For Ritz Azul, Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year. Every December, she welcomes the season with her whole clan in a simple yet memorable whole day celebration in their humble house up north in Sta. Rita, Pampanga.
Christmas is always something to look forward to for the 21-year-old Pampanga lass. It’s a busy season for Ritz but she makes it a point to be there for the people she truly cares about, whether it’s hosting a party for her clan or spearheading gift-giving programs for the less privileged brothers and sisters in their neighborhood in Barangay Dila- Dila every December.
“Christmas is a time for me to give back. This is my way of being grateful for the blessings I’ve received in the past year. Christmas is one of my favorite seasons with its bright lights, good food, and the joy that fills the air when we hear Christmas carols. I love the feeling of being myself with my loved ones during this special time,” says TV host-actress Ritz.
The TV5 princess has been consistent in professing her love for her family — her be-all and end-all — and would give anything and everything for her loved ones.
When making holiday plans, Ritz knows that her priority is spending time with the family. In fact, Christmas celebrations in their household last even after December and for at least two weeks leading to her January 11 birthday.
“I know a lot of the women can relate when I say that Christmas is one of the most hectic times of the year. But when I see the smiles on my family’s faces, all the Christmas plans and preparations are worth it. They are my inspiration for working hard. My family is very important to me. Gusto ko lahat ng gusto nila maibibigay ko,” says the TV-host actress, “Being the only child, I have a big extended family which includes my cousins, the people I hang out with in Pampanga,” she adds.
The sweet and innocent-looking actress started as a timid probinsyana who joined TV5’s talent search program Star Factor, and ended up as the 4th Final Star in 2010. Despite the glitz and glamour of showbiz, she remains easygoing and humble to this day.
Having been crowned Ms. Pampanga in 2010 has opened doors to several opportunities for Ritz which eventually landed her in TV5. Ritz stands tall at 5’6" with a beauty that is sure to stand out should she decide to continue the beauty queen route. Ritz says, “Joining pageants is definitely a possibility, but I want to be physically and psychologically ready when the time comes.”
Even the international scene has taken notice of the versatile actress. She is now visible in Vietnam, having recently appeared in an ad for a popular softdrink brand. But being the humble person that she is, Ritz never forgets her roots. She is a mainstay in TV5’s Sunday noontime show, Happy Truck ng Bayan, and appears regularly in Wattpad Presents, the network’s primetime mini-series that brings popular online love stories to life.
Ritz tried to live in the urban jungle once when she was busy with her commitments, but she is truly home in the quiet and laid back life in her hometown. This prompted her to return to Pampanga, a place she has always called home. She said living in a condo was so lonesome and she was not used to living away from her family.
“I’m still the same Ritz to my family. I am always excited to go home and be with them. At home, I’m a jogging pants-and-tee-kind of girl. I really don’t have any specific fashion style. Sometimes it depends on my mood, but I am generally laid-back and conservative and like wearing comfy clothes,” she says when asked about her favorite combo porma outside showbiz commitments. “I prefer to stay at home when I don’t have commitments. I enjoy doing crochet or recycling projects. I always get a kick out of turning something old into something new and useful ,” she proudly told us about her latest project — a lampshade made out of recycled paper.
“I’m not being kuripot here, I’m just being practical. Sayang ang mga bagay-bagay kung itatapon lang. We can make something new out of old things and do our share in helping preserve our environment,” says Ritz.
Ritz finds meaning in doing worthwhile projects, be it a personal hobby or a professional commitment as an actress. She admits missing doing films like S6parados, her film debut in Cinemalaya last year. She is a firm believer in lending her talent when promoting advocacies through film. One such project Ritz did was Pisara, a film which tackles the journey and struggles of a teacher suffering from seizures. The film has inspired Ritz so much that she is considering becoming a teacher should time permit. “When I am presented with rare opportunities such as doing indie films, I grab them. Projects like these not only hone my talents as an actress, but getting to work with good actors and directors makes me feel good about myself. They challenge me,” says the Kapatid actress.
A freshman student of Angeles University Foundation taking up Management Accountancy, Ritz plans to setup her own business — a gym/restaurant that serves healthy food. It’s a perfect venue for health buffs, and starting this business is something that Ritz has been dreaming about since she started her career.
A health enthusiast herself, Ritz’ diet normally includes fish, fresh fruits and vegetables. “Beef, other meats and white rice are no-nos for me. That’s why I love it when I’m in my hometown because that’s where I can eat fresh organic finds,” Ritz shares.
Like a typical young woman who is asked to describe the man of her dreams, Ritz admits that the Captain America actor, 34-year-old Hollywood star Chris Evans, is her ultimate crush. “I feel like I’ll be so secure in his arms,” she gushes.
Whenever she doesn’t have work, Ritz enjoys hanging out with her cousins. “We play basketball or badminton, or go cycling. Sometimes kulitan lang. I love my hometown. Masaya, masarap sa probinsiya,” this probinsiyana says with a smile.
Asked about her other plans aside from pursuing her showbiz career, this smart young lady says “Show business is not a permanent job. It’s wise to invest this early because we never know what will happen next,” The actress has already put up a business in her hometown – a water refilling station and a construction business — and is expecting to venture on to another with the help of her businessman father.
This actress believes that in her line of business, one can’t please everyone and whenever a basher comes her way, she ignores them and just focuses on work.
“There’s really nothing to gain. I’d rather focus on my work. Deadma ko na lang sila,” she comments.
Ritz knows that her popularity puts her in a position to be a good influence to people, most especially the youth, and from 2010 to 2013 she was elected as a Sangguniang Kabataan chair.
“My stint as SK Chair helped me understand the issues of today’s youth. I proposed some programs that made the youth in our place become responsible and helped keep them away from drugs and other vices,” Ritz says.
When asked if she has plans to join politics, Ritz says, “Yes. I would love to, but I should study and learn more. Ayoko naman maging dekorasyon lang sa politika,” says the former youth leader.
Ritz Azul has a clear understanding of what truly matters in life, her family and her advocacies. With such admirable traits, Ritz continues to grow both as an actress and a woman. We can only expect bigger things for Ritz whose down-to- earth and humble attitude makes her one of those rare showbiz gems whose star genuinely shines bright.