MANILA, Philippines — As Jake Arguelles, the third wheel in Maila (Kathryn Bernardo) and Tristan’s (Daniel Padilla) romance, Tony Labrusca leaps, kicks, rolls on the ground and performs other stunts in ABS-CBN’s “La Luna Sangre.”
In real life, the 22-year-old actor-model fights cyberbullies.
Not that he cannot handle these people, some of whom, shrouded in a cloak of anonymity, bash him for many reasons, like being the fly in the ointment in the KathNiel (Kathryn and Daniel) tandem.
Yes, Tony admits: he has a lot of bashers. But he is sensible enough not to let them ruin his day.
“Lots of people are sending love my way,” he told an intimate group of press people who saw the music video of his debut single “Tanging Ikaw.”
So, he ignores his critics, and focuses on being productive instead.
“I focus on showbiz instead of negative energy.”
Tony explains that dwelling on bashers will change him for the worse.
“Cyberbullying is one of the causes of hundreds of thousands of deaths every year worldwide,” Tony reports. “What I worry about in the Philippines is people who can’t stand up for themselves. What if someone gets bashed, and that person happens to be suicidal and kills himself?”
Since Filipinos are some of the most active social media users in the world, Tony thinks it is high time everyone focuses on this life-threatening issue. He talked about the power of social media and officially take a stand against cyberbullying on August 26 at The Red Whistle in Rockwell, Makati.
Tony is glad his status as a celebrity gives him the chance to “make my country a safer place for young people to live in.”
Yes, he admits, the Philippines has a lot of other problems, like illegal drugs. But he cannot join that battle for now. Fighting cyberbullying is his way of fixing the country and making it a better place, especially for young people like him.
Young people can easily relate to the 22-year-old Tony’s “La Luna Sangre” character, who who falls secretly in love and feels jealous when he sees his crush with someone else (again in the teleserye).
Therefore, he feels they can also relate to “Tanging Ikaw,” a song Tony wrote with Urie Tesorio and Bryan Lotho. The song and its music video (directed by Callalily frontman Kean Cipriano) tells the story of a young man’s crush on a girl (played by Ysabel Ortega) he has been pining for from a distance.
Tony is just being himself in “Tanging Ikaw,” presented by McJim Classic Leather and also released on Spotify, iTunes, Deezer, Amazon Music and other music platforms in over 240 countries.
He admits that he has yet to have a relationship that will deeply hurt him. So he cannot write and perform a song full of “hugot” lines.
Admiring a girl is more up his alley. Feeling like a kid again and playing arcade games in Timezone during the rare times he has a free day, is just as exciting for Tony.
“God gave us one life. I don’t want to waste it by being unhappy,” he explains.
When the pressures of showbiz stress him out, Tony reveals that I “feed my soul” by doing the things that make him happy. It works wonders for him.
He advises others to do the same and keep their mind and body healthy.
But Tony knows he cannot have fun all the time. So he makes room for mistakes. By the time he turns 30, he expects to have learned enough from these mistakes and “put my life together.”
Before that, he dreams of seeing the world and “experiencing different cultures” after he is done with “La Luna Sangre.”
This high school graduate also wants to go to college and buy his own car and get a house for his family.
That is a tall order. But opportunities are knocking for this guy with a series of viral videos (care of McDonald’s), a primetime teleserye, and a new single.
He is striking while the iron is hot.