GMA-7 hosted a special presscon for Dingdong Dantes as he renews his contract with them. As a tribute to him, GMA adorned the venue with two walls showing his old pictures that chronicle his growth from childhood to teen heartthrob to the acknowledged GMA Primetime King that he is now. Then they showed a video presentation where the GMA top execs pay tribute to him, along with Kapuso co-stars like Dennis Trillo, Ai Ai de las Alas, Alfred Vargas, Sunshine Dizon, Alden Richards and even the head of GMA Security who attested that he’s really a good person. Dingdong got teary eyed while watching it.
“I’ve been a solid and loyal Kapuso for 21 years,” he says. “I have so many good memories to treasure. This is where I met my wife, had my two kids, and while I was watching the film clips of past shows I did, it brought back memories of all the relationships I’ve built with the people I’ve worked with, including writers, directors, co-stars and the press. Masasabi kong bahagi na talaga ng buhay ko ang GMA. Naiyak ako kasi nag-flashback ang lahat sa akin.”
GMA exec Lilybeth Rasonable says what's nice is that when they met with him for his contract renewal, he didn’t make any demands. Instead, he said: “What can I give you pa? I want to do more for the network. Ano pa ang puwede kong gawin kahit behind the scenes?”
She reveals that Dong’s next project is a local version of the hit Koreanovela, “Descendants of the Sun”, and he’ll play the male lead as Capt. Lucas also known as Big Boss. “I just saw the series recently and it’s a great love story,” adds Dingdong. “I really fell in love with the material. I’m so happy they assigned it to me. But we don’t know yet kung sino ang mga makakasama ko kasi binubuo pa lang ng GMA ang show.”
Will his wife Marian Rivera be his leading lady? “The project will start taping soon, so I don’t think she’d be available as she just gave birth. She labored for 10 hours before giving birth to our son, Ziggy. Right now, okay na siya, she’s back to her gardening. Masaya kaming lahat with our new arrival, lalo na si Zia na ateng-ate talaga sa brother niya. It’s like a new experience kasi nakalimutan na namin 'yung mga pinagdaanan namin before with Zia, but we welcome all the challenges of taking care of Baby Ziggy. My role now as husband and father is one of the most demanding responsibilities for me kasi it’s for the rest of my life.”
Dong is open to being a director later on. He’s glad that GMA Films has been activated and he now has a couple of stories that he aims to pitch to them, and hopefully, direct himself later. “I’m so happy that I renewed my contract with GMA at Easter kasi I feel it’s a rebirth of my commitment and dedication in my relationship with GMA for two decades now. As for me, I’m still in the process of reinventing myself to become a better actor. I’m a work in progress and I hope to further hone my craft not only before but also behind the camera.”