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  • Lea Salonga Proud of Her Greatest Role: 'Being a Mom Brought Joy and Love to My Life'

    Being a mom to a teenager means the Broadway star needs to balance being a hands-on parent while still giving her daughter freedom.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Lea Salonga Proud of Her Greatest Role: 'Being a Mom Brought Joy and Love to My Life'
PHOTO BY @msleasalonga/Instagram
  • Lea Salonga is a Broadway star, a Disney Legend, and a Filipino icon. But among all the roles she’s played, nothing compares to being a mom to her thirteen-year-old daughter, Nicole.

    “There is so much love and reward in being a mother,” she says at the launch of the new Ariel Instashine where she was named as the brand’s latest ambassador. “It’s definitely a new chapter for me and one of the best roles that I have the privilege of playing.”

    During the Ariel Instashine launch, Broadway star Lea Salonga starred in a one-of-a-kind musical where she shared memorable pieces of clothing from her auditions and iconic roles.
    PHOTO BY Din Real Bautista

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    At the launch, Lea looked back on the highlights of her career and personal life through a musical. She took the audience down memory lane by telling the story behind some of her most treasured clothes that she used for the iconic roles she's played, like the dress she wore when she played Annie (her first big break) and the shirt she wore for her Miss Saigon audition. 

    But the most special piece is an apron she got when she became a new mom. It marked her biggest role yet — motherhood. “It’s a role that no one could have ever prepared me for,” she shares. “It’s continuous hard work, but it brought so much joy and love to my life. It’s inspiring me to shine brighter every day for my family.”

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    Now that Nicole is officially a teenager, Lea makes sure she balances being a hands-on parent while giving her daughter freedom to pursue the things she likes.

    “She’s not going through life in the same way that I did as a kid that age,” Lea explains in an interview with Pep.ph. “She has a much more normal, I guess, existence compared to me. She gets to do a lot of sports, which is what I didn’t do. She can take more risks with stuff.”

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    As much as possible, Lea does not want to overparent Nicole. “I can’t be this helicopter, protective type of parent because she might end up wanting to break away and rebel in undesirable ways,” she tells Pep.ph.

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    Instead, she and her husband, Robert Chien, allow their daughter to pursue creative outlets — even if it’s not singing. While Lea says her daughter enjoys singing and will not say ‘no’ to a chance to showcase her talents, the thirteen-year-old is also interested in showing her artistry in different ways.

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    “She draws all the time. She illustrates. She has now become inspired to write,” the Broadway star shares. “So, it’s like her creative outlets are finding different ways of expression, and it’s fun to see how it manifests. But yeah, I have to step back and let her figure it out on her own. I’m not gonna tell her what to do because she’s one of those kids that she kind of intuitively knows what she likes.”

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