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Cedie grows up |


Cedie grows up

Cate de Leon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - I spent the previous night watching clips of Cedie: Ang Munting Prinsipe to refresh my memory. There was this wide-eyed, helpless-if-left-alone looking little boy, who also made quite a few cry faces at the camera. Fast forward to our shoot the next day, current Tom Taus was in a corner doing push-ups in preparation. He was also being coaxed to take off his shirt for Supreme. “For the girls,” Milan said. And while the thought of spinning with his shirt off at an indoor club made Tom uncomfortable, he eventually obliged.

He wore his red cap backwards and walked with the unassuming yet may yabang demeanor of someone who is used to electrifying immediate crowds with his music — and yet never forgets that it’s all about staying connected. It’s interesting how you can look closely at a person, still see the features of that well-loved child actor, and yet be acutely aware that this is someone completely different.

When he moved to the States in 2001, Tom had every intention of leaving the acting scene for good. “I’d been doing it since I was six, and I wanted to do something different. I just wanted to go to school, get a job, and I wanted to become a golfer. I never guessed that I’d get back into the entertainment industry as a DJ.

The first and foremost thing that he loves about his current job is the music. “I love the electronic scene and how it makes you feel; how it hypes you up.  I love being able to play the kind of music that makes me feel good in front of hundreds or thousands of people, and make them feel the same way. I have a connection with them, and if feels good that they appreciate the stuff that I do, too, and all the hard work that I put into my craft. I also love the part where it doesn’t even feel like I’m working. For me, I’m just so happy to be up there. And it’s pretty fortunate to feel that way about what I’m doing and make money at the same time. I also get to go to travel and go to different cities and meet new people. And during the downtime, I get to explore places that I’ve never been to. My ultimate goal is to tour Europe and Asia.” When he’s not spinning, he’s constantly working on expanding his material, doing a lot of research, and making new remixes and mashups.


And while Tom doesn’t really go back to watch his old shows, being more focused on the present, to this day he still gets a lot of messages on social media from people who play his movies. We ask him if it bothers him that people still keep bringing up Cedie to this day. “No. It feels good that people still appreciate what I did when I was young. It has its pros and cons. The pro is that people remember you and will always have you in their heads, because you’re part of their childhood memories. The con is that you really have to get yourself out there and show them who you’ve become. But I wouldn’t change anything.”

Would he cringe if his peers, who only ever knew him as a DJ Tommy T, suddenly unearthed one of his videos, perhaps from his child-superhero Batang Z days? “Nah, not really,” he smiles. “It’s actually good work. It doesn’t make me cringe whatsoever.” He also admits to having loved April Boy Regino and belting out “O giliw ko! Miss na miss kita…” then being interpreted by Robin Padilla.

Like his sister, Antoinette, Tom has no regrets about making the move. “I really appreciate more things now,” Tom says of what living in LA has taught him. “I don’t take anything for granted. For me, it was a blessing that I moved. Other than being established over there, too, I really learned how to be independent — especially with my dad living in a different city and my mom passing away, and there we were in Los Angeles, one of the biggest cities. It really prepared us for being adults. Now, I can be put anywhere and I can survive. I know what to do.

“Also, over there everybody’s almost the same. Here, there’s a big, big difference between social classes. Over there, even if you’re middle class, you can still be in the same place as the celebrities. They don’t even care. They’re just normal people like everybody else. That’s why coming back here, I appreciate everybody more, from the person selling on the street to the ‘higher up’ people. For me there’s no difference. We’re people. We’re just all in diff situations.”

There is only one thing that Tom misses from his old life in the Philippines. “Having a mom around,” he says after a thoughtful pause. “It’s different when your mom’s around. But I guess life goes on, you know? She really took care of us.”

Currently, Tom busies himself with gigs at 71 Gramercy and Republiq. He plans to return to LA by the end of May, and also go to Vegas, where he often plays. “I’m also working on producing originals. Then once I come out with a hit, I’m touring. That’s how you really get known worldwide—to have a hit song that you produced or remixed yourself, and then it just goes up from there. Sky’s the limit.”

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Tweet the author @catedeleon.

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