From Sexy Star To Pastor’s Wife: Watch Rica Peralejo’s Inspiring Transformation

Known for being a ‘sexy star’ in the local entertainment industry of the Philippines, Rica Peralejo was not a celebrity you would refer to as ‘wholesome.’ She was often dressed in skimpy clothing, had been open to nudity in movies, and would dance sultrily when prompted.

That is, until she found God.

Having entered the entertainment industry at the age of 12, Rica — now Peralejo-Bonifacio following her marriage to Joe Bonifacio, a pastor — was tailored by her management to be molded into whatever was most marketable. This included shifting her image towards a more sexual one, and by age 18, she had been taking more sensual roles to boost her name in the industry.

“If I don’t change my image, I’m just going to be like everybody else,” she said in an interview at the CCF Art Of Being A Woman Conference Interview. “If I don’t stand out, then I’m going to lose this position. Then, if you lose the position, you lose the fame, you lose the money… everything that comes with the package.”

Dropping the sexy act not only meant losing her position in the industry, but also having her finances slip through her fingers. While her transition was slow but steady, it was not without struggle.

One particular case of such struggles was when Rica realized she was still under contract as an endorser for Bench Body, the underwear branch of the local retail brand, Bench.

Rica shared how she wrote to Ben Chan, Bench’s head honcho, requesting if she could terminate her contract as she could no longer endorse so intimately with her body, seeing as it went against her beliefs.

Buying out of the contract was the only option Rica had to be released from her contract with the brand. But, due to a decline in her finances caused by her change in image — as she had been declining many offers to book sexy jobs by then — she did not have a lot of funds to begin with.

So, she once again turned to God.

Rica Peralejo

One of Rica’s sexier shoots. Screen grab from YouTube.

Her prayers were answered when she received a response from Bench — a mere 2 days after she initially wrote to them — who offered her the option of choosing which Bench products to endorse so that she could still fulfill her obligations as an endorser.

The simplicity of the process and response had shocked Rica, who had been expecting the worst, thinking she would be sued by the company. Rica had taken this as a message from God who had relieved her of her worries.

“When God gave me the blessing, he added no trouble to it,” she said of her exchange with Bench. “And I was like, ‘Wow, this is how you work. It’s painless.'”

Rica Peralejo

Rica in 2015. Screen grab from Instagram.

Rica claimed she had found enlightenment in God by accident, sharing she had been brought by a friend to attend a Christian service one day. While it initially left a “weird” impression on her, Rica could not shake off the feeling that something had changed within her.

“Something opened. My heart opened,” she said of her spiritual awakening. And she has not looked back since.

Today, Rica is no longer in the business of entertainment, let alone that of the rated R market. Instead, she spends her time focusing her efforts on a blog that chronicles her adventures with her family.

Besides being a full-time mother to her son, Philip Nathaniel, Rica also keeps herself busy advocating motherhood as a host for a lifestyle talk show catering to fellow mothers.

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About the author

Regina is a Fine Arts graduate who expresses herself through various mediums. She finds amusement in pop culture, enjoys video games, and watches way too many YouTube videos on a daily basis.