AJ Muhlach stuns people who can't believe he was the chubby boy in one of Mama Sita's commercials. Now the 19-year-old talent has become a dance idol and he's looking forward to a lot more in showbiz.
Being a commercial model was AJ's stepping stone to stardom. He shyly admits that he was fat then. "Noong bata po ako nagco-commercial po ako, pero mataba po ako, e, so nagpapayat muna po ako."
What pushed AJ Muhlach to enter showbiz was his overwhelming desire. "Talagang gusto ko po siya, e. Hindi ko po plano kasi gusto ko po talaga mag-artista."
And so he worked hard until he achieved his ideal weight. Only then was he able to sign a contract with Viva Entertainment. He became a member of the group XLR8, the group that performs every Sunday in GMA's Party Pilipinas. "Dinala po ako ng dad ko sa Viva tapos nag-sign ako ng contract, so sinama po ako sa XLR8."
SHOWBIZ CAREER. XLR8 was launched together with Party Pilipinas. The group performs song and dance numbers appreciated by the audience.
As the group moves up successfully so does the career of each member. AJ, together with his XLR8 co-member Aki Torio, was chosen to be one of the cast in the remake of Bagets.
AJ's brother Aga Mulach starred in the original Bagets.
Though he was not sure how he was chosen, AJ welcomed the opportunity.
"Basta po ang kumakausap sa Viva yung dad ko po. So kung ano po sabihin ni Boss Vic sa daddy ko siya na po yung nagsasabi sa akin. Sumusunod lang po ako, kasi ako trabaho lang po ng trabaho kasi enjoy po ako sa trabaho."
Now that he has ventured into acting, AJ admits that he enjoys both acting and dancing. He loves his job more than ever because of his fas.
"Kasi ako po ang nae-enjoy ko po dito yung tao po ba na nagmamahal sa'yo. Ang sarap po ng feeling na, hindi ko po na-imagine dati na may sisigaw sa akin, may makakakilala sa akin... Yung minamahal ka kahit hindi mo kilala personally. Iba yung feeling na marami nagmamahal sa'yo."
Although AJ enjoys all the perks in showbiz, he still sees the value of education.
AJ is taking up Applied Physics and Conservatory of Music at De La Salle University. He is already on his third year in college, yet he chose to stop on the last three months of his education for his career.
AJ still wishes to continue his studies, but aside from his aspiration of doing it big in showbiz, he depends as well on God's will for what he should achieve in life.
"Kung ano lang po yung ibigay sa akin ni God, kung mag-excel po ako sa showbiz or bigay niya sa akin na mas mag-excel ako sa studies po. Ako kahit ano po, basta tini- treat ko po lahat ito na blessings."
INSPIRED BY KUYA AGA. How does AJ feel every time he is compared to his brother Aga Muhlach?
If others see it as competition, AJ says being compared to his brother is a great honor. "Yung ma-compare sa kuya ko malaking honor nga po yun, e. Dating sa akin nun honor po kasi i-compare ka sa ganun kagaling na artista..."
As a neophyte in acting, he thinks that his difference with his brother's style will depend on their personalities. He believes that personality affects how you perform in front of the camera.
"Sa tingin ko po sa difference po namin, siguro sa personalities na lang po kasi dun naman po 'ata nakikita yung difference ng acting, depende naman sa tao kasi iba-iba naman po tayo, di ba."
Even though people continually compare him to his brother, AJ's not ashamed to admit that it was his brother who inspired him to pursue showbiz.
"Hindi naman po sa inggit ako sa kuya ko, parang nai-imagine ko lang po, parang ang sarap ng buhay ng kuya ko, parang tinitingala ko po siya.
"Gusto kong maging kuya ko din... Gusto ko siyang gayahin," says AJ Muhlach.