Brylle Mondejar never thought he would go into public service if not for his close friend Jigo Garcia. The 37-year-old bachelor won as Kagawad in the recent barangay elections in Barangay Obrero, Quezon City. Jigo is the Chairman of Barangay Doña Josefa, Quezon City.
Both of them were members of the Tuesday group of That's Entertainment, the show that is now credited for harnessing the talent of some our top stars today.
Brylle credits German "Kuya Germs" Moreno for making him a part of the show in 1987. Brylle was part of a band called Neo-Strad then and they were asked to guest in one of the famous host's morning show.
"Parang natuwa siya sa akin. Noong una hinahanap niya ako from the drum set kasi maliit nga ako that time. Tapos, kinausap na niya ako. Inaalok niya if I wanted to join That's Entertainment," he relates.
Recalling their conversation, "Tinanong niya if I wanted to join. Sabi ko, ‘Kuya Germs, ano bang alam ko diyan?' Ang alam ko lang, kumanta, sabi kong ganoon.
"Sabi niya, ‘sige, try mo muna. Mag-guest ka every Thursday. Kanta ka every Thursday.' Sabi ko, ‘paano yung banda ko?'. Sabi niya, ‘Yung banda mo every Friday. Tutugtog naman kayo.'"
TUESDAY GROUP. Brylle later on became a regular of the show when he was introduced on its first anniversary. He started with the Friday group. After a few months, he got transferred to the Tuesday group because his loveteam Fatima Alvir was here.
What he liked about the show was that it was one big group of friends enjoying their time.
"I think it's a very good show format na ginawa nila. Siya yung, kung uso ngayon yung reality tv, siya yung reality tv noon araw kasi workshop on-air siya. Hindi siya tine-tape. Live talaga. So, magkamali ka, eh hindi mo na mababawi. Yung mga skit mo, yung mga binabasa mo ‘pag bumagal ka nabulol ka, bahala ka kung paano mo didiretsuhin ulit iyon na madadala mo yung sarili mo on-air na hindi ka nagmumukhang tanga o makakakantsawan.
"Lumalabas yung totoo. Kasi kung palpak ka, palpak ka. Pero nakikita din nila na kung palpak ka nagsimula, nag-iimprove ka. Napapanood din iyon ng tao.
Brylle stayed on the show for about eight years and decided to leave around 1994.
"Hindi kami pina-graduate. Nagpa-alam ako kay Kuya Germs noon. Kasi yun na rin yung time na masyado ng marami. Yung medyo, parang isang classroom, isang araw. ‘Pag Sabado, talagang punong-puno," he kidded about the show's growing cast then.
He adds, "Marami talaga akong natutunan sa That's. Kasi during the show, when you do well in your craft, seseryosin mo palagi yung bawat araw na palaging nandodoon ka. And I think yun yung nagturo sa akin na maging professional sa trabaho."
Prior to leaving That's, he had already signed up with Regal Films doing movies like Love Boat, Tamis ng Unang Halik, Hotdog, Puto (with Viva Films). He had also changed manager, from Kuya Germs to Raul Laurente that enabled him to do concerts and shows throughout the country. Some of his co-artists under Raul then included Billy Crawford, Manilyn Reynes, Isabel Granada, and Jean Garcia.
"Yun nga nagsunod-sunod yung mga projects. Bukod sa films, may concerts kasi alam niya na karamihan ng mga hawak niyang talents marunong kumanta. Puro malalaking concerts at hindi fiesta."
Brylle related his feeling about an adoring public during those out-of-town trips, "Yung sa fans kasi, doon nagkaka-sugat-sugat pa-minsan-minsan. Lalo na kapag provinces, gigil na gigil sila sa iyo kapag nakikita ka nila. Hahawakan ka nila pero they hold you too tight, tight enough that they could scratch you already. Pero at the end of the day, titingnan mo yung reward kung paano ka nila tinatanggap.
"Kung tatanungin mo nga ako, sana everybody would experience that fame. Kasi iba yung feeling din na parang people admire you. Tuwang-tuwa sila kapag nakikita ka nila. Tapos, idol ka pa nila kapag lumalabas ka. Yun nga lang, dapat bantayan mo yung sarili mo kasi they look up to you."
ENTERTAINER AT HEART. By 1997, Brylle went back to the band scene, joining a showband called Kislev that performed in major hotels in Metro Manila.
"Yan din yung hilig ko, yung banda. Hindi din ako nawala sa entertainment. Nagput-up din ako ng destktop printing business at that time. Although ngayon, wala na," he recounted.
With the band, Brylle was also able to travel abroad. They went to Brunei and performed for the royal family for five months around 1998.
"Bilib naman sila sa Pinoy. We were performing during dinner time nila. Doon sa Polo Club ng Brunei. We performed about two sets per night," he said.
After that, they went to Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean that is now used as a military base by the United States and United Kingdom. Their stint also lasted about five months in 1999.
He ended his stint in 2000 with the band and decided to try his luck in Japan. He stayed there for three months, singing in karaoke bars. He returned to the country enjoying the fruits of his labor as an entertainer by putting up a food stand business and traveling abroad. He also made sure to reconnect with his friends from showbiz.
PUBLIC SERVICE. Through the years, Brylle has kept his friendship with fellow That's members Jigo Garcia and Miguel Espinosa. They would go out on dinners or play Airsoft (simulated war games).
One of the influences that Jigo had on him was to run for a local position in the barangay.
Brylle recalls the conversation with Jigo before he decided to run, "Siya rin yung nag-convince sa akin. ‘Kung ako sa iyo, tumakbo ka na dahil kilala naman kita. Kaya mo ‘yun,' sabi niyang ganun at may concern ka para sa lugar ninyo. Wala naman planong tumakbo," he chuckled. "Luckily and thanks to the Lord, nanalo naman ako. I made it."