During the course of the quarantine, many shows and movies were born on streaming sites like YouTube. And admittedly, one of the most popular series that took the online world by storm is the first-ever Filipino Boys Love (BL) series, Gameboys.
The feel-good series that follows the story of Cairo and Gavreel, two young men who met each other online, premiered on YouTube in May. Since then, the series has immediately captured a huge following locally and internationally. It stars two of the most promising young actors of this generation: Elijah Canlas and Kokoy De Santos who played the roles of Cairo Lazaro and Gavreel Alarcon, respectively. (Read: 5 Must-Watch Movies Starring Elijah Canlas)
Following its success, a spin-off featuring one of the characters in the series will be airing its first episode this October. A second season for Gameboys is also in the works, but the producers say it will take a few months before we actually get to see it. So now, while we wait to see more of Cairo and Gavreel, My Pope treats you to a get-to-know interview with one of the main actors in the series, Kokoy De Santos!
His Big Break
According to Kokoy, he greatly identifies himself with Gavreel—his character in Gameboys. “Sabi nga nila, pangalan lang pinagkaiba namin,” he shares. As known by the show’s fans, Gavreel is a funny, playful, and loyal person. He is also sympathetic to his loved ones, as seen throughout the series where he supports Elijah’s character, Cairo, through tough times and major life challenges. (Read: Big Life Decisions? Chef Baba Benedicto Has This Advice For You!)
“Binabasa ko yung script tapos sabi ko sa writer namin, ‘parang kilalang kilala mo talaga ako, ah,’ kasi parang akong ako ‘tong nababasa ko dito,” Kokoy jokingly shares. He also says it’s because of his shared personalities with Gavreel that he was able to deliver a very natural performance for the series.
The show definitely brought out the undeniable talent of the young actor and earned him praises from viewers around the world. But did you know that aside from acting, Kokoy also has another passion which is cooking?
Influenced by Family
A few years ago, Kokoy attended Chef Boy Logro’s Institute of Culinary and Kitchen Services, together with his older brother Argel. He said that he wasn’t pressured by anyone to enter culinary school—he simply enrolled because he and the rest of his family loved to cook. “Lahat kami dito sa bahay, mahilig magluto—nanay ko, tatay ko, kuya ko, ate ko,” Kokoy said. “At hindi sa pagmamayabang, pero masarap lahat ng luto nila.”
Kokoy added that he enrolled in culinary school during a time when he had minimal acting projects. As such, he got encouragement from his family. “Sinabihan nila ako na i-push ko (ang culinary), kasi nung time na ‘yun wala pa naman akong masyadong projects. Hindi rin naman din panghabambuhay ‘tong trabaho ko,” he said.
But aside from his family, Kokoy also looks up to his mentor, Chef Boy Logro, whom he says helped influence not only his cooking but also his attitude in the kitchen. Thanks to the celebrity chef’s words of wisdom, Kokoy learned how to persevere even more in his everyday work. (Read: Chef Boy Logro’s 4 Secrets to Career Success)
Do Everything With Love
While he mainly does acting right now, Kokoy shared that he would want to open a small restaurant someday, serving food that are spicy or make use of gata, but with a twist. “Mahilig kasi kami sa pagkaing may gata at saka sa mga maaanghang,” Kokoy explains. Other food he could possibly serve is adobo but with a twist, chicken curry, and Bicol express, which he says are some of his favorite dishes to cook.
Kokoy admits that culinary school was tough and it was not as easy as it looks, but says that it shouldn’t discourage anyone who wants to pursue their passion. “Ang importante, dapat gusto mo. Mahirap ‘yung gagawa ka ng isang bagay dahil pinush ka ng iba, pero ikaw personally hindi mo gusto. At kung gusto mo talaga siya, paglaanan mo ng oras, at siyempre kailangang mong i-enjoy. Kailangan mong mahalin yung ginagawa mo,” he said, adding that it is also how he feels when it comes to acting.
And when asked what he would choose between acting and culinary, Kokoy replied that he can do it simultaneously, “Pwede akong umarte habang nagluluto [laughs],” but admits that he currently has a different love for acting.