StarStruck V First Prince Enzo Pineda once again downplayed the "walkout" issue involving Kapamilya singer-actor Sam Concepcion at the Candy Fair held October 2 at the A. Venue Hall in Makati City.
Rumor had it that Sam stormed out of the annual event after realizing that his four-year reign as Candy Top Celebrity Boy had finally ended because of Enzo's strong showing during the voting.
Sam denied the rumor outright. In an October 14 phone interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), he said that he really had to leave the venue in advance to accommodate a book launching event in Rockwell. (CLICK HERE to read related article.)
Enzo, for his part, said, "Actually, hindi ko alam kung saan nanggaling 'yong issue na 'yon... In the first place, nung nasa Candy Fair kami, lahat kami masaya, lahat kami nagpe-perform, lahat kami nagpapasaya ng mga Candy girls."
PEP was able to talk to Enzo last Sunday, October 24, while taking a break from the live presentation of GMA-7's Party Pilipinas.
The 20-year-old actor is seen weekly in Party Pilipinas as a member of the "Sayaw Pilipinas" dance crew, which also includes Mark Herras, Rocco Nacino, Yessa Pressman, Sef Cadayona, Mayton Eugenio, Winwyn Marquez, and Diva Montelaba.
"Nung tinanong po sa akin kung 'Ano'ng masasabi mo, nag-walkout daw si Sam?' Ako naman po, hindi ko talaga alam. My first guess was na-busy si Sam and may iba siyang shows.
"Of course, may ibang mga tao na iba 'yong iniisip. Hindi nila alam na may show pa pala si Sam, which is true!"
Duplicating Sam's streak as a Candy Cutie will be a tough act to follow, said Enzo.
"I have much respect to Sam. Congratulations! Siyempre four years siyang naging number one celebrity Candy Cutie.
"I don't really expect na makakapasok ako sa Top 10. Actually, kung makapasok man ako sa Top 10, masaya na 'ko. Nagulat na lang ako na ako 'yong number one Candy Cutie."
WAITING FOR THE RIGHT TIME. Having conquered the top award given yearly by the local teen magazine, many are wondering if Enzo is now planning to join Cosmopolitan's host list of hunky bachelors next year.
"Sa totoo lang, bago ako mag-Candy Cutie, pinapag-Cosmo ako," divulged Enzo. "Pero I think hindi pa ako ready sa Cosmo kasi I just turned 20.
"Of course, sila Steven [Silva] and Rocco [Nacino], parang kuya ko na din sila—dahil Steven being 24 and si Rocco, 23, for me 'yon din 'yong right age para mag-Cosmo ka.
"So, kahit ako, gusto ko mag-Cosmo. Pero pinigilan ko muna yung sarili ko na huwag muna dahil sinasabi rin sa akin na huwag muna kasi hindi pa 'yan 'yong tamang oras.
"Siguro tama rin 'yong sinasabi nila na 'pag may binatawan kang isang opportunity dahil tingin mo it's not really for you, may babalik na mas maganda sa 'yo.
"Sa case ko, hindi ako nag-Cosmo ngayon. Pero binigyan ako ni God ng blessing, and nanalo ako bilang Candy Cutie."
Such display of patience is evident even in Enzo's attitude to the irregular flow of acting projects.
Currently, fellow StarStruck graduates Sarah Lahbati, Steven Silva, and Rocco Nacino are all busy with their respective afternoon series. Sarah is in Little Star while Steven and Rocco are together in Koreana.
Enzo maintained that there's no competition brewing against the StarStruck V graduates, and that they're grateful for the support being given by their home network.
"Before, I was part of Diva and that's on primetime. So, blessing din 'yon," he said. "Ngayon po, matatapos na 'yong taon, happy ako na meron akong sitcom, 'yong Kaya Ng Powers and Party Pilipinas, 'tapos every weekend din nasa Startalk ako. So, marami rin po 'yong exposure ko.
"Sa soap naman, if it's for you, it's for you. And hindi mo naman puwedeng ipilit kasi ang character may binabagayan din. But of course, habang wala pang show, ako mismo nag-aaral umarte para pag meron na, ready na 'ko."
Enzo credits his acting workshop teachers for instilling in him a deeper appreciation of the craft and overhauling his attitude towards the profession he now finds himself in.
"First love ko talaga ang sumayaw. Ngayon kumakanta ako, hopefully, soon makakanta ako sa Party Pilipinas. Actually nagra-rap lessons pa nga ako. Pero ang hindi ko talaga in-expect na gawin, I realize na I really wanted to be an actor.
"Any role would do kasi every role is a challenge. Ako, dati sa totoo lang, acting sinusumpa ko before. Pero ngayon 'yong natututo na 'ko, tinuruan na 'ko nila Direk Gina Alajar, nila Tita Ann Villegas. So, ganun pala 'yon pag natututo ka sa isang bagay, mas mamahalin mo siya," Enzo said seriously.