Honey Perez was cast as the young Maine Mendoza in the GMA-7 teleserye Destined to be Yours.
This primetime series is headlined by the AlDub love team of Alden Richards and Maine.
The child actress Honey is a Grade 5 student in San Rafael Parochial School in Tondo. She is the youngest daughter of Aljean, housewife and Roldan Perez, warehouse lead.
She came from an middle-class family and sees showbiz as a way of giving a comfortable life to her family.
“Three years old 'yan nang magsimula magmodel-model. Natatandaan ko, yung kauna-unahan naming fashion show sa isang mall. Tapos simula nun, nakakakuha na kami ng referral sa mga co-parents at mga kaibigan para sumali sa fashion show,” said Mommy Aljean in an interview.
It was Honey’s sister who actually desired to be a celebrity. In fact, it was her sister who joined the workshop and Honey would always tag along.
At the age of 6 years old, Honey already went in her first acting workshop. Mommy Aljean told us that coaches and facilitators would always notice her great skills in acting.
Her first television appearance was in 2013. She was part of a crowd in a certain teleserye. In 2014, she was starting to get bit roles with speaking lines.
“Part lang siya ng crowd nung simula. P500 lang yung inaabot sa amin kapag crowd lang yung ganap pero masaya na kami ni Honey kasi gusto naman niya yung ginagawa niya,” disclosed Mommy Aljean.
In 2015, she took up Star Magic’s basic and advanced acting classes. She would always get praises from her mentors.
“Every time na magwoworkshop kami, mapupuna ng mga coach ni Honey yung husay niya sa pag-arte.
"Napapabilib sila dahil mahusay daw siya. Kaya naman proud na proud din ako,” said Mommy Aljean.
Through her workshops and Mommy Aljean’s patience to go to auditions and go-sees, the 6-year-old girl was able to get roles from different shows from both TV networks but nothing really big.
“May mga pagkakataon lang talaga napupunta kami sa audition tapos yung mga madadatnan naming dun ay mga artista na o kilala na. Ang maganda lang kasi kay Honey, hindi siya pinanghihinaan ng loob.”
In 2016, she went to another acting workshop with JAMS Artist Production, a full-service talent and casting agency accredited by ABS-CBN and GMA-7. After the workshop, the young girl was able to get an exclusive contract with JAMS Artist Production.
Honey and Mommy Aljean went through countless auditions and go-sees before they landed the role of young Sinag.
“Nakakapagod yung mga pa-audition. Mahabaang pila at inaabot talaga ng magdamag pero laging pinipilit ni Honey ang mag-audition. Kitang-kita ko rin naman yung kagustuhan ng anak ko na maging artista.”
Honey’s motivation was to provide food for their family. She believed that show business would give their family a chance to live a comfortable life.
“Kapag nag-a-audition po ako, iniisip ko po lagi ang Papa ko. Yung mga paghihirap niya po para po makaiyak po agad ako sa mga eksena,” Honey explained.
It was November 2016 when she auditioned for Destined to be Yours.
According to Mommy Aljean, Honey was really not auditioning for the role of young Sinag because her age was not in that bracket. In fact, she was auditioning for the antagonist role of young Sinag but the production gave all the auditionees both scripts so they could act out both roles.
On the day of the audition, Mommy Aljean playfully dressed Honey like Yaya Dub.
“Napagkatuwaan lang talaga naming nadamitan siya na parang Yaya Dub nung araw na yun,” Mommy Aljean quipped.
They stayed for hours in the long lines of the audition. Mommy Aljean told us that there were lots of auditionees but Honey kept her head high.
“Grabe yung haba ng pila. Ang haba talaga. Ang daming nag-a-audition pero very positive pa rin si Honey.”
When it was Honey’s turn, she told us that she acted her heart out and thought of her parents so she could easily deliver the lines. After her audition, Mommy Aljean and Honey were immediately called by the associate producer of the program.
She was asked to deliver the lines again. Mommy Aljean was surprised at how events were turning out that night. After that, they were told that Honey would be auditioning in front of the director of the program.
After the audition, Honey was disappointed. She thought that she would not be able to get the role since the latter part of audition didn’t go that well.
“Ang lungkot ko po pagkatapos ng audition para po kasing hindi nakatingin sa akin yung director po. Parang di niya po ata nagustuhan yung acting ko,” Honey admitted.
After a month, they were called back for another round of auditions. This time there were just five left to play the coveted role.
“Pagdating namin dun sa callback. Puro artista na naman yung kasabayan ni Honey. Pinanghihinaan na ako ng loob pero si Honey talaga yung positibo sa aming dalawa,” Mommy Aljean recalled.
In January 2017, Mommy Aljean got a message from the staff of Destined to be Yours saying that Honey got the role of young Sinag played by Maine Mendoza.
Their whole family was in tears because Honey had been waiting for a big project like this.
“Sobrang saya po. Nashock po kami, pati po si Mama at Papa. Naiiyak po kami kasi sobrang saya po talaga. Di po kami makapaniwala.”
Until now, Mommy Aljean is overwhelmed by the popularity Honey is getting. When asked about the changes after getting role, the young actress said that people are now approaching her to get a photo opportunity with her.
“Sa school po, may mga lumalapit na po sa akin magpapicture. Dati hindi po nila ako pinapansin. Ngayon po tinatawag na po nila akong Sinag,” Honey said with a smile.
Mommy Aljean and Honey still could not comprehend everything that is going through. During shoots, they felt uncomfortable being served upon.
“Dati po kase, pipila talaga kami para makakuha ng pagkain kasi nga po extra lang siya,” Mommy Aljean said.
“Ngayon nga po may sarili na po akong upuan sa set,” Honey happily shared.