Christian Bautista cannot complain about the career he has built in the last decade. After placing only fourth in the ABS-CBN reality singing competition Star in a Million in 2003, he soon became a well-known singer and top recording artist not just in the Philippines, but also in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, earning him the moniker, Asia’s Romantic Balladeer.
When he decided to try his hand in theater, he got the lead roles in commercial stagings of West Side Story and Ramahari; and after crossing over to acting for television in such popular soap operas as Kampanerang Kuba and movies like Mano Po 5, he went on to take another lead internationally, via Singapore’s TV show, The Kitchen Musical.
“It’s all been good,” he told The Manila Times on Monday at a brand new crossroads in his successful calling to show business. He was at his very first interview for his new network,
GMA 7, as one of the stars of the forthcoming romantic-comedy series, “With A Smile.”
“But you know, after 10 years, my outlook towards work is a bit more different now,” he confessed. “While I really threw myself into my career before, I’m looking for more balance in my life right now.”
What Christian meant was more time to be with his family, friends, for himself, and for sure, with his girlfriend, Singaporean actress-radio DJ Carla Dunareanu, who has decided to pursue a number of great opportunities in the country.
“I’m 31 years old now and for the longest time, inintindi ng family ko why I couldn’t be with them in countless trips and get-togethers,” he continued. “They’d always say, ‘Hayaan mo na si Christian, he’s really busy,’ but I’ve come to a point where I’ve realized, ‘Hey, I want to be part of all of that too’.”
And somehow, now that he knows how an artist can easily get too caught up with his craft, he makes it a point to devote days for work and days for his personal life.
Work for GMA Network means regular tapings for With A Smile, which premieres on Monday, under the direction of the highly respected Louie Ignacio. A wonderful mix of humor, charm and romance, the morning soap brings Christian in a love triangle with the successful Sana Ay Ikaw Na Nga team up of Andrea Torres and Mikael Daez.
Andrea plays the role of Isay, a barrio lass who has a passion for cooking, while Mikael is Dean, a family black sheep who realizes his worth when he meets the girl of his dreams.
Enter Christian as Aston, an independent self-made businessman, who gets into a cat and dog fight with Isay, only to fall in love with her sweet and humble ways.
“It’s great to be part of such a professional cast,” said Christian. “From Day 1, everyone’s been working hard, but also having fun.”
The same balance on the set of With a Smile is also what Christian talks about in his other project for GMA, Sunday All Stars, a different kind of variety show, which premieres today.
He was part of Party Pilipinas briefly as it soon went off-air when he joined the network and is happy that management included him the show’s replacement (see “TVLandia’s Latest”).
Christian may sound busy with two shows opening a day after the other, but he promises, he has gotten a better grip of how to handle the different facets of his life.
“I’m very grateful for where I am now, and I’m happy too that I’ve also learned to value the other things that matter,” he concluded.
Certainly, the man has a lot to smile about.