Fredmore delos Santos, a former talent of That's Entertainment, is hoping to make a showbiz comeback via the indie route. He joined the cast of Prinsesa, a melodrama about Overseas Filipino Workers. The indie movie, which was part of the 2007 Cinema One Originals Digital Film Fest, featured Romnick Sarmenta in the lead role.
"Bale ang role ko doon, ako yung kaibigan ni Romnick na ubod ng yabang. Na ako yung unang nakapag-ibang bansa. Tapos, noong bumalik ako, naging mayabang ako, naging pakawala ako ng pera. Lahat-lahat, naging lasinggero hanggang sa nagkaroon ako ng sakit sa atay," Fredmore said of his character in the Cinema One film.
Prinsesa is Fredmore's first independent movie. He credits Romnick for landing a role in the film.
"Kasi ever since naman talagang hindi kami pinababayaan. Kasi siyempre, lahat sa amin, siya yung nakaka-angat. So, kapag may project iyan, automatic sinasabi iyan, ‘O Direk, baka wala ka pa diyan, puwede yung kaibigan kong si Fredmore.' Or kung sino man sa amin or si Cris Villanueva. Sinisingit niya naman kami.
"Si Romnick, best friend ko kasi iyan sa show business. Kaya ayun nga, usap sila ni Direk Law [Prinsesa director Lawrence Fajardo]. May character na fit sa akin doon. So, in-introduce ako ni Romnick kay Direk Law. And then after that, yun na," he said.
Fredmore says that he enjoyed working in indie movies, "Masarap ang indie. Saka punong-puno ng challenge. Yung mabilisan na trabaho. Hindi katulad dati na kapag gagawa ka ng pelikula, mga six or seven months. At least ngayon, wala pang mga one month, mga 20 days, tapos na agad yung pelikula mo."
Not everything was a bed of roses for Fredmore who became part of the second wave of That's Entertainment talented young stars. Some of his batchmates in the variety talent show include Ara Mina, Judy Ann Santos, and Gladys Reyes. But by 1997, the show had disbanded and they were left to look after their own welfare.
"That time kasi nawala na yung That's. Parang naging masikip yung mundo ng showbiz. ‘Yon, lahat kami, nag-pursue kami sa Japan kasi malakas sa Japan noon. And then after that, hanggang sa nag-TNT [tago nang tago] na nga ako. Nagsawa din ako. Kaya nandito na ako ulit."
He said his stint in Japan was from 2000 to 2003.
"Ang lakas namin doon noong first na punta namin. Banda kami doon. Mga taga-That's din. Kaya pangalan ng grupo namin, ‘That's Men,' Michael Villanueva, ako, Jason Roman, Ray-an Basa.
"Boy band kami. Noong pangalawang balik namin, mga dancer na kami na kumakanta. Parang Boyzone ang dating. Parang BackStreet Boys. Wala kaming original songs. Panay piyesa lang din na ginawa namin. Naka-mix yung piyesa namin," he said.
He later decided to try going solo in Japan. "Ang ginawa ko, nag-TNT ako. Tumakbo ako. Tumakas ako." TNT is the colloquial for ‘tago nang tago', those who overstay in foreign countries and evade the authorities. Fredmore didn't hide the fact that he got jailed before deciding to return to the country.
His bandmates also returned to the country and went on to building up their own families and businesses.
"Ako naman, honestly naman, nahiwalay ako sa asawa kaya ganoon ang nangyari," the former child star said. His union produced two children, one is 11 years old and another 7 years old. Both the children stay with their mother.
The 30-year-old bachelor said he stays in their house and looks after his parents. He also misses a lot of things when he was away from the showbiz spotlight.
"Yung mga gatherings. Yung chika-chika sa mga kapuwa mo artista. Saka yung trabaho, nakaka-miss din.
"Siyempre. Dito ako nagsimula sa show business. Sa palagay ko dito na din ako matatapos," he said about reviving his career in show business.