KChat Chico & Amanda for Connected

Former Pinoy Big Brother Connect housemates Chico Alicaya and Amanda Zamora flex their acting muscles and chemistry in Star Magic Studio’s maiden film venture “Connected” alongside fellow PBB loveteams Kobie Brown and Andi Abaya aka KoDrea and Ralph Malibunas and Gail Banawis aka RalphGail. 

The duo shared their experiences on set, as well as reacted to director Theodore Boborol’s big predictions about their careers in this episode of Kapamilya Chat. 

While most newbies would fold to pressure, Chico and Amanda didn’t let it win over. They just enjoyed the process of acting and working with Direk Ted, whom they described as the most chill, hands-on, and generous director they have encountered so far. 

Besides, it wasn’t that difficult to bring out their chemistry since they had established the bond as PBB housemates. But that doesn’t mean a lack of effort on their part. ChiManda said they rehearse before takes and come prepared on set. 

They’re just extra lucky to have Direk Ted, who patiently guided them in every scene. His fun personality also helped them feel comfortable in front of the cameras. “Actually, Direk already set the mood n’ong online script reading. Doon ko nalaman na, hindi naman sa pagiging kampante, pero easy to work with and mabait siya… In terms of directing the shoot, he really guides us. Tatayo pa siya from where he’s looking sa monitor just to teach us,” shared Amanda. 

There remained a bit of pressure though, mostly from knowing Direk Ted’s body of work. Amanda revealed she’s a huge fan of his film “Just The Way You Are” headlined by Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil. 

Chico added that focusing on gratitude helped him shake the jitters off. His first movie role came earlier than expected, so he wanted to make the most of it. He focused on learning the ropes, “Hindi kasi basta-basta maging aktor, ‘di ba? The transition from football to this, parang sobrang layo. So, I was just studying all the time especially sa pag-Tagalog, most especially sa acting side.” The pressure just came before the movie’s premiere, but he has no regrets knowing he gave his all. 

In a previous episode of Kapamilya Chat, Direk Ted predicted Chico to follow the same route as Sam Milby given their similarities in appeal and background. Meanwhile, he likened Amanda’s charm to that of Sandara Park. 

Asked about their reaction, Chico burst into a shy ‘kilig’ smile, “Ang layo kasi Sam Milby is like way up there and sobrang husay niya din na artista. Everytime, I deny it, I’m shy, and I cover my face. Pero it means a lot.” From there, he recalled that somebody told him to stop downplaying huge compliments, “Rather than thinking na ang layo, huwag mong i-feel na inferior ka but be thankful na at par ka. So, it means a lot, so much, kasi parang worth it lahat ng pinag-aralan ko.”

Amanda doesn’t know Sandara on a personal level yet she’s happy to be compared to the well-loved personality.  On being described as ‘krung-krung,’ she said her humor just comes out naturally, “Since bata gan’on talaga ako. Hindi ako masyadong extrovert pero, ‘di ko alam, minsan natatawa lang sila sa sinasabi ko.”

Going back to the movie, Amanda plays the socialite daughter Sandy while Chico is the passionate football player and Lola’s boy Rocky. Based on the trailer, the two will develop a cat-and-dog dynamic, and eventually a complicated love triangle alongside the character played by Richard Juan. 

Set in a café with no WiFi connection, the film chronicles the lives of young adults and their struggles in a “connected” world. In keeping with the theme, ChiManda shared their thoughts about “disconnecting to connect.” Amanda revealed she tries to delete mobile applications even for just half a day. There’s no need to see other people’s lives, she said. The struggle is real though when she has to talk to important people, thus forced to re-install the app. When in the mood to disconnect, she reads books and travels a lot. 

Meanwhile, Chico underscored that putting the phone down during family and friends' time together should be more than just a trend. Admittedly, he got “addicted” to his phone after months of no gadgets inside the PBB house. Then, he realized he must set a good example for his audience and focus on his dreams than his phone. 

His idea of “disconnecting” is having real face-to-face conversations with family and friends, reading books, walking, and spending time with God in prayer. “I hope lahat ng mga Kapamilya, try to disconnect. Makikita n’yo na ang ganda ng buhay kahit ang dami ng problema natin. There’s always problems. Nobody gets it easy. Balance na lang. If you find balance, everything is well,” he mused. 

Chico borrowed the plot of the book “The Boy, the Mole the Fox, and the Horse” to reflect on being in the present than being anxious, “Minsan it’s so hard to disconnect, I’m away from my family kasi and my friends are all far. But maybe take time with yourself. Try to walk, take off your phone lang and come back after a few hours. Try it everyday. It helps me to reconnect.”

From there, the loveteam shared a bit of their routines. Amanda revealed she isn’t a morning person, although now she’s trying to sleep earlier than usual. On the other hand, Chico wakes up at 4 am, and the first he does is work out, meditate, watch movies, and read books. 

How do you disconnect to connect, Kapamilya? Join Chico and Amanda’s discussion in this episode of Kapamilya Chat!

Also catch “Connected” now streaming via KTX, iWantTFC, TFC IPTV Video on Demand, and Sky Cable pay-per-view.