With his mestizo looks and talent in singing, it isn’t hard for Diego Gutierrez to capture the public’s interest. Add to that being a child of celebrated 80s loveteam Monching Gutierrez and Lotlot De Leon.
Coming from a clan of showbiz royalties, Diego has found the inevitable path to the entertainment scene. He now regularly performs on ASAP Natin ‘To and is set to take on the Gutierrez legacy. While the talent runs in the blood, Diego had no interest in joining showbiz at first. Instead, being a campus athlete, he wanted to become a professional basketball player. He also persevered to finish his studies first before thinking about the showbiz offers.
“It’s very important especially because my mom and dad, they didn’t finish school so they made sure na lahat kaming mga anak nila makatapos. And we owe it to them because sila din ‘yung nag-alaga sa amin and I think one reason for us finishing school is to be able to give back to them,” he said of why education is important to him. Besides, it was sort of a deal between him and his parents to finish his studies first before joining showbiz.
He mentioned his parents as his biggest influence, “Seeing them being successful at what they do and really working hard sa ginagawa nila. ‘yun talaga ‘yung na-inherit namin mga anak nila. Kailangan you have to earn everything and nothing comes easy.”
While carrying the family name results in expectations and pressure from other people, Diego opts not to respond. He wants to live up to these expectations, of course, but he would rather enjoy the process. He just wants to be his own person, work hard, and also achieve what his family has done in the industry.
By the manner he talks, Diego is certain he will not use his family’s fame to skip steps. His background as an athlete helped in building his discipline. Add to that his parents’ consistent reminder to work hard for everything, “Hindi talaga madali. You have to earn your spot.”
Being the grandson of OPM icon Pilita Corrales, it’s no surprise Diego got the flair for music. He’s set to drop his first single so save the date on February 5. The newcomer likes Pop and R&B and he listens to Shawn Mendes, Daniel Caesar, and John Mayer – his biggest influences in songwriting.
His greatest goal as a musician is to simply entertain the audience so well that they’d begin to sing along with him. “’Yung tipong kapag nagpe-perform na ako with lots of audiences, sila na ‘yung kumakanta pabalik sa akin ng mga kanta ko. Kapag na-i-imagine ko ‘yun, wow! ‘Yung crowd na lang ‘yung kumakanta sa’yo. That’s one of my ultimate goals,” shared Diego.
Now that he’s bit by bit living the dream on the ASAP Natin ‘To stage, Diego mentioned that he becomes more inspired to do better. He said it’s such an honor to be surrounded by OPM legends and seasoned performers.
As he begins to carve his own name in the industry, Diego promises to excel so to make his family proud. He’s also glad that they are supportive.
The 24-year-old Diego earned a degree in Marketing from the University of Asia and the Pacific. He is the only boy and the third in a brood of four. His eldest sister Janine Gutierrez has recently joined the Kapamilya Network as well.
One of the newest recruits of The Squad Plus and regular performers on ASAP Natin ‘To, Sam Cruz takes inspiration from her mother, singer-actress Sunshine Cruz, to excel in her new endeavor.
Sam is the latest Cruz to enter showbiz but this doesn’t stop her from pursuing her studies. She currently juggles showbiz and schooling. On performing on the ASAP Natin ‘To stage, the lovely newcomer calls it a fun experience and she’s also happy to meet new friends on the show.
Naysayers might assume that Sam’s family name is her only ticket to the industry. Well, it isn’t. The 16-year-old beauty is equipped with talent and perseverance. Besides, their mom never fails to remind them that the road to showbiz entails hard work.
She didn’t have a difficult time getting Sunshine’s go signal when she decided to finally give showbiz a try as long as she won’t neglect her studies. Sam is determined to pursue both her schooling and showbiz, noting that it takes time management and discipline. Her tenacity results in scholastic achievements that make Sunshine even prouder.
At 16, Sam looks at showbiz as a scary and exciting world. There’s pressure to keep up with her mom’s good works and make her proud. At the same time, she’s having fun meeting new people and learning new things. Sam, like her elder sister Angelina, got the Cruz clan’s natural talent in singing but she’s also eager to try acting.
She named Ariana Grande and Julie Anne San Jose as her musical influences, and Liza Soberano as her idol in acting. She dreams to work with his showbiz crush Jameson Blake.
She said her mom doesn’t allow her to entertain suitors yet. Asked about the greatest love advice from her mother, Sam revealed, “To find a guy who really treats you like a queen, loves you for who you are, and that will treat you right like as a best friend and as a partner.” She added that her mom always stresses the importance of communication in a relationship.
For Nio Tria, his mother Cherry Pie Picache’s accolades make him feel proud than pressured. The legacy and hard work inspire him to be as good as her someday. He’s also grateful that his mom has always been present despite the busyness.
“Nakaka-inspire po. Lahat ng paghihirap na ginawa niya, sobrang grateful po ako doon. Even though busy siya, always po siyang hands-on sa akin. Never niya akong nakalimutan i-text o tawagan everyday,” said the new member of The Squad Plus.
He can’t think of anyone more inspiring than his own mom and the example she shows him. He also expressed appreciation for Cherry Pie’s unconditional support whether it be in school, sports, and any dream of his. The newcomer juggles showbiz and schooling as a college freshman. Nio mentioned time management when asked about his game plan to make the setup work.
While he didn’t dream of joining showbiz as a child, Nio gave it a try so he won’t have any regret looking back when he gets older. Even his mom was surprised about his decision but she nonetheless supported him and started to gear him up for the challenge.
“She told me na ang pag-aartista hindi lang siya basta kung ano’ng nakikita mo sa TV, pagpapaganda, pagpapapogi, fame and glamour, hindi lang gano’n. Mahirap ang pagiging artista and ‘yung hard work behind it dapat alam ko and ready ako gawin,” he said of his mom’s reaction when he decided to pursue showbiz.
Nio also talked about the experience of performing with his mother during the ABS-CBN Christmas Special. He was admittedly nervous and pressured but it was a fun experience. The rising star looks forward to sharing more projects with her.
For this episode of I Feel U, Sam, Diego, and Nio come together to share more about the life of a celebrity kid. The three newcomers admitted that they haven’t tried auditioning for a project or role yet, meaning showbiz itself knocked on their doors.
Sam explained that talent coordinators would simply contact her mom, Sunshine Cruz, for offers. On the other hand, joining The Squad Plus is Nio’s first-ever showbiz commitment while basketball try-outs is Diego’s only experience when it comes to auditioning.
Asked how the ‘privilege’ makes them feel, they said it makes them grateful and inspires them to prove themselves. Diego added that it’s humbling to know people are interested in them. He thinks it’s an advantage, although he knows he has to work hard as well. For Nio, it makes him realize not to take the opportunities for granted because not everyone is given the chance. It also makes them feel pressured sometimes.
Being celebrity kids make them inevitable to comparisons. Sam owned up to being compared to her sisters and mom but she stressed that there is no competition among them. Her only competition is herself. On the other hand, Diego turns the comparison into motivation, “Para sa akin, thank you for letting me know that I should improve and hopefully soon I’d reach the level of my family members who’ve done this before.”
To make the episode extra special, Diego, Sam, and Nio got surprise messages from their parents. Nio’s mom Cherry Pie Picache congratulated him for his new endeavor and said she never thought he’d enter showbiz, although the industry is a big part of his growing years. She can still remember the day Nio told her that he doesn’t want to regret by taking the opportunity for granted.
Cherry Pie promised to always guide and support Nio. She also reminded him that showbiz life is not just all about the fame and glory, “It’s hard work, it’s commitment and like what I always tell you, you always have to earn your spot that’s why with your skill that you have to continue honing. Dapat ‘yun coupled always with good attitude and gratefulness.” She looks forward to Nio reaping the fruit of his hard work and she hopes he’d love the industry as much as she does. Whatever happens and wherever life takes him, she will always be proud of him.
Diego got a message from his mom, Lotlot de Leon, who expressed how proud she is of him. Lotlot revealed that Diego entering showbiz is an answered prayer. She promised to support him all the way, with trust that he will excel in the path he’s chosen. She jestingly added that he got his golden voice from her.
For Sam, her mother Sunshine Cruz lauded her for doing good both in school and her new chosen endeavor. She also reminded her to always listen to her pieces of advice because as a mom, she only wants the best for her. Sunshine is a witness to her daughter’s tenacity and this makes her even prouder.
Sam, Diego, and Nio are all geared up to pursue their dreams with the support from their parents and family members.