On the July 17, 2014 episode of Pinoy Big Brother: All In, Fifth Solomon went inside the storied confession room and came out as bisexual. It wasn’t just for Kuya to digest, but also for the hundreds of thousands viewing the show. The confession made him the second contestant—the other being Bb Gandanghari on 2006's Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition—to come out of the closet inside the famous Yellow House.
The confession then bore more than just a counter over a homophobic comment from a random viewer. (Then host Robi Domingo read something like, "Ayan na naman si ****, parang bakla kung magreklamo,” which Fifth thought had pertained to him.) But through it, Fifth basically revealed his real self, earning salutations not just from twin brother and then-fellow Housemate Fourth. It also earned the housemates’ and the rest of the world’s respect.
It’s been three years since, and Fifth is now having the time of his life. He’s got no holds barred with the rest of his story.
In his younger years, Fifth says he was bullied both at home and at school for being “malambot.” He was often compared to Fourth, who is straight. He said his uncles would even pressure him to act like a man. “They’d ask me to say, ‘Lalaki ako!’ Ako naman, bata, susunod, mag-ma-macho pose while doing that. But, b*tch, I’m a girl,” he recounts.
The pressure on his sexual orientation came gushing more while inside the Big Brother House. Fifth then realized he was tired of the misery in hiding. "Pagod na ako lumaban. Gusto ko mabuhay kung sino ako. Gusto ko mabuhay na fully myself.
Even after outing himself on the show, Fifth took a while to fully embrace his true identity. But time only readied him to metamorphose and eventually find his own happiness. He declares, “Natutunan ko na in order to be happy fully sa buhay, in order to live fully in life, you need to stop thinking of what other people are thinking about you.”
Fifth finds fulfillment over how his coming-out story on PBB has inspired other gay men and women to follow suit for their own sake. "Hindi ko lang natulungan sarili ko, nakatulong rin ako sa ibang tao to be themselves all the time 24/7," he says.
Nowadays, Fifth tries to laugh over his erstwhile struggles hiding in the closet with how he has succeeded in his career as an actor, model, and entrepreneur. He now has more commercials than ever, even playing a transwoman in a recent viral Boysen ad. This is excluding his earlier venture into filmmaking: He directed and produced Manibela back in 2012, and won “Most Gender Sensitive Award” under the New Wave–Student Short Film Category of the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival. Yet, while he awaits more opportunities, he remains grateful to his strong support system comprising his family and friends. "Naparamdam nila sakin na I’m not alone. Proud sila sa ginawa ko."
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As a millennial, Fifth—now in his mid-20s—is the type of person who loves to travel, take a lot of photos, and be fashionable when it comes to choosing his OOTDs. He’s no lazy, entitled millennial, either: Fifth has a matcha café business on Timog Ave., graduated cum laude at FEU, and even took his Masters in Australia. Still, he says, "I still need to prove myself, lalong lalo na actor ako. They will perceive me as, ‘Ay! Actor lang 'yan. Walang alam 'yan.’"
Fifth feels his story is just starting, and because of his ‘tude, here we are betting he’s going places. "Na-realize ko lang na ang sarap kapag comfortable ka, kapag free ka, kapag hindi mo iniisip yung iniisip ng ibang tao," he asserts.
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Produced by Angela Sy, Mels Timan, & Barry Viloria | Photographs by Vyn Radovan | Cinematography by Jana Jimenez & Gio Vibar | Grooming by Julia Arenas & Jeffrey Caballro of Vivere Salon | Hair by Sam Corbillon of Triple Luck Brow & Nail Salon & Shella Casiano of Vivere Salon | Styling by Barry Viloria | Special thanks to Ogie Rodriguez, Arvin Amaron of Vivere Salon, Guess, Straightforward PH