Down-to-earth, funny and genuine—these are the three traits that come to mind at the mention of Gerald Anderson, the 24-year-old American-Filipino celebrity we caught up with at Jollibee Greenmeadows along C5 Libis just after Easter.
Looking ever so preppy in a bright-red collared shirt buttoned all the way to the neck, he had a hearty laugh that resonated throughout the entire room.
We all first welcomed Gerald into our living rooms in 2006 as housemate on the reality TV show “Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition (Season 1).” He tended to look at the bright side of things, no matter what.
Now we sat down with him at his press conference, where he announced his latest product endorsement with Jollibee, the Flip Float, and got to know the private side of this fun-loving, sun-worshipping star.
What are your hobbies?
I like to play basketball. I like to sleep pag may time. Yeah, my line of work really deprives me of sleep. So, whenever you have time to sleep, tulog ka. I like to watch movies, sports. Right now I’m doing wakeboarding and scuba-diving.
What is your advice to teens and tweens on what they should do to make their summer more productive?
Well, ako kasi, I like to be out, eh. Kung baga, advice ko lang sa inyo kung okay lang, umitim kayo ng konti. You guys should go to the beach with your family and friends. Kung baga, you know, bonding.
Speaking of summer, wow! Sobrang init sa labas! What do you do to keep cool, aside from making babad sa aircon?
Last Saturday, we did our Flip Floats, and ako mismo ang cashier and ako mismo ang nagbigay sa kanila ng Flip Floats. Mamaya I think we’re going to meet downstairs. It’s like ako ang nagse-serve sa mga tao. Maraming nagpapa-aircon ngayon eh, kasi nakita ko noong Saturday ang dami pong tao sa Jollibee. And I am not just saying na ang dami kasi I was there but kasi, this summer, they were looking for something to cool them down.
And like I said, Flip Floats are perfect for summer. Like yesterday, kwento lang, nag-wakeboarding kami nila Sam. Si Enchong wala. Sobrang init so binili ko sila ng Flip Floats. Sabi nila na endorse na endorse sila. Sobrang sarap na sarap sila. It was really perfect for that moment.
They taught me how to make it also. Ice cream actually goes first then ice and then it’s the chocolate drink. It depends on the flavor you want, or coffee. There’s coffee or chocolate syrup, then the crushed cookies. So hindi siya yung tipong ice cream lang but you still taste it when you sip it. So iba siya, very unique.
Ako kasi, I don’t drink coffee. So I really love the chocolate one. So every time tinatanong ako, chocolate ang gusto ko. And if nag-aaral ka, the coffee is perfect instead of mainit na coffee. Kasi ito, nag-e-enjoy ka pa. Kahit medyo boring ang ginagawa.
So I heard these so-called Flip Floats turn your world upside down. What other things turn your world upside down?
That’s a good question. Wow! (Laughs) I don’t know kasi I’m a positive person. I like to be happy, lalo na when I’m with my family and friends. Just being with them, that flips my world around. Kung baga, doing different things, like last week, it was my first time to scuba-dive. Di ba, it’s really fun. Ang saya, eh.
Sometimes life can be difficult, and it can throw a lot of challenges at you. What do you do to cope with adversity?
Paano ba? When you fall off the horse, it depends on how you get back up, eh. Kung baga, you just always have to be strong. Bilang artista, maraming intriga, maraming tsismis-tsismis. But bilang estudyante, you guys have your own problems, di ba, like school papers and grades. It’s just different. We all have our own problems, and we have to be strong for ourselves, for our family, for our future.
Who are the people who inspire you to push forward and just go with the flow?
Yung pamilya ko, and the people who trust me. Kung baga, in my work and in my personal life, I’m very blessed, and I’m very happy for that. Ayaw ko mawala yung mga blessings. So you have to always be thankful, but always stay focused on what you really want in life.
As a celebrity, how do you deal with mga intriga and rumors?
Like I said eh, you know who you are. When I started, kaka-17 ko lang. So imagine, everything you guys are going through, mga experiences, I was going through that, but with the whole Philippines watching. So it’s a really different experience, but through the years, you learn from it and you grow from it and you become wiser and smarter and stronger.
So, ganun din. You guys are going to go through that also in a different way, in your school, future work. What are you guys going to take up in college? Not yet sure? See, like that. You don’t really know your next step until it’s there na. So that’s it.
What do you love about life?
What I love about life? Making people smile. Yung nasa Trinoma kami and SM Mall, tuwing binibigyan ko ang tao ng mga Flip Floats. Taking their order, ang ganda ng ngiti nila eh, so seeing that is really priceless, very inspiring.
Are there any TV shows or movies that you’ve signed up for in the coming years?
Yeah. Ngayon, I’m taping a teleserye, and I know it’s coming out very soon.
Any words of wisdom you can impart to your fans and Inquirer 2bU readers?
Wisdom? (laughs) For young readers? If you have a dream, do everything; kung dream mo talaga iyan, do everything in your power to reach that goal, that dream. Don’t let anybody put you down.