At first glance, Donny Pangilinan seems to be your average teenager who enjoys usual teenager things, like hanging out under the sun.
Just like you, don't you think?
But here's one thing no one can deny: This cutie has one of the fastest-growing fanbases in the country, getting bigger and bigger every day... something that even he himself did not expect.
That video was taken during Donny's 19th birthday / meet-and-greet in UP Town Center last March 12. Throngs of fans occupied the mall, just to see Donato Antonio (his real name) in the flesh.
Even Donny was overwhelmed to see such a huge crowd.
Since making his debut on ASAP, and becoming part of MYX as a VJ, Donny has been living his dream of becoming an actor like his parents, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and Anthony Pangilinan. And he's very thankful for this unexpected blessing.
"Supporters just came out of nowhere. I was not really finding it or forcing stuff, I was just waiting patiently and if it came, it came. And it actually arrived," Donny said in an interview on Tonight With Boy Abunda.
What's Donny's recipe for his unexpected rise to stardom? Here's what we found out:
1. He loves his family and relatives. Despite the fame, Donny remains grounded and is close to his family and relatives, even taking support from them even if he's now a bigshot teen star. "The way I live my life and the way people see me, I just want to be seen as someone different and someone they can look up to," Donny said in an interview on Rated K.
Among Donny's favorite relatives? None other than Megastar Sharon Cuneta!
Tita Shawie's baked macaroni always wins over Donny's stomach every single time!
2. He always keeps in touch with his fans. Those following his Twitter account can attest to Donny's effort in responding to most, if not all, tweets to him, even if some tweets do not make sense.
Avid fans take note: Donny sometimes gives details about his upcoming gigs, so make sure you keep track of his Twitter account for updates.
3. This one's not just cute, but witty, too. Another reason to follow Donny's Twitter account? His amusing tweets!
4. His on point, yet relatable OOTDs. Fashion-wise, Donny pulls off the streetwear trend effortlessly, mixing different shirts, track pants, walking shorts, hoodies, and sneakers as part of his daily outfit (total #styleinspo!).
One of his got-to looks? A graphic print tee paired with a necklace.
Kanye West will definitely approve the way he rocks this hoodie.
5. He is living his life to the fullest. And don't we all just want to do that? From cliff diving at Tali, Batangas;
Visiting the mansion of basketball superstar Michael Jordan;
Just visiting his idol's crib.
Having a photo op with Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere;
Or enjoying the beach differently on horseback,
Complete with enviable abs.
He's taking in every moment for its full worth. And so should you. Never stop dreaming and working hard and believing, because some day, your heart's desire might just be within your grasp, as Donny's have been, which as he noted on Tonight with Boy Abunda, "just found me."
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Banner collage by Shiela Domingo / Photographs from Nice Print's Facebook page and Instagram.com/Donny_Pangilinan