Hollywood action star Steven Seagal has been to the Philippines countless times, he says, but this is the first time he is in the country for work.
Seagal arrived in Manila from Los Angeles on Sunday to shoot his 12-part television series “General Commander.”
The story is set in Southeast Asia but most of the scenes will be shot in Manila and other parts of the country.
Sitting down with the global action star, he told Showbuzz he and his team will spend much of this visit to scout the perfect locations for the series.
Steven further shared he is thankful his friend, former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, is always ready to help him. In fact, Gov. Chavit even met him at the airport when he arrived in Manila.
“We will be going to different places on his plane. He knows a lot of good places here where we can shoot. We need forests and mountains and also the city of Manila,” Steven said.
In General Commander, Steven plays the role of former CIA agent Jake Alexander who is out to bring to justice the person responsible for the death of a friend and colleague. The fellow CIA agent was a vital member of his Alexander’s team but killed during a sling operation in Southeast Asia. After being told he cannot pursue plans to find the person who killed his friend, Alexander and his crew resign from the organization and form a rogue security unit funded by a rich friend.
Steven says he is very excited to shoot in the Philippines. He and some business partners are even planning planning to build infrastructure in the country that can be used for their future projects both for movies and TV.
“Besides General Commander, I am also finishing my movie ‘Attrition.’ It’s in post production now but I’m reshooting some of the scenes here in the Philippines,” the action star continued. “I know I won’t have a hard time working here because the people are very good.”
As such, it was but natural for Steven to say he likes the Filipino people most of all when he comes to visit.
“I really think the people are this country’s biggest asset. They are very good; they treat us nicely. No wonder the Philippines is called the ‘Pearl of Asia.”
Further proof that he likes coming here is that Steven can no longer remember how many times he has been to the Philippines. To be sure, the first trip was in the ‘80s, and after that, he would come over for vacations, quietly slipping in and out of the country.
Naturally, actor has been to different places in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. “My favorite is Vigan, Ilocos Sur,” he revealed. “I like the old town feel. I love staying there. It’s a city that was built 200 or 300 years ago!”
Because he is shooting a 12-episode series, Steven is happy he has a longer time to spend here. He, in fact, is ready to experience the famed Philippine Christmas because he plans to work even during the holidays.
It’s exactly a week to go until Regine Valasquez-Alcasid stages her “R3.0” anniversary concert at the MOA Arena.
Tickets for the first night were sold out three weeks ago and there are only a few seats left for the second night—proof that Regine’s drawing power has not waned a bit.
But do you know that after 30 years in the biz, Regine is particularly nervous about this coming concert? She fears it will be more physically challenging for her, quipping “Majonders na ang lola mo!” meaning she’s already old.
“There are things that I can’t do anymore. It’s like my mind thinks I can still do things that I used to do 20 years ago but my body is saying no. I mean pwede ko namang gawin but after that, I’ll be hospitalized or matutulog ako ng isang linggo. Ganu’n talaga! We all go through it. I’m not the only one so OK na rin ‘yun.”
She even noticed her singing voice is different—an even bigger challenge according to the songbird. “Iba na ‘yung boses ko ngayon. It’s harder. Dati I just open my mouth and there it is. Meron nang ewan kung saan nanggaling ‘yun—sa langit yata,” she joked. “It’s different now because there an effort already; there is a struggle to make my voice come out.”
Nevertheless, Regine says she likes her voice now more than before. “When I was younger, I hated the sound of my voice kasi maliit. Feeling ko I was squeaking. Pero ngayon kasi it’s fuller and I can play around with it—parang it’s more dramatic. So I really like the sound of it now kaya despite the struggle.”
She continued, “But my husband [Ogie Alcasid] said he even likes the struggle because now he sees daw my passion for singing, unlike before parang wala lang.”
Indeed, Regine has a lot to be thankful for in her successful career. “Imagine, 31 years in the business and still active. I have nothing to complain about. I cannot ask for anything more. Bonggang-bongga na ito. Siguro another five years pa… I don’t know kung ano pang meron after that but I am already very happy with 31.”
Miss World queens Wyn Marquez and Laura Lehman are set to leave next week for their respective international pageants. Wyn flies out to Bolivia on October 19 where she will represent the country in Reina Hispano Americana 2017. It will be the first time for an Asian to compete in the said pageant.
Laura, on the other hand leaves for China on October 20 for the 67th Miss World pageant.
Wyn, who needed to submit a video for her pageant is very happy over the positive feedback she received. One Latin magazibe even called her “Queen of Asia.”
“I’m just overwhelmed by the positive response and the views online. Nakakatuwa na in three days, it garnered 350,000 views,” said Wyn.
Meanwhile, Laura’s “Beauty with a Purpose” for Miss World is scheduled come out when she goes to China. “We had our shoot at the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center where I have been so involved in helping the kids. The video is so touching because we show the real condition of the kids and what we do for them.”
Just this week, Wyn and Laura, along with other Miss World queens signed movie contracts with Regal Films.
“I’m not a hundred percent about going into acting but I signed the contract just the same,” Laura admitted with a smile. “I haven’t decided only because my focus is on Miss World.”
Wyn, for her part, said she misses acting already. “I took a leave of absence from my assignments at GMA Network because of the pageant. Now, we’ll have to wait for the result of Reina Hispano Americana before I can make plans for my acting career again. But I’m happy that I now have a movie contract because I’ve been wanting to make movies for a long time already.”
GUESS WHO? A talent manager is reportedly salivating over a goodlooking young hunk from a big network. He’s been sending text messages to the actor asking him to have dinner together.
There was even one time when the manager told the actor he can help him if he needs money.
The actor doesn’t bite the bait though, ignoring all of Mr. Manager’s textd. Instead, what the actor does is forward the messages to his own manager. Wise young man.
SHORTS… Because of its high ratings, “My Korean Jagiya” is extended until 2018. The cast, led by Heart Evangelista, expressed happiness over the extension because it means more bonding time for them.
They’ve gotten so close that even on days when they don’t have tapings, they still see each other. They just enjoy eating together and having fun. That’s why Heart’s leading man Alexander Lee says he really enjoys working in the Philippines…
…By the way, another goodlooking Korean actor is coming to the Philippines to join the cast of My Korean Jagiya. Stand by….