With her return to the Kapamilya network, Bela Padilla said a lot has changed about her and her career. “First and foremost I think I'm more sure of myself now kasi mahirap yung transition period ko kasi I was parang hanging last year? Like I didn't know if I was going to stay with GMA or finally take that leap of faith and move to ABS-CBN. At least now I know that I can make decisions for myself, my managers back me up, people trust me with big projects so nabigyan ako ng I guess security na kaya ko ito. I don't want to think of it as second wind kasi that would parang sound like I was lost for a while, but actually I was just waiting because I knew that I was going to move to ABS-CBN so this was all part of my wish, like I really wanted to move back. I talked to my bosses in GMA when I left, I told them this is my plan and I feel like I'm going to grow more there and I asked them respectfully if I could move. I'm not the kind of person who would just leave. I'm very loyal so for move means a lot. Parang it took a lot of time for me to think of my move. It's just that right now I need to work with people who I feel like will also be loyal to me or I guess who will return the level of loyalty that I gave,” she explained during the Felix Manalo movie grand presscon held last August 21.
In the film, Bela plays the wife of Iglesia Ni Cristo founder Felix Manalo (played by Dennis Trillo). “Sana panuorin niyo ang Felix Manalo and abangan niyo ako bilang si Ka Honorata. First time ko na gaganap ng ganitong character na totoong tao. First time ko mag-portray ng character na ibang iba sa itsura ko and first time kong patatandain sa isang movie so maraming aabangan in terms of yung buong movie plus madami kayong iba't ibang gagawin ng mga artist katulad namin ni Dennis,” she said.
When she got offered the role, Bela admitted she immediately jumped at the opportunity. “This is an actor's dream. Even before they told me na papatandain nila ako, just to be part of such a historical and huge project is an actor's dream. I only had a few days to prepare. If they told me on a Monday, I started shooting on Thursday so I had like three days. Naghanap ako ng pictures niya. I googled her photos. I wanted to see first what she looked like. Kasi pag feeling ko mas dikit na sa akin yung itsura, mas madali na sa akin i-arte yung character. Lahat tinanong ko kung ano bang dapat na atake, anong dapat gawin. Nauna si Dennis nag-shoot sa akin and nagtanong din ako sa kanya,” she added.
Apart from Felix Manalo, Bela is also set to star with Coco Martin in the teleserye Ang Probinsyano. When asked if she finds her leading man attractive, Bela said she can see why women adore him. “Hindi mahirap mahalin si Coco. Right now I'm enjoying being his friend so I'm very happy with that. He's a very lovable person, lahat ng tao makikita mo sa set namin sobrang they take care of him and there's a reason for it. Even his management takes care of him. That's because he's a nice person,” she explained.
Bela said she is happy with her three-year relationship with boyfriend Neil Arce who has never been jealous of Coco. “No, he's not like that. And I tell him what happens on the set. I tell him how everyone's treating me and he's very happy how my career is doing right now. Kaka-three years lang namin. I don't give him a reason to get jealous,” she said.
Apart from acting, Bela admitted that she also enjoys writing scripts even though she never studied it formally. “I didn't take formal lessons It's just that I really love reading. I have so many books at home. I have a lot of e-books also now. Kasi sa taping ang hirap din magdala-dala ng libro so now I'm into the habit of downloading e-books. So nasanay yung utak ko na lagi akong nakakaita ng new stories, different styles of writing and minsan nakakaisip ka ng concept so I just tried writing and nag-work naman. I co-wrote a story that Viva is going to produce soon. It's very light, different from what we've done before. 10,000 Hours was very different, very deep. I guess nobody expected that from me so now I'm trying something new, we're doing a rom-com that hopefully will be released in the first quarter of next year,” she admitted.
After Felix Manalo, Bela returns to the big screen with another exciting project she was just informed of recently. “They told me that at the end of this year I'm going to start a light film na ngayon ko lang din ma-ta-try na rom-com kasi lately puro heavy drama, parang ganyan. But I can't tell you yet who else is part of it. I just found out the other day. I'm excited na sunod sunod and I'm excited na iba iba yung nagagawa ko,” she said.