Starstruck since he was a kid, Tyron Perez grew up a farmer’s son in Concepcion, Tarlac, with the rice fields as his playground. He’s the youngest among six children.
"My father and I would rise with the sun," said Tyron (real name: Jojo) who quit his Fine Arts studies (freshman at the Bulacan State University) when he joined the GMA star-search StarStruck (first batch, with Mark Herras and Jennylyn Mercado). "There, on top of the carabao, I would dream showbiz. I would imagine myself acting with Kris Aquino, my crush and my idol. Until I was in high school (at the Benigno Aquino National High School), my dad and I would milk our carabaos early mornings and sell the milk. Sometimes, we would sleep in the middle of the rice fields when we had to water the seedlings (nagpapatubig ng palay)."
He dreamed. He believed. And he survived the StarStruck challenge, finishing among the finalists and thus taking his first step toward his dream of stardom.
"Besides being an actor," said Tyron, 20, "I’m also fond of painting scenery, that’s why I decided to take up Fine Arts."
Asked who he would like to paint in the nude, he smiled, "Kris Aquino, of course!"
After a brief role ("So brief that I appeared only in one sequence") in OctoArts Films’ Malikmata, Tyron was cast in Regal Films’ Happily Ever After. And now comes his biggest break as the lead in Centerstage Productions’ Twilight Dancers, fourth in a series by Ricky Lee, after Lino Brocka’s Macho Dancer, and Sibak: Midnight Dancer and Burlesk King, both directed by Mel Chionglo who also directed Twilight Dancers which will be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival (starting this weekend).
Together with Chionglo, Lee and co-star Allen Dizon (who play the aging dancer together with Lauren Novero; with Kris Martinez and Terence Baylon also as the new macho dancers), Tyron is leaving tomorrow for Toronto, his first trip to that part of the world (he has been to Japan and Singapore before on pleasure trips). Also in the cast are Cherry Pie Picache, Ana Capri, Arnell Ignacio, Joel Lamangan, Jerry Sineneng, Glaiza de Castro, J.E. Sison and I.C. Mendoza.
"I’m nervous," said Tyron (who plays a kontrabida in the new GMA soap Bakekang). "Toronto is very scary."
Tyron stands 5’11", weighs 155 lbs., has a 33-inch waistline, and wears small-size underwear/shirt and size-11 shoes.
What was your first reaction when you were offered the role of a macho dancer?
"I trusted my manager, Tito Dougs (Douglas Quijano). He told me that the role required a butt exposure, frontal nudity and a torrid love/kissing scene with William Martinez (playing a gay). The script is good, the director is a respected person in the industry and the co-stars are good. So, why not?"
How did you feel during your love scene with William?
"Nakaka-nervous. It was the last scene to be shot, so I really prepared for it. Matagal ‘yung kiss namin. It was the first time for a guy to kiss me. I am, you know, ‘innocent.’ I haven’t tried it even with a girl."
How else did you prepare for the role?
"We had a workshop. Real macho dancers taught us how to dance. We also toured the gay bars."
Did you work out?
"I did. I had to be slim because I’m supposed to be a beginner macho dancer, bagito. I used to weigh 170 lbs. After working out, I lost several pounds. I also had to slim down for the Bench show (at the Araneta Coliseum last June)."
What workout did you do?
"I work out at home, not in the gym. I used the exercise gadgets of my cousin – dumbbells, etc."
"I used to play basketball. But my favorite sport is arnis de mano which I studied for two years with an expert. We usually practised at the Quirino Grandstand. Our team was even invited to do an arnis exhibition at Ateneo. I won a silver."
What part of your body is your favorite?
"My cheeks, pisngi."
And what part do you think needs improvement?
"My legs. They’re thin."
What turns you on in a girl?
"The butt, mala-Jennifer Lopez. I like sexy girls."
How’s your love life?
"I have a girlfriend – Charee Pineda. She was with me in the Holiday Cheesedog commercial. (My other commercial is for Head & Shoulders.) She used to be a kontrabida in (GMA’s) Ikaw sa Puso Ko. Now she’s on Let’s Go (ABS-CBN). She’s only 17. When we go out on dates, her mother comes as her chaperone."
Who’s your favorite fantasy?
If stranded on an island with Kris, what would you do?
"I would be speechless at first. Then, I would ask her, ‘If we were of the same age, mata-type-pan mo kaya ako?’ She’s also from Tarlac, di ba?"
What diet did you follow?
"I didn’t eat rice; I ate practically only tuna every day and bread. I’ve maintained that diet, although every now and then I eat rice, but only very little."
What’s your favorite food?
"Sinigang na baboy, tuyo and dilis. I should get used to eating more vegetables. But I try to eat lots of fruits. My favorite is grapes, ‘yung medyo nalalamog na."
What vitamins do you take?
"Only vitamin C."
How much liquid do you take?
"Not much water. Sometimes I forget to drink. I should drink more."
"Not much. Social drinking lang when there’s an occasion."
Are you clean-living?
"Yes, I am."
Do you smoke?
"No, I don’t."
Have your tried drugs?
How much sleep do you get per night?
"Not much if I have work. Otherwise, I sleep for hours. I’m usually asleep at 9 p.m. I’m not fond of gimik. My friends would say, ‘Tyron, come with us; ikaw na lang ang hindi namin nakakasama sa gimik, a.’ Sorry na lang, I’m not gimikero."
How do you unwind?
"In the province. I go to the fields with my old friends."
What’s your favorite sleep wear?
"Boxer’s shorts, without shirt."
What’s the last thing that you do before you go to sleep?
"Wash my face."
And the first thing that you do when you wake up?
"I wash my face."
Do you apply anything on your face?
Name three guys you think have nice bodies.
"Andrew Wolfe. Richard Gomez. Wendell Ramos."
And three women...
"No. 1 is Kris Aquino, of course! Lucy Torres-Gomez. Dawn Zulueta."
Using body language, how would you make a girl know that you admire her?
"I would wink at her. And then I would look at her eye-to-eye."FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo
The Philippine Star 09/07/2006
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