Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Perks, pressures of being a young TV star

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Bosses don’t say to their faces that their programs should rate highly, but Miguel Tanfelix, 16, and Bianca Umali, 14, need not be told.

Even without the verbal pressure, GMA-7’s young tandem admitted that the most challenging aspect of being a teen star is meeting expectations of their television shows trumping the competition or at least registering well with fickle viewers.

“That’s the hardest part actually…not being able to fulfill other people’s expectations. I’m worried that I will disappoint them,” said Bianca, a lovely lass many are eyeing to potentially be the next Marian Rivera.

How do they deal with said pressure? “We just do our best,” replied Miguel, who began his acting career as a “StarStruck Kids” first runner-up.

Both agree they still have a long way to go compared to other love teams, but that they are counting on their natural chemistry, genuine friendship and level of comfort with one another as their plus points.

The “Once Upon A Kiss” lead stars are both homeschooled: He is in his senior year of high school, while she’s a sophomore.

Miguel said he’s eyeing Engineering or Aeronautics (he dreams of becoming a pilot) if he gets the opportunity to enroll in college. Bianca said if she wasn’t an actress, she pictures herself pursuing an arts-related course. “I’ve started to paint, but I’m still into sketching now,” said Bianca, a commercial model since she was two years old.

Bianca said she volunteered to use her own money to pay for her tuition. She lets her grandma and an aunt manage her finances. An only child, she has been raised by her grandma after both her folks passed away. Her late mother is Cebuana, she shared, although the teen actress isn’t sure which part of Cebu she hails from.

Miguel, on the other hand, entrusts his showbiz earnings to his dad who safe-keeps his hard-earned cash in the bank.

TV stars, college studes

For ex-sweethearts Joyce Ching and Kristoffer Martin (they went steady for almost three years), both 20 years old, a taste of the limelight doesn’t mean academics should be left in the backburner.

Joyce is a freshman Film major, while Kristoffer is a first year Entrepreneur student. Both full-load students, Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for school; the rest of the week they spend taping their upcoming drama “Healing Hearts.”

Of her choice to study Film, the Fil-Chinese actress said that she hasn’t fully developed the desire to become a director someday, but has enough interest to learn the craft. Her work in front of the cameras made her curious what a director’s job entails.

Known more for her villainess roles, Joyce said it was difficult for her to transition from mean girl in previous projects, to the goody-two shoes in “Healing Hearts.”

Joyce started her TV career in 2005 when she joined “Bubble Gang Jr.,” while Kristoffer joined the ABS-CBN singing contest for kids “Little Big Superstar.” The tandem are currently “Bubble Gang” mainstays.

Naturally, there was awkwardness in working together after they broke up, but they claim to have moved past that and are now close chums without any hint of bitterness.

If Kristoffer gave the names of Dingdong Dantes and John Lloyd Cruz as among the Pinoy male actors he’s impressed with, Joyce said she looks up to her “Strawberry Lane” co-star Sunshine Dizon because of her versatility. “She can act the protagonist and antagonist equally well. I admired her more when working with her in ‘Strawbery Lane,’ because she mentored us a lot.” – VAB (FREEMAN)











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