By Rachelle Siazon
Being part of a top-rating show like My Girl has brought Enchong Dee to a career high this year. Its impact on his life was further stressed when fans went crazy for him—apart from lead stars Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson—during their recent mall show in Ilo-Ilo.
"Actually, it’s my second time to visit Ilo-ilo. Yung first time ko, swimmer ako (for Palarong Pambansa). Na-icompare ko talaga kasi walang pumapansin sa akin dati—nakakakain pa ‘ko sa labas, nakakabili ako sa Biscocho House ng naglalakad lang—pero pagbalik ko sabi ko, ‘Wow, ibang klase!’ Pagpasok pa lang namin nagtitilian na lahat," he exclaimed in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN.com. As the locals swarmed around them, Enchong took it all in stride, saying that it only goes to show how much the viewers love the characters of My Girl.
Though he has been in showbiz for some time now, Enchong admitted that such a warm and massive reception was a new experience for him. "Nung ginawa ko yung Astigs tsaka Lastikman, nandun sila (his fans). Pero ‘pag dumadaan ako [in public places] nagbubulungan lang sila. Now, iba na yung approach nila. Lalapitan ka o kaya minsan may kumukuha pa talaga ng papel [for an autograph]. Hindi lang basta-basta nakukuha ng artista ang ganung recognition eh. Usually, makikilala ka lang pero hindi ka lalapitan. And I’m happy na nandun na ko," he shared.
The 19-year-old actor claimed that he had the popular team-up of Gerald and Kim to thank for his soaring career. "Lagi ko nga sinasabi na I am thankful to them kasi sila naman talaga yung malaking tulong." But fans like Enchong for his own talents and appeal as well. "I’m glad kasi minahal ng tao si Nico at hindi siya kinainisan. Hindi por que nag-iintervene siya sa pagmamahalan ni Jasmine at ni Julian, sinuportahan pa rin nila yung character ko," he enthused. He admitted though that he had thought that Nico had no redeeming traits. "Nung nag-storycon pa lang kami dati naisip ko, ‘Ano ba ‘to. Kontrabida pala ako.’ Pero eventually naisip ko na, ‘Hindi. Ano ba’ng mali sa taong nagmahal?’" he asserted.
In real life, however, Enchong felt that he can’t do the sacrifices that Nico did all for the sake of true love and friendship. "Pareho kami in terms of loving someone deeply. Pero I don’t know kung kaya kong gawin yung ginawa niya na magpaubaya. Yung kabaitan kasi niya tago. Mas pinapakita niya yung pagiging chickboy, yung mayabang, at yung maporma na Nico. Ako simple lang. As much as possible hindi ko pinapasok sa ulo ko yung pagiging artista kasi yun din yung first advice sa akin ng mga tao. Yun ang pagkakaiba namin ni Nico."
For Enchong, it’s clear that My Girl had paved the way for him to reorganize his long-term goals. "Ito yung umpisa pa lang gustong-gusto ko na gawin. ‘Pag napo-postpone yung taping dati, naiisip ko lagi na gusto ka gawin ‘to, gusto ko na mag-improve, gusto ko na umarte. Naramdaman ko yung passion ko," he gushed
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