POGI SE­RIES

EB BAES

YES! (Philippines) - - In this Issue - TEXT BY GABBY REYES LIBARIOS PHO­TOS BY DAIRY DARILAG ART DI­REC­TION BY JEREMIAH M. IDANAN

“That’s My Bae: Tw­erk It,” a for­mer dance con­test of the noon­time va­ri­ety show Eat Bulaga!, be­came the launch­ing pad for (left to right) Ken­neth Me­drano, Kim Last, Miggy To­lentino, Tommy Peñaflor, and Jon Tim­mons.

Now col­lec­tively called EB Baes (short for Eat Bulaga Baes), these good-look­ing boys are ready to take on showbiz, and they’re tak­ing things one step at a time.

(At the time of the YES! shoot, “That’s My Bae” mem­ber Joel Pa­len­cia was on hia­tus.)

Al­though no one can be cred­ited for its pop­u­lar­ity, Bae started ap­pear­ing in R&B and hip-hop songs in early 2010. This term of en­dear­ment also came to be known as the back­ro­nym for “be­fore any­one else.”

In these parts, Bae could mean any­one who’s pogi, matipuno, and gen­er­ally, a like­able guy, the type that any girl would be proud to bring home to her par­ents.

In re­cent years, Bae has been as­so­ci­ated with Alden Richards—bet­ter known as the Pam­bansang Bae. The be­d­im­pled ac­tor, who made the “pabebe wave” cool for a time, is one half of the phe­nom­e­nal AlDub love team, the other half be­ing Maine “Yaya Dub”Men­doza.

Still in these parts, Bae refers to the Eat Bulaga Baes, or EB Baes, a group of good-look­ing and tal­ented fel­lows. The group was formed af­ter the suc­cess­ful run of the noon­time TV show’s dance bat­tle seg­ment, “That’s My Bae: Tw­erk It.” So who are the Eat Bulaga Baes? One balmy evening, YES! Mag­a­zine sits down with—in no par­tic­u­lar or­der— Ken­neth Me­drano, Miggy To­lentino, Tommy Peñaflor, Kim Last, and Jon Tim­mons, to find out what makes this all-male dance group dif­fer­ent from other boy groups in showbiz.

More point­edly, to get what makes them click as a group mer­it­ing their own daily show, the morn­ing com­ing-of-age dram­edy Trops.

HUM­BLE BAE- GINNINGS

Be­fore they be­came the EB Baes, they were just sim­ple fel­lows who led sim­ple lives.

Ken­neth Me­drano, who emerged as the grand win­ner of That’s My Bae, is the first to ad­mit that there’s noth­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary about them.

Ken­neth was born and raised in Cebu. The 26-year-old is not ashamed to ad­mit that he spent his child­hood liv­ing in the slums. “Tu­mira kami sa squat­ter [area],” says Ken­neth. “Ako na­man po ’yong nor­mal na bata na naglalaro do’n sa kalsada. Parang la­hat na yata ng larong pam­bata, na­gawa ko na po.”

Even though liv­ing con­di­tions back then were less than de­sir­able, Ken­neth never stopped dream­ing. “Pan­garap ko po ta­laga mag­ing artista noon pa,” he says. “Kasi, isipin mo na lang, min­san lang po yata na magka­roon ng op­por­tu­nity ang mga taga- Cebu na mag­ing artista. Parang mal­abo. Kasi, more on Lu­zon lang po ’yong mga au­di­tions.”

Ken­neth per­se­vered. He did ev­ery­thing—joined con­tests and male pageants, took on host­ing stints for events and lo­cal shows, and at one point was a ball­room dancer and a barista for a cof­fee shop in Cebu. “Dati po, may va­ri­ety show sa Cebu, nagho-host po ako. ’Ta­pos, af­ter mag-stop no’n, nag­ing ball­room dance in­struc­tor po ako. ’Ta­pos po no’n, nag-artista din po sa lo­cal TV. Af­ter po no’n, nag-aral po ako.”

His “ticket to showbiz” came in early 2015, dur­ing his third year of col­lege at the Univer­sity of South­ern Philip­pines Foun­da­tion in Lahug, Cebu City. Pop­u­lar then was “Dub­s­mash,” where a per­son records a selfie video while lip-synch­ing to a song or an au­dio of a scene from a movie. Dub­s­mash was all over so­cial me­dia.

One night, Ken­neth, out of bore­dom, recorded a Dub­s­mash video of him­self with the 2014 Bran­don Beal hit “Tw­erk It Like Mi­ley” as back­ground mu­sic.

“Gal­ing po akong gala no’n, ’ta­pos parang bored lang ako sa ba­hay,” he re­calls. “’ Ta’s nakita ko ’yong ‘Tw­erk It Like Mi­ley’ na Dub­s­mash, kasi sikat no’n. Wala pa ako nakikita masyado nagda-Dub­s­mash no’n, si Maine [ Men­doza] pa lang—’yong mga Kris Aquino videos niya. ’ Ta­pos, bigla lang po akong nag-trending, um­abot po ako ng one mil­lion views.”

Ken­neth re­ceived a call from the pro­duc­ers of the GMA-7 mag­a­zine show Ka­puso Mo, Jes­sica Soho. Shortly af­ter be­ing fea­tured on KMJS, he got an­other call, this time from the peo­ple of Eat Bulaga! He was in­vited to au­di­tion for “That’s My Bae,” the new seg­ment of the va­ri­ety show that would fea­ture good­look­ing men with danc­ing skills.

Hosted by Sam YG and Alden Richards, who sub­se­quently earned the moniker Pam­bansang Bae, “That’s My Bae” was the mod­ern in­car­na­tion of “That’s My Boy,” one of the show’s ear­lier con­tests in­volv­ing male tod­dlers and pre-school­ers. It was the break Ken­neth had been wait­ing for.

As fate would have it, he sailed through the elim­i­na­tions, and af­ter sev­eral weeks of danc­ing and mod­el­ing, he was de­clared the grand win­ner.

“Marami po kami sa ump­isa, mga thirty yata. Pero siyem­pre, hindi po ako mag­pa­pahuli. Ce­buano ’to, Bis­dak ’to, e,” he says with pride.

( Bis­dak is short for Bisayang dako, which lit­er­ally means “big Visayan,” but also fig­u­ra­tively means some­one who was born and raised in the Visayan re­gion.)

Miggy To­lentino, 21, shares the same hum­ble be­gin­nings as his com­rade Ken­neth. Miggy grew up in the con­gested and of­ten dan­ger­ous streets of Tondo, Manila.

“Sa fam­ily po namin, tatlo po kam­ing lalaki, dalawang babae,” Miggy ex­plains. “’ Yong Papa ko po, pin­tor ng mga sasakyan. Ang Mama ko na­man po, may karinderya, nagtitinda po siya ng al­musal.”

But un­like Ken­neth, Miggy never dreamed of get­ting into show busi­ness.

“Ac­tu­ally, ang pan­garap ko no’ng bata ako ay mag­ing pulis. Dalawa po kasi ’yan, mag­ing pulis o mag­ing teacher po sa P.E. [Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion]. P.E., kasi mahilig ako sa fit­ness—bas­ket­ball, swim­ming, box­ing. Gusto ko na­man mag­pulis dahil marami kas­ing krim­i­nal sa lu­gar namin ta­laga. Kaya rin sig­uro lumaki akong pal­a­ban.”

Miggy clar­i­fies that he may be “pal­a­ban” but he was never “mal­oko” or “pala­away.” He ad­mits to be­ing a bad boy, but only when pro­voked.

“Hindi po ako mal­oko, puw­era na lang pag ’yong mga kaibi­gan ko, aanuhin mo, e. Iba na ’yon. Lumaki po ta­laga akong basag­ulero, bad boy sa lu­gar namin po. Pala­away po ako, pero pag in­a­away lang na­man po kami.”

He de­cided to try his luck in showbiz only when he reached high school. Al­though he knew he had the looks, Miggy hadn’t given showbiz much thought ear­lier be­cause he didn’t know where to start.

“Hindi po sumagi sa isip ko mag­ing artista kasi mahiyain po ako. No’ng high school po ako, torpe nga ako no’n,” says Miggy, who went to F.G. Calderon In­te­grated High School in Tondo. “May mga nagka-crush daw sa akin. ’Ta­pos, ha­bang tu­mata­gal po, parami sila nang parami, hang­gang sa nag­ing third year na ako, pin­upun­ta­han ako sa room namin ng mga es­tudyante. ’Ta­pos, ’yon, hang­gang sa naki­lala na po ako sa buong school sa Manila... ‘May pogi sa Calderon, do’n siya nag-aaral.’ Gano’n po.”

Miggy’s pop­u­lar­ity grew on cam­pus as well as on­line. He claims he has no idea why his pho­tos gen­er­ate so much in­ter­est among ne­ti­zens.

“Pag nagpo-post po ako ng pic­tures sa Face­book, nakaka-seven-hun­dred-likes. Pataas nang pataas po siya, hang­gang sa

pinag­pa­pasa-pasa­han na po ’yong pic­ture ko sa iba’t ibang web­sites, iba’t ibang pages sa Face­book. Meron pa nga sa malalaswa na sites, ’sinasali din po ’yong mga pic­tures ko na kita abs ko.”

And just like Ken­neth’s Dub­s­mash videos, Miggy’s Face­book pho­tos and videos be­came vi­ral. It didn’t take long for the cre­ative guys at Eat Bulaga! to take no­tice.

“Du­mat­ing ’yong time na du­mami ’yong fol­low­ers ko. Nagka­roon na ako ng 60K, hang­gang 100K na fol­low­ers,” he re­calls. “Nasa 163,000 fol­low­ers na po ako no’ng may ku­mon­tak sa akin na tagaEat Bulaga! Pumunta daw po ako sa au­di­tion.”

At the au­di­tions for “That’s My Bae,” Miggy thought he didn’t stand a chance against the taller, more good-look­ing au­di­tion­ees. “Mukha lang po akong nali­gaw do’n,” he re­mem­bers with a laugh.

De­flated, Miggy left the stu­dio not ex­pect­ing a re­turn call from the pro­duc­ers. He was on his way home when he re­ceived the good news: he made the cut!

An­other “proud probin­siyano” who suc­ceeded in join­ing the group was Tommy Peñaflor. The 24-year-old hails from Di­nalupi­han, Bataan. His par­ents sep­a­rated when he was seven years old. His mother be­came the fam­ily bread­win­ner and worked in Saudi Ara­bia for seven years. While va­ca­tion­ing in the Philip­pines, she suf­fered a mas­sive stroke that left her de­bil­i­tated.

“Bale seven years na siyang stroke pa­tient,” Tommy re­calls. “Hang­gang ngayon, kasama ko siya, in­aala­gaan ko siya.”

As a child, he had al­ways been fas­ci­nated by the lives of celebri­ties. “Ang goal ko ta­laga dati, mag-artista,” Tommy ad­mits. “Pi­nan­garap ko ta­la­gang mag-artista. No’ng nine years old ako, ’yong sports com­plex sa Di­nalupi­han, may mga nagpe-per­form na mga artista. Pag nakakakita po ako ng nagsasayaw o ku­makanta sa stage, sabi ko, ‘Ang sarap na­man maka­pag­pasaya ng tao.’

“Kasi pumip­ila ako, nakikipagsik­sikan ako, para lang makita sila. Sim­pleng ngiti ng mga artista sa mga fans nila, parang malak­ing achieve­ment na sa mga fans tu­lad namin no’ng time na ’yon. Kaya sabi ko, kahit sa sim­pleng pag­n­giti ko, gusto kong maka­pag­pasaya ng mga tao.

“Kaya sabi ko no’n, pag­dat­ing ng pana­hon, ako na­man magsasayaw sa stage na ’yon. Mga kababayan ko, pa­panoorin ako.”

He dreamed big, but Tommy lacked self-con­fi­dence. He was over­weight and didn’t think he was good-look­ing.

“As in, ni­lalait po ako. Hindi ko nga po alam na may hit­sura ako. Mataba pa ako dati. Forty-six waist­line ko. Ni­lalait ako, pina­paiyak ng mga babae. Kaya sabi ko, magda-diet ako.”

While work­ing on his weight, Tommy con­tin­ued with his stud­ies. Af­ter fin­ish­ing high school in Bataan, he moved to Manila and earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Ra­di­o­logic Tech­nol­ogy (B.S. RadTech) from the Per­pet­ual Help Col­lege of Manila.

“Prom­ise ko kasi sa sar­ili ko, kailan­gan maka-grad­u­ate ako,” he says. “Af­ter kong maka-grad­u­ate, gagawin ko la­hat ng gusto ko. Try ko la­hat. Ting­nan ko kung anong ca­reer ba ta­laga ang narara­pat para sa akin at kung ano ang ipagkakaloob sa akin ni Lord.”

While wait­ing for a RadTech job, he ap­plied for work as a casino dealer at a five-star re­sort casino in Parañaque City.

It was around this time that op­por­tu­nity came knock­ing at his door.

“May nag-text lang sa akin na ma­g­a­u­di­tion nga daw ako sa ‘That’s My Bae.’ So sin­ubukan ko siya. Pagka-au­di­tion ko, nakuha na­man.”

Tommy would later be booted out of the com­pe­ti­tion, but he re­mained un­bowed. “No’ng na­t­alo ako no’ng first day, sabi ko hindi ako pa­payag na hindi na ako mak­a­ba­lik. Af­ter ilang days, nasalang na­man po ako.”

For­tu­nately, the Eat Bulaga! ex­ec­u­tives de­cided to in­tro­duce some­thing new to the con­test—a wild card. They wanted to shake things up by bring­ing back some­one who had been elim­i­nated. That lucky some­one was Tommy.

“Ako lang ’yong talo na naka­ba­lik, and hang­gang ngayon nan­dito pa rin,” he says. “Sa akin ’yong place na ’yon, sabi ko.”

FROM UK & LA

If his Philip­pine-born “broth­ers” got into “That’s My Bae” by ac­ci­dent, Lon­don­based Kim Last planned his way to join­ing the show.

The Filipino-Bri­tish Kim was born and raised in Lon­don, the cap­i­tal city of Eng­land, in the United King­dom of Great Bri­tain and Noth­ern Is­land (UK). Af­ter com­plet­ing his high school ed­u­ca­tion at Lon­don’s Chelsea Acad­emy, Kim, then a wide-eyed 17-year-old, came to the Philip­pines in 2014 in hopes of start­ing a life of his own.

“Ever since I was a kid,” Kim re­calls, “dami pong nagsasabi sa akin, ‘O, try mo mag-showbiz sa Philip­pines.’ Pero so­brang bata pa ako no’n, mga six years old. But it’s been in my head ever since, parang tu­matak sa isip ko na it’s some­thing I have to do be­fore I die. My orig­i­nal plan was to move here when I’m twenty, pero the op­por­tu­nity came three years early.”

At 17, he was young and un­cer­tain of where he was go­ing. He wanted to make it on his own, but he didn’t know how to do it. Then the chance to ap­pear on Eat Bulaga! pre­sented it­self.

“I was part of this dance group na nagba-backup dito sa Eat Bulaga!,” Kim says. “They’re say­ing sumali nga daw ako. E, parang nala­man ko na puro pag­pa­pa­pogi ’yong seg­ment, sabi ko, ayoko. Pero a lit­tle voice told me, ‘You know what, be­fore you go back to the UK, try it.’ Kasi nga, wala na­man akong gi­na­gawa dito for one year. I said, ‘Sige na nga.’”

While he had the per­son­al­ity that could light up a room, Kim still lacked self-con­fi­dence.

“I had no con­fi­dence in my­self, what­so­ever—as in, zero,” he says. “Parang feel­ing ko nga po, hindi po ako aabot sa sec­ond round.”

What mo­ti­vated Kim to strive harder de­spite feel­ing home­sick?

“There is some­thing about this group na kailan­gan kong mag-stay. There’s some­thing about Eat Bulaga! that makes me want to stay. There was some­thing in my heart and soul that said, ‘No, you can’t go back to the UK. Kailan­gan mong mag-stay sa Philip­pines.’ My heart spoke for me.”

He adds that he stayed for al­tru­is­tic rea­sons. “Showbiz is a great plat­form. Kasi I have so many things I wanna do, like start a char­ity. It sounds corny, and parang some peo­ple say na ‘gusto lang niyan mag-start ng char­ity para he’d look good.’

“Pero para sa akin po, I re­ally want to do stuff like that. One thing I love about the Philip­pines is I can be a good per­son and a good Catholic, be­cause here, no one will scru­ti­nize you. Pag sa UK, me­dyo parang corny if you keep say­ing, ‘Thank you, God! Thank you, God!’ Pero dito, it’s ac­cepted. I want to be a good role model.”

For Filipino-Amer­i­can Jon Tim­mons, who was born and raised in Los An­ge­les, Cal­i­for­nia, “That’s My Bae” was a sec­ond at­tempt to join showbiz.

“My mom is pure Ilo­cana and my dad is one-fourth Filipino, one-fourth Span­ish, one-fourth Ir­ish, and one-fourth Ger­man. So, parang sixty per cent akong Filipino,” says Jon, who has an As­so­ciate De­gree in Sci­ence from El Camino Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Cal­i­for­nia.

He was 11 when he lived in the Philip­pines for a year. He did com­mer­cials, in­clud­ing one with a very young Pauleen Luna who, years later, would be­come a main­stay of Eat Bulaga! “Co­in­ci­dence ta­laga. Pero when I moved back to the States, grow­ing up, I al­ways won­dered, ‘What if I had stayed [in the Philip­pines]?’ Showbiz was at the back of my head.”

While Jon was con­tent with life in the U.S., there was some­thing miss­ing.

“Ac­tu­ally, when I was go­ing to school for res­pi­ra­tory ther­apy [a med­i­cal course], I felt like parang hindi siya para sa akin. Parang I didn’t want to work in an of­fice or take a nine-to-five job. I wanted to do some­thing dif­fer­ent.

“I wanted to be my own per­son, be my own boss. I al­ways felt like I was meant for more. All through­out col­lege sa States, I was al­ways try­ing to find my­self. I was think­ing about join­ing the U.S. Air Force. I was think­ing about be­com­ing a nurse or a res­pi­ra­tory ther­a­pist.”

And then it hit him. Jon re­al­ized he had un­fin­ished busi­ness in the Philip­pines.

“And that’s when I knew na parang showbiz ta­laga was for me. That’s why I felt more com­fort­able here. I could feel it in my blood na showbiz was re­ally for me. It was the one thing that clicked, and the one thing I was sure of.”

Jon packed his bags and flew back to the Philip­pines. In his heart, he felt he was do­ing the right thing.

“For two years af­ter I moved here, I was go­ing to VTRs [video­tape record­ings] for com­mer­cials, do­ing back­ground ex­tras for TV shows and movies. One day, peo­ple started ask­ing me, ‘Hey, why don’t you au­di­tion for the Tw­erk It Like Mi­ley dance con­test ng Eat Bulaga?’

“I didn’t know what it was back then. Sin­earch ko pa sa YouTube and, ayun, that’s when I found out about the au­di­tions. ’Ta­pos I started watch­ing Eat Bulaga! and they said, ‘Come to the stu­dio three to five p.m., Mon­day through Fri­day, para mag-au­di­tion.’ Since dance con­test siya, at siyem­pre ’yon po ’yong ta­lent ko, I fig­ured why not give it a shot?”

Now that he’s part of the EB Baes, Jon feels he’s con­tin­u­ing the legacy of his fa­ther, his name­sake, who was an ac­tor in the Philip­pines in the 1950s.

“My dad was ac­tu­ally an artista dito sa Pilip­inas, dati no’ng time ni Ra­mon Magsaysay. Oo, so­brang ta­gal na po. So, parang I felt like showbiz runs in my blood. I’ve al­ways wanted to be known. My dad passed away no’ng 2005.

“My dad’s name sa showbiz was Jon Tim­mons. That’s why in­stead of Jonathan Tim­mons, I used Jon Tim­mons para I can con­tinue the legacy of my dad’s name, kahit he passed away na… So, I’m ac­tu­ally do­ing this not only for my­self. It’s also my way of hon­or­ing him.”

Jon Tim­mons, Kim Last, Tommy Peñaflor, Miggy To­lentino, and Ken­neth Me­drano may have come from dif­fer­ent back­grounds, but they are bound to­gether by the same hopes, the same goals, the same as­pi­ra­tions.

Tommy puts it best: “Nakakita ako ng mga ka­p­atid ko na ka­gaya kong iisa ’yong pan­garap. Nagka­sundo-sundo kami kahit hindi kami magkakak­i­lala. Parang im­posi­ble nga na mang­yari na para kam­ing magkaka­p­atid ngayon. ’ Yong sama­han namin, ’yon ang hindi ko maipag­pa­palit kahit matanda na kami.”

Ken­neth couldn’t agree more. “Ako po ’yong nanalo, pero hindi po ako ’yong an­gat. Wala po ’yong leader sa amin. Pan­tay-pan­tay lang po kami sa grupo. Walang laman­gan.”

Jon, an only child, is grate­ful that he found a group of friends he can call his fam­ily. “The main thing is the brother­hood. I’m an only child. I love hav­ing broth­ers now. It’s the best feel­ing in the world.”

SHOOT PrO­dUc­ErS: AnnA PIn­GOL & mARIA IREnE mISLAnG STYLinG: JOhn LOZAnO, GIAnnI BAndIOLA & KEndELL ESPIRITU GrOOM­inG: mURIEL VEGA PEREZ

Tommy Jon

As new­bies, the EB Baes have had to deal with lots of ad­just­ments. The most dif­fi­cult one, per­haps, is cop­ing with the hec­tic and er­ratic sched­ules of tap­ings for their TV se­ries Trops, as well as live shows, which could stretch for days in places out­side the metro.

Tommy Peñaflor (right­most), the tallest in the group, ad­mits it could be stress­ful and ex­haust­ing. But the boys have found a so­lu­tion to keep each other’s en­ergy up. Tommy ex­plains: “Pag kasama ko sila kasi, lagi lang kam­ing tawa nang tawa. ’Yon ang tech­nique namin. Ka­pag puyat sa set, sa tap­ings, ganyan, nag­bibiruan na lang kami. ’Ta­pos, tawang-tawa na kami. Hindi na namin mararam­daman ’yong oras. Ta­pos na pala ’yong tap­ing.”

While the group is tight, “That’s My Bae” win­ner Ken­neth Me­drano (cen­ter) does not dis­count the pos­si­bil­ity of a co‑mem­ber leav­ing to go solo in the near fu­ture. “Da­dat­ing din po ’yong pana­hon na gano’n, e,” he says. “Ready na­man po kami siyem­pre. Pero sa ngayon po, magkaka­p­atid po kami. Hindi man same ’yong nanay namin, magkaka­p­atid pa rin kami.”

Ken­neth main­tains that they met each other and came to­gether for a rea­son. Since the group was formed, they’ve gained con­fi­dence and a sense of di­rec­tion. He says it’s not al­ways fun and games for the group, as most peo­ple think. “Ang ganda po kasi ng grupo namin, nag-o-open-fo­rum kami, nagba-Bi­ble-read­ing, shar­ing, gano’n po. Hindi po kami ’yong tipong grupo na puro chicks dito, babae do’n, gala dito, inom do’n. Min­san-min­san ’yong inom, pero di umaabot do’n sa wasted na wasted.”

Miggy To­lentino (right­most, above left photo, wear­ing a ban­danna), the boy who grew up play­ing in the crowded streets of Tondo, never ex­pected the EB Baes to be­come so pop­u­lar. Never in his wildest fantasy did he think fame would come his way and this soon.

“Dati kasi, ini­isip ko, ‘Sana nandiyan ako [ sa showbiz], para ma­g­a­nda ang buhay ko, gano’n po. Na hindi lang masaya, natu­tu­gu­nan ko pa ’yong mga pan­gan­gailan­gan ng pam­ilya. Pero alam n’yo po, wala na­man palang im­posi­ble.”

Like the rest of the group, Miggy has been able to pro­vide for his fam­ily, es­pe­cially now that the EB Baes have more pro­jects.

“’ Yon na­man po ang goal nam­ing la­hat,” he says. “Hindi na po nag­tra­baho [ Mama ko], two years na sim­ula no’ng nag-That’s My Bae ako. Pi­natigil ko. Papa ko rin po, hindi na nag­ta­tra­baho.

“Na­pa­p­in­tu­ra­han ko na ’yong ba­hay namin, naka­bili na ako ng ref, naka­bili na ako ng mga kailan­gan sa ba­hay, naka­pag­pak­abit na po ako ng kun­ta­dor, naka­bili na ako ng lap­top para sa ka­p­atid ko na IT [In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy], ’ta’s pinag-aaral ko na ngayon ’yong ka­p­atid ko na nag­pupulis.

“Proud ako, proud ako sa pam­ilya ko, proud ako sa la­hat, kasi kahit gano’n kami, pinalaki ako nang maayos ng mga mag­u­lang ko.”

The EB Baes: (L-R) Miggy, Kim, Ken­neth, Jon, and Tommy Jon Tim­mons (sec­ond from right), who moved from Los An­ge­les to Manila to fol­low his dreams of be­com­ing a star, ad­mits that showbiz can be over­whelm­ing at times.

“Over­whelm­ing, but in a good way. It’s some­thing I feel you have to get used to. If showbiz is re­ally for you, then it gets eas­ier. Kasi ang daming nangya­yari, hal­im­bawa sa back­stage or ’yong mga fans, mga pic­tures, ’yong lights, cam­eras… It’s or­ga­nized chaos, but in a good way. This is what we live for.”

It’s chaos, all right, but Jon thrives in this en­vi­ron­ment. “I love it. You smile, you give a sim­ple pic­ture to a fan, and you’ve made her day. Be­ing able to make peo­ple [happy] just by be­ing your­self, that’s the best thing about showbiz.”

Kim Last (sec­ond from left, front row), one of the youngest mem­bers of the group, is grate­ful to be part of the EB Baes. He’s not only besties with co-mem­bers, he has found a fam­ily that shares the same faith. “Hindi lang kami broth­ers, we’re broth­ers in God,” he says. “Even though we’re not too fa­mous, we’re not too rich, dahil sa grupo na ’to, we all found God. We all got closer to God. So, that’s the best thing.”

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