Just 16 years old, Joshua Dionisio has already experienced the glamour and glitz of show business, as well as its realities.
"Natutunan ko na kailangan mo talaga ng matinding patience. Marami kang kailangang tiisin talaga. Kasi iniisip ng tao na madaling mag-artista—aarte ka lang!
"Hindi siya ganun. Marami kang kailangang gawin para magkaroon ka ng pangalan dito," a serious Joshua told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in a recent interview at Tempura Japanese Grill on Tomas Morato in Quezon City.
Joshua has come to realize that talent and good looks are not enough to be successful in the industry, you also need patience and humility.
"Kasi dati parang isnabero ako," the teen actor said, looking back.
"Hindi naman ako ganun pa kakilala tapos parang medyo snob pa ako. Hindi ako aware na nakakaapekto pala yun. So dito, nalaman ko na malaki ang epekto ng fans sa mga artista."
MAKING IT BIG. Joshua was 8 years old when he first came into the limelight. He appeared in TV commercials — the usual route taken by most of our celebrities today.
The young upstart then joined ABS-CBN and was seen in shows such as Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay (2002), Panday (2005), Vietnam Rose (2005), Sa Piling Mo (2006), Super Inggo (2006), Maria Flordeluna (2007), Margarita (2007), Kung Fu Kids (2008), Palos (2008), and Magkano Ang Iyong Dangal (2010), among others.
Joshua's impressive performance in the "Sako" episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya won for him the Best Single Performance by an Actor trophy in the 20th PMPC Star Awards for Television in 2008.
He also worked with TV5 in the programs, Batang X: The New Generation (2008) and Midnight DJ (2009).
Although he started out with ABS-CBN, Joshua was not widely identified as a talent of the network, and was even able to work with rival station, GMA-7, simultaneously for a short period of time.
Unknown to Joshua, the Kapuso network was keeping an eye on him following the success of his stint in the local adaptation of the hit Korean series, Stairway to Heaven, where he portrayed the role of a young Dingdong Dantes.
The said program, likewise, paved the way for Joshua's screen tandem with co-star Barbie Forteza.
To keep their momentum going, the pair was given lead roles in the GMA-7 2009 Yuletide special, Dear Friend: My Christmas List.
Joshua and Barbie, along with co-young star Jake Vargas, welcomed the following year with the coming-of-age teen drama series, First Time.
Pilyang Kerubin, Reel Love Presents: Tween Hearts, and Nita Negrita came next, solidifying Joshua and Barbie's reputation as a bankable tandem ready for bigger projects.
Joshua admitted feeling "overwhelmed" with the success of his screen partnership with Barbie.
"Hindi namin ine-expect na aangat talaga. Pero ang isa pang unexpected na pangyayari is tatagal siya ng ganito," he said.
"Kasi akala namin parang boom! Bigla lang, tapos mamaya babagsak na rin. Yun lang ang ine-expect namin kaya kinakabahan kami after ng First Time.
"Kasi alam namin na maganda ang istorya, tsaka talagang patok na patok dati ang First Time.
"Yun yung kinakatakot namin dati. Hindi namin in-expect na nandun pa rin ang pagtanggap sa amin ng tao," Joshua said.
"Kasi, since First Time, bumibisita na sila sa set—hanggang ngayon."
LET THE FANS DECIDE. Joshua and Barbie are busy filming the movie, Tween Hearts: Class of 2012, which is slated to be shown in August of this year.
Joining the pair are fellow Kapuso young stars Bea Binene, Jake Vargas, Joyce Ching, Kristofer Martin, Lexi Fernandez, Louise delos Reyes, Alden Richards, and Derick Monasterio.
Perhaps the strong support shown by the fans of Joshua and Barbie would encourage management to keep the tandem intact for future projects.
But Joshua has learned that nothing is permanent in the world of show business, and that public support can easily change in a short period of time.
Success and a proven track record are not enough to preserve a love team in the long run.
"Okay lang naman sa akin na magkaroon ng bagong love team kung sakali," said Joshua on the possibility of working with an actress other than Barbie.
"Ngayon nga, meron akong bagong kasama sa Tween Hearts, si Angel. Okay lang sa akin kung yun ang tingin ng management ng GMA na mas effective sa love team namin."
The young actor stressed: "Tsaka depende rin kasi sa fans yun. Minsan, the fans decide kung gusto nila. Kasi sino ba ang viewers? Ang kailangan i-please natin yung viewers.
"Kung ano yung gusto nila, yun yung ibigay natin. Kasi minsan mababasa mo naman sa comments kung ano yung gusto ng mga tao."