[PHOTO -Grace Lee: Roller-coaster ride PHOTO COURTESY OF LOOK MAGAZINE]

MANILA, OCTOBER 1, 2012 (INQUIRER) By Bayani San Diego Jr. - TV host Grace Lee did a lot of growing up this past year—a roller-coaster ride that saw her gaining sudden fame due to her widely reported romance with President Aquino.

The Korean TV personality admitted: “I learned that when we go through trials, we should remember, and rely on, the things we already believed in when we were younger.”

The resulting fame and controversies could have been dizzying. She said it was important for her to stick to the values that her parents had instilled in her.

“I realized that God would not put someone in your life without a purpose,” she told the Inquirer during the launch of her latest endorsement deal, with Korean restaurant Chef’s Noodle. “I also found out who my real friends were. Lastly, I learned that it’s always important to love yourself first.”

People-pleaser that she was, she tended to prioritize others’ happiness before her own. Now she makes it a point to strike a healthy balance in all her personal relationships. “I wouldn’t want to lose my identity,” she said.

As if the Presidential scuttlebutt wasn’t enough, she figured in a nasty feud with former radio colleague Angelicopter early this year, too.

She noted that 2012 is a dragon year and those born in the year of the dog, like herself, are believed to be at a disadvantage. “But I don’t think that was being unlucky. I must’ve matured 10 times over this year. I became more understanding and acquired restraint.”

Through all the drama, she insisted, she remained optimistic. “I’m still a hopeless romantic.” She has learned to be “less angry, more forgiving” as well.

In the past year, she was deluged with intrigues left and right. “All sorts of rumors came out. My family and even people I loved in the distant past were dragged into the fray.”

Current focus

She recalled gasping upon seeing the May-June cover of Look magazine (published by Inquirer Hinge), which declared: “Before, During and After the President.” “My initial reaction was: OMG [Oh, my God]!”

But in the end, she conceded that the cover blurb aptly summed up the hectic year that was. “It’s true naman.”

These days, she’d rather focus on good news. For starters, she moved to TV5 after five years in GMA 7.

She is now part of the morning show “Good Morning Club” on TV5 and anchors (with Martin Andanar) the newscast “Andar ng mga Balita” on Aksyon TV (TV5’s Filipino news channel).

She was convinced to make the big switch because TV5 allowed her to go beyond “lifestyle and entertainment” and tackle hard news.

“I am now training under the team of (TV5 news head) Luchi Cruz-Valdes,” Lee said.

Coincidentally, it was Valdes who interviewed Lee at the height of the brouhaha over the Presidential romance early this year.

On top of her TV work, a new website is in the works (www.graceleemanila.com), too.

Grace Lee Covers Look Magazine June 2012 Issue

Cooking with the Star host, Grace Lee Covers Look Magazine June 2012 Issue. The Issue is entitled, Grace Lee, Before, during and after the President. Quite intriguing!

Features in the mag’s issue include dreamy bridal gowns; how to look like Anne, Iza or Georgina; famous celebs without the makeup; and much more!

Also featured on the issue is Special Bridal Section and "How to know when he's ready to Marry by Apa Ongpin and the Pinay Celebrities minus their make-up.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved