CHUBBY-cheeked five-year-old Baeby Baste (born Sebastian Benedict Granfon) is out to prove that he’s more than just a cute little face on television and that his time has come to be in showbiz spotlight.
This holiday season, the “Eat, Bulaga!” youngest host ventures into the big screen as he stars opposite seasoned actors Dawn Zulueta and Vic “Bossing” Sotto in family-comedy movie “Meant to Beh”.
One of the official entries to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), the movie is Baste’s first foray into acting, and director Chris Martinez said the adorable child star did not disappoint.
“He delivered all his lines and gave us a very good performance. Baste will surprise everyone because in this movie he was able to do everything — from singing, dancing, acting to comedy. He’s a natural born entertainer,” he said.
Sotto, who took the kid under his wing since the latter joined show business over two years ago, added that considering his age and that he is still learning to read, Baste was able to deliver what was asked of him.
He said the five-year-old was able to grasp the concept of making a movie and is already conscious of what acting is all about.
“At first we were just thinking that he will just say a few lines and do minimal acting because he’s never had experience shooting a movie. He’s used to what we do in ‘Eat, Bulaga!’ that we’ll just let him sing. I was really surprised. We were all surprised that he has a talent in acting even if he still cannot read the script.”
Credit also goes to Baste’s mother, Shiela, who tirelessly read the script and practiced her son on how to deliver and act his lines correctly. She said it was difficult at first, especially when Baste had a hard time pronouncing long Tagalog words, but everyone in the production had been patient about it.
“I had to act the script myself because he cannot read yet and will just copy what I will do. I think the pressure was more on me than on him because we have limited time. He also doesn’t want to commit mistakes while filming it,” she said.
Mommy Shiela and Baste have been inseparable since they moved to Manila from General Santos City almost three years ago.
Baste, who was just two at that time but was already musically inclined, caught the attention of netizens when his aunt posted a dubsmash video of him on Facebook.
He first appeared on television in one segment of news magazine show “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” before visiting the set of the “The Ryzza Mae Show,” where he was among the studio audience when Ryzza Mae Dizon took a selfie with him.
“Eat, Bulaga” creative head Jeny Ferre noticed the young and cute Baste and decided to track him down.
“Who will not fall in love with a baby like him? I did look for Baste because at that time, Ryzza was already doing hosting and teledrama. We lack a kid in the program and we always wanted to have kids on the show because it makes the set happier,” said Ferre.
Mommy Shiela recalled that when they received the invitation from “Eat, Bulaga!” for a screen test, there were apprehensions at first but Baste proved he’s meant to be in front of the camera. “He’s really ahead of his age. At one-year-old he already learned to recite the alphabet, knows the basic colors and shapes. He sings with gusto even if he stutters with the lyrics. We are in a new environment but he feels comfortable with the people around him,” she said.
Three years on, after that meeting with the “Eat, Bulaga!” team, Baste is seen regularly in the longest running noontime variety program, has launched his first single, appeared in a number of television commercials and is now part of Sotto’s newest MMFF movie.
Mommy Shiela said that Baste is more passionate now with work and entertaining people more than ever. He understands what the job entails and is out to impress not only his bosses, but also the viewing public.
“He enjoys and loves what he’s doing. He’s at that age where if he doesn’t want to do things and doesn’t like the environment he’s in, he will not be productive. But Baste has been consistent since he started three years ago. He doesn’t want to miss a single episode of ‘Eat, Bulaga!’ and never felt lazy to show up at work.”
Right now, Mommy Shiela and Daddy Sol make sure to give a well-balanced life for their son. They reward him with play dates and allow him to enjoy his favorite past time — swimming.
“We make sure to celebrate his accomplishment even if it’s big or small. He likes to swim so that’s our constant reward to him. We also don’t want him to miss out on his childhood so we introduce him to traditional Filipino games like hide and seek and Langit-Lupa. Even in the studio, he plays with the staff. ‘Eat, Bulaga!’ has become his playground.”
Mommy Shiela said until now their family is still surprised how things panned out for Baste’s showbiz career. She said they are forever grateful to the people behind “Eat, Bulaga!” because if not for them, they will not get this opportunity to nurture her son’s talents and skills.
“With the help of the Lord, of our family and the good people of ‘Eat, Bulaga!’, we are so grateful to everyone because they make us feel part of a big family. My husband and I, we are so happy, we are so proud of what Baste has achieved. We are very grateful and blessed because they’ve trusted in us… in Baste. We will try to return this gift of trust.”
As for Baste, when you ask him what he loves most about being an artista, he will tell you that he’s doing it to make people happy. #