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There's No Shame in Being Arci Muñoz

She’s unapologetically living her best life yet.

by Owen Maddela | Jul 19, 2018

As she turns 30, Arci Muñoz is all about self-improvement: cutting off the things that make life toxic, editing her life as she deems fit, and mastering the art of digital dedma.

In true rock star fashion (and a rock star, she actually is), actress and band vocalist Arci Muñoz knows how it is to live life in the fast lane. She has also learned how to deal with the negativity that comes with being on top—having emerged unscathed from the controversies that have dragged her name to show biz talkies, tabloids, and worst, the comments section on social media.  

From her salad days as an avenger in GMA’s launch vehicle Starstruck more than a decade ago, her turn as minor antagonist in Kapuso soaps, her tenure in TV5 where she was finally given a protagonist role (as a cat princess, can you believe?), up to her recent string of hits with ABS-CBN and Star Cinema, Arci has had to repeatedly defend herself from the prying eyes of the press and aforementioned comments section against issues including multiple plastic surgeries. She has also done so successfully what other celluloid rock stars have done in the past to preserve their sanity: mastering “the art of dedma,” that is.    

Now six months away from turning 30, Arci opens up to Preview about the people and things that anchor her, the stones she has yet to turn, and how she consciously chooses to live life for herself—negative comments be damned.   


Arci Muñoz for Preview.ph July 2018

Shamelessly Killing the Evils of Social Media at the Root

Part of the steps Arci has been taking to live her best life yet is to cancel out those that give nothing but unnecessary stress. “Dati naka-on yung comments section ko,” she starts off, hinting at the comments section of her IG account @ramonathornes. “May mga time na sumasagot na ako kung sobra na—just to put people in their place. Like there was one time na [may nagci-criticize sa akin] tapos pag tiningnan mo naman sila, [I was like] ‘Wow ang perfect mo!’ So gagawin ko, I would reply, ‘Ganda mo diba?’ para lang malaman nila [kung ano ang feeling].

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The satisfaction of taking down bashers used to be irresistible to her. “Kasi ito public figure [kami], lahat talaga nakikita ng mga tao. Lahat ng gusto nilang sabihan, akala nila okay or sinasabi nila na lahat tayo may right sa sari-sarili nating opinyonOo, pero magisip ka naman diba? Kung wala kang magandang sasabihin at alam mong makakasakit ng mga tao, eh di i-keep mo nalang sa sarili mo,” she advises. “Tao rin kami.”

“Just reading one comment makes you feel bad the whole day,” she looks back, claiming that switching off has rid her of negative emotions on the job.


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It has been almost a year since Arci turned off the comments section of her IG for good—and she feels that it has been her best decision so far. She claims it has saved her time from reading, dwelling in commentary, and harboring resentment towards netizens. “Just reading one comment makes you feel bad the whole day,” she looks back, claiming that switching off has rid her of negative emotions on the job.

Furthermore, spending less time on social media has made her reconsider her attachment to technology—her mobile phone in particular. “Eh ano ba naman ang reason bakit ako nag cellphone? Dahil sa social media o minsan kasi may ka-text ako, or if kausap ko ang boyfriend or mommy ko. Yun lang,” she says. “Di na ako nag-te-telepono! Kahit sa shoot or lalo na sa set, di mo ko makikita nagce-cellphone. When I’m at work, all I do is work. Ang sarap ng feeling na hindi ko kailangan nasa cellphone ko the whole time hindi kagaya ng dati na naka-on ang comments ko. One hour na pala ako nagbabasa ng mga comments! Ngayon, wala na akong iniisip. 

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Shamelessly Loving a Job That Loves Her Back

Shutting off the negativity on social media seems to be an effective method for her. Come to think of it, Arci at 29 is doing a bad-ass job looking and acting like a 20-year-old in her current teleserye. Just how many actresses her age can pull off that TV trick and not look miscast?  

It didn’t take much for her to be in character as Dani in the ABS-CBN nightly drama Since I Found You. To look the part of an intern turned first jobber, she volunteered to have her hair trimmed and offered to dial down on the makeup. Sporting a new lob, a rosy flush, well-groomed brows, and a bold lip against the stuffy office setting of the show, Arci makes looking like a wide-eyed college graduate seem like child’s play.


Serendipitously, she didn’t have to look far to create nuances for her latest teleserye role. “I have a vision of how the character must look and what her mannerisms and overall personality will be,” she says, explaining her process. “For Dani, I looked back to my 20s. Paano ba ako nung panahong yon?” claiming that there is usually a trace of her own self—her younger self, in particular—in the roles she’s so far essayed. And while Dani is a character shaped collectively by Arci, the show’s director Antonette Jadaone, and Since I Found You’s writers, the finishing touches are 100% organic.

Arci admits that she lends her penchant for baby talk to Dani by way of childlike interjections in her dialogues with leading man Piolo Pascual (himself a 41-year-old vampire). You may have seen and heard fictional Dani say “Yes, my love!” or “Yes, baby!” in endearing baby speak—and that is something actual Arci is prone to delivering in real life. “Lumalabas ang pagka-baby ko kasi ganun pa rin ako up to now sa mga loved ones ko: my mom, my sisters, and my boyfriend,” she offers. “Alam mo yung pag boyfriend yung kausap mo, nag-iiba yung boses mo?”

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“Actually, itong si Dani parang ako lang siya kahit hanggang ngayon,” she affirms, going as far as saying that the aforementioned character is the closest to her true persona, along with the blogger slash makeup artist alter ego Tintin from her first blockbuster movie—Always Be My Maybe—alongside Gerald Anderson.

The set offers a lot to love as well. Aside from working alongside Piolo—Papa P as everyone calls him—under Direk Tonet, Arci looks forward to working with the Kita Kita tandem of Alessandra de Rossi and comedian Empoy. “We shoot MWF. ‘Pag weekends, na-mi-miss ko silang lahat. Ito yung show na pag binigyan ako ng call time, nag-loo-look forward talaga akong gawin.”

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Shamelessly Older and Wiser

Working in an industry that gives premium to youth frequently masks a star’s real age, but Arci has no qualms about disclosing how old she truly is. “Hay, mag-te-trenta na ako,” she complains jokingly, remarking how she’s six months away from her next birthday.

Fortunately, Arci has gotten a headstart, taking care of herself from the inside out. “I watch what I eat. I make sure I run at least three to four times a week. I eat everything in moderation. Yun lang, I can’t give up on chips and sweets!” She does, however, make up for it by eating fruits and getting more exercise.


“Skincare is number one,” she continues, acknowledging that healthy skin does not require as much makeup—and that makeup often causes unsightly breakouts. She visits her dermatologist at least once a month for cleaning. She even reveals taking notes from her boyfriend, Anthony Ng, whose oriental features come with luminous, showbiz-ready skin. “Anong ginagawa mo? Bakit ang ganda ng balat mo?” she would find herself asking him often.

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She is not worried about facing competition or the steady stream of younger talents, nor does she compare herself to other actresses.

It was, in fact, Anthony who influenced her to do an additional step in her skincare routine, which now helps her keep whiteheads at bay. “Ngayon pa lang ako gumagamit ng toner! Okay ako sa moisturizer and eye cream pero importante pala yon!” she says unabashedly. Whereas she did not see the importance of a longer skincare routine before, having a 38-year old partner who looks 20-something puts the pressure on. She adds, “Ngayon ko lang nalaman na importante mag-alaga ng sarili. I’m turning 30 and kailangan na talagang magsimula.”

But make no mistake: She is not worried about facing competition or the steady stream of younger talents, nor does she compare herself to other actresses—even in her head. “Hindi talaga eh. Siguro kaya comfortable din everyone—ito, ina-assume ko lang, ha—to work with me kasi hindi talaga.”

Her no-nonsense attitude towards competition extends to how she selects projects. She approves the projects she likes and says no those that do not resonate with her. And when she does sign up for a project, she is not the type to ask for a background check of her eventual cast mates. “Chill lang talaga ako eh. I love my job kahit sino pa yang kasama ko.”


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Shamelessly Finding Love and Living the Most Authentic Life

Undeniably in love, Arci thinks that her relationship with Anthony has changed her for the better. “Sobrang napakaganda na influence [niya] sa akin. Kung hindi siya siguro binigay ni Lord sa akin, siguro ako pa rin yung sobrang crazy na crazy girl. Ngayon, I am crazy in a good way: Baliw pa rin, weird pa rin, pero iba na!”

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The age gap has worked to their advantage. Arci listens to her boyfriend as he anchors in terms of self-control and emotional maturity. (“Marami na siyang napagdaanan sa buhay,” she remarks.) She also finds it meaningful how they met at the time her father was sick—and how Anthony filled a void in Arci’s life when her father eventually passed away. “Di ko kinaya nung nawala ang dad ko. Para akong lutang at mababaliw, pero nandun si Anthony," she recalls. "He continues to guide me. Alam ni Lord kung paanong nandun siya sa mga times na kailangan ko ng katulad niya.


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She has neither a timeline nor a self-imposed ultimatum, but as she nears 30, she is entertaining the idea of marrying and raising children. “Someday, but not now. I want to be a mom [eventually], but I’m still a baby,” she says sheepishly mimicking her teleserye alter ego.

As much as she loves sharing a selfie or two on Instagram, she does not want to lay down all her cards for the world to see, or much less comment about. 

Zeroing in on social media once again, Arci explains, “What I do every day, I still want people to know. It’s also part of our job to update people, like what’s going on with our lives. Sa akin, ang dami nangyari sa buhay ko. Sobrang dami kong gusto gawin. So happy ako nashe-share ko yun sa kanila pero [I want to] keep a little bit of mystery sa life ko.”

As much as she loves sharing a selfie or two on Instagram, she does not want to lay down all her cards for the world to see, or much less comment about. She is happy enough to share whatever kookiness and humor the public already knows her for. Ultimately, what she wants her followers to know and learn from her is that it is “okay to be yourself.”

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Hindi ko hinahayaang ma-pressure ako sa mga sasabihin ng mga tao, especially those who don’t even know me personally. Unfortunately, sila pa yung mas marami masasabi tungkol sa ’kin. Hindi kagaya ng mga tao talaga na totoong kilala [ako], tahimik lang yan.

As her 30th birthday draws closer, Arci has already laid down the foundation for the next phase of her life, and she does not just mean hair and makeup tricks that can make her look younger than she truly is. And while 30 sounds like a tall order, denoting maturity yet connoting more, she has already discovered the key to keeping her sanity. It’s also what keeps her happy in the world she’s chosen to be her reality. “I don’t see myself as a celebrity,” she says. “I’m just this weird, extraordinary girl who really loves my job and my life.”

Produced and Styled by Marj Ramos

Photographed by Cenon Norial

Art Directed by Mark Buenaobra

Contributing Creative Director Vince Uy

Co-Produced by Nicole Arcano

Makeup by Mikka Marcaida for NARS Cosmetics

Hair by Jocelyn So

Nails by Nancy Cuario of Posh Nails

Shoot Assistant: Teresita Gabat

Interns: Reuben Enilo and Shannon Matsuda

Shot on location at Spin & Go, 212 Carwash, and Kapitolyo areas

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