Shiela Valderrama-Martinez: The Other Side of the Limelight

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

"Theater is, of course, a reflection of life. Maybe we have to improve life before we can hope to improve theater." —William Inge

When we see celebrities up on the screen, models on the runway, theatre actors performing their hearts out on stage, we think of them as hardly reachable. With all the awards and accolades, A-list friendships, they must live the most luxurious lives backstage. It’s easy to think this when we’re pulled by their magnetic charms as the curtains open. But that’s not always the case.

We virtually sat down with theatre actress, entrepreneur, wife, and mother, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez to talk about managing everyday life behind the scenes. It’s not easy to juggle many roles at once, especially when you have a loving family to attend to. Meanwhile, for Shiela, these roles are nothing more than calendar events she would carefully jot down. Organization is key. I live by making a daily or monthly schedule so I can maximize my time.

Being a theatre actress, brand ambassador, singer, and host requires a lot of time and effort, but more than anything, you must also exude confidence. In order to give your best performance and empower people, you must also feel empowered. This is no hard task for Shiela who has a very strong support system. I have a very successful and strong mother who raised me to be independent, hardworking, and goal-oriented. So I grew up believing I can do anything if I work hard and do my best.

Everything changed when the pandemic broke, but she’s powered through. What is Sheila’s secret? You have to love yourself first so you can love others (and your craft) wholeheartedly. You have to take care of yourself—mind and body.

In this pandemic when live theater and events were halted, my performing life has become limited. It has been reduced to lock-in shoots and some online guestings. My business side, on the other hand, had been limited to online work. So I find ways to keep myself busy.

I took this opportunity to learn new skills and bring back my old forgotten skills as well. I learned to play a musical instrument and I started painting and baking again. I do Pilates and jump rope to keep my body healthy. I’m also very big on vitamins even before Covid. I have kikay priorities so I do weekly DIY manicures, pedicures, hair treatments, and I’m very diligent when it comes to my skincare routine.

Since I am a mother, a wife and a homemaker, I make sure that our home is well organized and clean. I beautify my home and keep very strict safety protocols to provide a happy and safe place for my family and myself—especially now that we’re locked in at home.

Since the pandemic, she’s taken on several endorsements that showcase her love for beauty, fashion, and supporting local businesses. I love chic and classic jewelry pieces and I like supporting Filipino-owned businesses especially those headed by women. Modela is a merry mix of both.

When asked about her message to all women who aspire to be like her—a true #girlboss who is strong, independent, and empowered—she has this to say: What my mom had taught me I now give the same advice to my daughter and to everyone who needs it—work hard and do your best. Before you say no or you can’t, before you stop or give up, make sure you have tried your best. And to all Filipinas, be proud of who you are.

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