Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix in the lead

By Rob Gonzales February 13,2018

Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali / photo by Edd Buenaviaje

SOME stars reached stardom by sheer luck. And then there are those who worked their way up, hurdling one obstacle after another, proof that success is sweeter for those who persevere.

This best describes the showbiz journey of young Kapuso stars Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix, who topbill GMA Network’s top-rating primetime series “Kambal, Karibal.”

Here, the love team known to their fans as BiGuel candidly shared how they started in the entertainment industry, the challenges of being in the lead, and their love for their craft in a light-hearted conversation peppered with laughter.

Nineteen-year-old Miguel looked back on his beginnings in showbiz, admitting that even as a kid, he always wanted to be an artista.

“Nung four years old ako, napapanood ko noon sila Mark Herras sa ‘StarStruck.’ Eksakto na there was an audition for ‘StarStruck Kids’ so I joined,” he said.

Bianca, for her part, started doing commercials at age two, eventually doing the rounds of auditions for shows.

“Naging extra ako in some shows. Until I get to do what I do now. Hindi sa gusto ko talagang maging artista, it’s just that parang I just grew to love what I am doing now,” said the 17-year-old actress.

Fast forward to today, the two are headlining a primetime series for the first time.

How did they react when they heard the news?

“We actually didn’t have time to prepare for this show because they just surprised us that we are already in. Hindi namin akalain that two weeks after doing ‘Mulawin’ we would already have a story con for our next project. Dun sa story con na namin nalaman sino ‘yung kasama namin sa cast. So unlike most other shows na ginawa namin, this came as a surprise,” Miguel said.

Grateful for the opportunity, the two buckled down to work and took on the challenge, never mind that the pressure was on them, especially as far as ratings is concerned.

“Always naman pong may pressure in portraying as lead or as a support to do your best. There indeed is pressure pero hindi namin ito pinabayaang makaapekto sa mga roles namin. We always use it as a fuel to do our best and siyempre hindi naman kami nag-iisa sa show. Andiyan naman ‘yung mga kasama namin na magagaling talaga so parang tulong-tulong lahat para making successful ‘yung show,” Miguel said.

Bianca added: “Hindi talaga ako naniniwala sa kung sinuman ang bida. I think the pressure should not only be on us, but on everyone involved with the show — from the writers, to the creatives and the production. Dahil kung wala sa isa man dun ay hindi mako-kumpleto ‘yung show namin.”

A riveting tale of family and love transcending into supernatural realm, “Kambal, Karibal” tells the story of twins Crisanta (Umali) and Criselda (Pauline Mendoza). Unfortunately, Criselda dies because of a rare disease and remains a spirit that only appears to Crisanta. Eventually their bond will start to fall apart when they both fall in love with Diego (Tanfelix) and the rivalry between them builds up when their mother’s affections are focused on Crisanta. Criselda’s emotions finally consuming her and her soul then finds another person’s body to inhabit.

And now that she is “alive,” she is stopping at nothing to take both her mother’s affection and Diego’s love.

Directed by Don Michael Perez, “Kambal, Karibal” airs weeknights on GMA Telebabad.

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