Philippine Volcanoes player-turned-It’s Showtime host Eric Tai beams with pride as he talks passionately about his personal fitness triumph.
Through sheer will power, the 6’1” hunk now sports a leaner but more defined physique of Marvel superhero proportions—a massive chest, rippling arms and a freakishly well-defined six-pack abs. Think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and you’ll get the idea.
“I just lost 30 lbs in just two months just by abiding by a clean and healthy diet combined with exercise,” he asserts.
As a fitting reward, Tai has been blessed with the opportunity to immortalize his personal triumph by landing on the cover of the maiden issue of the Philippine edition of Muscle & Fitness, considered as the world’s leading magazine on fitness and bodybuilding.
“It feels so surreal! It hasn’t even sunk in yet,” he confesses, recalling the time he drew inspiration from the magazine as a lanky teener during his formative years.
As his own way of giving back to his supportive fans, Tai embarked on his #EruptionTransformation campaign¬—an ongoing series of videos detailing quick, no-frills workout routines for busy people.
“The feedback has been amazing! Some vids actually get hundreds of thousands of views within 24 hours,” he claims.
“I’m more of a balanced man now,” he says. “I know how to prioritize now, having a full-time partner in crime who’s very understanding and supportive with everything WE do.
Through all the fame and glory, the former Showtime host shares how he’s kept himself grounded, and devoid of any illusions of grandeur.
“Thank God always. Everything I have is from Him. Always having the attitude of gratitude to the man upstairs and also towards your fellowmen—this is what I live by,” he shares humbly.
This year, Tai is more than ready to level up and get more serious with his acting career.
He says, “Acting has always been in my tool bag as I’ve already done theater before I went into Showtime, and even growing up.”
Aside from having dabbled in theater and art through past workshops, Tai also studied drama at his secondary college back in Australia.
Because of his hefty built, will Eric gravitate naturally towards doing action roles?
“I’m more of an action thriller type of guy. And obviously, I’ve idolized Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson ever since I was in my teens—from wrestling all the way to the Hollywood big screen.”
Has he done any teleseryes in the past?
He says, “Not really. I didn’t have much time back then due to Showtime and me being an athlete. But I do remember a scene or two coming in beating people up. Haha! The role of the big boy!”
Now that he’s signed up with Arnold Vegafria’s ALV Talent Circuit, Tai feels more confident about breaking new ground in the industry.
“We’ve actually signed up with him like two or three years ago,” he explains.
“But because we got busy with Cookies ‘n Cream [his sexy/novelty group with Phil. Volcanoes teammates Andrew Wolff and Chris Everingham], we got pretty busy with our own lives. Now that we’re back on track, I’m confident that Arnold can help me focus more on my acting.”
How did Tai discover his gift as a showbiz performer/host? Was he always the fun, gregarious type?
He muses, “I kinda knew I was a performer growing up as a young kid, performing at dances and events. I was also singing in the local church choir. I just didn’t take singing seriously growing up as I was more into acting and dancing. As I grew up, I knew that this would have an impact in my life in the future.”
Asked about his ultimate showbiz dream, Eric says, “I’d really want to follow Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s footsteps and to also share what I know with people around the world, especially regarding fitness and aesthetics.”