interaksyon.com: David Archuleta looks forward to more fun in the Philippines
Tokwa’t baboy, sisig, and papaitan. Plus, taking a jeepney ride the second time around. These are just some of the things that David Archuleta of American Idol fame loves about the Philippines.
Despite arriving early morning today, David Archuleta showed up looking fresh and cheerful in a long-sleeved striped t-shirt and jeans at the contract signing held just before noon at Edsa Shangri-la Hotel for his much-talked about teleseryeproject with TV5. Joining him were the network’s President and CEO, Atty. Ray C. Espinosa, and EVP and COO Bobby V. Barrero.
At the press conference held after the signing, David continued to charm members of media—just like he did to waiting fans at the airport earlier—with his smiling face and his being game to answer all questions, even giving in to posing for personal pictures with his interviewers. He was joined by TV5 VP for Entertainment Percy Intalan.
It’s that sense of being relaxed and easy in the company of Filipinos, he said, that moved him to accept the TV5. “I’ve never really done things with acting other than appear as myself and do cameo roles in TV shows like Hanna Montana or iCarly. But you know, I may not be this ‘pro-actor’ but I felt like it would be a really great new experience to try it and especially here in the Philippines because I just really feel comfortable with the people over here. The fans have always been very warm here and that’s why I thought it would be a more comfortable experience.”
Before going to Manila, the 21-year-old singer took a crash course in acting in LA. Archuleta will be appearing with homegrown Kapatid talents Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Eula Caballero in a mini-series called Nandito Ako. He will play Josh, who is an international singer of Fil-Am lineage. Josh was born and raised in the Philippines until he was five years old and when he lost his mother in a hotel fire. Josh returns to the Philippines to find out what really happened to his mother as well as find out who was the little girl he encountered during the fire. Since Josh is Fil-Am, Archuleta will be delivering his lines in English.
Nandito Ako is inspired from the hit song popularized by singer-composer Ogie Alcasid. At the presscon, Intalan revealed that as a treat to fans, Archuleta will also be singing Nandito Ako as the teleserye’s theme song.
His stint with TV5 will be his last project before he takes his break from the music industry to go on a two-year religious mission for the Mormon Church. In late 2011, Archuleta announced that he would take a leave of absence from performing to devote two years to his church. His last show was the during the last leg of his My Kind of Christmas Tour held December 22 in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Archuleta said that he had enough time to fit in the TV5 project just before he embarks on his church mission. On why he chose to be in the Philippines just before he goes on leave, Archuleta revealed, “For me, when it comes to liking any place, it always has to do with the people. In any place, that’s what I remember the most especially here in the Philippines where the people are just very gracious and very friendly and just simple as well. And that’s very neat. Every time I’m here, it’s always been just a really great and amazing experience.
“Usually, I’d do something that I really love and that I’m used to and am comfortable with, like singing. But when it came to this new experience of acting to this extent, that’s when I felt that—even in the past when I would say, ‘no, I don’t know. I’m not ready for that yet’—I’d feel comfortable doing it here. I think it’s also very special that I get to do it before I do leave for two years.”
When asked about what he thinks of the Department of Tourism’s newly launched slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” Archuleta quickly replied, “Airport. “Yeah, I could say that. It’s always a blast for me when I come here.”
Archuleta said he’s looking forward to another great time especially since he’ll be working with actors his age. At the airport, Jasmine and Eula welcomed the singer. “I got to talk to them and I look forward to getting to work with them. They were very nice. It’ll be fun to work with people my age. I’ve always wanted to do that. It’s a fun energy to have.”
Archuleta will be in town for three weeks. According to Intalan, shooting will be done mostly in Manila and in nearby areas like Batangas. Meanwhile, Archuleta says that although he has a tight schedule, he’ll also make sure he gets to enjoy his time being in the country. “I’m looking forward to try more of the Filipino cuisine,” he says, remembering the foods he enjoyed in his previous visits, “Tokwa’t baboy. Sisig, which is yummy.” And “Papaitan. It was good.” As well as taking another jeepney ride—he can’t forget the jeep with Disney characters that he rode in.
After filming Nandito Ako, Archuleta is all set to depart to the assigned place for his missionary work. But fans, he says, need not be disheartened. “I’m not just going to leave like that. I’ll still be making songs. I want to make sure that I will still be giving something to my fans. Two years goes by too fast, it’s been four years since American idol. It’s a part of my life and it’s an important decision that I’ve always wanted to do with my life. Certainly, there are projects already lined up that I’ll be doing when I get back.”