Aminado ang StarStruck V Ultimate Male Survivor na si Steven Silva na hirap pa rin siya sa pagsasalita ng Tagalog. Pero mas maayos na raw ito ngayon kumpara noon.
"Mahirap, it's still hard. Araw-araw, I'm trying every day to parang ayusin yung Tagalog ko tapos para matanggal yung accent ko. Mahirap," sabi ni Steven sa paputul-putol pa rin niyang pananagalog.
Bumisita si Steven at ang lahat ng StarStruck V Final 14 sa Summit Media office last Friday, April 16, para sa meet-and-greet with the Summit editors, kabilang na ang PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
Hindi naman talaga puwedeng bigla-bigla na lang mawawala ang American accent ni Steven dahil most of his life ay sa U.S. siya lumaki.
Sabi niya, "It's really hard kasi, I mean... Pagbata pa ako, sabi ni Mommy ko sa akin, 'You don't need to learn how to speak Tagalog kasi andito ka sa States.' So, parang, 'Why do you need to speak Tagalog?' So from there, sabi ko sa akin, 'Oh, okay. Wala na, I don't need to speak Tagalog.' So, parang I didn't really try back then. Pero alam ko talaga now I have to, you know, I will try every day to be more better in Tagalog."
After winning StarStruck V, ang bagong musical-variety show na Party Pilipinas ang regular show ni Steven sa GMA-7. Isa kaya sa dahilan kung bakit hindi pa siya nabibigyan ng ibang projects, gaya ng teleserye, ay dahil sa hirap pa rin siya sa pagsasalita ng Tagalog?
"Ay, siguro, kasi ito yung Filipino market. So dapat, you know, one of the requirements, of course, marunong mag-Tagalog. Pero para sa akin, kahit hindi marunong mag-Tagalog, I'm just happy for this opportunity. I'm gonna try kasi parang it's something na I couldn't control. God gave me this opportunity but also it's one of the...yung challenges ko that I wasn't able to speak Tagalog.
"So, kahit anong mangyari, I'm just going to keep my best with my Tagalog. Kung marunong mag-Tagalog ako, I would be better. Pero I try not to think about it kasi parang it's the way it is. So if I keep worrying about it, parang kawawa naman, I'll be so sad about it," saad ni Steven.
SHOWBIZ LIFE. Halos dalawang buwan na ang nakalilipas mula nang tanghaling Ultimate Male Survivor si Steven sa StarStruck V. In that short time, na-realize ng 23-year-old singer-actor na hindi pala ganun kadali ang buhay-showbiz.
"Showbiz, mahirap talaga, parang there's a lot of things," sabi ni Steven. "Parang araw-araw, may surprises. Kasi before, iniisip ko sa showbiz, parang it's so easy. Parang every day may taping or, you know, parang you're just there for a short time tapos mayaman ka. You have a lot of money, di ba? Parang, 'Oh, it's so easy.' There's not so much work, pero you have a lot of money.'
"Pero alam ko it's not like that," patuloy niya. "There's a lot of hard work and there's a lot of hours. Tapos mahirap talaga, there's a lot of pressure. Kasi even outside, you know, if you're artista or involved in showbiz, parang everybody's looking at you. They expect something, daming expectation sa 'yo. So before, feeling ko, 'Oh, it's so easy.' Pero ngayon, parang it's changed. I know it's not so easy.'"
How can he describe his showbiz life? How is it different when he was still in StarStruck V?
"Kasi sa StarStruck, it's a contest. Pero ngayon, it's real... real thing. Parang there's no chance for failure sometimes. Sa StarStruck, if you have a mistake, you can say to yourself, 'Oh, next week, next week I would do better.' Pero sa showbiz, it's taping, it's live, the Party Pilipinas. So if you make a mistake, everybody's watching and they're going to say, 'What happened? Anong nangyari kay Steven?' So you always have to be ready."
Is he enjoying his stay in showbiz so far?
"Yeah, I'm enjoying," mabilis niyang sagot. "Kasi dati yung buhay ko, it's so boring really, I think so. Like sometimes, I say to myself... Kasi I like cooking, you know, I was studying, parang it's the same thing every day. Cooking, cooking...it gets boring. Parang, I mean, mahirap to explain. I enjoy it, but parang, you know, it's the same, repetitions.
"But with showbiz, one thing I notice, every day, there [are] new experiences. Parang it's not the same every day. Parang, okay sa Monday I have a workshop. And then, okay sa Tuesday I have dance rehearsals. And then Wednesday, singing rehearsals. Thursday, Party Pilipinas. Oh, photo shoot tomorrow. Okay, sige na, we have a mall show... Every day, iba-iba, there's something different. So that's one thing I like, parang it's more interesting."
CAN HE HANDLE IT? Bagamat ang Party Pilipinas pa lang ang regular show ni Steven, hectic na rin ang schedule niya dahil sa workshops na ibinibigay sa kanila ng GMA Artist Center, ang talent arm ng Kapuso network at siyang humahawak sa career ng lahat ng StarStruck V graduates.
"Right now, we have workshops–singing, acting, dancing. Workshop almost every day, parang to develop our talents and prepare us for later," banggit ni Steven.
Nahihirapan na ba siya sa schedule niya?
"Okay lang. It's busy, pero kaya ko 'to."
Paano pag nadagdagan yung show niya?
"If I have a show? Parang, I mean, just fit into the schedule."
Kung ngayong Party Pilipinas ay medyo nahihirapan na siya, makakaya rin kaya niya kapag nadagdagan na ang mga ginagawa niya?
"I can handle it, I just have to adjust," sagot ni Steven. "Kasi in showbiz, you always have to keep adjusting. I notice that. Kasi before, I'm just used to going to school and then I go home, yun lang. Pero now, sa umaga workshop, tapos later on rehearsals, siguro night, taping. Parang, it's not like what I want. But if your schedule is like this, sige, that's how it has to be. You can't really fight it."
Pero sanay na ba siya sa attention at sa mga fans?
"Yeah, I'm starting to get used to it. Kasi dati, parang nahihiya pa ako. I'm kinda shy... One of the main reasons is my Tagalog. I'm a little shy, pero now I'm more open. Like if I see somebody, parang like, 'Oh, siguro they're fans.' Sabi ko sa kanya, 'Come here, let's take a picture.' Or, like I wave at them, parang I initiate. Unlike before, parang I just wave. But now I'm trying to be more open.
"Kasi, you know, kahit hindi suplado ka, if you... So, kung first time, like you meet somebody tapos iniisip, 'Oh, I hate suplado.' Parang yun lang, you only have one chance, so you always have to be ready and say hi, be nice... Kasi I don't think I'm suplado, pero if you show that even if you're not, they will think that."
SARAH OR DIVA? Sa Party Pilipinas ay kapansin-pansin na madalas silang nagsasama ng StarStruck V Ultimate Female Survivor na si Sarah Lahbati sa production numbers. Does this mean na sila ang ginu-groom ng GMA-7 as a love team?
"I think so kasi winners kami, so parang they are trying to keep us together," sabi ni Steven. "Tapos they said to us, if they keep us together like this, parang it helps the people to remember...parang name recognition. So now they're keeping us together, especially for me and Sarah, kasi we're the winners."
What about Diva Montelaba na unang na-link sa kanya romantically? Di ba, inamin niya noon na gusto niya si Diva?
"Yeah, I like Diva, we're really close," sagot ni Steven.
"Yeah. We still keep in contact, pero mas mahirap ngayon kasi we have taping, or VTR. Usually I'm with Sarah, parang, you know..."
Hindi ba parang nahahati ang puso niya sa sitwasyon? Si Sarah ang kapareha niya, but his heart belongs to Diva?
"Parang a little bit," pag-amin ni Steven. "I'm just trying to focus kasi it's work. You don't have always the choice. Kasi kung ang mga tao gusto nila, they want you to be paired with somebody, parang you don't have a choice sometimes. But I'm just trying to do my best and I stay close to Diva."
Sa tingin ba niya ay hindi nagseselos si Diva?
"Hindi ko alam. Pero minsan na lang, maybe... I don't know. I hope not, sana hindi," medyo natatawang sabi ng binata.
Kung si Steven ay tila mas close kay Diva, si Sarah naman ay mas madalas makitang kasama sa labas ang First Prince ng StarStruck V na si Enzo Pineda.
"Oo, kasi like magkaibigan kaming lahat. We're all friends. So, parang I just take it as, you know, 'Oh, they're enjoying.' I'm enjoying too what I'm doing," sabi ni Steven.