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After hitting it big in Indonesia, Teejay Marquez is primed to re-invigorate his career in the Philippines

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Teejay Marquez may not be a big star in the Philippines just yet, but he certainly is in Indonesia.

Teejay Marquez (Instagram) /mb.com.ph

Teejay Marquez (Instagram)

He said, “Sabi ko nga, ‘Wow, ako yata ’yung James Reid at Daniel Padilla dito sa Indonesia kasi dire-diretso ’yung trabaho.”

Teejay’s unexpected popularity among Indonesian fans started after his Dubsmash video of “Twerk It Like Miley” trended there in 2015. Thereafter, he was invited to come over to Indonesia to do some TV commercials and eventually play lead roles on TV and in the movies.

“Akala ko nu’ng una commercial lang ang gagawin ko doon. Pero naging mainit ang pagtanggap sa akin ng Indonesians kaya ginawa po nila akong celebrity. Nakagawa po ako doon ng teleserye, mga movies… Surreal and unexpected pero natutuwa po talaga ako sa mga nangyari sa akin doon. Since TV network na ’yung kumontak sa akin, na-extend na ’yung visa ko at umabot ng nine months,” Teejay said at a press conference where he was introduced as one of Regal Entertainment’s Millennial Babies.

It took awhile before Teejay had his breakthrough in local showbiz.

While he won the Best Male New TV Personality trophy at the PMPC Star Awards in 2011, his career didn’t take off that fast.

Still, he believes everything happens for a reason.

“Siguro may mga chances talaga na hindi mo makukuha ng mabilisan. Sabi nga nila, may tamang panahon na makukuha natin lahat. For me, madami akong natutunan sa mahabang panahon na iyon. Itong mga dumadating na ito, hindi po ito mabilisan. May mga tao na darating sa tamang panahon para tumulong sa akin,” he said.

Teejay went to Indonesia months after his stint on ABS-CBN’s “Dream Dad.” He was warmly welcomed by his Indonesian fans despite the language barrier so Teejay tried to learn Bahasa for a month.

“Nag-Indonesian din ako at nauso din naman na kapag pumunta ka sa ibang bansa, kapag naging successful ka po doon, mas mabibigyan pansin ka dito sa Pilipinas. Pero hindi naman talaga plano ’yung sumikat ako sa Indonesia, siguro swinerte lang ako na natuwa sila sa akin. Kaya utang na loob ko din sa kanila kasi tinanggap nila ako,” he said.

(From left): Arnold Vegafria, Teejay Marquez and Lily Monteverde (mb.com.ph)

(From left): Arnold Vegafria, Teejay Marquez and Lily Monteverde

While everything was new to him then, Teejay just enjoyed the ride and, luckily, did not experience any hurdles except missing his family in the Philippines. His career made a big turn in Indonesia as he received offers one after the other. This September, Teejay will stay in Indonesia for few days to promote a TV series.

“First time ko din lumabas sa ibang bansa na mag-isa. Parang nakikipagsapalaran po ako. Pero sa pinakita sa akin ng Indonesians, tinanggap po talaga nila ako. Natutuwa sila sa akin. ’Yung nare-reject, hindi ko naramdaman kaagad kasi pagdating ko pa lang sa Indonesia, after two days dire-diretso na ’yung talk shows at ginawan na ako ng TV series. Meron kaagad roles,” he said.

Teejay added, “Nagulat ako, na ‘Wow, ito ’yung inaasam-asam ko sa Pilipinas na pagod pero dito ko pa sa Indonesia na-i-experience. Kaya siguro pinaghahanda lang ako ng Indonesians na at least kung magawa ko man sa Pilipinas, alam ko na ’yung pakiramdam.”

Another Filipino celebrity who is popular in Indonesia is Christian Bautista, who has also been doing several projects there for many years now. Teejay is proud how Filipino artists are making a name for themselves overseas.

“Kahit nasa taxi ako doon, pinapatugtog ’yung kanta niya. Every time may kumakausap sa akin, tinatanong nila si Christian Bautista. Kapag andoon ako, nakikita ko na lumalabas si Christian. Para na din siyang artistang Indonesian doon,” he said.

Asked if he wants to reach the same popularity that Christian has, he said, “Sana po. Ako naman araw-araw bawat tao na nagpapakita ng suporta sa akin, kahit Indonesian or Malaysian, para sa akin blessing iyon. Natutuwa ako na may pinapakita ako na maganda at sinusuportahan nila ako kahit hindi sila Pilipino. Kung sikat po si Christian doon, ako kahit makilala lang nila, masaya na ako. Hindi ko naman hinahabol na maging kasing sikat ni Christian, pero kung maging ganoon man, ipapasalamat ko iyon araw-araw.”

The experience has taught him many lessons, particularly in patience and perseverance. Teejay has experienced a lot of rejections in the past but he never gave up on his goals.

“Halos 20 plus rejections nu’ng nag-u-umpisa ako. So naramdaman ko na ma-reject ng ilang beses, tanungin ’yung sarili ko kaya ko ba. Patience lang, lagi akong andiyan umaasa. Talagang binibigay ko ’yung best ko. So nu’ng nakuha ako, ang saya lang kasi iba ’yung feeling na makuha ka for the first time sa isang commercial. Sabi ko sa sarilil ko, gusto ko ’yung ginagawa ko at hindi ko ito pakakawalan. Kung hindi ako susuko, mararating at mararating ko siya. Kung susuko ako, susuko din ’yung mga tumutulong sa akin, kaya laban lang,” he said.

Now, Teejay is being managed by Arnold Vegafria, who announced that Teejay will do a movie with Regal in collaboration with an Indonesian producer. It will have an Indonesian leading lady.

Teejay will also tour the Philippines to promote his single under Universal Records.

Having a new management and being a Millennial Regal Baby now, Teejay looks forward to a new beginning in his career.

“Kahit naman sa Pilipinas gagawin ko lahat para maabot ko mga pangarap ko. Siguro itong Indonesia ay blessing in disguise lang sa akin. Ako gusto ko i-enjoy kasi ayaw ko marating iyon na pagod na pagod ako at parang madami akong naapakan. Kung ma-achieve ko man iyon sa Pilipinas ay dahil pinaghirapan ko at nagustuhan nila ako dahil sa talent ko. Kung dumating iyon, ibang pakiramdam siguro. Gagawin ko lahat,” he said.

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