POGI Se­ries

YES! (Philippines) - - Contents - migo Ade­ceR

When you meet Migo Ade­cer, the first thing you’ll no­tice about him is that he has deep-set eyes. Ex­pres­sive and doe-like, they give away the fact that the ac­tor is young—only 18, an age when most guys have yet to ma­ture. But not Migo. Here’s a guy who lives by him­self, drives him­self around, and takes pride in be­ing self­suf­fi­cient, and all that while jug­gling a ris­ing ca­reer as an ac­tor and a singer.

Small won­der that, by late af­ter­noon, those deep-set eyes be­gin to droop and Migo sti­fles yawn af­ter yawn. He apol­o­gizes pro­fusely, ex­plain­ing that he just came from tap­ing The One That Got Away ( TOTGA), the prime­time rom­com se­ries where he plays one of the leads.

“We fin­ished at, like, 7 a.m. I couldn’t sleep, be­cause if I slept, I wouldn’t have made it to the shoot.”

He shakes his drowsi­ness away and flashes a smile at his in­ter­view­ers. With a shrug, he adds: “That’s buhay artista.”

DOWN UN­DER

Dou­glas Er­rol “Migo” Ade­cer was born in Ba­colod City on De­cem­ber 20, 1998. The only son of Kaye and Ru­dolf Ade­cer, Migo only spent the first two months of his life in the Philip­pines be­fore he was taken by his par­ents to Aus­tralia, where they de­cided to set­tle down and raise their new­born son.

Grow­ing up, Migo cul­ti­vated a pas­sion and a tal­ent for singing and mu­sic, which would fol­low him into his teens. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from ele­men­tary school, he got ac­cepted into the Ne­pean Cre­ative and Per­form­ing Arts High School, a se­lec­tive pub­lic school in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. The school “of­fers gifted and tal­ented stu­dents from Western Syd­ney the op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess spe­cialised ed­u­ca­tion in the Cre­ative and Per­form­ing Arts,” ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

To get into the school, Migo ex­plains, “you have to ei­ther have high grades or be a singer… I was a singer.”

The TOTGA ac­tor laughs out loud at his own ad­mis­sion. “Sorry, guys. I’m an av­er­age school per­son. To get se­lected in a se­lec­tive high school for grades? No way! Magpe-fail ako diyan.”

Av­er­age grades aside, Migo had a blast dur­ing his time at Ne­pean High. “I was so in love with that school,” he says with a nos­tal­gic smile. “I stud­ied mu­sic as a ma­jor. And I stud­ied lights and sound en­gi­neer­ing. It taught me a lot of things. So it broke my heart when I had to leave in Year 10.”

That was in 2013—the year Migo was tapped to per­form as the front act dur­ing A Night of Nos­tal­gia, Kuh Ledesma’s three-night con­cert tour in Aus­tralia. Migo, then 14, knew noth­ing at all about Kuh, the Pop Diva whose three- decade ca­reer in the mu­sic in­dus­try has made her an Orig­i­nal Pilipino Mu­sic (OPM) icon. “I didn’t know about her legacy,” the ac­tor says. “I didn’t know any­thing about her or her back­ground.”

But the Pop Diva got Migo’s full at­ten­tion when she ap­proached him with an of­fer—one that Migo couldn’t re­sist.

“She told me, ‘I saw you do­ing your re­hearsals. You’re good. Show me what you have tonight. And if it’s good enough, I’ll bring you to the Philip­pines.’”

To make a long story short, Migo im­pressed Kuh—and got the chance to fol­low his dreams in the Philip­pines. He packed his bags, bade his mom and dad good­bye, and flew to Manila alone.

“I was liv­ing by my­self at the age of 14,” Migo says. “My par­ents would visit me parang ev­ery three months.”

Migo spent his early days in the Philip­pines look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties

Migo was born in Ba­colod City and raised in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, where he lived un­til he was 14 years old. Though he cur­rently stays in Makati, the ac­tor says he feels a strong con­nec­tion to his home­town of Ba­colod, which he used to visit once a year.

“When­ever I say Philip­pines, I al­ways think of Ba­colod. So, when I first moved to Manila, I was like, ‘Wow. Okay.’ It was ac­tu­ally very new to me! Parang I just vis­ited a whole new part of the Philip­pines.”

and tak­ing on smaller jobs, such as com­mer­cial mod­el­ing. His big­gest break would come a few months af­ter com­ing to Manila. This came in the form of a slot in the sixth sea­son of StarStruck, the GMA artista search that cat­a­pulted Jen­ny­lyn Mer­cado and Kris Ber­nal to fame. But be­fore he con­firmed his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the show, Migo de­cided to fly back to Aus­tralia for a much­needed va­ca­tion.

Back home, Migo’s par­ents saw how un­happy their only son had be­come. “Kasi, I was still ad­just­ing to the life­style here in the Philip­pines, es­pe­cially leav­ing all my friends,” the ac­tor re­calls. “And then they saw me cry. They said, ‘You know what, kung hindi mo kaya, okey lang. Nai­intindi­han na­man namin. We al­ready think na you’ve al­ready done enough in the Philip­pines. You can come back to Aus­tralia.’”

But home­sick as he was, Migo didn’t take his par­ents up on their of­fer.

“I said, ‘I feel like some­thing is telling me to stay in the Philip­pines. Some­thing is telling me that if I go back to Aus­tralia, I’ll lose my op­por­tu­nity.’

“I wasn’t gonna turn down an op­por­tu­nity. I said, ‘You know, what could go wrong?’ ’Cause I’m a very easygo-lucky guy. Parang what­ever goes with the flow of the ocean, when it turns left, okay, left tayo.”

CHAS­ING THE DREAM

Migo made his TV de­but on StarStruck in Septem­ber 2015, two months shy of his 16th birth­day. Hav­ing come from a per­form­ing arts back­ground, the teen felt pre­pared for the chal­lenges that the show threw his way.

“It was noth­ing I hadn’t done be­fore,” he says, “but it’s kind of trau­ma­tiz­ing. The way the StarStruck peo­ple make it is pang­gu­lat ta­laga, para they can cap­ture your re­ac­tion and see kung ano ta­laga ’yong next move mo.”

And yet, Migo found him­self en­joy­ing the com­pe­ti­tion. He par­tic­u­larly liked the danc­ing and singing chal­lenges, where he got to show off what he had learned in high school. But the act­ing chal­lenges were a dif­fer­ent story.

“Act­ing was just a lit­tle hard,” Migo says with a laugh. “Es­pe­cially speak­ing in Ta­ga­log. Kasi dati, Inglis­ero na Inglis­ero ta­laga ako. I spoke zero Ta­ga­log at may ac­cent pa ’ko.”

Though he was lack­ing in the act­ing depart­ment, Migo more than made up for it with his charm, de­ter­mi­na­tion, and vo­cal tal­ent. In the end, he rose to the top and claimed the ti­tle of Ul­ti­mate Male Sur­vivor, win­ning one mil­lion pe­sos, a five-yearcon­tract with GMA, a house-and-lot pack­age, and a role in the retellingse­quel of En­can­ta­dia. The ti­tle of Ul­ti­mate Fe­male Sur­vivor went to Klea Pineda, who was also cast in the fan­tasy se­ries.

Though Migo was bask­ing in his StarStruck win, he se­cretly wor­ried about his last prize: the En­can­ta­dia role. He had been cast as An­thony, played in the orig­i­nal ver­sion by Mark Her­ras—the very first StarStruck Ul­ti­mate Male Sur­vivor. For Migo, the pres­sure was on.

“We started tap­ing a good month and a half af­ter StarStruck fin­ished in De­cem­ber. I was freak­ing out. I was re­ally freak­ing out be­cause I wasn’t given any train­ing yet. It was just straight to tele­serye. Af­ter a while, since I wasn’t ex­actly a great ac­tor back then, my char­ac­ter was kind of… you can’t get killed off, but you grew old.”

And that was ex­actly what was done to Migo. His char­ac­ter grew old and he was taken out of the tele­serye.

Migo says all of this in an up­beat tone, with­out so much as a hint of re­sent­ment or bit­ter­ness in his voice. And that’s be­cause he truly has no hard feel­ings about his time in En­can­ta­dia.

“If I was the boss of the TV show, I would take my­self out, too,” he says. “I wasn’t ready to han­dle a prime­time show. You had a very high ex­pec­ta­tion of who­ever was sup­posed to be in that show. They re­ally have to give their 110 per­cent best, be­cause if they don’t, it would fall apart.”

Af­ter his fan­taserye stint, Migo fo­cused his en­ergy on be­com­ing a bet­ter ac­tor. He spent his time at­tend­ing act­ing work­shops and tak­ing Filipino lan­guage classes, un­til he landed a new role: that of Yuan in the Philip­pine ver­sion of the highly rated Korean drama My Love from the Star. Migo’s char­ac­ter is the younger brother of the lead char­ac­ter St­effi, played by Jen­ny­lyn Mer­cado.

The show, which ran from May to Au­gust 2017, be­came an im­me­di­ate hit with fans.

“That was a lit­tle scary, but it was a good start,” Migo says of his sec­ond tele­serye. “I was able to start to build my con­fi­dence hang­gang ngayon. Tak­ing off my shirt in a swim­ming pool—I never thought I’d do that on cam­era.”

The ac­tor’s face lights up. “It’s kinda sur­pris­ing where my ca­reer is go­ing,” he says. “And I mean that in a good way, in a very good way.”

AC TING & MU­SIC

Migo’s lat­est ven­ture into the tele­serye realm is The One That Got Away, a prime­time ro­man­tic com­edy with an en­sem­ble cast led by Den­nis Trillo, Rhian Ramos, Lovi Poe, and Max Collins.

With only two years of show­biz ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt, Migo is one of the new­est—and youngest—ac­tors on set. But the ac­tor says that the age and ex­pe­ri­ence gap doesn’t af­fect his re­la­tion­ship with his cast­mates at all. If any­thing, his “out­sider” sta­tus has made it eas­ier for him to be­come close friends with his fel­low ac­tors.

“I don’t re­ally con­sider my­self a for­eigner any­more,” Migo ex­plains. “But it’s nice to come from out­side, kasi I think it gives me an ad­van­tage, not know­ing la­hat ng mga ac­tors’ lega­cies. Kasi if I knew that, mane-ner­vous ako sa set. So it’s kinda nice, meet­ing th­ese peo­ple for who they are and not for what they’ve ac­com­plished.”

Out­side TOTGA, Migo has also been work­ing on his mu­sic—his first love and pri­mary rea­son for mov­ing to the Philip­pines. In 2017, he re­leased his de­but sin­gle, “I Long to Ask You,” a song with mu­sic and lyrics by Migo him­self.

“When I first re­leased it, I said to my­self, ‘Wow, I’m ac­tu­ally do­ing some­thing with my mu­sic. I’m ac­tu­ally try­ing to make my dreams come true.’ I didn’t have too much high ex­pec­ta­tions for it be­cause, of course, I know it’s just my first al­bum and I’m not sure if peo­ple are gonna take the bite. But they did. The Mig­o­nat­ics re­ally are my fans, be­cause they re­ally liked the mu­sic even though I didn’t have too much pride in it.”

Most re­cently, Migo has also re­leased his first Filipino sin­gle, “Sun­tok sa Buwan,” which was writ­ten for him by GMA Records. Though the song is not his own com­po­si­tion, Migo has in­jected it with his per­sonal style by in­clud­ing a rap of his own writ­ing in the track.

And that’s only the be­gin­ning. Migo says that he’s work­ing on an ex­tended play (EP) of his orig­i­nal com­po­si­tions, which will be re­leased soon un­der GMA Records. “I’ll be re­leas­ing songs that peo­ple aren’t fa­mil­iar with the genre,” he teases.

It’s ev­i­dent that Migo is ex­cited about where his mu­sic ca­reer is go­ing— but given that he’s also en­joy­ing a ris­ing ca­reer in act­ing, is he go­ing to pri­or­i­tize one over the other?

“Well, ac­tu­ally, I had this con­ver­sa­tion with GMA be­fore,” he says, “and we re­ally don’t want to lose any op­por­tu­nity. So, it’s re­ally just the same… But if I had to pick, it will prob­a­bly be mu­sic. Just be­cause it’s my first love, it’s my pas­sion ta­laga.”

Migo leans back in his seat, sti­fling an­other yawn. He apol­o­gizes once again for his drowsi­ness—the re­sult of long hours, hard work, and the dogged pur­suit of his dreams. It’s all worth it.

For Migo Ade­cer, that’s buhay artista.

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