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Work is good, but school is just as important for these young stars

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:20 AM March 22, 2016
GMA YOUNG talents, from left: Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali, Derrick Monasterio, Kim Rodriguez

GMA YOUNG talents, from left: Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali, Derrick Monasterio, Kim Rodriguez

DERRICK Monasterio, Kim Rodriguez, Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix are poised for bigger and better things at GMA 7, their home network.

But while they’re thrilled about the newly minted teleseryes they currently topbill—the afternoon dramas, “Wish I May” (starring Miguel and Bianca), and “Hanggang Makita Kang Muli” (Derrick and Kim)—the attractive quartet knows only too well that getting an education gives them something to fall back on if and when acting opportunities begin to get scarce.

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Miguel juggles his show biz chores and school work. He is currently a freshman student taking up Entrepreneurship at De La Salle University-Dasmariñas.

He said, “That’s where my money goes. Gusto kong matutuhang paikutin ang kinikita ko—and education is one way to do that.”

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“I study when I’m not working,” Miguel told us when we interviewed him on March 13 in Davao City where he, along with Derrick, Kim and Bianca, took part in the annual Araw ng Dabaw merrymaking. “Education prepares you for the harsh realities of life. It boosts your confidence and teaches you how to carry yourself. Fame isn’t forever, but we don’t stop learning.”

Miguel, 17, puts a premium on education because he comes from a family of teachers. He shares, “My dad is a grade school teacher, while my mom teaches in a prep school—and my lola teaches Grade 6 in a public school.

“I enjoy going to school because it makes me feel ‘normal,’ like other kids my age. It’s a different experience when you get to interact with other students, talk to teachers, write lecture notes… you don’t just rely on gadgets. I’m part of the last batch that isn’t included in the K-12 program.”

Miguel’s love team partner, 16-year-old Bianca, is part of the first batch of K-12 students. “I’m in Grade 9. I’m in a home-study program affiliated with a parochial school in Parañaque,” she said. “I don’t mind shuttling between school work and acting, because whether we like it or not, the people who watch our shows look up to us—actors are role models. That’s a huge responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. So even when things get hectic at work, that’s part of the motivation to stay in school.”

Bianca wants to do well to make her lola proud. Her grandmother became her guardian after her parents passed away: Her mom succumbed to breast cancer when she was only
5 years old. Five years later, her dad passed away because of a heart condition.

For his part, Derrick sees beyond show biz—his reason for pursuing a Legal Management course at San Beda, where he’s a freshman.

He explained, “I want a career in politics someday, because I want to serve. As part of my advocacy, I go to schools, talk to young people about the importance of education.

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“I got the itch to serve from my mom (former actress Tina Monasterio)—she is now a housewife, but she used to be a public servant.”

Kim has yet to finish her course in Tourism, but the lovely 21-year-old actress intends to shift to Culinary Arts.

She said, “I support myself now—but I really want to finish school. Fame fades, but education is more lasting. Maipagmamalaki mo s’ya, even when you’re old!”

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