YOUNG actor Bibo Reyes has lost 70 pounds the past 10 months through diet and exercise.
“When people ask what I did or am doing, I usually just tell them ‘discipline,’” says the 25-year-old, who was seen onstage recently in two Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group productions—“Saturday Night Fever” (which toured Kuala Lumpur and Singapore after its Manila run) and “The Bridges of Madison County.”
In September, he will be part of Ateg’s “Jersey Boys,” the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical about the formation, success and eventual breakup of the 1960s rock ’n’ roll group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
Nyoy Volante will play Frankie Valli, and Christian Bautista Bob Gaudio.
“When we think about weight loss, we tend to talk about drastic diets and workouts when, really, the answer is simply ‘balance,’” says Reyes, who had always been on the heavy side since childhood.
“I had never experienced not being overweight. I would really eat anything I wanted, whenever I wanted.”
He ballooned to 230 pounds on a 5-ft-8 frame. This all changed last year.
“I wanted to begin a new chapter in my life and be done with all the frustration and disappointment that comes with being an overweight child who grew into an obese adult.”
His efforts began with an initial weight loss boost by using food supplement products from Yoli Better Body System.
“My mother heard about the program from her coworkers,” he says. “My parents and I did it for one month and I lost 25 pounds.
“The program really taught me about taking care of one’s body and how you simply cannot eat whatever you want and expect to be slim,” he says.
From there, he lost an additional 45 pounds by watching what he ate and maintaining a physically active lifestyle—an average of 4.5 pounds per month or a pound a week.
“These days, he keeps his diet “reasonable” and does aerobic exercises three to four times a week. “I just mainly run and do dance classes. On jogging days, I do one hour. On cycling days, I do two hours on my stationary bike with a sauna suit on.”
Twice a week, he takes a two-hour street dancing class.
A fan of mixed martial arts, Reyes is also excited about MMA fighter Mark Munoz’s upcoming school in Manila. “I would definitely love to enroll. Wrestling is the base of all combat sports and it intrigues me as a martial art.”
After shedding the excess weight, “I feel lighter and more confident,” he says. “Sometimes I feel like climbing on top of stuff or doing floor exercises that I couldn’t even imagine doing before.
“It has changed the psychological aspect of my acting. As actors, we need to be free of tension onstage, but as a large man conscious of his weight I unknowingly carried a lot of insecure energy which manifested physically; I’m learning to kill that now.”
Reyes was into rock music in high school and sang in a few bands. He also joined high school drama contests and got cast in lead roles. “That’s what initially woke up my theater bones, so to speak.”
When the movie version of the musical “Rent” came out, Reyes saw “a marriage of what were quickly becoming my two performance-involved passions, and so musical theater became an interest ever since.”
He joined Ateneo Blue Repertory in college and has been performing onstage since. He’s done turns as Dennis in “All Shook Up,” Tank in “Zanna, Don’t!,” Berger in “Hair” and Peter in “Bare.”
Aside from playing Michael in “The Bridges of Madison County,” he’s also done Sonny in “In the Heights,” Franz in “Rock of Ages,” and “Trekkie/Nicky” in a Singapore staging of “Avenue Q”—all for Atlantis.
Before “Jersey Boys” in September, he has a couple of productions in the next few months.
In July, he’ll be in Twin Bill Theater’s “Suicide, Inc.,” a dark comedy about a company that writes suicide letters for its clients.
In August, he’ll be in Upstarts Productions’ “Love/Sick,” a comedy featuring nine “slightly twisted stories exploring the pain and joy that comes with being in love.”
Meanwhile, when he’s not performing or rehearsing, he enjoys his collection of action figures, video games and comic books on science fiction, pro-wrestling and mixed martial arts.
“I can go on and on for hours with in-depth discussions about their many intricacies. It’s an outlet for my obsessive side, how I express my love for my interests and passions through merchandise that I can identify with and enjoy,” he says.
“Suicide, Inc.” runs July 8-24 at Performing Arts and Recreation Center, 494 Lt. Artiaga St., San Juan City. Contact 0927-4604652 or 0916-7759374. Visit fb.com/Twinbilltheater.
“Love/Sick” runs Aug. 5-20 at The Mind Museum Auditorium, The Mind Museum, J.Y. Campos Park, 3rd Ave., Taguig City. Contact 0917-8116516. Visit fb.com/Upstart.prod.
“Jersey Boys” runs Sept. 23-Oct. 16 at Meralco Theater, Ortigas Ave., Pasig City. Contact 650-5144, 0917-8381534 or Ticketworld at 8919999 or Ticketworld.com.ph. Visit fb.com/ATEGasia.