Neil Coleta can now add "certified Chic-Boy" to his list of credentials.
Chic-Boy, the popular Filipino-owned fast food chain that mushroomed to 100 stores in a mere two years, has named the 29th Star Awards for Movies New Movie Actor their first-ever celebrity endorser.
Making a pun on the brand name of his new endorsement, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked Neil: Do you consider yourself a certified "chickboy?"
"Hindi naman ako chickboy! Sa chick wala, kung sa boy... iba na iyon!" The Juan Dela Cruz star answered with a big laugh.
"Dati hindi talaga ako... pag ako nagmahal, sobra.
"Ang babae hindi sinasaktan. Ito hindi showbiz 'to, ha. Kung takot ako masaktan, mas takot ako na saktan iyong taong mahal ko."
Is he dating anyone right now?
"Wala munang time makipag-chicks, e," Neil quips, "ngayon, trabaho muna.”
But is he wooing anybody?
“May nakakausap naman ako, pero hanggang doon na lang muna. Ayoko mag-ano ng tao, at wala ring time kasi.
"Kung dati sa Aryana, kaya pa. Ito kasing JDC [Juan Dela Cruz]nag-aaraw-araw kami, so ayun. Mas minamahal ko muna sarili ko, pamilya ko. Gusto ko muna mag-focus.
"May nakaka-text ako, may nakakausap, pero... showbiz siya," Neil finally revealed, but refusing to identify the girl.
Is he currently in love with his mystery textmate?
"Mayroon nagsabi sa akin, focus muna ako. Ina-advice nila kung ano iyong best for me now.
"Hirap ngayon, e, walang time makipagkita, pero... gastos lang din iyon! Hindi, joke lang," the young actor smiled.
"May dumating naman, pero wala, e. Siguro kung hindi pa time... e, kung mayroon na para sa akin, [it will come in due time]," Neil believes.
FROM MODEL TO ENDORSER. Neil had an interesting story about landing his first endorsement deal.
He says the first thought that went into his head when he got this project is: "Sobra akong na-e-excite.
"Sabi ko, 'First time kong gagawin ito, sobrang blessing kung makukuha ko ito, at sarap ng pakiramdam.'"
As early as December 2012— when he was first told about the project— Neil said he kept expecting to get an immediate follow-up.
It was all too surreal for him that it wasn't until the final pictorial was done that he was completely assured it was indeed happening.
Neil says, "Sobrang thankful na po ako na ako iyong nauna at ako iyong nakuha."
It is another milestone, he says, "Iba iyong feeling, kasi dati ginagawa ko siya as commercial model, pero ngayon endorser na.
"Sana magtagal pa iyong relationship ko with them."
Neil, of course, started his career as a TV commercial model for various food products.
Those were tough times, he says, recalling an experience when he did not get paid for a commercial he did.
"For me, ang laki rin ng tulong nagawa sa akin [noong experience], kasi ang dami kong natutunan. Dapat hindi ka padalos-dalos," Neil says of that incident.
As endorser, Neil has had the opportunity to try out the fast food chain’s various dishes.
His favorite: "Favorite ko talaga iyong chicken. Baboy naman pagpunta ko ng Cebu, laging may lechon, pero chicken talaga…
“Kung mahilig ka sa chicks, may chicken. Kung mahilig ka sa boys, mag-baboy ka na lang," he says wittingly.
Which dish at Chic-Boy does he think best describes him?
“Iyong halo-halo kasi 'andoon na iyong minatamis na Neil Coleta, pinalamig na Neil Coleta, sinaguhang Neil Coleta, pinagataan na Neil Coleta..."