Anne Curtis on Lessons Learned Away from the Spotlight: “It's Really Just Enjoying Your Own Journey” - LA Lives

The celebrity and young mom took a step back from showbusiness and spent the last two years focusing on her family.  

The past two years have been a period of transitions for actress, businesswoman, and all-around media darling Anne Curtis. This, after she decided to slow down with work commitments to focus on a new and challenging role called motherhood—a role she took on in the middle of a pandemic.

READ ALSO: My Fair Lady: Anne Curtis Mirrors Audrey Hepburn On Her Birthday

“I’ve had a lot of time to really concentrate on being a mother and spending time with my family,” Anne says as she sat in her kitchen during our interview. Her hair was down, her skin had a slight hint of a tan and a glow that one only gets after having a great time at the beach. It was the day after her shoot in Palawan for the cover of this issue.

“I was lucky enough that I was able to bring my family so it was a work vacation for me,” she says. The interview was done via Zoom—the ‘normal’ way during a pandemic—and every now and then, we’d hear her daughter Dahlia sing, causing her mother to smile.

At some point, Dahlia comes over to say hello, curious as to who her mother was talking to. She sees the screen and greets: “Nice to meet you!” with a smile, a two-year-old with great manners and already a winning personality.

Anne asks her daughter if she can go back to work, prompting Dahlia to slide down her lap and go off the frame. Without missing a beat, Anne goes back to answering the question posed just before Dahlia said hi. “I’m so grateful that I’ve actually had all of this time to really concentrate and treasure every single moment and second of being a mother,” she says, smiling.

Mothering in a pandemic

Anne gave birth to Dahlia in Australia where her family currently resides. “The plan was to stay for about six months, but we ended up being there for a year and I have no regrets or complaints about it,” she says. “I wanted to have that quiet lifestyle and just enjoy my first few months of being a mom.”

Orange cut out swimsuit, BUMGARNER STUDIOS; Turqoise drop earrings, NATALYA LAGDAMEO; gold rings, SUKI JEWELRIES

As someone who’s been in show business since the age of 12, Anne saw motherhood as a challenging but refreshing break. “It wasn’t even a question if I was sad about it,” she explains. “Not really, no. I was so ready to be a mother and I was excited for the next chapter in my life.”

It was, however, not free of its own challenges. Anne admits that the first three months were the toughest. The lack of sleep and all the adjustments she had to make after becoming someone’s main source of care and protection.

Multi colored printed swimsuit, EIGHT MERMAID; Off white linen blazer, DEBBIE CO; Earrings, gold bangles, and rings, NATALYA LAGDAMEO

“I think the key for me was something that my mom also said—just trust your gut instinct. Each mother has their own journey. It’s never the same so don’t compare yourself,” she shares. “You’ll have your own struggles and your own wins. It’s really just enjoying your own journey.”

This was also the period in her life when she got to spend the most time with her husband, content creator Erwan Heussaff, away from the pressures of work, a silver lining brought by the pandemic.

Multi colored printed swimsuit, EIGHT MERMAID; multi colored bandana, ISSA THE BRAND; gray beaded necklace, FLUTTER STATEMENT JEWELRY

“Before, we would have different lifestyles and sometimes, I see him maybe for dinner or breakfast, whereas we had this time to really just be together,” Anne shares. “It’s the longest time we’ve been together throughout our 11-year-relationship.”

Anne, Erwan, and Dahlia flew to Europe for the holidays. They went to Finland and France to spend Christmas with Erwan’s family. Then, they explored cities and small towns in France such as Strasbourg, Colmar, Provence, and Chamonix.

Fuchsia sequined bikini top and neon yellow square wide leg, DENNIS LUSTICO; gold bangles, rings, and necklaces, NATALYA LAGDAMEO

She refers to her recent travels as “eye-opening,” seeing how other mothers were coping with the pandemic. “My goodness, it’s a scary time and you know, I think a lot of mothers have that fear. But I also can’t keep her cooped up in the house her whole life,” Anne says.

Dahlia got to ride carousels and get social. “It just helped me gain that confidence again, like, things are getting better and things will be okay. Life goes on and you just have to overcome that little fear,” she says. “But, you know, I’m still the mom on the plane, going ‘Don’t touch anything first!’ before I spray it with alcohol.”

Multi colored tulle dress, MARC RANCY; Brown swimsuit, HELEN PIECE; gold bangles, rings, and necklaces, NATALYA LAGDAMEO

Staying connected

While Anne took a break from show business, she remains connected to her fans and supporters through social media, sharing snippets of her new life. “Social media has always been a platform for me to connect with, with my followers and fans,” she says. “It was instant feedback on your films or on Showtime.”

While not present on television or the silver screen, Anne kept in touch with her fans, sharing Dahlia and the new joys of motherhood. “Personally. I think I’m not as active as before, maybe it’s the tita in you but it’s also me being a mom.”

Gradient orange set, NERIC BELTRAN; gold necklaces and bracelet, SUKI JEWELRIES

Having an actress for a mother, Dahlia was destined to a life in the public eye. But just how much of her daughter is Anne willing to share? “It’s hard but I’d say I can be pretty protective,” she says.

After a year of her quiet life in Australia, Anne shares, she kind of forgot what she left behind in Manila. “When we did our first trip, I was a little shocked that people knew us and I was like—oo nga pala,” she says. “They know who I am and that I had a baby.”

Olive green camisa top, VANIA ROMOFF; Mauve swimsuit, BEYOND THE BEACH; red mica earrings, NATALYA LAGDAMEO

Anne does promise that she’s not going to keep Dahlia all to herself. “I’m protective but at the same time, I’m not too selfish,” she says. “I don’t share every single detail, but not to the point where like, I don’t share her at all.”

Motherhood has also helped expand Anne’s interests as she and her sister-in-law, Solenn Heussaff, started a clothing brand for babies inspired by their daughters. Anne and her friends also started an activewear brand called Recess and her makeup brand, BLK, also continues to thrive.

Earrings, gold bangles, and rings, NATALYA LAGDAMEO

“I had to take a step back from being the creative director for a little while but I’d still be present in brainstorming and meetings for any new collection,” she says. “BLK Soaked is something I’m really excited for.”

She’s back

Toward the end of February, Anne announced that her break is over and that she’ll be returning with a special docu-concert happening on the 30th of April.

“There are performances and it will show a little bit of what happened while I was away. So that’s the kickoff of my comeback,” she says, her face all lit up. As promised to her fans and her It’s Showtime family, she’s also returning to the noontime variety show.

Gold bangles, rings, and necklaces, NATALYA LAGDAMEO

Two years have gone pretty quickly and Dahlia’s now pretty grown. “She understands and soon enough, she’ll be doing her own little classes,” she said. “The beauty of Showtime naman, it’s what, three hours a day so I won’t be missing much. It’s a great way to take baby steps into getting back to my work mode.”

Anne admits that she also misses acting, having consumed Korean and Spanish dramas in the past two years, she’s itching to get back into it as well. “I would definitely like to go back to my core which is drama or even a campy drama,” she says.

Brown linen dress and bronze sequined bottom, DENNIS LUSTICO

As her fans welcome her back and we all watch Anne in yet another transition—this time, juggling motherhood, showbusiness, and her many other hats—one thing’s for sure: there’s a lot to be excited about.

Photos PAOLO PINEDA, assisted by RUEL LOPEZ
Art director MARC YELLOW
Sittings Editor DONG RONQUILLO
Shoot coordination MAE TALAID

Special thanks to Rhea Balandra, Minette Maano, and Fely Salvador of AirSwift, Ferdi Salvador and Maui Mauricio of Lihim Resorts, El Nido, Palawan

This story was originally published in the March 2022 Issue of Lifestyle Asia.

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