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.”
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.