Anyway. I was trying to finish checking and grading tests and papers the other night (it is the end of the first term at the College) when I got distracted by shrieking and giggling of the kind I haven't heard of in a long while, you know, the kind that smacks of pure unadultered "gigil." The whole household was gathered in front of the television set watching Kapitan Inggo, ABS-CBN's latest fantaserye (that is what it is called nowadays if I am not mistaken). The object of their "pang-gigigil" was Makisig Morales, 10-year old star of the the show.
It has been quite sometime since this country had a child superstar. The last real child superstar I think was Nino Muhlach, although Aiza Seguerra did come close to Nino Muhlach's popularity. Since then, a number of child stars have been launched to stardom, but with very little success. Boyong and Tolits, both of Eat Bulaga, almost made it; but I think they lacked that certain trait that many Filipinos find endearing in child stars.
That trait is best described as "bibong bibo," smart-alecky, precocious and almost bordering on irreverence. Nino and Aiza certainly became popular for being irreverent, particularly to adults. For the most part, they talked and acted like adults. Nino would call someone "tanga" or "tarantado," even slap someone hard on the head, and everyone would burst laughing. Aiza would talk like a grown up, painfully stretching her speech capabilities and people thought she was adorable.
This is not exactly a pretty picture, but that's the formula that worked so well in the past.
And ABS-CBN is rehashing that formula. Makisig Morales talks like an adult, to be more specific, like a kanto boy. He uses words like "tol" and "pare," is smart-alecky, and yes, he has a lovelife at 10. And he is such a delight to watch - if we suspend judgment for a while and forget about the kind of role model he is being made to become, or the kind of messages being sent out there.
I think Makisig will make it. I will wager that he will become such a huge child star. Unfortunately, like Nino and Aiza, when he begins looking like the characters he is being made to portray as a child (as an adult in a child's body!), that is when people will lose interest in him.