Just like the People’s Champ, top actor enjoys a tough challenge
An eighth round knockout for People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao is how ultimate leading man Derek Ramsay sees today’s mega bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
going down. Undoubtedly one of Philippine showbiz’ most athletic celebrities (besides heading and competing for
the National Frisbee Team, he is also into basketball, football, swimming and running), Derek has such a great appreciation for the training that the Pacman has gone through,
and has no doubt the boxing hero has what it takes to win.
“An eighth round knockout is the first thing that came into my head when you guys asked me for my prediction,” Derek said to a huddle of Entertainment scribes shortly after he renewed a three-year contract with TV5 earlier this week. “Feeling ko lang talaga Round 8 and no other round. I’m very excited to watch the fight on Sunday.”
Derek will be glued to the “Fight of the Century” from Japan today where he flew for the weekend to attend a special screening of the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival blockbuster English Only Please. The movie won the Best Actor Award for the British-Filipino talent in December, which only confirmed that three years into joining the third runner-up in TV’s perennial network war from ABS-CBN, he is still very much in the game of fame and competence in show business.
For unlike other big stars who jumped ship from ABS-CBN and GMA-7 when business mogul Manny Pangilinan invested in TV5—big names whose careers lost their luster, forcing them to return to their erstwhile stations—every aspect of Derek’s career continued to grow. He remained to be a blockbuster draw in the cinemas, an in demand endorser of major brands in food, health and fitness, pharmaceuticals, fashion and even finance, and an A-List celebrity through and through.
How he did this and why he chose to renew his contract with a station that continues to struggle to catch up with the country’s biggest network giants is what Derek candidly and articulately discussed in a one-on-one interview with The Manila Times. Certainly like Manny Pacquiao, the robust celebrity enjoys being an underdog even when he is rightfully on top of his game, and most especially a tough and exciting challenge that lies ahead.
The Manila Times: Was you contract renewal somehow more emotional today between you and TV5 especially after several big stars have chosen to leave the network recently?
Derek Ramsay: It was emotional in a different way. When I moved (here) it was also sad to leave ABS-CBN where I started—I was there for six years. But I was also excited in the sense that I was starting something new and joining a network that is trying to grow and reach the status of ABS and GMA. After three years, it’s been one project after the next (for me), and they’ve been nothing but nice and respectful. So when they announced they wanted to sign me on again—and like you said there are stars who’ve just left (the station)—that to me was very emotional and heartwarming. Because (it meant that) all of your hard work, dedication, and the sweat you’ve put in here day after day; to have your boss (TV5 CEO Noel Lorenzana) telling you, “We believe that you’re this guy who can help us, and we believe we want you to be the face of the network,” it’s a really such good feeling. It’s priceless.
TMT: What do you think has made it work for you on TV5 compared to other artists?
DR: I don’t want to get into what happened to the other artists, but all I can say is I love to take on a challenge. It’s not joke for TV5 to reach the status of an ABS or a GMA, but that’s a challenge.
TMT: Now that you are officially the “face of TV5” does it put a heavy burden on your shoulders to help turn it around?
DR: I don’t put that weight on my shoulders because it wouldn’t be fun if you do. So you just focus, you set out your goals, and you put our mind into it that I’m not just here to be paid. I want to work hard for this network to grow.
TMT: So there were no second thoughts in renewing with TV5?
DR: The only second thought I had was if I was going to continue working in this industry. If I they had said thank you very much for your services, I would have gone on to the next chapter, maybe go into business, construction.
TMT: Still at the top of your game, with a Best Actor Award just this December, what made you mull over a new career path?
DR: I can still do movies but I (was thinking I) just won’t be as active on TV. I’m just open that we all know that the lifespan of an actor is not habang buhay. You need to continuously learn and work with people to be able to bring something new to next project. I reached the point, where you said I had the success of Best Actor, and [while]that gave me the motivation to do more projects, I also know I’m not getting any younger. I had to ask myself if there is something else that I’m here on earth for. But with that said I’m not turning back on what TV5 has done for me, and if they believe in me and that they need me here, I’ll give them back that same respect.
TMT: TV5 has assigned you in almost all the different genres for television, the most current one comedy via Mac and Chiz. For you, though, what project has had the most impact in your career so far?
DR: I’m really enjoying comedy, and I really look forward to going on the set of Mac and Chiz. It’s just like what they say, “If you enjoy what you do it’s not a job,” and that’s what this show is to me right now. But most definitely it’s Kidlat that had the most impact on my career since joining TV5. I strongly believe TV5 should focus on the youth so the youth can grow with the network. Kidlat was (a show from) three years ago, but until now kids just call me “Kidlat.” Ang sarap ng feeling na tumatak talaga sa mga bata yung role and they look at me as a super hero.
TMT: Do you believe TV5 is still very much in the game, and that it can still turn around at this point?
DR: Most definitely. I believe in taking risks, but in taking risks you can be rewarded or it can also take you a few steps back. It’s not easy taking risks to turn this network around and it’s impossible to turn around this network overnight. But we continue to take on the challenge with, and with the faith they’ve given me, that’s what makes it worthwhile.