Wednesday, May 2, 2012

iStyled Robi Domingo for Manila Bulletin

 A Job Well Done

Clothes from FOLDED AND HUNG
Twice in a row, TV host Robi Domingo has been deprived of precious graduation moments.

He missed his high school graduation from the Ateneo High School because at that time, he was inside the Pinoy Big Brother House. He finished second place in the PBB Teen Edition Plus in 2008.
Four years later, on the day he clinched a degree in Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from the Ateneo de Manila University, Robi had to rush off to a hosting commitment.

“I had to leave right after the graduation. I didn’t even get to savor my graduation. We didn’t have the time to take pictures. The only pictures I had were when I went up the stage to get my diploma and a family picture,” says Robi.

But no regrets there, Robi qualifies. And why should there be? Since PBB, it has all been one blessing after another for him. After appearing in various shows, he is now a regular in the Sunday variety show “ASAP”, and a MYX VJ.


Robi admits to struggling during those four years when he was doing both work and college. He came to a point that he was contemplating on quitting showbiz.

“I remember when I was doing ‘Boystown’, I didn’t go home for five days. Because I had summer school then, I take my shower, breakfast and everything else in Ateneo and go straight to taping. No sleep at all. Coffee was my best friend,” he recalls.

Still, he considers those times to be the best years of his life.

“I really don’t know how I did it. People would often ask me, what’s your secret? I would always tell them, more than the talent fees or the popularity, showbiz has given me this sense of responsibility and maturity. It also taught me to value life,” explains Robi.

By far, he says, having successfully balanced college life and showbiz is his biggest accomplishment. He had been a consistent dean’s lister too. His parents Roberto and Mary Ann, who are both doctors, and younger brother Maro, kept him motivated all throughout.

“They were really responsible for everything. My mom was responsible for pushing me to audition for PBB when I was in high school. My mom was kinda a frustrated actress. Pinasa na lang niya sa akin ‘yung dream niya. While my dad told me, only a few can do such, so I should savor the moment, that it is once-in-a-lifetime,” remembers Robi.


At 22, Robi is certainly living life to the fullest, even if he has decided to put on hold his medical studies for a year to seize the good opportunities that have been coming his way. He is at present hosting “Pinoy Big Brother Uber 2012” on ABS-CBN.

“My parents are very supportive of my showbiz career. They’re actually the ones who told me to take the year off. But pursuing med school is already a solid decision. My dad advised lang to rest at least for a year. Sabi niya, na-experience na raw niya kasi lahat ng pagdadaanan ko going into med school, like 28 hours of studying straight, so for now, I should enjoy life muna habang bata pa ako,” relates Robi.

Although he is still undecided what to specialize in, Robi would want to advocate free health care services, just like his parents do.

“What’s frustrating is the lack of access to health care. Filipinos die because they don’t have access to medical needs or treatments. In most cases, money comes first before the health of the patient. Most people here don’t have the means to pay. Unlike in other countries, whatever happens, they prioritize health more than anything. I think it is my mission to help the society in terms of giving them what is due through their medical needs,” says the future doctor.


His stint as a teen housemate also taught him a lot of lifelong lessons.

“After every task, may lesson. At first mahirap, like ‘yung task na we have to transfer rice grains from the sacks to brown paper bags using only chopsticks,” recalls Robi.
The PBB experience also made him realize the importance of family.

“When I was inside the house, what I missed terribly was the bond of the family. You won’t really get to appreciate them when you are with them everyday, but when you’re away from them, you actually long for them,” he says.

Now that Robi has a lot more free time in his hands, he is raring to do the things he missed doing when he was juggling school and work.

“I would take this gap year to travel. I would really want to explore some Asian countries, cruise with my family. Spend more time with the dogs. It has always been my childhood dream to play the flute so I might just try to learn to play it. Or simply bum around the house and play video games,” he says with a laugh.

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