There's not a lot written about Kapamilya newbie Kira Balinger on the Internet. A quick search on this month's MYX Celebrity VJ yielded some beauty articles and a few more on her roles as Kim Chiu's little sister in The Story of Us and as Joshua Garcia's love interest in The Greatest Love.
Personally, I just knew her as one of the faces on a huge billboard which I see everyday while on the MRT to and from work. That's quite an achievement for a girl who has dreamt of becoming an international model after binge-watching America's Next Top Model at 6 years old. But when she turned a little older, she realized actors get more opportunities. "I really like to act. I really like to see myself on the big screen."
Born from a Filipino mom and a British dad, Kira found it difficult to uproot herself from the United Kingdom and move to the Philippines with her family six years ago - though it was "by choice". "I felt that I could really show my talent here in the Philippines. Because in the UK, you won't see much talent shows apart from dancing."
"We had plans to audition kaya lang po we didn't know how to–kung sasali po ba ako sa show, like magiging contestant ako, or like how to get into ABS-CBN, like to get a VTR."
But as fate would have it, she came a step closer to fulfilling her dreams when Abby Niesta of Star Magic approached her while she was eating ice cream at the mall with her mom. "We were completely clueless that someone was gonna come near us and get me to ABS-CBN," recounted Kira.
Talking to her now, you wouldn't believe that she had zero understanding and zero ability to speak the Filipino language when she came here at age 10. To help herself adapt to the native tongue, the budding artist took Tagalog lessons, watched local movies and teleseryes, and listened to OPM. She even asked her mom to stop conversing with her in English.
For two years, Kira spent her days preparing for her debut as a Kapamilya actress while appearing in various commercials and magazines. Her breakout role as Caitlyn in TSOU brought her into the limelight. The newcomer received positive feedback for her engaging portrayal on the primetime drama.
Proving that it wasn't just a fluke, netizens dubbed Kira and Joshua as the new Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz for their performance as Y and Z on TGL.
Although she enjoys having an on-screen partner, the 16-year-old admitted she's perfectly fine going solo. But she's dying to work with a very popular loveteam: LizQuen. "Sila [Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil] po talaga yung inspirations ko sa pag-arte. And in general, they're just really good people and I really like to work and learn from them."
Aside from acting, the young girl also has her sights set on singing. Browsing through her Instagram account, you'd see videos of Kira covering her favorite songs with her guitar on hand. She taught herself to play the guitar after watching videos of Tori Kelly and Ed Sheeran. Impressive, right?
When asked what genre she would like to get into, Kira said she's open to any genre, but she usually listens to pop and country music at the moment. "Lahat po para I'll have choices. Para I can impress or make other people happy kahit anong genre."
While her dream of recording an album has yet to come true, Kira already got the chance to appear in a music video. She played the love interest of her good friend Inigo Pascual in his debut video "Dahil Sa'Yo". "Actually nagulat nga po ako eh. I had no idea that they were going to get me. They actually just called and said, 'Uy, napili ka for the music video' so sobrang natuwa ako."
Another artist she'd like to work with is Soul Supreme KZ. More than KZ's impeccable vocal power and ability to touch the heart and soul of listeners with her voice, Kira revealed another reason she would love to collaborate with her idol is KZ's heart of gold.
For now, Kira showcases her dancing and singing skills as part of ASAP's newly-launched girl group BFF5 with Loisa Andalio, Maris Racal, Andrea Brillantes, and Ylona Garcia. Among her four new friends, she admits being closest to Ylona, a fellow Inglisera and music lover.
"I actually can't remember where we met. I think it was at Tunog Star Magic, pero it took a while for us to actually get close to each other kasi po di kami masyado nagkakasama nung time na 'yun."
Here are more fun facts we learned about this sweet 16-year old: She's a picky eater, but will always choose Japanese food over anything else. She used to do gymnastics and thinks she would excel in swimming. Currently homeschooled, she'd probably take up Tourism in college. And she still dreams of working with world-renowned photographers as an international model.
The very optimistic girl is always looking forward to what she's going to do for the day. What was once a dream is now within her reach– because she remained hard-working and faithful to herself and her aspirations.
There's nothing much written about Kira Balinger on the internet, but it surely won't be long before she becomes a household name. We're claiming it!
Did you enjoy watching Kira on MYX? Tell us in the comments!