Miguel Castro against the showbiz flow
Amadís Ma. Guerrero (The Philippine Star) - October 19, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Miguel Castro has been acting on stage and for TV since 1989 all for the love of the art, and not earning much at that. And so one fine day, since he was also a visual artist, he decided to go into the export business by marketing attractive “Castro-designed” paper products like picture frames, boxes, clocks, book-markers, scrapbooks and journals.

Well, what do you know? He succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and for a time he was well-off. The business sustained his family, parents and many siblings. His main market was Hong Kong and then something happened, specifically the SARS epidemic, somewhat like today’s Ebola, and business declined for two years.

Miguel incurred a debt of P14M in bank loans. Slowly, painfully, he was able to pay all these. And he went back to acting in theater, being with Tony Espejo’s Gantimpala and TV teleserye. But what he really wanted to do was to sing, “to wake up in the morning memorizing songs.”

People in theater would tell him to stick to acting because he couldn’t sing, and this really frustrated him until talent manager Bibsy Carballo took him in without any conditions (unlike others who would eye his beefy body), and obtained for him the lead role in Dulaang UP’s St. Louis Loves dem Filipinos — the Musical.

Miguel played Bulan, head of the Bagobo tribe who was put on display by the American colonial authorities in the famous 1904 St. Louis Exposition. And he proved that he could sing, and even came out with an album.

Meanwhile he continued with his bread and butter/rice and fish — TV soap operas, doing mostly character roles. He appeared in Esperanza with Judy Ann Santos as a barkada of Wowie de Guzman, and in Bituin Walang Ningning starring Sarah Geronimo. In the latter, his role as a friend of Sarah’s father was enlarged with each episode, until he became a mainstay in the telenovela.

In the last eight years, our singing actor has been with the cast of the long-running Aawitan Kita, which is now produced live and is a monthly show for senior citizens at the University of Makati.

Miguel started as a pop singer, underwent classical training under Armida Siguion-Reyna, now and calls himself a pop-classical singer. He heads a group of young talents, Filipino Pop Tenors, who do shows for the corporate crowd.

Reviewing his 25 years in showbiz and the performing arts, Miguel turns pensive: “I love what I do, which is to act, sing and even paint but I’ve always maintained that showbiz is a harsh environment. You have to go with the flow sometimes, and I had to protect myself.”

He adds: “You have to give up mga prinsipyo mo sa buhay. People do that to survive in showbiz. I could have slept with everybody, I could have kissed everybody’s ass… I would rather be in the sidelight. Masaya ako sa sidelight. I still get jobs. I may not be famous but I’m still around.”

AAWITAN KITA ARMIDA SIGUION-REYNA BIBSY CARBALLO BITUIN WALANG NINGNING FILIPINO POP TENORS HONG KONG JUDY ANN SANTOS MIGUEL MIGUEL CASTRO SARAH GERONIMO
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