Hers is a name that you cannot forget. It stands out for it is unique. It catches your attention and makes you remember it right away—just like how the name bearer, Vivoree Esclito, really is. The former Pinoy Big Brother Lucky Season 7 housemate is a picture of cheer, passion, and individuality as she makes her way up the ladder of showbiz success.
Vivoree explains the origin of her name to Inside Showbiz Weekly: “It came from the word ‘survivor’ kasi before pa ako ipinanganak, sabi ng doktor sa Mama ko na ‘pag pinanganak niya ako, hindi ako mabubuhay. Sobrang liit lang ng chance na mabubuhay ako. Pero si Mama [said] ‘Bahala kayo diyan. Ipapanganak ko pa rin ‘to.’ Parang she had trust and she had faith.”
The Kapamilya actress has proven early on that she is really made of stern stuff. “Nung ipinanganak naman ako sabi daw ng doktor, ang strong ko daw. Tapos hindi na ako kailangang i-incubate kasi kahit na seven months ako, strong daw.”
Now at 18 years of age, Vivoree has come a long way from her PBB days. She entered PBB as a 16-year-old with the moniker Go Getter Girl of Bohol. Two years later, she has released the self-penned single Kaya Pa, starred in a movie, played a supporting role in a teleserye, and is the leading lady of the current Wansapanataym series. These blessings, however, did not come to her immediately.
The PBB batchmate of Maymay Entrata, Edward Barber, Marco Gallo, Kisses Delavin, Yong Muhajil, and Heaven Peralajo had to muster a lot of patience and courage to remain in the industry. It was not easy for the former housemate even if there is a misconception that being part of PBB makes one a shoo-in for success.
“I had faith and parang inisip ko na si Lord na bahala pero hindi ko inexpect na ganito ‘yung mararating ko. Hindi ko talaga inexpect kasi dati siyempre sobrang ordinary girl lang talaga ako, probinsyana, tapos biglang since pumasok ako sa PBB, naisip ko, ‘Ano kayang mangyayari sa pagkalabas ko noh?’ Nag-wo-wonder ako, nag-ku-question ako and then the moment I came out, parang wala rin ulit masyado.”
She had several guest appearances as a former housemate. She also got to act in the drama anthologies Ipaglaban Mo and Maalaala Mo Kaya. But she wished she could do more as a budding celebrity. “I did not give up talaga kaya siguro eto ‘yung unti-unti ko nang nararating ang mga dreams ko.”
Her career picked up the pace this year and even Vivoree was not prepared for it. She is currently seen in Wansapanataym Presents: ManiKEN ni Monica in her first lead role. She gasps before detailing, “‘Yung experience ko doon, first taping day, sobrang dami kong na-feel kasi first lead ko. I was nervous, anxious. I was happy. But alam mo ‘yung sobrang talagang excited? I really felt a lot of emotions that time.”
She shares her reaction when she was offered the Wansapanataym project: “At first feeling ko, ‘Huh? Totoo ba ito?’ kasi siyempre parang I always expect na puro ano lang, support-support ganun. Sobrang hindi ko ma-explain ‘yung feeling ko talaga. Halo-halo rin ‘yung emotions na naramdaman ko nun. Pero siyempre nangibabaw pa din ‘yung happiness, thankfulness.”
Her co-stars in Wansapanataym are Jerome Ponce and Charles Kieron better known as Hashtag CK of the It’s Showtime male dance group Hashtags. “Okay naman silang katrabaho. They’re like my friends talaga. Mas okay talaga ‘yung you get to work on your friendship, or like get to know each other. Parang mas okay ‘yun before kayo isalang.”
Aside from being grateful for being able to work with Jerome, she is also thankful for having another project with her KierVi love team partner, CK. In addition, Vivoree is glad that she has learned from her character. “Not the typical magandang babae kasi like may mga tigyawat siya, makapal ‘yung kilay niya, ‘yung buhok niya makapal din na kulot kaya ‘yun ‘yung nakakababa ng self-esteem niya. And somehow nakaka-relate din ako kasi ganun din ‘yung ano ko dati. I felt insecure before.”
Her Wansapanataym stint is the icing on the cake so far but her career breakthrough came earlier this year in the form of a supporting role in the teleserye Since I Found You. The soap opera, which aired from April to August 2018, was headlined by Piolo Pascual, Arci Muñoz, JC de Vera, Empoy, and Alessandra de Rossi. It also starred CK, Michael de Mesa, Carmi Martin, Joey Marquez, and John Lapus.
“I think it’s really a great impact po talaga sa akin lalo na sa career ko kasi that’s the first-ever teleserye na andun ako and siyempre nung una na-pe-pressure ako kasi first teleserye ko. Na-te-tense din pero hindi ko alam na ganun pala ‘yung magiging impact noon sa buhay ko.”
She goes on, “Akala ko hanggang doon lang. Tapos pagkatapos nun, baka wala na kasi ganun ‘yung iniisip ko. I said to myself na, ‘Just do your best and God will do the rest.’ And then boom! Sobrang thankful talaga ako sa Dreamscape family and Star Magic kasi binigay nila sa akin itong mga blessings na mayroon ako ngayon.”
Aside from landing her first teleserye this year, Vivoree also bagged a role in the teen flick Petmalu which was written and directed by Joven Tan. She joined the cast comprised of Diego Loyzaga, Michelle Vito, Marlo Mortel, Jairus Aquino, Karen Reyes, Vitto Marquez, Brian Gazmen, and CK. “It’s my first movie, ang daming kong firsts sa buhay,” she comments gleefully.
Shooting for the movie made her learn more about camaraderie. “I think okay ‘yung talagang you’re okay with everyone. Like you should be approachable, hindi ‘yung parang masungit type kasi I mean kung ‘yun ‘yung personality mo, I think personally kung ako ‘yun, kung masungit talaga ako, I really think that I should adjust to the people kasi that’s just how it works.”
Her pronouncements show that she puts a premium on having a respectful attitude. She continues, “And I’ve learned how to be professional but at the same time parang chill. ‘Yung relax pa rin kahit you’re being professional. I learned how to act naturally and how to love my profession more, even more.”
In Petmalu, Wansapanataym, Since I Found You, and Ipaglaban Mo, Vivoree has worked with CK, as if establishing their KierVi tandem. Vivoree clarifies, “So first namin magka-work ni CK sa Ipaglaban Mo pero hindi as a love team.” She notes, “Nung sa Since I Found You, naghanap sila ng puwedeng i-pair sa akin and then ‘yun, dun na pumasok si CK. And then tuluy-tuloy na.”
She reveals, “Since parang almost palagi na kaming nagkaka-work, nagkikitaan, and then of course importante ‘yung you have to work on your friendship kasi magka-work kayo. May similarities din naman kami like mahilig kami sa K-Pop. Tapos kinukulit na din niya ako tapos ako parang sinusungitan ko rin siya minsan. Pero I think it’s okay, naintindihan naman niya. Nasabi ko naman na sa kaniya na dapat masanay na siya.”
Although they have already become close, she states, “Still getting to know kasi magka-work kami mga few months pa lang. We’re still working on our friendship, I mean it’s building up. He’s a really good friend as in sobrang bait niyang kaibigan kasi kunwari walang service ‘yung staff para sa taping and then same kami ng call time, same kami ng location, he offers naman to give me a ride, to pick me up, and then hatid-sundo.”
On CK being “maalaga,” she adds, “And it’s nice kasi ‘yung iba kasi parang, ‘Ah, bahala ka diyan. Sige, mauna na ako baka ma-late pa ako.’ And then he’s really caring and sweet somehow as a friend. As a co-star, I think si K is still learning in acting and as a workmate, I think he’s doing fine and he’s really doing his best naman talaga to get there.”
Having a support system from CK, colleagues, fans, friends, and family has helped Vivoree survive her showbiz journey. “Siyempre the people around me gave me strength and confidence. Doon ako kumukuha ng lakas ng loob, sa kanila, and na-bi-build up ‘yun and then I also started to build my confidence up. Since then parang hindi na ako masyadong insecure katulad nang dati. Hindi na masyadong mababa ‘yung self-esteem ko although may times na nangyayari talaga ‘yun pero hindi mo naman ‘yun maiiwasan.”
Her innate strength has certainly pushed her to get past the struggles. “I think because I’ve learned to accept myself, my flaws, my insecurities, my imperfections kasi lagi kong iniisip diba na lahat naman tayo tao, lahat naman tayo may mga insecurities, may imperfections. And I think the only way para ma-overcome mo yun is to accept it para mag-iba ‘yung outlook mo, para mag-iba ‘yung aura mo.”
She hopes that audiences will also learn from her and her Monica character. “Ang natutunan ko rin sa Wansapanataym, may line kasi ‘yung nanay ko doon kumbaga sabi niya, ‘Kung ‘yung iniisip mo sa sarili mo loser ka tapos super baba ng confidence mo, ganun din ang tingin ng tao sa ‘yo.’ So huwag mo i-down ‘yung sarili mo. Huwag ikaw ‘yung unang mag-down sa sarili mo kasi the first step para tanggapin mo ‘yung sarili mo is you have to believe in yourself talaga first before anyone else will.”
Now that she has fully embraced herself, she wants to make a mark in the entertainment industry as her true persona. She looks up to Sarah Geronimo, but at the end of the day, she wishes to stand by her own identity. “I don’t see myself as replacing somebody else. I want to be the first Vivoree, the first and only Vivoree. I think that’s the goal of every artist.”
She has tons of dreams and is not afraid to enumerate them. “Pangarap ko maging singer-songwriter, maging performer, maging actress. Gusto ko sa part naman ng acting, gusto ko ma-try ‘yung different roles as much as possible and I also want to write scripts and stories. Actually, dream ko din talaga ‘yung maging Hollywood actress. ‘Yun ‘yung I think biggest dream ko sa ngayon kasi feeling ko ‘pag andun na ako, magiging proud sa akin mga kababayan natin. That’s a big honor.”
She is also inspired by the tremendous support that she has been receiving from her fans. “Grabe sila. Sobrang determined po nila, sobra ‘yung effort nila talgang hindi ko alam saan nila nakuha ‘yun. Sobrang bilib ako sa kanila kasi may nababasa ako na hindi na sila natutulog dahil kaka-trend sa mga Twitter parties. Nag-wo-worry din ako sa kanila kasi siyempre health is wealth but at the same time I appreciate everything, all of their efforts and their support, their love. Kasi I dunno parang minsan nag-wo-wonder din ako, ‘How did I deserve all of them?’”
Vivoree is clearly excited for the upcoming developments in her career. She is energized because she has finally found her spot in showbiz. “Ever since, this is where I see myself talaga. I think it’s because parang may fire lang inside me, there’s a fire burning in me na this is where I should go and it’s my passion po kasi. Alam mo ‘yung buong katawan mo, ‘yung pag-iisip mo, ‘yung puso mo andun talaga sa isang specific na bagay? And acting, performing, and inspiring a lot of people, making people happy, entertaining people—that’s really my path, I think.”