Generosity becomes Derrick Monasterio



There were over a thousand people who trooped to San Jose Del Monte Heights’ covered courts late last week to see GMA Network heartthrob Derrick Monasterio. The actor chose to celebrate his birthday there with less fortunate children from the community.

Derrick was overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up because he didn’t announce his visit. He originally planned to help out in one of the public school’s nutrition programs by donating food stuff and cash but a parish priest assisted him and organized a gathering of 100 children from the barangay whom Derrick can celebrate his birthday with as well.

The scene at the court was far from what Derrick and his equally generous friends expected. As early as 12 noon, the venue was filled to the rafters what with folks from nearby places coming in droves when they heard Derrick was coming.

They patiently waited for Derrick, whom they call Almiro from the hit telefantasya “Mulawin Versus Ravena,” and welcomed him with deafening shrieks as he arrived.

And then, without anyone leading them, the crowd suddenly burst into singing “Happy Birthday” for their special guest.

“I was so surprised. I never thought there would be that many people. This is the first time na kinantahan ako ng happy birthday ng ganun karaming tao. I was really touched,” he said.

He then enjoyed watching the kids perform dance numbers, as well as an Almiro look-alike competition organized by the parishioners. Derrick had as much a difficult time judging who the winner was though.

After the show, the organizers decided it was best to hold the feeding program inside the children’s classrooms because of their sheer number, which Derrick supervised himself. He personally served the kids the food his group prepared.

“This is one birthday wish fulfilled for me,” he revealed. “I’ve always wanted to share my blessings with children in need. I know this is just a small thing but I want to start somewhere. The Lord has been very faithful in providing for me. He has blessed me with so much so I want to share those blessings. And I want to keep on doing this not only on my birthday, but whenever I have enough to share.”

Derrick Monasterio receives a warm welcome from public school children in San Jose del Monte INSTAGRAM PHOTO

Asked for an update on his show, Derrick meanwhile said, “The fight between the Mulawins and the Ravenas now involve the humans. Almiro’s strength and leadership will be put to test. Even the love story between Almiro and Anya will have to hurdle a big challenge. Maganda siya talaga.”

To be sure, turning a year older will further improve Derrick’s acting skills, besides the fact that he is one of 20 scholars who completes an acting workshop this week under renowned workshop facilitator from New York, Anthony Vincent Bova. (See related story on this page—Ed).

“I can’t wait to apply what I learned in my scenes in Mulawin Versus Ravena. I am more aware that I can use my personal experiences, my own instinct in creating my character,” Derrick ended.

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When Korean actor Alexander Lee accepted the series “My Korean Jagiya,” he thought it would be like all the other projects he had done before. He’d report to the set, act his scenes out and call it a day.

“But I was shocked when I worked for My Korean Jagiya,” he revealed. “The Filipino artists and staff are very welcoming, very friendly. In Korea, it usually takes us weeks to, you know, warm-up and break the ice but the Filipinos, they’re very welcoming and nice. They have this way of making one feel comfortable. And I would like to add, Heart (Evangelista) always takes care of me so I really feel like I’m at home here.”

Alexander and his co-Korean actors are so well taken care of, especially by Heart who is playing her role as host to the hilt.

“They’re always in my house,” said Heart. “Malapit lang kasi yung hotel nila sa bahay ko. So every night du’n sila, nakiki-dinner or they have dessert with us. Sometimes we just hang out until midnight, so they’ve become so at ease and relaxed with us.”

Even before My Korean Jagiya, Alexander had already heard about Heart from the international school he attended. “She’s famous! My schoolmates even talked about her. I asked, ‘Who’s Heart?’ Then they said her surname is Evangelista, which I like because I’m a Christian. So when I heard about the offer and learned that she’s gonna in the show, I was so excited. I said, ‘Yeah, I wanna do it’.”

Alexander has also met Heart’s husband Senator Chiz Escudero is so impressed with the couple. “They’re perfect as a couple, very admirable,” he added.

My Korean Jagiya will start airing on Monday night.

* * *

Husband and wife Andy and Diana Zubiri-Smith were the picture of doting parents to their daughter Aliyah Rose when the baby celebrated her first birthday at Blue Leaf in Pasig City.

The event was star-studded with Andy and Diana’s celebrity friends in attendance. Among the early birds were Diana’s friend Francine Prieto who came with her American husband, Gabbi Garcia of “Encantadia” fame, Mikee Quintos, Neil Ryan Sese, and Alfred Vargas who was with beautiful wife Yasmine and their two pretty daughters. Also spotted were Michael V and his family, Katrina Halili and daughter Katie, Yasmine Kurdi with husband Rey and their daughter Ayesha, Iza Calzado and Karylle.

“We want Aliyah’s first birthday to really be very memorable so that when she grows up she has something to look-back to. Kahit hindi pa niya naa-appreciate ngayon yung party, paglaki niya, makikita niya kung gaano kasaya yung unang birthday niya,” enthused Diana.

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SHORTS… Work on Vic Sotto’s Metro Manila Film Festival movie with Dawn Zulueta will begin real soon, and Showbuzz finds the title of the movie, “Meant To Beh,” very cute. It was obviously taken from GMA’s top-rating primetime rom-com “Meant To Be.” Also in the cast are both Kapuso and ABS-CBN Kapamilya stars like Andrea Torres, Gabbi Garcia, Ruru Madrid, Baeby Baste, JC Santos and Daniel Matsunaga…

… Speaking of Gabbi, the Kapuso young actress is back from her one-week trip to France where she did a fashion pictorial for the cover of Mega Magazine. She was happy to learn upon her return that she would be doing a project with love team mate Ruru Madrid…

… Real life sweethearts Will Devaughn and Roxanne Barcelo are starring in a movie about two individuals who found love in a sleepy but very beautiful town of Sta. Fe in Bantayan island in Cebu. The title of the movie is “I Found My Love in Sta. Fe.”


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