KENNETH EARL MEDRANO: He’s our Bae

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09:40 PM April 15th, 2017

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By: Apple Ta-as, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, April 15th, 2017 09:40 PM
Kenneth Medrano

Kenneth Medrano

IT ALL started with a Dubsmash video in 2015 that went viral.

Riding on the popularity of the lip-synching app, Kenneth Earl Medrano recorded his version of Brandon Beal’s “Twerk it Like Miley,” catching the attention of netizens (an astounding 2.6 million views overnight) and opening a door of opportunities for him.

He was then invited by noontime show “Eat Bulaga” along with other Dubsmash stars, including Maine Mendoza, when the show was looking for their next big discovery.

Although he initially did not make the cut, Kenneth got called back in to audition for a new segment, “That’s My Bae: Twerk It” dance contest and eventually was chosen “Ultimate Bae Grand Winner.”

His victory paved the way for him to be a regular on “Eat Bulaga” as well as a stint as Kylie Padilla’s partner in GMA’s afternoon teleserye “Buena Familia.” He also appeared in Kapuso shows like “Ismol Family,” “Wagas,” “Magpakailanman” and a cameo role in the Metro Manila Film Festival 2015 entry, “My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore.”

Now he headlines the daytime teleserye “Trops” along with his fellow Baes, aside from being an “Eat Bulaga” mainstay.

Although he has already adjusted to life as a celebrity in Manila, Kenneth still gets excited every time he goes home to his hometown in San Fernando in southern Cebu. Recently in town for a Holy Week break, he readily granted the Play! pool’s request to interview him. Here he shared how he enjoys spending time with family and eating his favorite Cebuano food—including lechon and “pungko-pungko.” It was also refreshing to hear him say he hopes to drop by Coffee Prince, where he used to work as a barista.

Here’s more of Kenneth and how he has remained grounded despite his fame. (MJP)

How’s life after winning Eat Bulaga’s “That’s My Bae?”

Daghan changes sa akong kinabuhi kay nagtuo rako’g dancer ra ko sa “Eat Bulaga.“ Wa ko nag expect nga musud ko og acting, wala jud ni sa akong hunahuna. I mean, I thought about it, pero wa ko nagtuo nga diha-diha dayon. That time, after “That’s My Bae,” murag one week later naa na ko’y bag-ong salida, mao to ang “Buena Familia” with Kylie Padilla. Nagtuo kog talent ra ko didto nga maglakaw-lakaw, wa ko mag expect nga maka- love triangle ko ni Kylie ug Martin del Rosario. Pero padung na siya mahuman pagsud nako, maayo gani nakasulod pa ko. They said okey ra daw akong acting but sa Tagalog lang daw ko kulang.

How did you prepare for your first acting stint?

Kailangan lang basahon ang script para makasabot kas story. And then after that naapil ko sa “Calle Siete” and then currently, “Trops,” which is mao ang pinakadugay. We are already informed nga mag season two mi.

Kenneth Medrano

Kenneth Medrano

How did you transition from dancing to acting? Did you join workshops?

Nag workshop ko with teacher Ana Feleo, three sesssions. But sa among set, naa mi acting coach nga kailangan tutukan jud mi labi na sila Kim (Last), kay bulol mag Tagalog.

What’s the hardest part of acting for you?

Kanang walay script and all you have to do is deliver the emotions through facial expressions. Kailangan makita sa mata, sa imong lakad what you are trying to convey kaysa sa naa kay lines nga dali ra kaayo.

I also had a “Magpakailanman” episode and I’m happy nga daghang positive feedback. That was with Ashley Ortega.

Are you open to being part of a loveteam?

Depende ra sa production. Sa una si Kylie. Karon si Taki na. Depende ra.

How would you like to identify yourself, as dancer or actor?

Maybe dancer, tapos actor. Kay diha man ko nailhan and sa Dubsmash videos. Trip ra jud to nako (laughs). Ingon aron sad to orasaha (3 p.m.) gikan ko laag adto unya nakadungog kog “Twerk it Like Miley.” Wa pa to nisikat ang kanta adto pag-ayo.

Can you name some actors you dream of working with?

Veteran actors like Eddie Garcia and Robin Padilla, kay diha mana mahasa ang imong acting and diha ka ma-challenge, and they will also help you. Like si Mamskie of “Trops,” Irma Adlawan, nagtuo mi nga maldita. Even si Benjie Paras, nagtuo mi nga strikto, but dili diay. Tabangan jud ka nila. I also wanted to work with Sir Benjie. Kung unsa siya sa TV mao pud siya off camera.

How was the experience when “Trops” had its first concert?

Wa mi tulganay ato, namayat mi tanan. Pero ang mga rehearsals kay lingaw kay medyo kabuangon man ming tanan (laughs). Lami kaayo sa feeling nga kana bitawng wala nimo gi-expect nga maka-concert ka. Our group… dili jud mi maglaag mao nga siguro tagaan jud mig blessings. Ang kana nga concert before na nahatag sa amoa, nag pray ra jud mi. There was a time na feeling namo backup dancer nalang jud mi ni Alden (Richards) sa Bulaga. Nagsige lang mig pray and open forum.

How is it working with Alden?

Okey ra, kiatan. He deserves whatever he has right now. Makaingon gani mi nga mas swerte pami ni Alden kay siya daghan kaayo siyang gi-agian before getting to where he is right now.

How about Maine?

Nagkauban mi ni Maine sa auditions kay tanang nag viral nga Dubsmash sa Internet kay gipaadto. Nagkauna mi’g friends ni Maine before Alden met her.

What’s your dream role?

Horror and action-packed drama. Ang akong idol is Coco Martin.

Is there a movie in the works?

Wala pa. But hopefully ang “Trops the Movie.”

Let’s backtrack to your life before “Eat Bulaga.”

Lahi ra kaayo pero makamingaw pod kay sa una makabuhat kos akong gusto, mag-hukas sa balay kay init kaayo. Lakaw-lakaw ra ka sa gawas. Pero lahi man gud ron, kailangan mugawas kay gwapo, saktong outfit. Dako kaayo natabang ang “Eat Bulaga” kay sa una, wala jud ko’y piso, mangayo pakos akong Mama before mulakaw. Karon ako na ang mohatag.

Kenneth Medrano

Kenneth Medrano

How is it living alone in Manila?

At first, it was very hard kay nagdako ko nga naa akong Mommy, so kailangan jud ka mutaguyod sa imong kaugalingon para mabuhi. Bag-ohay pa lang jud ko kay mag sige jud kog ka-late kay ako ra isa, di makatug og early kay ma homesick. Naanad lang jud ko. Wala jud koy personal assistant, daghan man ni-offer but kaya ra man so far.

How would you describe the bond between the Baes? Is there tight competition among you?

Wala. We treat each other as brothers. At first, naay selos-selos and gi-ingnan ko nila nga ako kuno ang leader dapat kay ako ang nakadaug pero di ko gusto mag lider-lider kay mao ra na ang maawayan.

What are your bonding activities?

Mag-open forum or Bible study. It started with Tommy kay Christian man siya and gusto namo nga unsa ang among nakab-ot kay among i-share sa uban nga mga bata. We want to become an inspiration to young kids to graduate. That’s our goal.

During your days off, what do you usually do?

Go to church, get a facial, pagupit, go to the gym, and tulog—whole day usahay. Naa raman gihapon mi privacy so okey ra.

How do you interact with fans?

I read all comments and thank them. Di lang nako tagdon isa-isa kay basin magsuya-suya unya ako ang luoy. Sometimes mag get together mi with the admin sa akong pages, mangadto silas akong condo.

Do you already have out-of-the-country tours?

Wala pa so far. But mostly our fans would like to do it in Cebu and in Davao, since taga Cebu pod ko.

If you did not make it to show business, where will you be?

Maybe I’ll be finishing my HRM course in USPF (University of Southern Philippines Foundation) and continue as a bartender for Coffee Prince.

What activites are you planning to do during your one-week vacation?

Mag beach, and after that balik na sa Manila kay taping.

What’s that thing you miss most about Cebu?

Pungko-pungko. Nangaon mi gahapon. Okey ra kaayo kay ang mga tawo. Though kaila sila nimo, dili sila muhamag unlike Manila nga birahon ka ug magkambras. Even kadtong last namo nga show kay gipangsumbag mi tanan kay mura silag nanggigil bitaw. Naay hipo-hipo even. I also miss lechon and kandingan ug mais kay wala nas Manila.

Speaking of food, do you diet?

Wala ra. Di lang jud palabi. I’m more of a brown rice person. Mokaon ko’g rice kay mao ra gihapon ma-burn ra ig-sayaw-sayaw.

Kenneth Medrano

Kenneth Medrano

So your parents visit you in Manila?

No, kay akong Mommy na’ay work sa Centcom and akong Papa is a retired Navy and nag work siya as an instructor karon sa Carcar.

Is there any pressure to follow in your Dad’s footsteps?

Wala ra man. Si Daddy is very supportive, he even shares a lot of my pictures sa Facebook. This is my dream, and kahibaw sila nga sometimes gikapoy nako, pero wala silay mabuhat kay ako man jud ni nga gi-gusto. At times kapoyon ka unya di malikayan nga mag-attitude gamay. Pero smile na lang, wa man koy mahimo. Pero dapat sa imong makaya, buotan jud ka. Because one mistake kay grabe kadako ang effect.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

The moment nga makita nimo ang imong gibuhat kay sakto. When the director tells you na what you did was good. Like taping the “Magpakailanman” episode, wa ko nag expect na maganahan sila sa akong acting. Kay syempre, athough Bisaya ko, di jud ko ganahan magpa-pildi.

If your fellow Baes visit Cebu, where would you bring them?

Pwede sa balay kung asa ko nidako. And sa beaches, of course. Ganahan jud sila moari sa Cebu, labi na si Miggy kay lagi daghang gwapa diri. Pinaka-close nako si Miggy, kay same mi’g batasan. Taga Tondo man gud siya, bugoy-bugoy.

Who are your showbiz crushes?

Si Bianca Umali. Kato bitaw nidula siya’s “Jackpot En Poy,” dili ko ka eye-to-eye kay grabe gwapaha uy. Crush pod nako si Jennylyn Mercado.

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