Yves and Royce look back on fondest A Soldier’s Heart memories, share gaming collection and give us a quick room tour

The drama series A Soldier’s Heart is counting down to its finale. Two of its cast members, Yves Flores and Royce Cabrera, talk about the show and look back on their fondest memories on the set, in this episode of Kapamilya Chat.

Yves and Royce first worked together in the 2019 independent film “Lola Igna.” They were almost cast together in another Eduardo Roy Jr. masterpiece “Fuccbois” in that same year. Unfortunately, Yves encountered a slight conflict. Both films ushered them to their biggest acting nominations. In the recently concluded Gawad Urian, Yves was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for “Lola Igna” while Royce was recognized as a Best Actor nominee for “Fuccbois.”  

Currently, they’re seen as military men in A Soldier’s Heart. When the teleserye and possible roles were presented to Yves, the character of Benjie Arguelles pulled him in immediately. Yves analysed which part of Benjie’s psyche he could relate to. He said they are both vocal about their feelings. They are the type who would openly confess their emotions despite the risks. Yves, single for a year now, said he would rather get hurt from telling the truth than hide his feelings to the girl he likes. 

Yves thought it would be challenging yet exciting to portray a soldier with a soft side. He struggled at first, clueless of how to pull off the clashing personas in one body. He needed to act stiff as how soldiers are while hinting at his special affection for Jerome Ponce’s Phil Panganiban. His effort coupled with the director and writers’ guidance helped him fully embrace Benjie’s character over time.
It was Yves’ first time to portray this kind of role and he feels grateful to everyone who showed support. He never thought Benjie and Phil’s ‘bromance’ would create a loud impact, adding that the positive reception helped the writers explore the unconventional story. 

Yves and Jerome’s closeness was a plus factor. They first bumped to each other in 2011 during an audition for Pinoy Big Brother. Yves got in while Jerome was picked as a reserve housemate. But instead of joining the show, Jerome was tapped to be part of the daytime series Be Careful with My Heart in 2012. At that time, Yves has already exited the house and was also given his first acting gig. They would meet again at a pictorial for their respective series and that’s how their friendship started.

Despite the positive feedback on their partnership, Yves has qualms about doing a bigger BL (Boys’ Love) series. But he could re-consider depending on the material, cast, and director. He thinks it would be best to do a BL show with someone he’s comfortable with like Jerome, or Royce.

Unlike Yves, Royce has a wider experience in doing delicate gay scenes as shown in the indie film “Fuccbois.” In the said movie, Royce was paired with another newcomer Kokoy de Santos who is also part of A Soldier’s Heart. Thus, the banters about Royce and Kokoy’s characters falling in love in the war zone. 

Royce plays as a trooper while Kokoy portrays as a rebel in A Soldier’s Heart. Quite a newbie in the primetime block, Royce felt immense pressure working with the show’s intimidating cast ensemble. The gruelling military trainings and acting alongside legit military men added more to the challenge. But at the same time, he was thankful for the opportunity and excited to work with the veterans and seasoned actors in the series.  

The show’s seven lead actors might have different personalities but they all get along well. Their brotherhood got deeper during the locked-in tapings. Royce shared that Gerald Anderson and Carlo Aquino, the senior stars in the group, give tips and pieces of advice on the set.

Even the girls, Sue Ramirez and Charlie Dizon, are easy to get along with. Yves described them as “mas siga pa kaysa sa amin.”He’s been friends with Sue for years and their closeness hasn’t changed. The whole bunch used to stay in just one tent prior to the pandemic, so it was easy to build rapport. They even poke fun at Carlo’s ‘aging problems.’  During the locked-in tapings, Royce and Yves were roommates but the latter would often invade Gerald’s room to make use of his appliances (like television and refrigerator). 

Sometimes the bonding inside the tent extends during takes, especially when Yves and Jerome would share scenes. In that scene where Alex (Gerald Anderson)’s family invited the troupe to a dinner in a restaurant, Jerome and Yves are called out for goofing around while the cameras are rolling. “Kainan na eksena. Itong si Jerome, bago mag-eksena, nilagyan niya ng sili ‘yung kutsara ko. Tapos noong nag-take na, sobrang anghang. Binigyan ako ng tubig ni Jerome, eh pati ‘yung baso may sili. So, habang nagte-take, sinusuntok ko siya sa ilalim tapos nakita kami ni Direk,” Yves recounted. 

Royce shared his own amusing anecdote. He revealed that Irma Adlawan scolded him for draining a bottle of cooking oil. “Nanghiram kami ng cooking oil kasi magluluto. Si Elmo ‘yung nanghiram. Kinabukasan, hinanap ni Tita Irma ‘yun. Ako lang ‘yung nakita niyang gising na kasama doon sa mga nagluto, so ako tinanong nila. Sabi ko, ‘Hindi ko po alam. Naubos po yata.’ Tapos biglang lumabas si Tita Irma, tinawag ako.” Royce swears he was clueless about what happened to the cooking oil. Still, he got a lesson from no less than Irma Adlawan about the etiquette for borrowing.  

In the last three weeks, A Soldier’s Heart will give audiences a deeper understanding of how far these unsung heroes could sacrifice for their oath. For Yves and Royce, a soldier is willing to give up his own happiness, freedom, and life for the nation’s sake. Yves also hinted at a ‘kilig’ moment between Benjie and Phil.

Don’t miss the remaining episodes of A Soldier’s Heartt on Kapamilya Channel and Kapamilya Online Live. 

Love from Home 

True to its legacy of inspiring people, Star Magic launched the Love from Home digital catalogue to raise funds for the ABS-CBN Pantawid ng Pag-Ibig program. In this time of a pandemic, love becomes the most powerful string that binds us all – artists, fans, every Filipino – together. And this is what Love from Home aims to showcase, that the love we extend from our abode during the lockdown can travel far and touch other lives. 

We often see celebrities in the small and big screens. But this time, through the Love from Home special lockdown portraits, we get a sneak peek of their lives off-cam. The Kapamilya stars were given the freedom to explore their creativity by producing a series of DIY portraits, without the glam team and production crew. So, it’s been a challenging and fun experience.

Yves went for a K-pop inspired pictorial, wearing a polo top and boxer shorts. The shoot was done past midnight in the brink of deadline. Clueless of how to pull it off and without a camera at home, Yves walked to his cousin’s house to ask for rescue. He asked his cousin to take his photos in the family’s music room/library. It was effortless, given the limited time, but the results are just as stunning. 

Room Tour with Royce

If a person’s bedroom says a lot about his personality, then, we can assume that Royce is kind of a neat freak, responsible guy. The actor gives us a tour of his gorgeously minimalistic room and we can’t help but feel the airy vibes. 

Royce’s clean, all-white bed pulls us in. The whole space is furnished in white. He said the walls were colored blue prior to the lockdown refurnishing. 

And as if keeping up with the theme, his two white-furred dogs charm us all. Royce said his fur babies love to sleep inside his room. “Nauutusan ko ‘to kumuha ng tubig at magtimpla ng kape,” he joked when asked about his pets’ favorite tricks. Kidding aside, he doesn’t train his dogs but he nonetheless spoils them with love. Royce would even cuddle with them and flaunt their cuteness during this interview.

Royce’s wardrobe is painted in – well – crisp white. In there are his clothes neatly hung and folded, and his shoe collection underneath. Royce mentioned that most of his shoes were gifts from friends. On carefree days at home, Royce likes to wear sando (or he would go topless sometimes) and boxer shorts.

A monitor is mounted on the wall. Also a hardcore gamer, Royce owns a PS4 (Play Station 4) displayed on a side table. 

Royce spends most of the quarantine days keeping fit. He takes his workout routine seriously and he is currently into boxing. 

Yves’ Gaming Collection

During this interview, Yves’ room is still undergoing renovation. He needs to wait a bit longer as the quarantine guidelines halted the revamping. Yves plans to reconstruct the room and add a second floor that will serve as his gaming area.

Gaming is a big part of Yves’ life. In fact, he was discovered by a talent scout while playing games at a computer shop. The talent scout asked him to audition for Pinoy Big Brother and that’s how the atista journey started.

Yves is into action games like Warframe, which he’s been playing for six years now. The gaming community allows him to meet friends and people from different walks of life. He met gaming buddies who are professionals like lawyers and doctors. On the group’s first meeting, all the other players were clueless of Yves’ television and movie appearances. They assumed that he was working behind-the-scenes. 

Unlike most of his colleagues, Yves doesn’t play the popular game Mobile Legends because it easily drains his phone’s battery. Apart from the gaming stuff, he also collects Gundam Model Kits. The latest addition to his growing Gundam family was a gift from a neighbor. He also owns a PS4 (Play Station 4). 

Yves also earns extra by building and selling gaming computers. His last setup cost him around Php 200,000. 

Besides gaming, Yves also spends the quarantine days watching movies to explore different character portrayals. He started to learn video editing as well.