Ellen Adarna (MNS Photo)

Ellen Adarna (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Before she moved to ABS-CBN, Ellen Adarna said she did not get much exposure and even had friends wondering what she was up to, despite appearing in a number of TV shows.

During a recent press conference announcing the extension of her ongoing series “Moon of Desire,” the 26-year-old actress said that since she signed up as a Kapamilya, she has noticed that more people recognize her in public.

I think it’s because of the fans of ABS, because their audience is very big and it’s very different, kasi lahat na nanonood,” she said.

Adarna recalled a typical conversation she had when she was still with another network wherein she appeared in a number of primetime series.

“Because when I was based in Cebu before and – again, I have to mention it – when I was with the other network, ‘Ano’ng…What are you doing now? What are your shows?’ ‘Uh, I’m part of this show.’ ‘Ay, nandoon ka pala!’ I was like, ‘Okay, next time I won’t say it nalang.’ ‘I’m a bum! I’m a professional bum!’”

But even before joining showbiz in 2011, Adarna already achieved popularity online, when selfies of her went viral on the now-defunct social networking site Friendster.

Since then, the little-known motel heiress from Cebu started to get her share of fans and admirers, paving the way for bigger opportunities in Manila.

In 2010, she appeared on the cover of popular men’s magazine FHM, introducing her to an even wider audience. This marked her transition from a cyberspace darling to showbiz newcomer.

After three years with a rival network, Adarna inked a deal with ABS-CBN in 2013 — the same year she became an Internet sensation anew thanks to a 30-second clip showing her exercising while wearing a skimpy tank top.

Now considered a sex symbol and cover-girl favorite, Adarna said she feels as if opportunities had aligned perfectly and led to a turning point in her career.

I think it was everything. Honestly, ‘yung timing sa boxing video and I change managers also. And then lumipat sa ABS, so nagsabay-sabay,” she said.

Nowadays, a typical print outing for Adarna has her posing in revealing outfits or underwear, or completely naked. The latter, Adarna said, is not a challenging task.

Actually, wala,” she said, when asked if she has any apprehensions about posing nude. “I don’t really care. Wala lang! It’s just a job, it’s just a photo shoot. I mean, when I get there, okay, do my job, emote-emote, then it’s done. I don’t know, wala lang talaga akong pakialam.”

Her self-image and level of confidence, Adarna shared, owes largely to her active lifestyle, which she chronicles in videos on her Instagram page.

“I’m naturally thin, but I love to work out, so that’s why I guess I don’t really gain that much weight, because I’m always active, I always move. It’s part of my lifestyle,” she said. “I think the working out also helps, that I’m also comfortable showing my body and I’m confident.”

Aside from being a sought-after model, Adarna considers herself an aspiring actress, having starred recently in the comedy film “My Illegal Wife,” on top of her current stint in “Moon of Desire.”

“I’m so happy and very thankful,” she said of the continued success of the afternoon soap. “Hindi ko talaga in-expect na ganito. And then at first, ‘cause when I was with the other network before, ‘yung mga roles is like, parang wala akong sinasabi, so I expected, before the show started, medyo gano’n, but at least may lines na.”

’Yun pala, ganito pala ka-bongga, ka-havey ang aking role! So I’m very thankful because I’m also learning a lot,” Adarna said. (MNS)