GMA 7 discovery Sef Cadayona has built an extensive wardrobe that teems with hats, caps, jackets and shoes—must-haves on the dance floor, he pointed out.
Two years ago, Sef stood out from among his “StarStruck V” batch mates, which included big winners Sarah Lahbati and Steven Silva, because of his dancing skills.
Sef was first noticed by the public as main pitchman for Cornetto ice cream, though.
The ad campaign highlighted Sef’s flair for comedy—which was also put to good use in several Kapuso shows, including “Ilumina,” “Time of My Life” and “Coffee Prince.”
He is currently a regular in the GMA 7 musical variety program “Party Pilipinas” and the gag show “Bubble Gang.”
In “Time of My Life,” he made waves portraying flamboyant dancer Harry.
He’s not afraid of being typecast in gay roles, he said. “I should be willing to play any character assigned to me.”
Sef looks up to Will Ferrell and Steve Carell for comedy. “Their kind of humor comes with a smirk,” he explained, “perky but not hammy.” Among local comics, his choices are Tito, Vic and Joey.
He does research by watching his favorite artists’ old movies on his iPhone. “I try to come up with new tricks, gestures and mannerisms for each new character,” said Sef, a Media Arts student at San Beda College Alabang.
In his latest indie movie, Ronaldo M. Bertubin’s “Gayak,” an entry in the New Wave section of the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival, Sef once again played a closeted teener. But this time, he went not for laughs but for tears and empathy.
“After reading the script, I became more determined to join the cast,” he related. “I learned a lot from the director and from my costar Alan Paule, who played my dad.” He’s proud of Paule for winning best actor in the New Wave section for that role.
“Sir Alan and I would talk lengthily about the scene before each take. He and (costar) Evelyn Vargas helped me get into character,” Sef said.
He hopes “Gayak” has proven that he can do drama as well. Then again, he could always put on his dancing shoes and trip the light fantastic.
“I started collecting shoes because of the dance numbers on ‘Party Pilipinas,” the self-confessed shoeaholic quipped.
He has amassed quite a stash of sneakers, mostly Adidas and Nike hip-hop gear.
A favorite pair is the Nike Air Yeezy, designed by American rapper Kanye West. “Only 1,000 pairs were manufactured and I was lucky to get these,” he said. Another fave pair is the suede shoes by Zara.
The most expensive are the Super Death Stars by Adidas. “I’m a ‘Star Wars’ fan,” he explained.
Fans based in the United Kingdom and the United States have gifted him with Nikes.
He has some glow-in-the-dark pairs, too.
He’s pretty serious about shoe care and has invested in an array of cleaners. “These shoe-care products are not easy to find; you just have to know where to look.”
He swears by New Balance Suede Cleaner, Champs Sneaker Protection, New Balance Shoe Cleaner and The Cleaner. “It’s important to clean your shoes properly for them to last,” he said.
Sef once owned a pair that he wore for years. “They finally gave up during dance rehearsals.”
He is partial to Adidas bags but also owns two The North Face backpacks and a Calvin Klein messenger bag. “When attending meetings, I just bring the Calvin Klein,” he said.
But when he has marathon tapings and out-of-town shoots (“Gayak,” which was set in Nueva Ecija), he packs extra clothes and other travel essentials into his North Face knapsacks.
Headgear has become Sef’s trademark on and off the set.
His fedora is from Traffic; a black hat is from SM Department Store. He owns a couple of colorful, intricately embellished caps by Ed Hardy—along with simpler ones by Mutant and Billabong. “I prefer caps that don’t have snap bands.”
He pointed out that the woven fedora became his signature hat as Harry in “Time of My Life.”
He got himself a hat hamper to store his eclectic collectibles.
Sef has also made bonnets part of his look.
He once traded a Penshoppe hat for a bonnet owned by a “Party Pilipinas” dancer.
He now has over half a dozen bonnets and skull caps—ranging from Topman to a Baguio souvenir.
Bonnets and hats are the perfect solution to bad-hair days, he noted. “After dance rehearsals, I don’t need to brush my hair. I simply put on a bonnet.”
No flashy jackets
Sef leans toward designs that exude quiet confidence. Nothing fake or flashy.
He owns a Zara blazer and a Topman denim jacket. When he’s in a sporty mood, he dons a Nike. When he wants to look hip and cool, he puts on a Def Jam.
“What’s important is that you look at ease and you can carry your clothes well,” he said.
Shirts in his cabinet are color-coded.
Not that he’s obsessive. “For shows, we’re often told to wear clothes of a specific color,” he said. “This makes it easier to look for the right shirts.”
Since he sometimes attends formal events, he also has neckties from Topman, Sartori and Armando Caruso. “My stepdad Erick taught me how to put neckties on,” he said.
He is into slim-cut jeans these days. One of his favorites is an Adidas pair. “I also love my slim-cut pinstripe William Rast,” he said.
An aunt who lives in the United States always sends him slim-cut jeans, he said. “Pants from the US fit me perfectly; I seldom have to buy in local malls.”
He described his fragrance collection as halo-halo (varied).
“My scent depends on my clothes, whether I’m in casual or formal wear,” he said.
He names Benetton Paradiso Inferno for Men as his all-time fave. “For everyday wear, I want to smell fresh and clean, breezy and cool.” For special events, he sprays on Ralph Lauren No. 4 and Alfred Sung. “They go well with blazers and dark suits and make me feel more mature.”
His mom Joan prefers CK One on him, though.
Forever young at heart, Sef keeps a few toys at his bedside.
The teddy bear is a gift from a friend when he joined “StarStruck V.”
“The green alien is a cell-phone holder,” he said. “Shin Chan is a popular Japanese vinyl toy, a naughty cartoon character.” Another Japanese icon is the toy robot Gundam.
Sef’s dream is to tour Japan so he can buy all the robots and vinyl toys he wants.
Like most young people, he’s into gadgets. A constant companion is his trusty iPhone and Pioneer headphones.
Between takes or on the road, he listens to music or watches YouTube videos on his phone.
He recently upgraded to iPhone 5 and got matching Technics Pro headphones.
He’s a bona fide Mac user.
In his room, he often plays video games on his PlayStation 3. Favorites are NBA 2K10 and Spider-Man games.