Kelvin Miranda on His Steadfast Approach to His Dreams and Message to His Younger Self
“Wait lang na-blanko ako dun ah. Pakiulit nga?" [Wait, my mind went blank from that question. Can you repeat, please?]
Kelvin Miranda is at a loss for words.
He looks at me for a few seconds, then turns his gaze towards Philip (the Producer), who’s holding the boom mic and recorder. He tries his best to come up with a candid response to the ‘unanticipated question’ we ask him. Kelvin tilts his head back to face the white ceiling of Rxandy Capinpin’s modestly spacious studio in San Juan, City. “What advice I wish I could give my younger self? Hmmm….Siguro ano: Makinig ka sa mga nararamdaman mo” [What advice I wish I could give my younger self? Hmmm… Well, I guess it’s: Listen to what you're feeling] he says finally, punctuating his answer with a nod and a stern look “and matuto kang tumayo sa sariling mong mga paa. Panatilihin mo yang pagpapakatotoo mo hanggang sa paglaki mo at wag kang matakot na magkamali” [and learn to stand on your own feet. Remain true to yourself until you grow up and have no fear of making mistakes.] he adds.
We’re stirred, though not unexpectedly so. His response matches up with his entire persona — unbothered, unapologetic, unyielding. Seated comfortably and presumably on a full belly after eating various dishes for the ASMR Mukbang he did prior to his interview, while clad in a black pair of jeans and a stylish denim jacket with some dangling pins of unfamiliar artists that you can’t help but notice, so we dare ask: “What are those things, Kelv?”
“Ah ito? Pins ng The Clash and The Kings. Madalas ko kaseng pakinggan is band/rock music and isa sila sa mga favorites ko. Gusto kong pakinggan yung songs nila kase may pinaglalaban yung lyrics at mensahe ng kanta nila; masyadong realistic for me” [You mean, these? These are my pins of ‘The Clash’ and ‘The Kings’ rock bands. I often listen to band/rock music and they are one of my favorites. I want to listen to their songs because the lyrics and message of their songs are too realistic for me.] beaming from ear to ear as he shares. He goes on sharing how he handles the feeling of being overwhelmed and under pressure, and music as his escape from reality.
“Tinatry ko lang mag music para kumalma utak ko. Ayaw ko muna makipag communicate, ineexplain ko naman sa mga tao na di ako prepared para sa mga mangyayari, gusto ko ng oras para sa sarili ko. Nag dedetox ako sa social media, sa mga nangyayari, sa mga social issues.” [I just listen to music to calm my mind. I try to avoid communicating. I explain to people that I am not ready for what’s about to happen, that I want time for myself. I detox my mind by disconnecting on social media, on everything that’s happening, including social issues.]
Listening to him speak from his heart is a quintessential reminder that he is a human, too, just like the rest of us.
“Naeexcite ako sa mga bagong bagay na natutunan ko. Kase iba yung feeling pag may natutunan akong bagong bagay.” [I get excited about the new stuff I'm learning. It's a different feeling when I learn something new.] Miranda says when asked what gets him excited the most. “Excited ako sa mga bagong kaalaman. Dapat kase di ka ma stuck sa isang aspeto kung saan ka lang magaling, try mo din palakasin yung kahinaan mo, dun sa kahinaan mo ikaw mag focus para mas maging malakas ka.” [I am always eager to learn new knowledge. You should not get stuck in an aspect where you are just good, you should also try to reinforce your weaknesses; focus on your weaknesses to make yourself stronger.]
Kelvin Manalili Miranda was born on January 8, 1999, in Manila to Patricio Miranda and Daisy Miranda. In 2017, Miranda tried his luck in the entertainment industry with the help of his sister who later introduced him to his manager who helped him sign a deal with GMA Artist Center, the talent agency of GMA Network. After a series of playing small roles, in 2019, Miranda had his groundbreaking role in the crime-thriller movie Dead Kids, the first-ever Netflix film in the Philippines, under the name of Mark Sta. Maria, a socially awkward teen known to classmates as a "dead kid”— a genius wallflower yet the poorest in his school.
The way fans took the character of Sta. Maria straight to their hearts is only matched by their recognition of Miranda’s skill as an actor, leading to his rightful shot to fame that followed. His character as Mark Sta. Maria put him on the map and sealed his reputation as a versatile and skilled actor, while considering the huge success of Dead Kids being one of the most obsessed-over films among Netflix’s boundless roster of original films in and out of the country.
“Halos lahat ng nakapanuod ng Dead Kids ang tawag sakin ‘Sta. Maria’. Every time na tinatawag ako ng ‘Sta. Maria’, napapalingon ako, andun pa rin ako sa character, ang tagal siguro mga 7 months na naging introvert din ako, bihira ako makipag communicate dahil nga siguro nadala ko yung character nya.” [Almost everyone who has watched Dead Kids calls me 'Sta. Maria'. Every time they call me 'Sta. Maria', I always instantly turn to look back. I'm still in the character, it took about 7 months that I became an introvert as well. I rarely communicate with people, maybe it’s because I carried his character.] He shares as he lets out a hearty chuckle.
Up is only the way to go, as Miranda grows out of Sta. Maria’s shadow to find his own footing. Freshly-minted fans who are converts after seeing him on Dead Kids thronged the internet to see more of him. Almost a year after the release of Dead Kids, Miranda was cast to play his first leading role in a GMA Public Affairs-produced drama series, The Lost Recipe. Miranda played Harvey Napoleon, a failed chef who dreams of putting up a culinary empire for his family. He’s paired up with Mikee Quintos, an equally commendable actress in the industry, known for portraying various roles in different top-rated Kapuso Teleserye in the past.
Miranda attributes Chef Napoleon’s fierce determination to his character. “Sa pagiging family and goal-oriented [ni Harvey], there are many times na nakakarelate ako sa mga experiences nya” [For being family and goal-oriented, that’s where I can relate myself to Harvey. There are many times that I can relate to his experiences, too.] he says. The successful primetime series wrapped up barely a month and a half at the time of the interview, so out of curiosity, I asked if playing the role of Harvey Napoleon was easy.
“Mahirap gampanan yung role ni Harvey dahil first time kong gumanap ng ganung role and kailangan kong ma-reach yung expectation ng isang executive. Kailangan yung mindset at attitude nandun. Mahirap kase hindi ako businessman. Natuwa ako sa kanya kase marami akong natutunan kay Harvey, sa personal nyang buhay, marami syang itinuro sa akin as a person. Marami akong na-realize bilang Kelvin sa character ni Harvey na hindi ko pa na-rerealize.“ [Playing Harvey's role was not easy. Since it's my first time playing such role, I had to reach certain expectations of being an executive. The mindset and attitude must be there. It's hard because I'm not a businessman. But, I was happy to play his role because I learned a lot from Harvey's personal life. He taught me so much as an individual. I had many realizations as Kelvin after playing Harvey's role that I have not yet realized.] he shares.
Miranda perks up at the topic of food. Perhaps one of the reasons why he's so game or 'G na G' – as Gen Zs say it – for our cover shoot concept is because food holds a special place in his heart (well, you can't blame him!). In case you're wondering whether he likes to cook as much as he likes to eat, the answer is 'Yes!'
"Gusto ko talaga maging chef, gusto kong itry ang culinary at yung The Lost Recipe ang nagbigay sakin ng pagkakataon na gampanan yung mga pangarap ko. Parang ako talaga yung nandun eh, inenjoy ko sya. Sinamahan ko sya sa lahat sa kalungkutan – basta sa lahat ng bagay. Ang mahirap naman na part is yung pag l-let go sa character nya, andun pa rin ko sa stage na tinutulungan ko ang sarili ko na makalimot sa mga na-experience nya.” [I always wanted to be a chef. I wanted to try culinary, and 'The Lost Recipe' allowed me to fulfill that dream. It feels like I was there; I enjoyed it so much. I accompanied him in great sorrow — through all his ups and downs. The hardest part is letting go of his character. I'm still at a stage where I'm helping myself to forget everything he's experienced] he says.
It’s been almost two years into the game, and Kelvin Miranda isn’t losing steam anytime soon. His message to his younger self rings essentially true even during this time of uncertainty. With exciting projects on the horizon ( that he can't disclose just yet), he has plenty to be grateful for, considering his unwavering approach to his larger-than-life dreams while keeping himself grounded.
As our short yet light-hearted conversation brings to a close, he goes on, now with much emphasis, “Gaya nga nung tanong nyo kanina, yung message ko to my younger self, idagdag ko lang: Tumayo ka sa mga paa mo, lumakad ka papalayo sa mga tukso, sa mga kasalanan — ingatan mo ang sarili mo, panatilihin mo yang pagpapakatotoo mo hanggang sa paglaki mo, mahalin mo ang sarili mo at ang mga bagay na meron ka at wag kang matakot na magkamali.” [ Just like what you asked earlier about my message to my younger self, I just want to add. Stand on your own feet, stay away from temptations and sins. Take care of yourself. Just be true to yourself, and be who you are till you grow up. Love yourself and what you have, and have no fear of making mistakes.]
Watch Kelvin Miranda's ASMR Mukbang Interview here:
Cover Story, Art Direction and Videography by Joe Andy
Interviewed by Philip Vargas & Joe Andy
Additional Clips and Produced by Philip Vargas
Photography by Rxandy Capinpin
Styling by Janno Novenario
Grooming by Mycke Mortiz Arcano
Food Styling by Chris Sanalila of Wrought MNL
Special Thanks to T.E.A.M (Tyronne Escalante Artist Management) & GMA Artist Center
Shot on location Rx Studio