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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dingdong out of his comfort zone

Marian Rivera doesn’t appear in any of the videos in his new VCD-DVD: The Dingdong Dantes Experience. Other ladies are. But the apple of Dingdong’s eyes doesn’t mind. She knows that when it comes to showbiz, Dingdong has been there, done that. But he has never released an album of his own. Having one is a dream come true for him.

So when Universal Records approached him with an offer to make his first audio-visual project via the album, he didn’t have second thoughts. He said yes, yes, yes!

“I never pass up an opportunity,” says Dingdong. “And in all my years in showbiz, I never thought there would still be things about it that could really surprise me. Making this album definitely did!”

Like a boy agog over his new toy, Dingdong can’t get over “the new chapter in my life”, which allows him step into the shoes of performers for whom music is as natural as breathing.

“I don’t sing,” Dingdong admits. “That’s why I have a high respect for those who do.”

Besides, the project is not your typical album. It also contains a mini-coffee table book/scrapbook which shows Dingdong’s playful, sexy side. What’s more, it has behind-the-scene pictures taken during the music video shots.

Dingdong got so hooked on the album he put other projects on hold while shooting the music videos.

“I had to focus,” he explains.

Focus also meant looking back at the many music videos he has seen so far, picking out the best, and applying what he saw in his own album. Dingdong never thought of asking advice from any of his performer friends. He wanted the album to contain his very own signature, and not be a carbon copy of someone else’s work.

The idea is for the album to be the first of others he can truly call his own. Thus, Dingdong says the videos and the tracks in the album were chosen so that they could lend themselves to sequels. The tracks tell stories with many possible endings; the videos can give birth to other scenarios.

Dingdong is just waiting for people’s reactions to his new album and decide what to do from there.

No matter what happens though, Dingdong is bent on pursuing his birthday project in time for his big day on Aug. 2.

“ People don’t know I was once a scholar,” he reveals. Exactly how and why he refuses to divulge. Suffice it to say that he’s paying it forward by putting up a foundation to help children get an education.

Dingdong has been meeting with friends weeks before his birthday to make sure the foundation’s launch on his birthday will go on without a hitch. It’s his answer to the call of moral responsibility that goes hand-in-hand with celebrity.

“People look up to people like us,” he concedes. “We exert a big influence on others.” Hence the foundation, whose name Dingdong says he will reveal in due time.

Dingdong can’t say the same thing about his other dreams. These have no time frame, no set date of completion.

Take his dream of making a film for art’s sake. The movie need not earn money but must simply put a smile on people’s lips.

“The best reward for me as an actor is seeing people approach me to say what I did on screen made them happy,” states Dingdong.

Don’t get him wrong. Dingdong won’t mind getting an acting trophy, like his idols, Richard Gomez and Aga Muhlach did. But Dingdong says making other people happy is a lot better. It puts him on Cloud Nine. And that for him, is enough reward.

“Richard and Aga make really good films. They started out as matinee idols but have gone beyond that,” explains Dingdong.

He knows people adore him as a matinee idol. But he’s crossing his fingers that someday, they will not just notice his good looks, but his acting as well.

“I’m in no hurry to get there,” he clarifies. Dingdong knows it will take time, and a lot of effort. And he’s willing to give both.

Yes, you ain’t seen nothing yet.




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