PIEGALINGAN jocks recall humble beginnings

Jerry Donato - The Philippine Star
PIEGALINGAN jocks recall humble beginnings
From left: Ralph Malibunas, Sam Bernardo, Anji Salvacion and Eris Aragoza can relate to the show’s contestants in Ekstra Ordinaryo and Ekstra Ordinaryo Next Level for they all once dreamed of entering the entertainment industry. Aside from talents and personality, they can attest that perseverance also matters.
STAR / File

New and familiar faces dominate the PIE Channel programming landscape. They are bringing in their talents and personality that entice and engage viewers. Among them are Ralph Malibunas, Sam Bernardo, Eris Aragoza and Anji Salvacion, jocks of the talent variety show, PIEGALINGAN, which airs Mondays to Saturdays at 4 p.m.

Ralph and Anji are known as Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) former housemate and Big Winner, respectively. Eris is BidaMan: The Big Break first runner-up of It’s Showtime, while Sam is 2020 Miss Grand International first runner-up and PBB Third Big Placer.

With their way of entry into the limelight, they are fit to inspire aspirants in the show’s interactive artista searches, Ekstra Ordinaryo and Ekstra Ordinaryo Next Level. They know what humble beginnings mean and the prize of carving out a niche for themselves.

“I can really relate to the contestants because, like them, I also dreamed to enter in this (entertainment) industry,” said Ralph in a recent virtual press conference that was also graced by Anji, Eris and Sam. “Siyempre ako din pinasok ko yung pagiging ekstra.” As a talent, he experienced as a passer-by or part of the setting or scene that featured the lead stars.

Like Ralph, Anji did bit roles and queue for auditions.

“Remembering back then (how I got started), it was really hard (pre-pandemic times)… the long lines, yung pawis mo, pupunta ka na doon para mag-audition,” shared she. “It was an experience that overall made me grateful and made me grounded. You really have to start from the bottom before you can go up to the top.” Through these baby steps, Anji has appreciated life more and “those people who really work and audition so hard.”

As for Eris, he also did rounds of auditioning. He never faltered until his potential got finally noticed. “Yung unang tumanggap sa akin ay Showtime,” said Eris, “tapos nandito ako ngayon sa PIEGALINGAN kaya maraming, maraming salamat.”

With that, his perseverance did pay off. After all, there’s no harm in trying, especially when one’s gut feeling tells that one can make it soon.

“I’ve also been there,” said Sam, who compared her journey as a Binibining Pilipinas contestant to earning a college degree. Luckily, she was given the chance to represent the Philippines in 2020 for that year’s edition of Miss Grand International. With her pageant experience, she delivered and finished first runner-up. “I also had the experience of being ekstra (in a show) and I was with Jodie Sta. Maria and Sir Chief (Richard Yap)… Lahat tayo talaga pinagdadaanan yan. God is preparing us for something better that is really meant for us. When the (right) opportunity comes your way, you are ready for it.”

So, the rules are: Never give up and eye on the prize.

Ralph added that he would push himself and explore possibilities like “Kahit hindi ako dancer, sasali ako para lang makapasok sa ganitong industry (In the past, even I was not a dancer, I would audition and give it a try just to make it in the industry). I tried my luck at PBB three times. That’s why I can relate to the contestants of Ekstra Ordinaryo because they really give their best in acting, even if some of them have not attended any workshops. They just want to reach their dream of becoming an actor.”

The finalists for Ekstra Ordinaryo Next Level have been named and they are Mustafa as Ang Ekstrang Action Dad ng Tarlac; Popsy, Ang Ekstrang TikTokerist ng Tarlac; Juan, Ang Ekstrang Future Direktor ng Manila; Neo, Ang Ekstrang Dreamboy ng Manila; Rinoa, Ang Ekstrang Prinsesa ng Pamilya ng Cavite; and Minnie, Ang Ekstrang Adventurer ng La Union.

“I’m just so happy being part of PIEGALINGAN,” said Sam. “Now, I’m more relaxed in front of the camera, mas nagkakaroon tayo ng confidence (I’m becoming more confident). And for those who aspire to become actors, we celebrate small wins and big wins here in PIEGALINGAN. We’re very happy that our show is fulfilling dreams of other people.”

The show of Ralph, Sam, Eris and Anji is indeed an avenue for it.

(The multiscreen, real-time interactive TV channel, PIE is available on the website pie.com.ph, YouTube, http://youtube.com/iampieofficial, Sky Cable Channel 21 and Cablelink Channel 100.)

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