Ejay Falcon: Promdi at Heart
Into every newcomer's life, some rain must fall.
That's the rule of the showbiz jungle, the "initiation rite" that a wannabe must survive.
Ejay Falcon, the promdi-at-heart from a small town in Mindoro Oriental who topped the recent Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Teen Edition Plus, is no exception.
Even before Ejay got out of Kuya's house, his detractors had already slapped him with muck - you know, that 1) he's not really the probinsyano (country boy) that he claimed to be, so as, his detractors said, he would gain sympathy and therefore text votes; 2) he's not as innocent as he seemed to be, having been, his detractors said, touched by gays; and 3) he's street-smart and not the shy type he projected himself to be.
Said Ejay, "I never tried to hide anything about me; wala kong itinago."
For one thing, he's the love child of a lowly DepEd worker and a foreigner (a Frenchman?) he has never seen, abandoned as a child by his mother who ran away with another man, leaving him in the care of a stepfather who raised him as his own.
"I'm not ashamed of where I came from," added Ejay who came to this Conversation accompanied by his fisherman-stepfather, Ernesto Falcon.
How did PBB change your life?
"Ibang-iba na. Anywhere I go, people recognize me. But I'm happy. I am able to send my younger brother and sisters to school. One is in first-year college at JRU and one is in high school. 'Yung elementary student kasama namin ni Papa dito sa Maynila."
Did you really grow up in Mindoro?
"Yes po. In Pola, Mindoro Oriental, 'yung town ni Kabayan (Vice Pres. Noli de Castro)."
Your detractors said that you only pretended to be a probinsyano (country boy) so as to gain votes while you were inside Big Brother's house.
"Mas okey 'yung hindi probinsyano but I'm really a probinsyano and I'm proud of it. It just so happened that I stayed in Manila for two years but I would go home to Mindoro every three months and I would stay there for four months, and then I would come back to Manila."
Inside Big Brother's house, you revealed that you are an adopted son and your biological father is French.
"Yes. Ernesto Falcon is my stepfather. Siya ang nag-alaga sa akin since I was born."
Haven't you seen your real father?
"No, I haven't. I don't have any idea how he looks like. Sabi ng Mama ko, iniwan daw kami noong pinagbubuntis pa lang ako. I heard that his name is Joel Smith. I'm their only child. 'Yung tatlo, mga kapatid ko sa ama."
Were you really abandoned by your mother, as you also revealed inside Big Brother's house?
"It's true. She went with another man; she left us. She used to work as a utility woman at the Department of Education. Hindi pa sila okey ni Papa but she sometimes visits us in the house kapag pinapapunta ko."
Where did you study?
"I finished elementary school at the Bakawan Elementary School, and first to third year high school at the Domingo Yuchu High School, pareho sa Mindoro. I moved to Manila on my fourth year, sa Carlos P. Garcia High School in Pandacan. After that, I went back to Mindoro and stayed there for three months. I came back and enrolled at the University of Manila but I quit after only one month because my mother lost her job and we ran out of money. So I didn't have a choice but to go back to Pola. One year ako doon."
Were you idle for one year in Pola?
"Not really. Nagbubuhat ako ng copra para makatulong sa gastusin sa bahay. I was helping Papa who's a kargador. I pitied him because he was getting old. And then, I came back to Manila again."
How did you get into PBB?
"First, how I was discovered. I was living in Pandacan and a beauty-parlor owner wanted to get me as model for a haircut, 'yung ginugupitan, pero ayoko. I wanted to be an actor pero medyo magulo sila dahil parlor nga. I told my mother, 'Ma, kausapin n'yo nga po siya.' Hindi pumayag ang Mama ko. Then one day...'yon siguro ang tinatawag na suwerte...I was walking when somebody approached me. Talent scout pala. I asked my mother to talk to him. Hayun, nagpirmahan ng kontrata at 'yon na ang naging manager ko. Then, he asked me to audition for PBB. Sa awa ng Diyos, nakapasa ako at nanalo. Before PBB, I guested in a show on GMA."
Was it hard getting into PBB?
"There were many applicants. There was a long, long line outside the Big Brother house. I arrived at 6 a.m. at natapos 'yung pila at 4 p.m. The audition was finished at 9 p.m."
How did you prepare for PBB? Did you work out, did you go into a crash diet?
"No diet. I eat anything. I'm lucky because I don't gain weight easily.
My favorite food is sinigang and adobo. But I'm not really choosy with food. Maski ano kinakain ko. Inside Big Brother's house, I lost a little weight because of lack of sleep, kasi anytime Kuya would wake anyone of us para kausapin. I don't go to the gym. I just do push-ups at home. I have to work out; I have to trim my abs."
One housemate was from La Salle (Josef Elizalde) and another from Ateneo (Robi Domingo), and others were from well-to-do families. Being the only promdi ("from the province"), didn't you feel insecure, like an outsider?
"At first, medyo nahirapan ako. Na-conscious ako. But they were all nice, mababait sila, and with the advice of Kuya I felt secure, naging matatag ako. Kuya advised me, 'Don't be ashamed of what you are. You know who you are. You are a good person. Don't be shy'."
What did you do with your prizes?
"I won P1-M. I paid P120,000 for the one-year rent of the condo unit where I'm staying with my family, P10,000 per month. It's near ABS-CBN. Then, I paid for the tuition ng mga kapatid ko. The rest, P350,000, I deposited in the bank. Among my prizes are a franchise for Crystal Clear Water and a condo unit in Valenzuela like the ones that the other PBB winners (Nene Tamayo, Ruben Gonzaga, Keanna Reeves and Kim Chiu) also got. Hindi pa po kami nakatira doon."
Was becoming an actor your childhood ambition?
"Ganoon nga. In Mindoro, everytime I watched Robin Padilla in his movies, I thought of being like him, parang gustung-gusto ko siya gayahin. Uso sa Mindoro ang Betamax; you have to pay P3 to watch a movie. Robin is my idol. I never imagined that I would be in showbiz dahil mahirap nga lang po kami."
How many votes did you get to win in the PBB?
"I got 600,000 text votes; Robi got 400,000."
Did you spend for the text votes?
"No, I did not. We didn't have money for that. Besides, in our place in Mindoro, there's no signal."
Your critics said that most of those who voted for you were gays.
"Kung ganoon, maraming salamat po sa kanila. Thank you po. Kung humahanga sila sa akin, salamat po. Okey lang."
What's the best lesson that you learned inside the Big Brother house?
"To forgive. I have forgiven my mother for abandoning us. That was what Kuya advised me - 'Alisin mo ang galit sa dibdib mo' - because he must have noticed that I was harboring some bitterness; siguro nahalata niya na ako ang pinaka-tahimik. Now, okey na kami ng mother ko."
Nasanay ka na ba sa showbiz?
"Medyo. Nakakapagod pero okey lang. When I'm very tired, I ask Mama to massage me. Or I just sleep and sleep. Before PBB, parang ayoko na sa Maynila. Magulo, maingay. Gusto ko tahimik. So I would go home to Pola and seek out my old friends. We would climb coconut trees. It's fun! Or we climb the mountains."
How do you deal with tsismis?
"I just don't mind them. Hindi ko na lang iniintindi. Lilipas din 'yon."
What is it about Ejay Falcon that the public doesn't know yet? What is the real Ejay Falcon like?
"Actually, I revealed everything about myself sa PBB; lahat ng tungkol sa akin at sa buhay ko naipakita ko na, nakakahiya man o hindi. What they saw on PBB is the real me, walang halong pagkukunwari. Hindi naman kasalanan ang maging mahirap, di ba? I didn't hide anything; I have nothing to hide."
More about Ejay
* Birthday: Nov. 21, 1989
* Zodiac sign: Scorpio
* Color of eyes: Brown
* Color of hair: Black
* Height: 6'1"
* Weight: 163 lbs.
* Waistline: 30"
* Size of shirt: Medium/Large
* Size of shoes: 11"
* Hobbies: Playing basketball, chess and billiards
* Sport: Swimming
* What turns him on: Girls who are tall, cute, with long hair and beautiful eyes and nose. "If ever she becomes my girlfriend, I hope that she's understanding and she would love me for what I am."
* What turns him off: Girls who are suplada, maarte and sosyal.
* Favorite colors: Red and blue
* Favorite songs: Those by David Cook (Always Be My Baby, etc.)
* Favorite sleepwear: Shorts and sando
* Last thing he does before he goes to sleep: Take a bath
* First thing he does when he wakes up: Brush his teeth
* Favorite fantasy figure: Sarah Geronimo. "How nice to be on an island with her at nakikinig ako sa pagkanta niya. Sarap!"
* Idols: Robin Padilla, Piolo Pascual and Jericho Rosales
* Crushes: Angelica Panganiban, Katrina Halili and Cristine Reyes.
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