SPOTLIGHT: An inside look at actor-singer Mikoy Morales

For the past few years of trying out different forms of acting, every part is added to my perspective. It’s one big craft, and it adjusts to its medium. For me, acting should be expressed in all forms you can. — Mikoy Morales

He might be one of those new faces we’re just starting to recognize in the industry today, but actor and singer Mikoy Morales already has several pivotal experiences under his belt, including a Golden Screen TV Award nomination for Outstanding Breakthrough Actor in Teen Gen; a mentorship from pop icon Jolina Magdangal in Protégé back in 2012; and, the opportunity to be with the Superstar herself, Ms. Nora Aunor for Joel Lamangan’s Hustisya in 2014.

Mikoy Morales, also known as Marco to his friends, started gracing the stage way back in 2011 in his first role for a minor stage production in the University of Santo Tomas called Kleptospirosis. Months later, he once again starred in a major musical school production of Miss Saigon where he played the lead role of Chris, the American G.I. who fell in love with Vietnamese maiden Kim (a role originated by Lea Salonga on the West End Production). His sensitive acting chops and promising vocals showed everyone an artist whose versatility in the performing arts is something that is simply hard to set aside.

“Miss Saigon is my very first acting stint”, he says. “Since music is my forte, it added to my confidence kahit paano dahil musical siya.”

Getting the exposure of acting on stage was the driving force he needed to pursue this path professionally. “Acting in UST was just the tip of the iceberg” he says, “but it was also the bridge para magkaroon ako ng chance to pursue it professionally and to enter the industry talaga.”

In 2012, he tried his luck in auditioning for GMA’s Protégé: The Battle for the Big Artista Break where he was able to secure a place under Jolina Magdangal’s team. He soared high to the top, and was able to finish as the season’s runner-up. That was the beginning of everything for Mikoy. After his Protégé days, numerous acting opportunities came aboard, including his television roles in Teen Gen, Pepito Manaloto, Bubble Gang, D’Originals to name a few, and stage roles in Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady the Musical and Virgin Labfest 2016. In 2014, he landed his first film role in Hustisya opposite Nora Aunor, which premiered in the 10th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, and was selected as one of the Contemporary World Cinema features in the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Despite being a neophyte in his craft, rarely do actors, both seasoned and newcomers, would ever have the privilege to say that they have been with the Philippine cinema’s Superstar. When asked about how was it being with Nora Aunor on film, he says “Totoong tao siya! Kaya siguro ganun siya ka-galing, dahil ganun siya ka-totoo.”

Mikoy has continuously paved his way through project after project, proving to everyone that he is a star to look out for. It is in 2017 when he perhaps landed his most challenging role yet as he plays Mark in Adolf Alix Jr.’s 4 Days opposite Sebastian Castro. This may not be Mikoy’s first gay role, but the level of intimacy, sincerity and rawness that the film requires of him is something that is definitely a milestone in his career. “I got carried away easily sa scenes dahil walang script” he says, “kung anong lumabas, yun lang ginagawa namin, and because of that, it was more honest.”

“I’ve said this over and over again: I love playing gay roles”, Mikoy reiterates. “It’s my way of challenging the society to not label people. Gender equality is one of my biggest advocacies. ”

He also mentioned that he aligned a lot of his own personal characteristics to Mark, as he wanted his performance to be as true as possible. “Kailangan mo lang talaga buksan isip mo eh. Binuksan ko lang isip ko. I acknowledged my tendencies. I wanted everything to come from a place of truth. It felt real for me, and ‘yun ang proof na love is universal.”

“Puro slices of life ‘to”, Mikoy says when asked what to expect in 4 Days. “Yun yung gustong mangyari ni direk Adolf dito, for you to experience the perspectives of the characters. It’s a very, very patient movie. You’ll find out later kung bakit. It’s very real. It’s to show the human side of a relationship. I hope you guys enjoy it, kasi sobrang nag-enjoy kaming gawin ‘to. Love wins.”

Both critics and fans alike have yet to see what’s in store for Mikoy in the next couple of years, but what we have witnessed in the last 5 years is a promising artist who exudes passion and potential to be a seasoned performer of his generation in the showbiz industry. “Most of my epic moments in acting hasn’t really happened on screen. They are all backstage. Doon nangyayari ang discovery and explorations, which goes to show na parang kulang pa ang opportunities na nakukuha ko. Kaya gutom na gutom parin ako dahil alam kong hindi ko pa naipapakita lahat. Ilang percent palang ‘yun ng kaya kong gawin talaga.”

An Ayala Malls Cinemas’ exclusive, ‘4 Days’ will open on October 18, 2017 in Greenbelt 1 and Trinoma Cinemas.


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