A lot has changed since I last saw Alex Medina. His hair got shorter, he has new shoes, and he’s looking fitter since we had lunch somewhere in Maginhawa Street at Teacher’s Village, which was probably a little over a few weeks before this interview happened. Wait! Let me explain, I know it wasn’t that long but let me go through my intro first, so you’d know what other changes I’ve noticed.
Even though we saw each other recently, it’s been ages since I really had a good conversation with this busy, young man. I think the last time was when he wasn’t Alex Medina the actor yet. He was once this fun-loving, tall, awkward boy that would finish all our food. God bless him for he would always be our one-man human food disposal unit, and my friends and I would love him for that among other things. Now, he has this “grace” in him that could it be? Could this be what they call maturity? And it’s such a breath of fresh air to hear this boy talk to me about living on his own, having a sense of responsibility for himself and his work, and being grateful for everything that he’s been reaping. For someone who admits that he was unaware of what his path would look like years back, I think now he has got it all covered. But what I’m mighty proud of with Alex is amidst the more confident boy sitting in front of me, there’s still a lot of crazy left inside of him. Have you guys watched him perform with his band Alex in Wonderland? Crazy! His father, the great Pen Medina, taught and has been teaching him well. He has kept this boy grounded, as well as the rest of his siblings. He continues to do acting workshops with his father to make sure that he exercises his craft. I am not updated with what he has done, what he is and will be doing but I know that whatever they are, he’d put a 100% of himself on it—mark of a Medina.
I invited him for dinner and drinks at Runner’s Kitchen, a restaurant co-owned by a good friend and photographer Xander Angeles together with some friends of his. The food there is really good—healthy and very tasty. We ordered mango juice, which is Alex’s favorite drink so while we were munching on some tuna quinoa roll and sipping on our juices, I went thru these questions with him.
HOW DID WE MEET?
Alex: Dahil kay Ate Mara. Tumatambay lang ako nun, nagstop ako ng school. Minsan nagtatrabaho ako, mga odd jobs. Tumutulong ako sa mga raket ni Hannah. Minsan tumutulong din ako nun sa Pen Pen’s Restaurant.
Okay, this is turning out to be such a bad first question. I am realizing it now. Because I always end up not remembering how exactly I met these people that I’m interviewing. Hhhmmm… So anyway, I’m not sure how exactly Alex and I met, basta one day I just started out hanging out with him. The Mara that he was talking about is our good friend Mara Bernaldo who owns the restaurants Tomato Kick and Nomnomnom Happy Food. She’s also a superwoman, supermom, and she edits AVPs like a crazy. She eats and breaths AVPs. I think before, Alex would work with her in some of her projects? Not sure. Anyway, Hannah is Hannah Liongoren, Alex’s ex-girlfriend who just gave birth to a baby girl named Lumen. She’s now based in the US with her husband who is also named Alex. Hannah is an illustrator, and Alex used to work with her on some of her projects as well. Alex can draw so if this whole acting thing does not pan out for him, he has a fall back. We used to enjoy longboarding, but we were never good at it. And I also remember us always having same haircuts. Good times, good times.
ARE YOU A GOOD SON, BROTHER, OR UNCLE?
Alex: I think I am a good son kasi may takot ako sa tatay ko, masunurin talaga ako sa tatay ko. Second, I would be a good brother kasi di ko naman sinusuway sila kuya, hindi ko naman pinapasakit yung mga ulo nila. Good uncle din naman ako kahit papano kasi isa pa lang naman ang apo sa pamilya, si Kumi, love ko naman sha. [Note: Kumi now has a brother, and his name is Yuki]
IF YOU WERE TO BE ASKED TO COME UP AND BE A PART OF AN ALL-STAR BAND, WHO WOULD YOU CHOSE TO BE AS YOUR BANDMATES?
Alex: Parang ayoko gumawa ata kasi hindi ako musician, nakakahiya sa mga kukunin ko na mga kabanda. Mas trip ko na tumugtog na lang kami ng mga kabanda at ng mga kaibigan ko, so we can just suck together. Kasi mahirap kunwari kunin ko si Ely Buendia, baka mapikon lang siya sa akin kasi wala talaga akong training sa pagiging musikero, hindi ko pa nafafine tune ang sarili ko sa music. Hindi ko pa nakukuha yung center ko dun kumbaga.
Me: Alex in Wonderland is very entertaining.
Alex: We’re not musicians, we’re just performers.
“Part of me still fears rejection, as well as failure, but the good thing about it is that I just remind myself na kapag meron akong kinakatakutan, that’s a good thing kasi challenge yun—and I love a good challenge.”
WHAT IS IT ABOUT BEING YOU THAT YOU LOVE SO MUCH?
Alex: Gusto ko yung mga opportunities na nakukuha ko now. Yun yung gusto kong part sa sarili ko ngayon na nakukuha ko yung lahat ng mga blessings na yan, thankful ako. I know I worked hard to be able to get them kaya mas okay yung feeling na naachieve ko sila. Dati, wala akong direksyon sa buhay. Lahat naman nagsisimula sa ganun, magdadabble ka pa ng konti sa kung ano ano and not to sound like a religious freak, but if you surrender to God na sha na lang ang bahala, dun na pumapasok yung mga blessings. Hindi naman lahat nagagawa ko pero unti unti, yung mga pinapangarap ko lang dati, natutuwa ako na nagagawa ko na ngayon. I have enough money, I can eat, I can live on my own, I can basically provide for myself, and eventually, gusto ko parin iimprove ang sarili ko. Sana.
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT YOU ARE AFRAID OF THE MOST?
Alex: While I was growing up, rejection was the one that I’m most afraid of, pero ngayon, pinapractice ko na how to live without fear. Importante na hindi ka matakot, to try different things talaga. Part of me still fears rejection, as well as failure, but the good thing about it is that I just remind myself na kapag meron akong kinakatakutan, that’s a good thing kasi challenge yun—and I love a good challenge. Kung may kinakatakutan kang bagay, tumalon ka lang dun kasi yun yung mga minsan nagoopen ng doors sa mga bagong bagay na pwedeng maging okay sa ating buhay, although may limitations din naman dapat. Yung mga sinasabi mong di mo kaya pero deep down inside alam mong kaya mo, yun yung mga dapat mong ginagawa pero dapat alam mo rin yung mga bagay na di mo dapat gawin, na in the end magiging mali yung disisyon mo. Yun yung mga dapat talikuran mo na lang.
It’s very tricky though to differentiate, minsan kasi yung mga information na mga finifeed sa atin nakakalito—kung ano yung tama at mali, pero sa akin lang, makinig ka lang sa sarili mo, kasi kung makikinig ka sa ibang tao masyado, hindi mahahasa yung decision making skills mo, di ka mahahasa to be your own person. Kahit na magdoubt ka sa sarili mo, sundin mo parin yun at least kung nagkamali ka, it was your own fault, and not someone else’s.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO HATE AND LIKE SOMEONE?
Alex: To hate a person? Siguro kung pumatay siya or kung sinaktan nya yung pamilya ko tsaka mga mahal ko sa buhay. Kung emotionally, yung mga ganun kasi iniintindi ko na lang muna where they are coming from pero kasi kung physically, ibang usapan na yun. Kapag dumanak na ang dugo, dugo rin ang papairalin mo, ganun lang talaga. To like someone? I like real people. I like people who are true to themselves. Okay lang naman ako sa mga tao e, ang limitation ko lang siguro talaga ayoko sa mga plastic na tao. In this industry that I’m in, I meet different kinds of people—some of which I genuinely like. Yung iba hindi naman sa hindi ko gusto, I’m just being careful lang on how I interact with some of them.
“In this industry that I’m in, I meet different kinds of people—some of which I genuinely like. Yung iba hindi naman sa hindi ko gusto, I’m just being careful lang on how I interact with some of them.”
WHAT MAKES A GIRL SEXY FOR YOU?
Alex: Yung dating siguro. Girls are girls; they’re nice to look at. Nakakapang inspire sila. Walang specific na bagay akong masabi, basta ako I appreciate beauty in its totality.
WHY IS MANGO JUICE YOUR FAVORITE DRINK?
Alex: Kasi puno sha ng vitamin C, perfect for your immune system. Napakaimportante nyan lalo na at nagpupuyat ako ngayon for work.
Interviewed on April 11, 2015