Acting tips, life lessons Kira Balinger got from Iza Calzado and veteran stars of Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin

It’s no secret that Kira Balinger is a busy girl, one of the busiest young stars during the pandemic. But, she still makes time for her passion for art. In this episode of Hotspot, we’ll dive deep into Kira’s style and techniques in creating eye-candy artworks.

First, catch-up time! Kira enjoyed the holidays with her family in Cavite. Soon, she’d be back to work for Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin. The 20-year-old actress seems realistic, no longer into making a list of New Year’s Resolutions. After all, we can always change for the better any time of the year. But if she has one wish this 2021, she hopes projects would keep coming.

Kira ended the previous year on a high note with the success of Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin and her team-up with Grae Fernandez, plus signing a contract for ABS-CBN. First matched for the sitcom “Funny Ka, Pare Ko,” KiRae is now dubbed the ‘Next Big Thing.’

The positive comments are overwhelming. Kira is finally reaping the fruit of her perseverance. However, things weren’t this bright and hopeful at first. Looking back, she almost gave up on her dreams. She still doubts herself to this day, especially with the effects of the pandemic. Yet, she’s learning to shake it off by putting her trust in God’s plans.

Once a bright-eyed dreamer as well, she told other aspirants to never lose hope. There will come a time when rejections will overshadow the courage. But they will eventually make it if they don’t give up. She also told them to love the craft and focus on their strengths, and, more importantly, do it out of passion and not for fame. The popularity and fortune will follow but must never be the main target.

Sharing the screen with veteran actors, in a huge drama series, is a humbling and learning experience for Kira. She picks up as much tips as possible while working with these drama geniuses. Sharing one of those golden lessons, she said Iza Calzado taught her to be kind to herself even on days when she thinks she doesn’t excel.  

“Mommy Iza taught me na hindi po kami robot. Hindi po sa lahat ng oras kaya namin ibigay, like, lahat-lahat. Be kind to yourself. You have to keep a positive mindset na you did what you could today and there’s always a tomorrow for you para makabawi. Don’t be too harsh on yourself as long as alam mo na you did your best, okay na po ‘yun,” she said.

The young actress was, understandably, awe-struck by her senior co-stars, although she was too shy to ‘fangirl’ on the set. Thankfully, the screen veterans are warm and welcoming that she easily felt comfortable working with them.

They really made me feel so welcomed. Unang day pa lang that I had with them, with the veterans, grabe! Sobrang welcoming nila sa akin. I did not feel any tension. They just inspired me to give my best sa eksena, to do it for them, do it for myself as well,” shared Kira.

Slowly but surely, equipped with patience and dedication, Kira is coating her star with much, much luster.  She’s one of the latest Star Magic artists to sign an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN – a dream come true.

Many years ago, when I was younger than I am now, noong nagwo-workshop pa lang ako, I would see naka-broadcast sa TV ‘yung contract signing ng ibang veteran actors. And I would think to myself, kami ni Mommy, ‘Would that ever happen to me in the future? Aabot ba ako doon? Susuko ba ako before I could ever sign a contract?’ But, me and my mom really worked hard in this industry and it finally happened, nag-sign na ako ng contract,” she looked back.

Kira is grateful to the Kapamilya Network and promised to do her best. She also had another reason to feel elated during the big event when Grae surprised her with a bouquet of flowers – tickling fans’ curiosity about their status.

To set things straight, she said they are just friends, but a lot closer and more comfortable with each other. The lock-in setup grew their connection. Kira hinted at the possibilities, though.

“Ngayon talaga, honestly, we’re just really enjoying working together and being friends. No rush din sa love. Darating ‘yan ‘pag hindi mo hinahanap,” she added.

KiRae is an exciting mix. He’s the mysterious type while she’s energetic and ‘makulit.’ Opposites do attract, they say, and KiRae shippers are keeping their fingers crossed. For now, the loveteam is taking the job seriously. Kira and Grae work as a tandem and they inspire each other to do better.

On being dubbed as the next loveteam to beat, Kira said it brings them joy and pressure at the same time. They’re just so happy that people are watching them closely.

“Nakakataba ng puso, nakaka-pressure din but it’s a good pressure. We turn it into inspiration. Natutuwa talaga ako sa mga comments and tweets kasi nakikita ko na talagang they really observe me and Grae as our characters… Natutuwa ako na they really pay attention to the show, to the characters,” expressed Kira.

Well, Kira also pays attention to her partner and she’s noticed how much he’s grown as an actor, and as a heartthrob. Always candid, the pretty girl made an endearing confession about a real-life scene that seemed taken out straight from a kilig movie.

“Noon, sobrang payat niya, sobrang totoy niya pa. There was this instance where unang lock-in tapos bumukas ‘yung elevator, tapos nakita ko, ‘Uy! Macho to, ah!’ Tapos hindi ko siya nakilala! ‘Ay, si Grae pala to?!’ Nakakaloka! I’m proud of him that he worked on himself like that,” she revealed. 

Kira doesn’t only excel in acting but she also shines in her love for the arts! In this episode of Hotspot, the Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin star proves she’s one versatile gal by showing us, with hints of modesty, her awesome paintings.

For the Kapamilya beauty, painting makes her vulnerable because, perhaps, it reflects her inner thoughts and the bareness of her soul. For instance, she turns her love for the beach and the water into creative pieces.

Most of these artworks were born during the quarantine. Prior to that, she started painting when she was little. However, she got busy, so this passion had to take a backseat. Her first quarantine-made artwork is a soothing image of a sunset over the sea, made with oil on a small-sized canvass. Kira prefers oil over acrylic to easily fix any mistake.

Yet, she’s not scared to explore other medium. She has a texture painting of the beach inspired by her ultimate quarantine fantasy – to visit the beach! Kira loves water scenes. Another artwork features a boat stranded in the middle of the waters.

The multi-talented actress loves to paint dreamy portraits of women. One that exudes soft femininity is an image of a girl with lovely loose curls adorned with a ‘gumamela’ flower, with a rainbow backdrop. She said she was in a happy mood while doing it, thus the splash of colors. 

There’s another one which she said reflects self-love and appreciating bareness. She painted, again, a woman’s face on the left side while the other half of the canvass is a female body. This one’s more minimalistic and clean, using nude color as a dominant element.

Back to her love for bold colors, she created a self-portrait, in a yellow background. Her biggest art piece, so far, is a painting of Egyptian royalty, Nefertiti.

Asked to think of a painting for Grae, the lovely Kira thought he’d like an image of himself with his idol, James Dean.

Check out this video and get to know more of Kira’s artistry!