With his athletic campus heartthrob image, Enchong Dee easily charmed the public by his first few TV appearances. Girls were drawn to his cuteness and cool guy intelligence. And over time, as he transitioned from a teen heartthrob to serious dramatic leading man, Enchong managed to keep his star burning, thanks to his talent, humility, passion, and still undying ‘chinito’ charm. In this episode of Kapamilya React, the Jack of all Trades looked back on his notable teleseryes over the past 13 years.
First stop: My Girl (2008). In this adaptation of a K-drama with the same title, Enchong played the role of Nico Legaspi, the third wheel to Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson’s characters. This is one for the books, an answered prayer, and his first biggest role. “Dream come true ‘yun kasi pinagdasal ko pa ‘yun na sana makuha ko… Sabi ko, please kasi ‘yun ‘yung magiging unang teleserye ko na hindi naka-focus sa older characters kundi doon sa generation namin. Sabi ko, ‘sana makuha ko’ and then, I did,” he recalled.
Enchong reacted to how ‘totoy’ and ‘chinito’ he looked at that time. He also had a good laugh at his old-fashioned outfit and “nakatikwas na patilya.” Albeit free to perform in their own styles, the cast copied Koreans’ non-kinetic acting. “Sinabihan lang kami na panoorin ‘yung My Girl as a reference and not as a copy. At least we could take our own take and attack. Pero I think masyado naming nakuha ‘yung Korean style na hindi masyadong gumagalaw, ‘yung hindi malikot,” he said.
“Dramatic actor siya, eh,” Enchong quipped about the next clip from Maria la del Barrio (2011). In this series, Enchong had to shed off his cute guy image for a more mature character. It wasn’t an easy transition of course. “All of a sudden, ‘kaya ko na ba?’ So, marami akong doubt sa sarili ko noon pero kinaya ko naman and I’m happy that I was still able to do a lot of stuff even after those challenges,” he shared.
As he strived for career growth, Enchong did the heavy drama Ina, Kapatid, Anak in 2012 alongside some of the industry’s best. He portrayed Ethan Castillo, the boy entangled in a complicated love triangle with Maja Salvador and Kim Chiu’s characters. There was a hint of nostalgia in his reaction to a scene with Maja. He said he misses her, one of the few brilliant actresses who can be a team player. “I miss working with Maj. This particular scene lang, it reminds me that she’s one of those few actresses na kaya kang hilain pataas. She can make everything so much better because she’s a good actress,” expressed Enchong.
The recent one in his acting resume is The Blood Sisters aired in 2018. Enchong has nothing but praises for best friend Erich Gonzales who slayed three multifaceted characters as the triplets Carrie, Erika, and Agatha. Reacting to a clip from the series, Enchong lauded Erich’s spectacular performance. “Naintindihan ko sa show na ‘yun na you have to give your all especially kailangan ninyong maghatakan nang magkakasama paakyat,” he emphasized.
Over the years of doing teleseryes as a tandem, Enchong and Erich’s friendship grew deeper. And one secret to their lasting rapport is pure professionalism “Dapat marunong kayo ihiwalay ‘yung relasyon n’yo bilang magkaibigan tapos magkatrabaho. Kasi importante ‘yun para nagkakaintindihan kayo nang maayos, he explained. Enchong looks at Erich as a true partner. They’ve grown together. And they continue to learn together to this day. The two recently launched their joint YouTube channel and own digital production arm called “EnRich Originals.”
Enchong is proud to have made teleseryes that are loved by foreign viewers as well. He thinks the heart of the story peppered with Filipino values makes a Pinoy series truly world-class. “Nakakatuwa because ‘yung values natin as a Filipino, as a country, it extends further than just here in the Philippines,” said Enchong.