As part of the Francis Magalona tribute musical 3 Stars and a Sun under PETA theater, Nicco Manalo revealed he jumped at the chance for a part in the rap musical.
"I auditioned. The minute I heard about this production nung idea pa lang siya, nung sinabi nila sa akin that they’re going to do a rap musical and it’s Francis Magalona musical. Sabi ko game ako diyan, sabihan niyo lang ako kung kelan. Funny story is when they asked us to audition, yung song na kailangan naming aralin, walang lyrics online. Siguro sa songhits pa siya makikita. Ganun kaluma yung kanta. So ako personally minano mano ko tapos binigay ko sa mga kaibigan ko. Jolog yung title ng kanta. I think yun yung pinakamablis na rap ni Francis M,” he shared.
As one of the lead stars, the Cornerstone Talent artist said he was excited to be part of a futuristic production.
"Ako dito si Sol, siya yung leader ng gang ng Diliman. Kasi sa story nahathati yung mga tao sa dalawang grupo. Yung mga Lumino at saka yung Diliman. English speaking yung mga Lumino tapos mas bargas, maangas yung mga taga Diliman. Bale yun yung tawag sa lugar nila. Lumino kung saan maaliwalas yung mga paligid at Diliman kung saan medyo hikahos yung mga tao. Kung titingnan yung story sa aming lahat sa gang, nagtratrabaho kami araw-araw, ginagawa lang namin kung ano yung kailangan sa amin. Ngayon may tanong si Sol kung bakit nangyayari ito. And then from there madadagdagan pa yun, mapapalaki pa yung apoy at tanong niya sa sairli niya because of one person,” he explained.
Having been part of various productions and indie films in the past, Nicco shared 3 Stars and a Sun presented a different kind of challenge for him.
"I think I’m more challenged here. parang honestly singing is kind of yung sobrang nahihirapan akong gawin. Kunyari pasayawin mo na ako biglang kanta, mas insecure ako by singing and knowing how MIke (Solomon) makes his music. He’s very particular and precise. I think mas ma-cha-challenge ako to be part of that ensemble. I know that I can act it out but to really sound good and to be a part of a ensemble that everyone is great with singing, parang ako yung nahihiya. So yun yung trinatrabaho ko,” he added.
Having carved out a name for himself as being more than just comedian Jose Manalo’s son, Nicco admitted he only started taking acting seriously in college.
"I started acting siguro in high school and I took up Technical Theater in Benilde. Pero hindi ako nag-Technical Theater, umarte lang ako ng umarte. Dun ako nagsimula. As in laman ako ng mga thesis productions, laman ako ng films, puro ganun pero sa school lang. And then when I graduated I auditioned for Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company. One of my earlier plays is actually from PETA, Batang Rizal and Lola Basyang which was one of their longest running plays,” he says.
As part of a historic musical that ended its run on the master rappers death anniversary, March 6, Nicco said he is honored to be part of the OPM musical. A self-confessed 90s kid, Nicco said he will always be a Francis Magalona fan at heart.
"Oo, nag-ru-running man ako nung bata ako eh. Sabi nga nila bawal mag-hiphop, sabi ko, ‘Bakit naman ganun? Masarap mag-running man sa kanta ni Francis M. (laugh)’ Naalala ko talaga ang una kong sinayaw sa school Francis M. na Mga Kababayan Ko so classic talaga siya. Sa 90s ako lumaki so alam na alam ko si Francis M,” he divulged.