Who is Sebastian Castro?
The massive amount of energy that transmits from the universe to a person can reflect many crazy twists and turns in a man’s life. When model Sebastian Castro, a young man from America, realized that he loved the Philippines after barely a year residing here, he instantly knew that the Philippines was a country that would be cradling his independence and that his instantaneous inhabitation to the country is a well-received offering from the cosmos. What’s more, Sebastian Castro is not just an exquisite face. He is also sharp, coherent, perceptive and surprisingly open-handed.
Yes, 22 year old Sebastian Castro is not Filipino. Not even his tongue that can, in fact, slur a few Tagalog words is Filipino. He grew up in the States, both parents are originally from Peru, came to the Philippines for a holiday – and stayed.
“I am from the United States, but both parents are from Peru – so that’s South American, Japanese, Spanish descent – hindi ako Pinoy! Pero I hooked up with some friends from L.A. one day, they convinced me to visit, I came and got harmonized with the country and so I stayed. That’s it. So, I can probably say that ito na ang bahay ko.” Sebastian said in hopscotch Tagalog.
Indeed, one thing led to the next. After a few months, Sebastian Castro has done television commercials for Jollibee and Pantene, has modelled for magazines, had a cult following on social networks and was part of the yum circle of the Cosmopolitan Bash as one of the country’s eligible bachelors. He said, “These opportunities came in and I just had to rush in. I didn’t expect it at all but it happened. I am so grateful.”
“Let’s get to the Pinoy mentality. What is your say on that?” I asked.
“Filipinos are joy loving people. In a lot of ways, as I have learned, the Philippines is a nucleus of art and entertainment in Asia. Pinoys are very artsy in a sense that they always like to entertain and to be entertained. Television, movies, paintings, and the broadsheet – you name it – they’re all filled with the scrumptious additive of music, fashion laughter and gossip. The influences of art in many Pinoy lives are so apparent simply because they appreciate the good side of life and no matter how perplexing that is, it is common Pinoy to be commonly happy.” Sebastian analyzes the Filipino culture like it was pretty much a part of his own.
“So how Pinoy are you?”
“In many ways I am still me. I am a very premeditated person, so I guess nothing would change me ethnically but here’s to say that I am, like most of my Filipino friends, gravitate on other people. My art – my conscience – the way I deal with life usually revolves on who I am revolving with. I respect that so much in the Pinoy frame of mind particularly their allegiance with family and close friends. In my own opinion, one of the best things about being in this country is the fact that you can always count on your family and that you will always have many friends,” he smiled, scratching on the surface of his beloved borrowed country, almost gazing up to see the stars, the sky and the moon above. Well, at least this was how my mind wandered towards the halfway point of our very celestial conversation.
“How was your childhood like?”
“Let’s jump to my adolescence because that can actually explain a lot about who I am now. Well, what can I say? I was an awfully awkward kid in high school,” he chuckled, “and I am saying that in every definition of the word: socially awkward, physically awkward, you name it. And I tried so hard too! I had to run because I was heavy – had to keep up – I also had scoliosis as a kid so that was tough and I was quite a small kid among tall, life-sized guys and all but well, hey, I was a nerd! So, there you go!
Well, that all faded out during my college years. I went through therapy and I guess has dabbled on my art ever since. I was sure that expression found its location in these torments and that somehow gave me the buoyancy to see, feel and take pleasure in what life can offer. At the time, I guess I have seen myself in a different perspective. I have learned to understand more.” Sebastian recollected.
“So, you are a model, a future thespian, a singer, you can also host – you are so full of talent. Tell me about your art – your paintings.” I enquired.
Please note that I came to know Sebastian Castro because I was so attracted to his works that I saw one day on Facebook. At the time, around six months prior to this interview, I didn’t even know that he was modelling professionally. I posted on one of his paintings of own his feet as naked that outdo the dominion of the flesh; the kind of nakedness that is so ugly it is, in fact, so beautiful. Today, he gleefully brought his art portfolio for me to gawk on. It was bliss for me.
“I am a realist,” he stated, “I like capturing things as they are. We all live in a very synthetic world, if not, quite a synthetic reality, so as much as I can, I inculcate a more flesh and blood texture to my work. The works that I have done here in the Philippines mostly leaned on people. I have met celebrities here, been to magnificent locales and all that but it was from the regular, day-to-day people where I obtain the insight from, thus, making them the core theme of my paintings.”
“What is the message of your work?”
“My work is very spontaneous. I can probably say it is also cross cultural in a sense because it is optimistic; it captures the vivaciousness of people – the work ethic – that determined quality, like my good friend, ABS-CBN’s TV PATROL Gretchen Fullido exudes, who radiates control and fundamentally the colours and lines that represent life itself. I guess, in many ways, I have worked on my art for the longest time and this is why I can say that I can give up modelling in a heartbeat because I’ve got lots of artistic endeavours to pursue. Given the opportunity, I would love to put my works in a gallery soon. Of course, that’s the artiste’s American dream. Now I must say that it is my Pinoy dream as well.” Sebastian smiles to his sugary wit.
He continued, “I also want to be an inspiration to young adults everywhere. I think I’ve got lots of inspiration to give too.”
And then my final archetypal question, “How would you want to be remembered?”
“As an actor, I want to merit something from an award giving body because that would mean that I have given something very memorable. As an artist, I don’t have to be the most popular just as long as I will be remembered as someone who captured the fine distinction of the people who roused my passion. I simply want to be remembered as someone who was a factor to inspiration itself.”