At 23 years old and with two years of local showbiz, wala na ngang mahihiling si Sam. Moving to Manila from Plaridel, Bulacan, almost two years ago from Ohio, USA, Sam has made one of the biggest leaps from being one of the ousted Pinoy Big Brother housemates Season 1, to one of the most popular matinee idols today.
Sa ikli ng panahong itinagal niya sa local showbiz, nagawa na ni Sam halos lahat—a self-titled album that reached the platinum status and a follow-up album this August; three successful movies, with the fourth already in the works; a high-rating primetime soap debut na magkakaroon na rin ng Book Two; endorsements from some of the biggest and highest profile products; and recognitions and citations from several award-winning bodies.
Despite all his laurels, consistently low-key pa rin ang Filipino-American matinee idol. Sa ngayon, with a break from his hectic career sa pagtatapos ng kanyang soap opera na Maging Sino Ka Man at bago magsimula ang Book Two nito, kasabay ng next movie niya from Star Cinema, may one-month intensive tutorial siya sa Tagalog. Kailangan niya raw ito for him to stay in the business.
"I know that there will come a time that there will be new ones who will be introduced, better looking ones, younger, and better in acting," pasakalye ni Sam during the special solo birthday press con na ibinigay sa kanya ng Star Magic last Monday, May 28.
Dagdag pa niya, "I understand that this is a competitive business and I want to stay."
With his American roots, kataka-takang hindi siya sumubok muna sa Hollywood bago siya umuwi ng Pilipinas.
"When I was in the States, it was just figure-skating and school for me. Acting never crossed my mind and I never did any acting in school or even singing," sabi ni Sam.
For the record, two years in a row nang second placer si Sam sa figure-skating sa buong United States sa kanyang division.
"Because of my figure-skating, I have to be schooled home for about four years and just returned when I went to high school. I was a bit chubby then. I live in a community where we [he and sister Ada Milby] were the only Asians in our school, so it's hard for us just coping with school. Showbiz never entered my mind," kuwento ng matinee idol.
Now that he has tried showbiz here, gusto na niya ring masubukan ang Hollywood.
"Who hasn't dreamt of making it there? I'd like to try it out," pag-amin niya.
Dito niya nadagdag ang American Idol, ang popular na televised singing contest sa Amerika.
"I love the show," sabi ni Sam. "Specially the contestants at the start of the season. Imagine just being part of the line who would go through the line and meet Simon [Cowell] just to get his reaction.
"I know I'm not that good in singing but there are other contestants who are worse. Just the idea of being part of the show is something. I could just imagine Simon's face when I start to sing. But man, that's still an experience!" natutuwang sabi ni Sam.