When Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Teen Edition housemates Joaqui Mendoza and Mikee Lee came out of ABS-CBN's fishbowl reality show, they were quite unprepared for the radical change in their lifestyle.
In his own words, Mikee described the experience as: "Sobrang daming nagbago. More attention from girls, mga nagpapapicture." The young star has yet to get used to the idea of being a matinee idol since he came from an exclusive-for-boys school and has never had a girlfriend since birth. Mikee also pointed out the preferential form of treatment that he gets from strangers. "Yung pakikitungo sa kin ng mga tao, iba na. May nakakakilala na sa kin [kahit saan ako magpunta]."
In an interview with YES! Online last November 2 at the ABS-CBN compound, Joaqui and Mikee participated in a photo shoot for their upcoming project with Star Magic. Together with Shaina Magdayao and Rayver Cruz, the two former PBB housemates will be part of a TV series targeted to the younger generation—reminiscent of the defunct shows G-mik and Tabing Ilog.
For his part, Joaqui noted the big difference in his life before and after PBB. "Parang sumikat ako, nagkaroon ng projects. I'm back to school. But I do accept tapings on weekends," shared Joaqui.
Both Ateneans, Joaqui is a first-year college student taking up Communication Arts while Mikee is a junior in high school.
Joaqui pointed out that his chosen course sits well with his showbiz goals. "Maraming job options na pwede saka parang swak na swak dito sa showbiz." Mikee, on the other hand, is still undecided on the course that he will take up in college. "[I have] a lot of choices. There's management engineering, mas magagamit ko yun, or business management. My dad's an engineer, nakuha ko rin sa kanya yung hilig ko sa math."
When asked to identify their role models, Joaqui said that he looks up to his former PBB housemate John Prats for his talent in dancing and acting. Meanwhile, Mikee said that he admires dramatic actor Piolo Pascual. He noted: "He's [Piolo] been given really good roles and he gets to act really well."
Joaqui, who is more visible through his appearances in Love Spell, ASAP, and Your Song, has a black belt in taekwondo and is keen to star in his own action-packed movie. "I like to play the role of an against-all-odds type of guy."
On the other hand, Mikee has been actively participating in class debates, helping him build up his self-esteem. When asked what he likes most about showbiz, Mikee is quick to reply: "It's the performing arts. I get to perform in front of a crowd. I like speaking in front of people." True enough, Mikee gets to showcase his debating skills in Y Speak Live and his acting prowess in the series Your Song.