Despite lost opportunities, Bugoy Cariño has no regrets about early fatherhood
Seeing some of his fellow child actors forge successful careers after their stints in the youth-oriented comedy show “Goin’ Bulilit,” Bugoy Cariño couldn’t help but feel a tinge of regret that he had to lie low from show biz to focus on his personal life.
The actor, now 21, was once touted as one of the industry’s most promising young talents. He won the Best Child Performer award at the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival for “Shake, Rattle & Roll 13” and was named Best Supporting Actor at the 2013 Asean International Film Festival Awards for “Alagwa.”
His time in “Goin’ Bulilit’” from 2009 to 2016 also earned him accolades.
In 2012, he topbilled the fantasy drama series “E-Boy.” He was cast in various soap operas, like “Juan dela Cruz,” “Imortal,” “100 Days to Heaven” and “A Beautiful Affair.” He was also part of “It’s Showtime’s” male dance group “Hashtags” from 2017 to 2021.
However, Bugoy had to set his career aside, when—at just 16—he got his partner, volleyball player EJ Laure, pregnant. “At first, sobra akong nanghinayang… I lost out on opportunities. I lost a lot of projects and sponsors,” he said at a recent press conference for his new movie, “Huling Sayaw,” which opens in cinemas on Sept. 13.
But being a father to his 4-year-old daughter, Scarlet, erased whatever regret or disappointment he may have had. “Those feelings disappeared when our baby arrived. The regret was replaced by happiness. I say that my child is the biggest blessing God has given me. Siya ‘yung kapalit. And I’m so happy with my life now,” he said.
The success of his contemporaries like Xyriel Manabat may have Bugoy wondering about the what-ifs of his career. That doesn’t stop him from being proud of their shine.
“I told them that I’m truly happy for them. Maybe it’s just that we have our own paths in life. What’s meant for them is meant for them. And if this is the life God gave me, then it’s for me,” Bugoy said.
Directed by Errol Ropero and produced by Camerrol Entertainment Productions, “Ang Huling Sayaw” is a film about friendship redemption and the trials people face as they pursue their dreams.
It follows three childhood best friends, Danilo (Bugoy), Tiffany (Belle Mariano) and Stephanie (Andy Abellar), as they navigate their senior year at a prestigious school in Manila.
However, their lives take an unexpected turn when Danilo makes a wrong decision that leads him astray.
On the brink of losing everything he holds dear, Danilo must find the strength and wisdom to steer the ship back on course and fulfill his dream of being a renowned dancer.
The movie finished shooting four years ago, but is only being shown now. “Our director said he wanted to show viewers that I’m back. He was pleased with my acting. And finally, we will be able to show the film,” Bugoy said.
Bugoy hasn’t had much contact with his show biz friends—including Belle—since his hiatus from show biz. But he had nothing but good words for his costar, who was unable to take part in promotional activities because of scheduling conflicts. “We had just left ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ when we did this film, so our closeness was still there,” he said.
‘Give it a try’
Today, Belle is one of the most successful artists and singers of her generation—a long way from where she was when she did “Ang Huling Sayaw.” “She’s really big these days. Grabe ang career niya right now,” he said.
“Even during our ‘Goin’ Bulilit’ days, we were already talking about Belle’s promising future. That was the expectation because she’s so hardworking and determined. She’s talented. She can sing, dance, act—she has it all,” he said.
Meanwhile, to naysayers who don’t want to see Belle with another actor other than her current screen partner, Donny Pangilinan, Bugoy said all he’s asking for is to give the movie a chance. “This movie was shot years ago… I just hope they can give it a try to see what Belle’s character is all about,” he said. INQ