HEIR APPARENT


[PHOTO-
He has not only the distinct Padilla appeal and the killer Padilla smile. Daniel Padilla has also inherited the talent and looks of his Dad Rommel and his Uncle Robin (inset), plus those of his mother, actress Karla Estrada. — Photos by JULIUS SEVILLA]

MANILA, AUGUST 5, 2012 (PHILSTAR) CONVERSATIONS With Ricky Lo - Thank heavens for young stars who don’t let initial success go to their heads. Credit the mothers who see to it that their children’s feet remain firmly planted on the ground.

“He’s the same, makulit pa rin,” said Karla Estrada of Daniel Padilla, 17, eldest (by Rommel Padilla) of her four children.

Taking in stride the frenzy that he generates anywhere he goes now, and to which he hasn’t quite gotten used to, Daniel simply goes with the flow. During this interview-pictorial at the Clubhouse in front of the condominium-compound in Pasig City where the family lives, teenage girls scrambled over one another for a chance to have their pictures snapped with Daniel who put his arm around the girls’ shoulders while smiling at the camera.

Daniel’s phone rang. It was Karla calling from Resorts World Manila where she was having a meeting. She had excused herself from the interview-pictorial but not without leaving word for Daniel to attend to us, with his sister Margaret in tow.

“Yes, Mama, andito na,” we heard Daniel say. “They’re eating na.”

We were eating the binagol and suman that Karla brought home as pasalubong from Tacloban where she attended the fiesta of the Sto. Niño (end of June).

Daniel doesn’t act like he’s the newest and youngest Crush ng Bayan, likened to his Uncle Robin Padilla because of the way he moves and acts, the way his soulful eyes kind of sparkle a bit when he casts a side glance at Kathryn Bernardo, his leading lady in Princess & I, the top-rating ABS-CBN teleserye which is Daniel’s third TV outing so far. His TV debut was in Gimik 2010 three years ago when he was 14, then he stopped to go back to school and came back last year in Growing Up.

From all angles, Daniel is the heir apparent of the Padillas, the one destined to carry on the Padilla legacy. He’s touted to be The Next Big Thing. Judging from the public response, Daniel gets a collective thumbs-up.

It was the late talent-manager par excellence Douglas Quijano who brought Daniel to the attention of the ABS-CBN bigwigs. From where he is, Douglas must be looking down at Daniel with a big smile of approval.

“Ako yata ang last na na-build-up ni Tito Douglas,” recalled Daniel.

He tapes for The Princess & I thrice a week and he catches up on sleep most of his free time.

In fact, this interview-pictorial had to be postponed several times due to conflict of schedules. Finally when it was set on a Monday, Karla requested it to be done late afternoon so that, she said, “Daniel could sleep some more at para wala siyang eyebags.”

Daniel showed up in dark shades. We asked him to take them off and he did, but reluctantly. “Baka makita ang eyebags ko po,” he said. Assured that they wouldn’t be, he relented and flashed that killer Padilla smile. Look, Ma, no eyebags!

Asked how “very Padilla” he was, Daniel replied, “50/50 po.”

Could he also be a, uhm, babaero as every Padilla (well, except BB Gandanghari, the reincarnation of the “late” Rustom Padilla) is reputed to be?

“A, hindi po,” Daniel protested. “Hindi po ako babaero. If you notice, only one girl is linked to me, si Kathryn lang po.”

Oh, is Kathryn, 16, his girlfriend?

“Hindi po,” Daniel clarified. “Friend lang po.”

So he doesn’t have a girlfriend at the moment?

“None.”

How many girlfriends has he had so far?

“Tatlong ex.”

How come he sounded offended when he was suspected to be a babaero?

“Kasi lagi na lang po ganoon, eh. Kapag Padilla, babaero.”

Why, isn’t it an honor?

“Hindi po. Ayoko po.”

Okay, lapitin ng babae.

“’Yon po siguro. It’s more like it.”

How does he call his uncles?

[PHOTO- With his parents Karla Estrada and Rommel Padilla.]

“Tito…Tito Robin, Tito Royette, lahat tito.”

What about BB, ano ang tawag mo sa kanya?

“Tita BB.”

Told that he seemed to have the Padilla temper?

“Ako po? Hmmm, medyo.”

Any (pieces of) advice from his dad and Uncle Robin?

“Mahalin ko daw ang trabaho ko at huwag daw lalaki ang ulo ko.”

What would make him mad?

“Siguro…kunwari I know that I’m right and somebody tells me that I am wrong, ah, doon ako naiinis.”

What’s the difference between his dad and his Uncle Robin?

“Si Papa quiet, mahiyain.”

What does he like about his dad and his Uncle Robin?

[Catch him July 15 to 21 on My MYX July 22 to 28. (For more updates, log on to www.myxph.com. Also, download the MYX Charts iOS from the App Store and install free of charge.)]

“Uncle Robin, his being nice to people and to the fans. Si Papa, the way he treats all his children, ‘yung pagpapalaki niya sa amin. He’s a disciplinarian but more on salita. Never nananakit. He has never spanked me. Sometimes, Mama spanks me, pero slight lang, kasi sadyang makulit talaga ako.”

All his children?

“We are five children. Ako lang ang anak ni Papa kay Mama. ‘Yung mga kapatid ko kay Papa ay sina Kuya Rap, si Kuya RJ, si Ate Roanna at si Red. Iba-ibang nanay kami. Tatlong mother lahat.”

So his dad is not a babaero?

“No, he’s not, hindi naman po! Ang babaero, ‘yung pinagsasabay-sabay lahat ng babae. Papa is not like that.”

I asked Margaret how Daniel is as a brother.

“He’s OC (Obsessive-Compulsive).”

Really?

“I am just very organized,” explained Daniel. “I want my things to be in their proper places. If I place my celfone this way,” demonstrating how, “and if somebody moves it even a bit, hindi ako mapalagay until I put it back in its original position.”

Asked what he does with his earnings, Daniel said, “I’m not magastos. It’s Mama who keeps my money. I only buy the things that I need, like clothes. I prefer plain T-shirts, not so expensive. Hindi ako maluho.”

With his leading lady Kathryn Bernardo in the ABS-CBN soap Princess and I.

For somebody who initially didn’t like to be in showbiz, Daniel said he now enjoys it immensely.

“I was young then and all I wanted was to be with my friends, wala pa sa isip ko ang trabaho. Ngayon, trip ko na ang showbiz.”

Well, showbiz is in his genes. Besides, what is he a Padilla for?

By the way, hasn’t his popularity gone to his head?

Daniel flashed that killer Padilla smile.

“Hindi po,” he assured me, letting me touch his head. “See, buhok ko lang po ang makapal!”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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