We know Enrique as the King of the Gil, the other half of LizQuen, and that ever swoon-worthy hottie-next-door actor on the big and small screens. But before he has captured many hearts with his charm, acting prowess, and topnotch dancing skills, he was a fun and basketball and dance-loving young boy who kept a closely knit set of friends. And you know what's totally cool? Even if he has reached ultimate star status, Enrique still maintains tight bonds with the friends we grew up with! How was he able to do so despite his cray work schedule, the demands of showbusiness, and yep, the occasional intrigues? Let's hear it straight from his best buddy, Rafael Angco, who spills how it's like growing up with Enrique and how the heartthrob keeps it real:
Quen, Rafael, and Rafel's dad, Chito
1. Quen makes sure he's there for the people he loves. "As a kid, Quen was a fun-loving, down-to-earth guy, and now that he’s all grown up, he's still got his feet firmly planted on the ground, but is now more mature. You can rely on him to be there for you and cheer you up, especially during hard times. There’s also never a dull moment with him."
2. Passion wins in life. "He has always loved dancing. He has always been a great dancer since we were small."
Their solid barkada
3. But walking on the "wild side" also keeps things interesting. "He’s also a nature- and wildlife-lover! We both used to watch a lot of Nat Geo and Discovery Channel."
4. And geeks rule! Quen is very much, and will always be, a geek. "We practically used to do everything together—but since he’s now busy most of the time, we just play Playstation and basketball, just like the old times. He's a super fanboy of Call of Duty!"
5. Make your friends family—and in Quen's case, his friends' families his family. "One of my fondest memories with him is during Halloween. Our families joined a small costume contest at a mall and we all dressed up as Star Wars characters. They're a big fan; his dad made all our costumes!" Today, Quen and his siblings and Rafael and his family would also still regularly spend holidays, and even go on summer vacations together, when his schedule permits.
New Year's 2015 with their siblings
6. Never forgetting your roots, ka-cheesyhan and all (Quen still has that '90s kid inside him even if he's all grown up), makes for priceless friendships. "We played a lot of langit-lupa, ice water, and every Filipino street game you can think of. We also watched a lot of Slam Dunk and Dragon Ball. His favorite, of course, is Goku. But for Slam Dunk, I'm not sure if it's Sakuragi or Rukawa!"
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Photograph from Instagram.com/enriquegil17 (banner) and courtesy of Rafael and Chito Angco