May 21, 2024 The voice of all eras.

‘Don’t Worry About It, Baby’: Filipino Heartthrob Rhys Miguel Tells It All

March 18, 2024

March 18, 2024

Much unfolds in the shadows beyond the limelight. While everything seems perfect on screen, there’s so much going on behind the scenes—things that not everyone in the industry is comfortable sharing. In fear of judgment, many hide their true selves. Yet, there are always those who shine through, bringing authenticity to a world often dominated by facades.

It’s called showbiz for a reason—it’s all about the show. That’s why many struggle with authenticity—being and staying true to oneself. With genuine voices often drowning in the noise, how do you navigate the delicate balance between expressing yourself and meeting the demands of industry?

Truth be told, it’s a perpetual challenge for those treading the path of showbiz, where the pressure to conform can be overpowering. But there will always be those who will choose to speak out, boldly challenging the norms and proving that the industry holds more than just entertainment.

Here, He’s Into Her actor and former Pinoy Big Brother: Otso housemate, Rhys Miguel, shares his personal journey in showbiz, shedding light on the many facets often overlooked behind the glitz and glamour.
Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel
Full ensemble (except shoes) by: H&M H&M Man | Photo by: Em Baun

It All Boils Down to What Makes You Feel Good

Earning the moniker “The Sportisoy Heartthrob of Tarlac” in PBB, Rhys Miguel swooned the hearts of many Filipinos, not only with his dashing good looks but also with how he worked together with fellow housemates in the reality game show—the longest-running Big Brother series in Asia.

With his resolve in acting, the young actor has been seen as having the potential to become the next leading man. He began his acting stint in 2020 with The Four Bad Boys and Me, the first Star Cinema digital love cast. But he was best known for his standout role in the adaptation of the popular Wattpad series He’s Into Her, where he starred alongside Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano.

Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel | Photographed by @em.baun

Despite working as a model, Rhys’ Kentucky upbringing, known for its laid-back fashion, initially influenced his style. He admits that back then, he simply wore mesh basketball shorts in every color imaginable, and then it slowly evolved from basic jeans to a preppy, old-money aesthetic.

Inheriting clothing from his grandfather further shaped his style with a range of long-sleeve and polo shirts, as well as zip-up polo sweatshirts in every hue—subtly giving off that old-money look. Recently, he embraced wifebeaters, as he’s been trying to stay in the gym lately.

“You know, you have to see yourself feel good. Feel healthy. Because that makes you feel good.”

His evolving style extends to his hairstyle, which is currently a mullet. Rhys views fashion as a reflection of personal growth, providing a means to express himself and feel good along the way.

Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel | Photographed by @em.baun

To Stay True to Yourself, Stay Connected and Grounded

While most struggle with finding the right balance, Rhys has shown that having both American and Filipino backgrounds can further add depth to a person’s identity. Coming to the Philippines armed only with the words “masarap” and “pogi,” he took an interest in learning the language to interact with his grandparents, establish better family connections, and learn more about their hometown.

Growing up and even now, Rhys finds inspiration in his lolo—a remarkable figure who overcame major life adversities. Despite financial struggles and losing his father in the Bataan March, his lolo pursued med school and became a doctor. After marrying Rhys’ lola, they applied for visas, facing a ten-year wait before moving to Chicago, where his lolo served as a military doctor and traveled to various countries. Remarkably, he sent all four of his children to medical school, except for Rhys’ father, who became a chef.

Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel | Photographed by @em.baun
Full ensemble (except shoes) by: Aaron de Chavez | Photo by: Em Baun

Despite facing challenges, Rhys’s lolo remained a generous and genuine person. He regularly visits the Philippines, contributing to various causes, going on mission trips, and spreading joy. Additionally, he ensures the well-being of his employees in the US, treating them with care and providing them with the recognition they deserve.

Rhys’ deep love for his lolo is evident in the tattoo he got in his grandfather’s memory. The tattoo bears the comforting phrase, “Don’t worry about it, baby,” which his lolo often said, even when he faced a tumor in his head that was successfully removed at the age of 80.

“He lived through it, and then me and my sister got that ‘don’t worry about it, baby,’ tattoo because when his memory got away, it’s kind of like you just ask him anything. And he always, you know, don’t worry about it, baby—or if you go to any problem with him, he’ll always say: don’t worry about it, baby.”

Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel | Photographed by @em.baun

Rhys had initially planned to be a doctor, but at 16, inspired by his family’s encouragement and his lolo’s words, he decided to pursue a different path, eventually moving here to the Philippines. “My lolo told me if he looked like me, he wouldn’t be a doctor. So, I’m not going to be a doctor.”

Don’t Do the First Thing that Comes to Your Mind

Like many talents, Rhys also had his fair share of criticisms faced in the industry. “It’s not the worst, but maybe the second worst was when I was in PBB.” During this time, Rhys made a significant decision not to participate in a physical task challenge for a spot in the top four, citing gender differences as his rationale. Because of this, he became the first and only housemate to be evicted through an eviction competition.

“I think everyone thought that I was going to be in the Big Four—and I just didn’t take the opportunity that was in front of me. Everyone thought that it was just a waste of opportunity. That I should have taken it. I got bashed a lot for that.” But Rhys stood firm for what he believed was right for him. And he felt good about it. “I know to myself that if I’m gonna be in the Big Four, God will put me in the Big Four.”

While initially disheartened with the results, Rhys also felt excited at the same time because he could finally get to see his family. However, his plans were disrupted when he was instructed to go to Camp Star Hunt, a separate PBB-related event featured on YouTube. Despite his desire to leave, he found himself arguing with the decision, only to reluctantly agree to the condition that he would give it one week. “That’s it. And then one week later, I was out.”

Truly, life in the entertainment industry can be quite demanding. To keep his mental wellness and stay grounded, the young actor finds comfort in familiar places and enjoys indulging in his favorite foods, such as dirty ice cream, taho, and street food. He also regularly does workouts and boxing sessions to stay healthy and keep himself in a good mindset. “I can literally play any sport, like basketball, football, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, baseball, tennis, anything except for ice hockey. Don’t put me on ice skates.”

With all the experiences he had, one of the life lessons that Rhys learned that has significantly changed his approach to his career is:

“Don’t do the first thing that comes to your mind. And maybe don’t do the second either.”

Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel | Photographed by @em.baun

The Little Things You Do Can Brighten Someone’s Day

Like many in his socially conscious cohort, Rhys prioritizes mental health, sustainability, and racial equality as part of the generation shaped by the digital age. Through his observations, he notes the high demands placed on talents in the entertainment industry. Specifically, he points out the excessive expectations within Filipino culture, particularly in the context of love teams, which he believes can go overboard. “So many Filipinos just don’t realize that, you know, the kids who got a shot from ABS or GMA, are just doing what they’re told. They’re just trying to make it.”

Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel | Photographed by @em.baun
Full ensemble (except shoes) by: Russ Cuevas | Photo by: Em Baun

Rhys highlights the toll such scrutiny can take on individuals who are simply following the directions given to them by networks. He encourages a mindset shift towards a more respectful and understanding approach, akin to the norms in Hollywood, where professional collaborations don’t necessarily translate into personal relationships, and individuals are not subjected to unwarranted scrutiny or judgment.

Another growing concern is the pervasive nature of ‘cancel culture.’ Fans now wield unprecedented power, capable of canceling someone and potentially ruining their life with minimal effort. As Rhys points out, they can easily “cancel someone, destroy someone’s life with very minimal effort. One picture, one text—anything that gets out can be absolutely detrimental.”

Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel | Photographed by @em.baun

However, Rhys advocates for an unyielding attitude, emphasizing that true cancellation is not possible if you refuse to let the negativity get to you. By staying true to yourself and disregarding baseless criticisms, he underscores the significance of maintaining authenticity and focusing on the support of loved ones, rather than being swayed by the transient opinions of ‘cancel culture.’

“You might read the bash, you know. You can’t avoid that, but just read it and don’t listen to it. You know yourself. You’re not like that. The people that you love know that you’re not that person. Then, who cares?”

Most importantly, Rhys hopes to bring joy to people—be it taking pictures with fans or doing video greets—by doing simple things that make others happy. “Little things that you can do can really brighten up someone’s day.” Like his lolo, he also supports charitable events. Most recently, he signed up for a boxing event in Shangri La this April, the Black Tie Black Eye boxing charity event, which was also participated by Albie Casiño last year. “I want it to get kind of bigger because celebrity boxing in the US is crazy. We could make a lot of money off it, and it’s gonna go to a good cause.”

Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel | Photographed by @em.baun

Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard

Working in the entertainment industry demands more than just acting skills—more than anything else, it necessitates making meaningful connections with people. Rhys Miguel, having navigated the industry’s complexities, learned this valuable lesson through fan interactions. A standout moment occurred in Tarlac, post-PBB, where he unwittingly became the center of attention at a school. For four hours, he tirelessly took pictures with students, leaving a profound impact on him. “I was sweating and smiling, but I was never happier that day because that was my first time experiencing it—and making my family proud. It was a surreal moment and something I really enjoyed.”

Another touching memory involves his lolo, who, despite battling dementia, proudly joined every photo, adhering to a Filipino superstition that capturing photos in threes is a bad omen. 

With how things are going—the shift in the industry’s landscape—Rhys is also uncertain how things will unfold in the future. However, he remains steadfast that things will really be great and that big changes are going to happen. In this transition period, he expressed his desire to be among the individuals who can contribute to this evolving landscape, not necessarily by pursuing the classic love team trajectory but probably by exploring diverse opportunities and embracing the changes that lie ahead.

For one, the rapid rise of influencers has greatly driven the shift among prospective brands, with some recognizing that it’s more effective to go for influencers rather than invest in artists. While this is both astonishing and somewhat intimidating, Rhys believes that the Filipino audience still holds celebrities in higher regard. “That is really crazy. But I would just have to say, the longevity of an influencer versus an artist is very different. I’ve also noticed, I feel like, not as many people want to take pictures with influencers as they would with celebrities. They still kind of—the Filipinos—still hold celebrities on a different, you know, platform.”

Nonetheless, the young actor acknowledges that these influencers are catching up big time—and it’s scary. But this is all part of the industry’s dynamics and the truth that everyone is capable of growth. As the saying goes, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard enough,” emphasizing that success in the industry is not solely dictated by innate talent and sheer luck but by the dedication and effort put forth by an individual.
Gen-Z Features Rhys Miguel | Photographed by @em.baun

Creative Direction & Photographed by Em Baun

Assisted by: Niccole Mendoza

Video/Video Edit: Angel Altura | Mary Jane Manglicmot 

Hair & Makeup by Kim Roy Opog

Styling by: Patrick Henry Mergano

Wardrobes by: 

H&M H&M Man

Russ Cuevas

Aaron de Chavez

Related Posts

BTS SUGA’s Sold-Out Agust D ‘D-DAY’ Tour: Now a Collector’s Edition Poster Set!

May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024

Calling all ARMYs! Get ready to relive the moments of SUGA | Agust D TOUR ‘D-DAY’ with the release of...

 ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’: Top Animal Welfare Foundations To Support

May 17, 2024

May 17, 2024

In the Philippines, the sight of stray animals wandering the streets is a common yet heart-wrenching reality. People leave these...

Meet the Three Filipinas Who Made It to 2024 Pulitzer Prizes

May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024

The most prestigious honor for journalists in the United States named the Filipino photographers and visual artist as 2024 Pulitzer...

Excited for IU’s concert? Don’t Miss the IU HEREH Pop-up Store, Opening in May!

May 15, 2024

May 15, 2024

Excited for IU concert in Manila? Don’t Miss the IU HEREH Pop-up Store, Opening in May! Are your tickets ready...

Oliver Moeller: The New Face of Urban Style with U Elements Elite Collection

May 15, 2024

May 15, 2024

There’s a new vibe in the air, and it’s all about combining style with substance. U Elements, a leading travel...

Still Can’t Get Over ‘Queen of Tears’? Catch Kim Soo-Hyun in Manila this June!

May 13, 2024

May 13, 2024

The South Korean award winning superstar Kim Soo-Hyun is returning to the Philippines for his much-awaited Manila fan meet. Are...

Top 10 Best Dressed At The 2024 Met Gala: The Garden Of Time

May 8, 2024

May 8, 2024

The first Monday of May has come upon us, and that only means one thing… it’s 2024 Met Gala Season!...

‘A Crazy Man’s Job’: Elijah Canlas on Playing Roles that are So Hard to Love

May 7, 2024

May 7, 2024

There’s more to actors than their pretty faces. Strip away the superficial, and you’ll see that the best movies aren’t...

LOOK: First-Ever All-Filipino Cast Broadway Musical ‘Here Lies Love’ Earns Four Tony Nominations

May 7, 2024

May 7, 2024

The groundbreaking disco-pop musical Here Lies Love, featuring an all-Filipino cast, has made history by earning four Tony Award nominations....

Where to Next? Check Out These Under-the-Radar Philippines Beaches that Made it to The World’s 50 Best Beaches

May 7, 2024

May 7, 2024

Romblon’s Bonbon Beach and Palawan’s Entalula Beach are the must-visit Philippines beaches this year! Still figuring out where to hit...

Top 8 Bini Maloi Fashion Moments, Proving She’s The Next Style Star

May 6, 2024

May 6, 2024

2024 has been a groundbreaking year for the P-Pop group BINI, with their chart-topping hits and viral dance challenges taking...

BINI ‘Grand Pantropiko’ Crochet Outfits: Where to Buy Similar Crocheted Clothes on Instagram

May 3, 2024

May 3, 2024 1

Crocheting, a “quarantine hobby” turned into a dynamic, rainbow-colored craft showcasing creative resilience. BINI, a popular P-Pop girl group, celebrated...

Gentle Monster and BLACKPINK Jennie’s ‘Jentle Salon’ Arrives in Manila!

May 2, 2024

May 2, 2024

The dream became reality as BLACKPINK Jennie favorite eyewear collection, exquisitely reimagined by Gentle Monster, landed in Manila this May....

Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Hits 300M Streams & Sells 1.6M Copies in One Day!

April 29, 2024

April 29, 2024

As if surprising fans with a 31-track double album wasn’t enough, the multi-Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Taylor Swift shattered new records with...

Life Drawing Session: It Was An ‘Otherworldly’ Experience

April 24, 2024

April 24, 2024

Art has always been a significant part of my life. As a writer (and a self-declared poet), I spend a...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *