Gigger Boys member and Star Circle Quest alumna Aaron Villaflor tries his hand at different fields of the industry, juggling projects for theater, TV and indie films.
The 20-year-old actor shared what it's like jumping from one discipline to another.
THEATER. Aaron expressed gratitude that he is once again part of the cast of Ibong Adarna under Gantimpala Productions. He plays Don Juan, youngest of the three princes, for the third time.
"Nakakatuwa naman dahil pinagkatiwalaan nila ako ulit para gawin itong Ibong Adarna. At masaya ako dahil sila 'yung kasama ko," Aaron told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an intimate interview last Thursday, October 14, at Café Espresso, 13th Floor, ELJ Bldg, ABS-CBN Compound in Quezon City.
Aaron was in the play in 2008 and 2009. This time around, he said the play remains true to the original script written by Ed Maranan.
"Medyo thrilling 'yung story. Kumbaga ginamit namin 'yung real story talaga ng Ibong Adarna by Ed Maranan," Aaron said.
The play which runs for two-and-a-half hours added more scenes to Don Juan's love life, introducing new characters such as Donya Juana and Donya Leonora. In the story, Don Juan will finally tie the knot with Maria Blanca.
Aaron recalled the first time he did the play, "Nung first day ko, binigay sa akin 'yung script na napakakapal! Nagulat ako! Napakalalim ng Tagalog.
"Sa buong buhay ko, ngayon ko lang nakita yung mga salita na yun. Parang nagdalawang-isip ako kung tatanggapin ko ba 'yung play na 'yon o hindi.
"Tapos tinawagan ko 'yung handler ko na, 'Parang hindi ko yata kakayanin to.' Kasi sobrang lalim talaga ng mga Tagalog at mahaba pa."
Aaron said he appreciates the efforts of Ibong Adarna's director Roobak Valle in helping him prepare for the role. "Tinuruan niya ako, nag-workshop kaming dalawa, yung tamang pagbigkas, kung paano ba i-deliver yung mga lines, kasi may tinatawag na indayog, e.
"Hindi mo lang basta binabato yung lines... yung script na ginagamit ngayon, naka-rhyme siya. Hindi ka pwede mag-adlib kasi mawawala siya sa indayog niya at nanonood din yung writer. Nakakahiya naman kung mag-iiba ka ng salita.
"Siguro pagsubok na din sa amin yun para masanay. Natutuwa naman ako sa Gantimpala Foundation."
The theater stint taught him a lot. "Nakatulong [ito] sa pag-modulate ng voice at 'yung pagpapahalaga ko sa bawat salita [sa script]," Aaron said.
"Masasabi ko talaga na dito ako namulat. Lalong-lalo na yung disiplina, iba kasi yung disiplina namin dun, walang artista, walang crew.
"Pag nagpatawag sila ng company call, lahat dapat andun, nakikinig sa director. Minsan sabay-sabay kayo nag-aayos ng set, ganun. Kumbaga, nasubukan ko na din 'yung maging staff. Masaya, natutunan ko 'yung mga [iba't ibang] trabaho sa business na 'to."
Aaron has also been offered the role of Basilio in Jose Rizal's novel El Filibusterismo.
Meanwhile, Ibong Adarna will have its last run on October 15 (11 AM & 2 PM) and 17 (9 AM, 12 NN, & 3 PM) at the SM South Mall Cinema 6 in Las Pinas City.
YOUTH-ORIENTED SHOW. Aside from Ibong Adarna, Aaron is also part of the new youth-oriented show in ABS-CBN called Good Vibes.
The cast includes his fellow Gigger Boys Sam Concepcion and Enrique Gil and Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash Alumni 2010 Fretzie Bercede, James Reid and Ivan Dorschner.
All the boys in the cast will be playing members of a dance crew. Specifically, Aaron will be playing the role of Franco, the best friend of Sam's character.
Does he think he's too old for a youth-oriented show?
"Twen-teen pa naman ako, "Aaron quipped.
INDIE FILM. Aaron also feels blessed to have landed his first lead role for the indie film Astro Mayabang for Cinema One Originals this November.
He plays a Pinoy fanatic who is vocal and expressive about being nationalistic. He is paired with actress Megan Young. The movie will be in Kapampangan with Tagalog subtitles.
"Sa indie film, kung ano gusto mong gawin, magagawa mo, ibang-iba siya sa TV. Dito ako natutong mag-reinvent," Aaron said of his experience.
NO REGRETS. Aaron juggles showbiz career and student life. He is in his 2nd year taking up Management at Kester Grant College.
"Pinagpapatuloy ko pag-aaral ko. Yun ang bilin ng mga magulang ko. Kasi once you graduate na, wala ka ng problema, e."
Aaron said although he became known for his dance skills, he is serious about honing his acting skills. "Mahirap naman kung sayaw ka lang ng sayaw dyan. Lalo na sa industriyang ito. Hindi ka lang dapat sumasayaw, extra point kung alam mong umarte."
One of Aaron's batchmates is Erich Gonzales, who is now making a big name for herself. Does he have any regrets about taking a breather in showbiz?
"Maiisip mo 'yon, lalo na kung wala kang trabaho, 'Wala akong trabaho, wala akong trabaho!' Parang maiisip mo na, 'Itutuloy ko ba ito o ano?'
"Sa akin, ano eh, kumbaga, pinaglalaban ko yung sarili ko, kailangan kong gumawa ng panibago. Kailangan may bago ka talagang dala. Kumbaga sa sundalo, kargado ka."
Aaron said he realizes that he needs to prepare before he can accept more grown-up roles, "Kailangang paghandaan. Mahirap isalang sa mga ganung bagay kung hindi ka handa."
LOVE LIFE. After being single for three years, Aaron thinks he is now ready to start dating again.
"Three years na akong walang girlfriend. Ewan ko, siguro hindi ko naiisip, kaya mas pinili ko din muna maging single. Pero ngayon, ready na ako."
He was once linked with Anne Curtis' sister Jasmine, who is now in Australia, "Wala na 'yon, malayo kasi. Nag-aaral siya ngayon."
On the other hand, he seems quite takenwith Pilipinas Got Talent contestant 17-year-old Linn Deymo, who was his date at the recent Star Magic Ball.
"Maganda siya. Maganda siya. Tapos ballerina pa, galing,"Aaron gushed in one unguarded moment.