friends for lying to them.”
Kim told hosts Boy Abunda, Janice de Belen and Carmina Villaroel that she understood why her mother made that decision to hide the truth 15 years ago.
“Inexplain naman sa akin that they did for security, for her career. I know naman how showbiz is,” she said.
Asked if she was ready for the public attention that will come now that her mother had made this confession, Kim was unfazed. “I think I’m kind of mature enough. Growing up I was raised to be strong,” she replied.
Addressing Baranda, she told her mother, “I appreciate all the things you’re doing for me, all the catching up you’re doing. I know sometimes I’m a rebel, but i love you.”
Kim also said it is not important to her to know who her father is. “My mom is both my father and mother now,” she said.