DINGDONG Dantes is so busy he seems indefatigable with him as hosts of two current shows, “Amazing Earth” and “Starstruck Season 7”. Then he’s also shooting a new movie for Viva Films, “A Hard Day”, the local remake of a hit Korean action thriller made in 2014. And soon, he will start taping for his new soap, the local adaptation of the hit Koreanovela, “Descendants of the Sun”, as GMA Network has already signed a memorandum of agreed with the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines.)
The show is about soldiers and they will tape it with the full cooperation of the AFP. Present in the contract signing are Dingdong himself as Capt. Lucas Manalo or Big Boss, Jasmine Curtis Smith as Lt. Moira Defensor and Rocco Nacino as Sgt. Diego Ramos. The rest of the cast include Renz Fernandez, Andre Paras, Chariz Solomon, Lucho Ayala, Paul Salas, Prince Clemente, Jon Lucas, Judith Manalo and the leading lady, Jennylyn Mercado,who’s still to be officially announced since she’s still in the ongoing “Love You Two” with Gabby Concepcion. They will undergo special military training to prepare for the series.
Meanwhile, Dingdong is just grateful that GMA management has chosen him again to host “Starstruck Season 7”. “I really have so much to be thankful for,” says Dingdong who left after the contract signing with AFP to do shows abroad. “Hindi talaga ako nababakante. Itong pagho-host ng bagong Starstruck is a big blessing. Ako ang host ng very first Starstruck 15 years ago at ngayon, co-host ko na ang female winner doon, si Jennylyn. Ang dami ko nang naging ibang co-hosts through the years, from Nancy Castiglione and Jolina Magdangal, to Carla Abellana and Megan Young. I am grateful to Starstruck kasi dito rin nahasa ang pagiging TV host ko. I learned so much from doing this. Ibang-iba ang Starstruck when we started it kasi wala pang social media noon. Now, masusundan ng viewers ang progress ng artista hopefuls kasi they can follow the show kahit sa social media at interactive na ito online.”
He is inspired to work hard because of his family. “Siyempre, dalawa na ang anak namin, si Zia then si Ziggy, so kailangan talagang kumayod nang husto,” he adds.
“It’s also for them that I maintain my good health. Kaya nga bumalik ako sa pagiging very active. I’ve lost weight and this is also in preparation for my plan to join the Berlin Marathon.”
He and wife Marian Rivera are now preparing for the christening of their baby boy. “Yes, kumpleto na nga ang listahan namin ng mga magiging ninong at ninang, but we’re still looking for a good date.”
Is Marian returning back to work soon? “No, she’s not in a hurry. She’s still enjoying Ziggy’s early stages of infancy right now. If I had a choice, ayoko ring maglalabas ng bahay to spend more time with him, with them. Kaya lang, someone has to earn a living for all of us.”
How is Zia reacting to having a baby brother? “She likes it. Ateng-ate ang dating niya. The concept of being the big sister is clear to her, so there’s no envy or jealousy.”