Kiko on dad Gary Estrada: Our relationship wasn’t that good at first
By his own admission, actor Kiko Estrada’s relationship with his father, Gary Estrada, “wasn’t that good at first.” But eventually, he learned that time has a way of changing things.
“I think there’s a point in a child’s life where he’s bound to rebel. But I grew up … and he became less busy. But all’s well now,” related Kiko, who grew up with his mother, Cheska Diaz, and her side of the family. “I love my dad. I’m so proud of him. And I’m thankful because I wouldn’t be here without him.”
Another turning point, Kiko said, was the passing of his dear grandfather, the iconic film villain Paquito Diaz, in 2011. “Sometimes, such loss brings you closer to your loved ones,” pointed out the 23-year-old celebrity, who credits his lolo for his interest in acting.
“I was the first grandson, so I was very spoiled … I grew up in a nice household, watching his films and idolizing him,” he told the Inquirer in a recent interview. “I draw inspiration from him. He’s the reason I’m an actor today.”
Gary, who’s currently a board member of Quezon province’s second district, was initially wary of his son entering the biz. Acting per se wasn’t the issue—it was the trappings of fame, Kiko said. “He was unsure about me being under the spotlight or living a show biz life.”
“Now he supports my dream and I’m grateful for that,” added the GMA 7 talent, who’s part of the morning television series “My Guitar Princess” and of the coming movie “Walwal.”
But eventually, Kiko did get his father’s approval, and with it, some valuable lessons on how to navigate the industry. Being an actor himself, Gary knows that acting isn’t as easy as it looks. And so, discipline was one of the first things he instilled in his son.
“It’s hard; you work long hours. My father told me that, if I ever feel lost, tired and giving up, just remember why I’m doing this and how much I love the craft. That’s one advice I still live by until now,” said Kiko.
But more importantly, Gary taught Kiko to always keep his eyes on the prize. “There are many distractions, so I need to be focused. My dad asked me what my dream was and I said I want to become the best actor I can be. And he told me to never forget my goal.”
Asked how he plans to spend Father’s Day this year, Kiko said he doesn’t have to wait for a special occasion to honor the men he looks up to. “Every day is their day. My dad and all my father figures—Lolo Paquito, Manong Joko (Diaz, his uncle) and my stepdad—I appreciate and cherish them wholeheartedly,” Kiko said.
Kiko has been in show biz for seven years now, but he still hasn’t gotten the hang of the “celebrity part of the job.” He still feels quite awkward doing interviews or talking in front of a crowd. But the acting part, he loves.
“I love learning new acting techniques and the fact that I can inhabit different characters,” said Kiko, who’s currently working on Adolfo Alix Jr.’s coming movie “My Stepmother’s Lover.” “I think it’s my most daring role yet. It’s going to involve a May-December affair with Sunshine Cruz.”
“After that, there’s going to be another film. Things are looking good so far!” he said.
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