Tara, G! star CJ Salonga has been appreciating life even more these past few months after recovering from depression. Join him as he looks back on his journey and how he found better days with the company of his reel and real-life ‘barkada’ Team WISE.
CJ grew up in a simple yet happy family. He adorably calls himself a mama’s boy and has a pretty close relationship with his dad. Their family never runs out of bonding activities. Theirs was a happy home but that didn't make him immune to difficult challenges in life, which led to his depressive state.
With his budding career slowing down and his beloved grandpa passing away due to COVID-19, CJ struggled to stay positive. It felt hard to do things that shouldn’t be like sleeping and eating. He isolated himself from the world.
What rescued him from that dark season was the encouragement he got from friends. He turned to activities like basketball and working out as well. Best of all, he was cast as one of the lead stars in Tara, G! alongside his friends from RISE Artists Studio. He felt so alive working again after two years of being stuck.
He went on to describe the cast members, saying he’s closest to Anthony Jennings since they’ve been together in workshops before. He assumed Anthony was ‘maangas,’ which is far from the soft-hearted and caring brother that he is. Sometimes only Anthony can calm his anxiety.
CJ also loves to joke around with JC Alcantara and Zach Castañeda. Vivoree Esclito is like a big sister giving him advice about showbiz. The same goes for Daniela Stranner, whom he met through RISE.
CJ blushed when asked about Kaori Oinuma, his crush. He shared that Kaori only looks at him as her “baby boy” or like a little brother. And since he is also ‘torpe,’ he just accepted that they can only be best friends, and he’s happy about that. “Natanggap ko ‘yun kasi alam mo ‘yung feeling na may best friend ka sa showbiz? May mapagsasabihan ka. Gano’n si Kaori sa akin, best friend talaga.”
Aside from making it big in showbiz, CJ also dreams to be a chef, put up his restaurant business, and buy a new home for his family.
Catch CJ and his reel and real-life ‘barkada’ Anthony Jennings, Kaori Oinuma, Vivoree Esclito, JC Alcantara, Zach Castaneda, and Daniela Stranner in the iWantTC series Tara, G!