How Kokoy de Santos became a breakout actor in time of pandemic | Inquirer Entertainment

How Kokoy de Santos became a breakout actor in time of pandemic

By: - Reporter
/ 12:20 AM March 09, 2022

Kokoy de Santos

Kokoy de Santos

A s much as he loves acting and performing, there was a point in Kokoy de Santos’ life when he felt like giving up show biz. But with his family’s and loved one’s encouragement and support, he said he found inspiration to keep going.

“There was a time when I thought this industry wasn’t for me. There were lots of rejections. The reason I continued was my family. They told me to just focus on myself, because perhaps I wasn’t doing enough. I also realized that there are people who believe in you without you noticing them,” he said in a virtual conference introducing him as a new talent of the GMA 7 talent management arm, Sparkle.


Perseverance and trust

“I have also realized that—with perseverance and trust in the Lord—you can do it. Of course, honing your talent and skills is a never-ending process … I’m still hungry to learn new things,” he added. “The time will come when all your hard work will finally pay off.”


Kokoy started acting when he was only 12, appearing in various television shows, including “Futbolilits” in 2011. Nine years later, his big break finally came—curiously enough, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when most of show biz was on a standstill.

In 2020, he headlined the BL (Boys’ Love) web series “Gameboys” with Elijah Canlas. The show was a hit, making him one of that year’s breakout talents. Kokoy, who had mostly done supporting or bit roles until then, would go on to star in the award-winning movie “Fuccbois” and the movie version of “Gameboys.”

As a new Kapuso, Kokoy is now part of the long-running comedy programs, “Bubble Gang” and “Pepito Manaloto.” He also has two films in the works. “I still feel like I’m up in the clouds, because blessings continue to pour in,” Kokoy said. “I never thought I would do well amid the pandemic. I can’t believe it.”

If there’s one thing he has learned about his recent career upswing is that big breaks can come when you least expect them. “So, when the opportunity presents itself, kagatin mo. Every time I’m given a project, I always give my best,” he said. “You never know—the project you’re doing can end up inspiring others, or it could make other people in the industry trust in your talent even more.”

Being part of GMA 7, Kokoy said, will give him a bigger platform to showcase his talent. And he’s looking forward to trying different things.

“I see myself being unafraid to accept projects and play roles that are different,” said Kokoy, who’s not closing his doors on doing another BL project and the possibility of being part of a love team. “I’m just getting started here, so I want to explore various characters.”


“I’m honored to be noticed by GMA 7,” he added. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to expand my audience and show what I can do.”


And his most recent project gave him the challenge he was looking for. In last week’s episode of “Magpakailanman,” Kokoy played Aga Casidsid, who, as an infant, had an eye disorder called retinopathy of prematurity, which eventually caused blindness. His condition led to severe depression and drove him to attempt suicide.

But with courage and perseverance, he overcame these challenges to achieve his dream of becoming a marathon runner.

“It was difficult because I had to wear contact lenses that obstructed my vision. As an actor, I draw inspiration from visuals, whether I’m doing drama or comedy. You also have to really memorize the scripts—there’s no room for ad libs because I don’t see my coactors’ cues,” related Kokoy, who was thankful for his costar Snooky Serna’s support throughout taping.

“I really felt that she was my mother. Working with her was a breeze. After our scenes, she would guide me around the set because I couldn’t see well and sometimes would end up tripping,” he added.

Meanwhile, asked what he can bring to the table as a Kapuso artist, Kokoy said it’s his consistency.

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“We [actors] have different personalities … But what I can give is ‘yung puso, and my personality will always be there. I believe consistency is an asset,” he said. INQ

TAGS: Entertainment, Kokoy De Santos

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