Getting to know Kiko Matos
His name didn’t ring a bell until around two weeks ago, when he got involved in a much-publicized scuffle with award-winning and controversial actor Baron Geisler at the Tomato Kick bar in Quezon City. Videos of the incident were uploaded on the internet and have gone viral .
Apparenly, Geisler had found his match in Kiko Matos.
Just who is Kiko Matos?
Worked for real estate company
Bestowed with arresting looks–a result of mixed Portuguese-Filipino parentage–and a charming personality, Matos has managed to land in several supporting roles in Filipino indie films including “Babagwa” in 2013, “Mumbai Love” (2014), “Hukluban” (2014) and “Sino nga ba si Pangkoy Ong” (2015).
Before he entered filmdom, Matos worked for a real estate company–yes, he was just like any regular working millennial. But while he thrived in the corporate world, he says there was not a single day that he didn’t think of what he really wanted to do in life: act. His friends would usually shrug off his statements and sometimes tease him. No one believed he would ever be seen on film and TV.
“I would say to my officemates na balang araw makikita niyo na lang ako sa TV, mababalitaan niyo na lang ako, tapos pinagtatawanan nila ‘ko. Sabi nila, kung mag-aartista ka, anong ginagawa mo dito sa real estate? Lagi ko sinasabi, basta, hindi ko alam, pero God is making me go through here (real estate) first before I get to where I want, eh eto na,” Matos said in an interview with Inquirer.net last Friday.
“I was a runaway kid”
Growing up, Matos went through quite some rebellious adolescent years much like any regular kid. The physical separation of his parents dug a deep hole in his character. A self-confessed “daddy’s boy,” his father’s absence and an estranged relationship with his mother led him to his turbulent teenage life.
“I was a runaway kid, eh, because of the depression (brought about by a) family problem. My parents were separated not legally but only physically because my father is working in Portugal to support the family, and I’m a father’s boy eh. Being away from my father wasn’t easy for me and my mother was my opponent (an antagonist). So that’s partly the reason why I ran away. I just told my father I just didn’t wanna stay with my mother but as the years went by, me and my mother… we reconciled naman, we’re okay now,” Matos said.
Matos describes his teenage years as “crazy” but adulthood has changed his perspectives and priorities. At 25, he is now definitely a different, more responsible man who’s eager to reach his goals in life, he says.
“I was a rebellious kid. My teenage years were very different from who I am now. I was very impatient and I was reckless I wouldn’t really think of what other people would feel about my comments and everything but now I’m more sensitive,” Matos explains.
He says the worst of his teen years was when he got involved with gangs and fights. “It was all about pride, ayaw niya ng mukha ko, naiinis siya sa mukha ko, sinabihan na ‘ko ‘wag ko kausapin si ganito, sa mga girls, mga ganon, it was a crazy teenage life. Then on that night sa Tomato Kick, sige na nga. It was just one of those fights, parang sige, bigyan natin ‘to si Geisler, baka matauhan. ”
Matos recalled that he had commented on the viral video of the college student whom Geisler allegedly assaulted, not knowing that he would be involved later in a scuffle with him.
“I made a comment dun sa video dun sa estudyante eh, Baron Geisler, pick on somebody your own size, without knowing that it was me,” he said laughing. “Law of attraction na naman, like saying, pag ako kaya nakatapat nito may gagawin ba ‘to? So far so true, gusto niya ‘ko harapin, then sige.”
Plans for his career
Even prior to the video incident that catapulted him to a not-so-positive fame, Matos aimed to eventually go from indie to mainstream. Even though it seems his claim to mainstream fame is off to a bad start, his video stint surely proved there’s gold in garbage. As they often say in show biz, a negative publicity is still publicity.
“Before nung incident, nababaliw rin ako, wala ako masyado projects for film, buti na lang pumasok yung mga plays, I’m thankful for that. Then now, I’m trying not to accept projects, I’m just finishing my films, because I have to concentrate muna sa training and fights because if I would be doing any TV shows, mapupuyat ka, you have to train and it’s not gonna be healthy, ayoko rin syempre madehado sa ring pano ko siya matuturuan ng leskyon kung ako yung [matatalo] eh he’s training na nga eh. Haven’t started training, okay partida, mauna ka na. I have to concentrate on the fight”, Matos said.
Being a versatile actor, Matos is ready to take on everything, saying he will never back out of a role. “I’d do anything. I would become a transgender sure, I would become a criminal sure but just to be definite, kontrabida.”
In the indie film industry, reality is portrayed in its rawest form. Therefore, indie actors are always ready to do no-holds-barred acting even if they have to bare it all out.
This half-Portuguese hottie has done what most actors could not possibly or would hesitantly do–go nude, as in the movie Hukluban, an official entry to the Sineng Pambansa Horror Plus Film Festival 2014. Yet, critics noticed his acting. “I easily agreed. Yes it’s OK. The script was a good script. And if you would ask me if I would do it again (Hukluban, the one and only sexy film I did), it has to be a better script, a better story. If it’s not gonna be better than the last one, then there’s no point in doing it,” Matos says.
He’s also proven his flexibility as an actor when he gamely did a kissing scene with veteran actor Ronnie Lazaro in the movie “Edna.” He was thankful for the opportunity and thought it would never come again if he refused to grab it.
“Ronnie Lazaro came up to me and he offered it to me and at that moment I said yes coz that’s Ronnie Lazaro, it’s not like kissing anybody. To be given the chance to kiss Ronnie Lazaro (he says laughingly) is always an opportunity that will never come twice and Ronnie Lazaro has never kissed a guy, and he’s a legend, kung tinanggihan ko yun tanga ako,” Matos says.
Matos also dreams of directing a film one day, stressing that he won’t stop with acting. Clearly, this go-getter hunk definitely raises up to the challenge of his craft.
“I’d want to direct films, and acting is a dream that happened already, narating ko na hanggang dito na lang ba tayo. Then when I got to that dream, I have bigger dreams now. Maybe I’d like to become a director. Kasi when I act also, it’s also directing my co-actors, eh. It’s not just saying your lines and giving my co-actors something to use,” Matos says.
No takers among TV networks
For some actors dreaming of a successful career, the only way to go is to penetrate the top 3 TV networks and sign a contract. This is what “Sino nga ba si Pangkoy Ong” starrer did since 2013, but unfortunately, his call wasn’t heeded. But patience pays off. Kiko Matos waited and blessings came more than he had expected.
On a hindsight, the Tomato Kick incident might have given him murky fame, but who knows, with the way things are going, possibilities are endless and this bad light could do a 360 turn and propel Matos to greater heights.
“Ever since 2013, I’ve been knocking the doors of the 3 networks and I’m thankful naman na I get guestings but I wanted more talaga like a regular show because everybody needs to make money diba? And doing independent films is not that rewarding (financially) and it’s not all the time that you have films, so the irony is that, I’ve been knocking on their doors and no one was answering and now this is happening. Now I’m trying to choose which one,” Matos gleefully tells Inquirer.net.