Who is Tippy Dos Santos?
At 14 years old, Tippy took home five medals—three gold, one silver, and one bronze—from the 2008 World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA), an international singing contest held annually in Hollywood, California. The young singer, who started performing since she was nine, had already sang duets with Christian Bautista, Sam Concepcion, and other popular singers of our time.
Now at 16, Tippy is on her way to becoming a household name after being cast in ABS-CBN's primetime musical series iDOL, starring Sarah Geronimo, Sam Milby, and Coco Martin. Tippy plays Carol, the sister of Sam Milby's character.
iDOL is Tippy's first project in showbiz. PEP had a chance to interview Tippy on September 15 during the photo shoot for STAGES, her management agency, at The Room in Quezon City.
"iDOL for me kasi, it's my first TV show so I'm really really excited about it," Tippy enthused. "Napakasarap kasi my first love talaga is singing, and to be part of a singing show is such a big blessing for me. And to be working with the most talented people, sina Ate Sarah Geronimo, Kuya Sam Milby, Ms. Zsa Zsa Padilla, Coco Martin, nakaka... nakaka... excited talaga ako sa lahat ng puwede pang maabot ng iDOL!"
Tippy explained how she got the project. "There were two auditions, and then binigyan nila kami ng workshop for a month to three months. Dance workshops, acting workshops... actually we still continue to do workshops for the show. They're training us, they're really training us. They want us to be the best," she said.
Tippy said being a newcomer is not a hindrance because the cast members are always ready to help her out.
"It's a blessing. I cannot say anything else but it's a blessing, because they're so kind, they're very talented, and they're the ones who're gonna help me talaga. They help me through everything, even my mom [in iDOL], Tita Zsa Zsa [Padilla]."
Tippy can't stop herself though from being starstruck by her co-stars.
"Siyempre nasa-starstruck pa rin ako because even since I was little talaga, I watch everything on ABS, talagang lahat pinapanood ko. Every time I'm there, every time pagpasok sa set, magki-kiss pa lang ako sa lahat, nasa-starstruck po talaga ako sa lahat ng tao," she said.
The first scene she shot for iDOL was similarly awkward.
"Kasi first scene namin, tapos kailangan hug-hug na kay kuya [Sam Milby]. But they made it very comfortable for me, everybody has made it very comfortable," she said.
But Tippy believes Sam can actually be her older brother. She pointed out that the actor-singer is a "gentleman."
"He's really kind," she added. "And, kahit na baguhan lang ako, he doesn't treat me as if I am a newbie. He talks to me about everything, parang he's my kuya na talaga."
FAMILY SUPPORT. Tippy started acting onstage as a kid, through the help of Trumpets Playshop. That's why Tippy, a junior at Ridley International School, is pursuing showbiz even if she's still in school.
"Right now, I'm still in school, regular schooling. I'm trying to balance that out, because both are my love. I love performing and schooling," she said.
Tippy said her family's support helps her accomplish her schedule. She said John, her father, a Business Development Manager for IBM, watches iDOL even though he's an American who does not speak and understand Filipino. Her elder sister Jackie, a dancer, catches every episode, too.
And her mother Happy is her biggest fan. "She's a housewife, but she follows me wherever I go," Tippy said.
Her family's support is enough for her to realize her dreams of becoming one of the country's top singers.
"I'm really a singer. I'd love to have my own album," she said. "I'd love to be blessed to have a concert someday. You know, like... how much time from now, I don't care, just... I'm just so ecstatic about everything, like I know I'm just starting but this is what makes me happy."
This early in her career, what can Tippy say to her fans?
"I'm praying that they see my potential," she replied.