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Cebuano cutie Enrique Gil is next in line

CEBU, Philippines - The year 2011 is arguably Enrique Gil’s best one yet.

From just another waiting-in-the-wings talent in the Star Magic teen pool, the Cebuano actor has risen to become a bankable young male star with simultaneous lead roles on television.

He was blessed this year with big breaks when he bagged one of the leads in the Mula Sa Puso remake, starred in the teen show Good Vibes, is currently seen in the series "Budoy" and has an upcoming primetime soap set to premiere on 2012 titled You’re Always In My Heart. Talk about one busy boy!

The 19-year-old mestizo started appearing on TV commercials and musical theater shows in 2008 before eventually becoming part of Star Magic and starring in ABS-CBN teleseryes.

"I did commercials before because I had nothing to do, not because I really dreamed to be discovered as an actor. There was that summer where all I did was play computer games. My mom suggested I join workshops so that I’ll become productive, and that’s how it started for me," Enrique narrated in an interview with The FREEMAN his showbiz beginnings when he recently appeared as a celebrity guest for the Cosplay Harajuku District festivity at the Ayala Linear Park.

Organized by the Cebu Educational Foundation for Information Technology (Cedf-IT) for their 10th year celebration, in partnership with Cebu Holdings, Inc. and the iLuvCebu group, the event gave a peek to the vibrant and whimsical world of costume playing where participating cosplayers and hobbyists amazed onlookers with the colorful characters they brought to life.

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One of the event’s main highlights was its Cosplay Competition that was divided into four categories, namely Kiddo, Male, Female and Group Cosplay. Making the affair even more exciting were live performances by bands and dance groups. Enrique, although not garbed in a cosplay costume, entertained the crowd with song numbers and his trademark "Teach Me How to Dougie" routine.

Enrique hasn’t had the chance to dress up as a cosplay character before, but if he could become his favorite anime character, his hands down choice would be San Goku. He also shared growing up addicted to such characters as Dragon Ball Z, Flame of Recca, Ghost Fighter and Pokemon.

Next matinee idol

He was 16 years old then when boredom led him to enroll in commercial modeling workshops as well as musical theater workshops conducted by Trumpets. The same year, Star Magic held auditions for a new batch of talents. He was one of the STAGES talents sent by theater veteran Audie Gemora to audition, and fortunately, got picked to be part of the 20 new faces to be launched as a member of Star Magic Batch 16.

Three years in, and Enrique is finally seeing his star soar.

He has been receiving accolades from viewers for his performance in Budoy, a top-rating soap that stars Gerald Anderson. "This is so far the most challenging show I’ve been part of. The scenes are not easy, but it’s very rewarding especially when people appreciate our efforts," Enrique, who idolizes Jericho Rosales and Johnny Depp, expressed.

That time we talked to him, he was supposed to play one of Sharon Cuneta’s three children (along with Maja Salvador and Julia Montes) in a planned Star Cinema comeback movie of the Megastar where she was to essay the role of a call center agent. We all know the Megastar has since jumped to the TV5 network and is now under the care of Viva, and so it’s goodbye for now for Enrique’s big screen comeback after we saw him this year in the movie Way Back Home.

The role written for him was the favorite middle child with a heart ailment and he seemed very excited for the chance to work side by side with an industry luminary. He met the Megastar once during the aborted movie’s story conference and Enrique shared how it was such a joyous event. "I’ll never forget the experience. It was a happy atmosphere. It was at least two hours of her just laughing and joking around with us. Growing up, I watched her, my mom watched her, so it’s funny that you’re going to work with her."

His fans have nothing to worry though, for there sure are more opportunities set to land on Enrique’s lap. In fact, he’ll start 2012 with a bang, as he’ll be starring alongside Kathryn Bernardo in a new primetime series where he’ll be pitted against two other leading men: Daniel Padilla and Pilipinas Got Talent grand finalist Khalil Ramos.

Proudly Bisdak

Born in Cebu (with Spanish roots on his dad’s side) but grew up in Manila, Enrique shyly admits he can only speak a few words in the dialect. He’s no stranger to his birthplace and his mother’s hometown though, since his family consistently spends the Holy Week and Christmas breaks here in Cebu.

Prior to getting into showbiz, Enrique was an Information Technology freshman at San Beda College – Alabang, but had to put his studies on hold to concentrate on his acting career. (FREEMAN)

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