Derrick Monasterio flies high

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LHAR SANTIAGO

PLUS: Lovi attends Poe family event with rumored French Filipino boyfriend
Derrick Monasterio was around nine years old when his mom, ‘80s actress Tina Monasterio learned he could sing. According to the story, she heard him practicing a tune at home for an inter-school singing competition, which turned out to be “Mulawin’s” theme. And guess what? Derrick won the contest, just as he is a winner today by bagging a most important role in the telefantasya’s grand sequel, “Mulawin vs. Ravena.”

Derrick is Alamino in the grand prime time series, and as he looks back on his mom’s story years ago, he believes it is now something he can consider prophetic.

“That was the first time I joined a singing competition and I chose to sing ‘Ikaw Nga’ because I found the song very beautiful as a Mulawin fan, but very challenging too. Still, never did I imagine that this time will come when I will be starring in the telefantasya that gave me my winning song back then,” he marveled.

There are at least 26 big stars starring in Mulawin vs. Ravena portraying important roles, but Derrick’s Almiro is said to be the role designed for someone being groomed to be the network’s next big star. Almiro is a pivotal character because as the son of Aguiluz and Alwina, the rightful king and queen of Avila, which is the kingdom of the Mulawin. With Aguiluz gone, Almiro is the rightful heir to the throne, the anointed one to save the entire flock of half-bird and half-humans from their enemies.

Derrick Monasterio

Pressured and excited is how Derrick describes his emotions over portraying the role of Almiro in the biggest telefantasya of GMA this year.

“Before I was given this role in Mulawin, I was chosen to play the title role in Tsuperhero. Doon pa lang, naramdaman ko na how my network has been giving me importance. Inaalagaan talaga nila ko. When the role of Almiro was entrusted to me, I was overwhelmed kasi Mulawin na ito! Kumbaga, a very important project. I am really grateful to GMA for the trust. On my part naman, I promise to give my hundred percent in return. Pagbubutihan ko talaga. That’s why I’ve been so serious with my training for the show. I will do my best so that I will not let my bosses down,” Derrick fervently promised.

The actor’s training for the role included sword fighting and flying, besides his personal workout in the gym. He also enrolled in boxing.

“I won’t say though that I am super ready,” he humbly stated. “While I may have done a lot of training, we can never tell demanding my scenes will be. Mabigat nga kasi yung role. I can just say that right now, I am excitedly challenged.”

Doing Mulawin vs Ravena is definitely not easy. It’s both physically and emotionally taxing, but Derrick is not complaining. “Even if what you do is hard, if you have very good co-workers, they will inspire you. That’s what happening to me on the set. Most of the scenes that I have taped are with Kuya Dennis (Trillo), Miss Heart (Evangelista) and Tita Nova (Villa) and I tell you, they are so good pero ang maganda, hindi sila nananapaw sa mga eksena, sa halip, they are very helpful. Like si Tita Nova, she really helps me on how to attack certain scenes, and I really appreciate that.”

With taping now in full swing, Derrick can’t wait to do his scenes with the other stars of Mulawin vs. Ravena like Carla Abellana, Lovi Poe, Tom Rodriguez, Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali, Martin Del Rosario, Kiko Estrada, Ariel Rivera, Dion Ignacio, Wyn Marquez, Chyna Ortaleza, and the rest of the cast.

Derrick has yet to tape a scene with his leading lady in the telefantasya, Bea, who he is so used to working with from past projects.

“Kami naman ni Bea, we are so comfortable working with each other. Hindi na kami nahihiya sa isa’t isa. She really is the closest to me among all the female actresses of GMA. We understand each other, and we take care of each other. Like pag pawis na ko during taping, she will wipe my face, or she would remind me of things that I have to do. Ako naman, dinadaan ko sa materyal ang pagpapakita ko ng pag-care. Ginagastusan ko siya. Like I would ask her what she wants to eat and I would buy it for her.”

Last Mother’s Day, Derrick invited Bea to lunch with his mom. Bea accepted the invitation and came with her own mother, so the two families celebrated the special day at a seafood restaurant in Quezon City.

“Our families have become very close,” confirmed Derrick. “Since more than five years ago, when I started in showbiz, our moms would see each other in events and it all started there.”

With their closeness, doesn’t Derrick feel he’s already falling for Bea? “With how things are going in our careers right now, we don’t think about entering into a relationship yet. Yes, our friendship is very special but we are leaving it at that at the moment. Both of us don’t want to get distracted as we are so focused on our respective careers,” Derrick reasoned-out.

In the meantime, Derrick is so excited about Mulawin vs. Ravena which will start airing on Monday, May 22, after “24 Oras.”

“I’m very proud of our show. Watch out for the very good execution of the special effects, yung mga lipad, ‘yung pagbuka at pagtikom ng pakpak, fantastic. Also, watch out for my transformation, sobrang ganda. Saludo talaga ko kay Direk Dom Zapata at kay Direk Don Michael Perez, they are so good!”

Yes, watch out for Derrick. Mulawin vs. Ravena might just signal his time to soar higher as an important actor of his generation.

* * *

It was very nice to see Lovi Poe in a Poe family event, led by her half-sister and “ate,” Sen. Grace, her son Brian Poe-Llamanzares, and of course, the one and only Susan Roces. The event was the launch of Brian’s new business venture, a new watch brand called Time Master.

Even if she had a scheduled taping for Mulawin vs. Ravena in that day, Lovi made sure she finished early because she didn’t want to miss the important day in her nephew’s life.

Lovi Poe (extreme right) with (from left) constant date Chris Johnson and nephew Brian Llamanzares

“Minsan lang namang mag-invite si Brian. Siyempre I give him my support. Actually, this is not just to show my support to him but for the whole family. And yes, I have a very good relationship with the whole family,” Lovi assured.

Lovi arrived with her rumored French-Filipino boyfriend Chris Johnson who was patiently waiting for the actress while she was being interviewed. A number of reporters tried to ask him to join Lovi in the conversation but he was too shy to grant an on-cam chat.

“He’s really very private,” said Lovi. “He’ll just wait for me until I finish because he understands the nature of my job—that there are interviews, picture taking and other stuff, and that’s what good with him. Grabe ang patience niya sa paghihintay.”

Just like in her previous interviews, Lovi refused to say whether she and Chris are in a relationship already.

“All I can say is we’re good with whatever we have right now. We don’t want to rush into anything yet. We don’t even want to give a label to whatever is between us. What’s important is we’re happy, and we’re learning from each other.”

Lovi hastened to add that her happiness is not only because if Chris.

“I’m happy with life, in general—in terms of my career, especially. I think the best thing about me now is that I’m very career-oriented and I’m sharing it with someone who is very career-oriented too,” she enthused.

When it comes to priorities, nothing comes before work for Lovi at the moment. Especially since she is very excited to be part of the much talked about telefantasya Mulawin vs. Ravena—her very first fantasy series.

She has finished taping some of her scenes and said she realized it isn’t an easy genre to work on.

“Mahirap pala,” she swore. “Talagang mabusisi lahat because of the effects. You really have to finish the whole scene for the effects. Add to this the Filipino that we use, sobrang lalim. Pero overall, it feels good to do it because we know we are offering the viewers a very good show. Tapos, lahat ng katrabaho ko panay mahuhusay at kaibigan ko pa, so no complaints.”

* * *

It was a big surprise for Martin Del Rosario to get a call from his manager that he had a part in Mulawin vs. Ravena. He had just finished the afternoon series “Pinulot Ka Lang Sa Lupa” so he was entertaining the idea of going on vacation. But with the fantasy series one that any actor would love to be a part of, he quickly let go of his plans.

“I was surprised but very happy. I was secretly hoping that I would be part of this big telefantasya pero yun nga, katatapos ko lang ng isang show. I just want to thank GMA for thinking of me.”

Martin will be playing the character of Aramis, the role that was portrayed by James Blanco in 2004 version of Mulawin.

“As Aramis, I will be the one taking care of Almiro because siya nga ang sugo, ang tagapagligtas ng mga Mulawin, so he has to be protected. It’s a very interesting role and I will be working most of the time with Derrick, who is Almiro, and Dennis and Heart,” Martin told Showbuzz.

In the meantime, while Martin is waiting for his taping schedule, he is keeping busy with Armory, a bar that he opened in Quezon City. He is happy to say that the place is doing well.

“I personally supervise everything in Armory. Iba kasi pag hands on ka. Even when I have taping, if I finish early, I go straight to the bar to see how things are going.”

* * *

SHORTS… Real life couple Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez were sorely missed at the press conference for Mulawin vs. Ravena on Tuesday night. They were the only ones absent at the big launch. They had a very good reason for doing so because they were working in Davao taping for their new primetime series, “I Heart Davao.” They will stay there for a couple of weeks with the whole cast for the shoot…

…Wynwyn Marques was outstandingly stunning in her black gown at the press conference of Mulawin vs. Ravena that talent manager and Miss World Philippines franchise holder Arnold Vegafria approached her to invite her to join the pageant this year.

“She’s so beautiful and has the height. She’s beauty queen material. I hope she joins Miss World Philippines,” Arnold said with excitement…

…This coming Monday has been dubbed as “Araw ng Mulawin.” Televiewers will see the stars of the anticipated telefantasya in several GMA shows starting with “Unang Hirit” in the morning, “Eat Bulaga” at noon and 24 Oras in the evening.

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