Manila Standard Today: David Makes His Choice

We don’t know who’s been taking singer David Archuleta around whenever he visits the Philippines (he’s been here four times) but his taste in Pinoy food goes beyond the usual adobo and lumpia as he has been feasting on tokwa’t baboy, sisig and papaitan. David has also ridden the ubiquitous jeepney.

When the Philippines was hit by Ondoy, David volunteered to hold a benefit concert for those affected by the floods. He was also one of the first foreign artists to express sympathy via the social networking site Twitter for those affected by tropical storm Sendong late last year.

Even before he first came here, David says he was already a fan of Regine Velasquez. Of course, he also admires his good friend Charice.

“It’s always fun for me when I come here,’’ says David to explain the “special treatment’’ that he gives the Philippines.

“The number one thing in any place is people. That’s always the thing that strikes me; it’s what I remember the most in anywhere I go, especially here in the Philippines. The people here have always been very gracious, very friendly, and just very supportive. Every single time that we’ve come here, it’s always been [a] great and amazing experience,’’ he adds.

At press time, David is on his last week in the country as he is busy shooting a TV drama for TV 5. In Nandito Ako, David plays an international singer who is half-Filipino. The character that he plays lived in the Philippines until he was five years old when he and his mother were separated by a hotel fire. Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Eula Caballero are his leading ladies. Oh, David will also sing the theme song of the show. The song was composed and originally sang by Ogie Alcasid.

"We couldn’t have asked for a better leading man. People of all ages like watching David," says Percy Intalan, TV5 Creative and Entertainment head, who developed the story for Nandito Ako.

"It was a crazy idea," admits Intalan. "But we’re here now and we’re taping."

David believes that one should "never say never" so despite being an acting newbie, he took the TV 5 offer, but not before taking an acting class. Well, sort of.

"I sort of took (a class) in New York before I came over here. It wasn’t exactly like a class… The lady that I worked with was great. She helped me kind of loosen up. It made me look forward to doing this and that it’ll be fun.She just really taught me (that) instead of how people sometimes get caught in reading the lines, saying the lines, and acting out the lines, she focused on how I could relate to what the words were even if it wasn’t me. For the most part the character I’m playing is very much me which is nice but there are parts where you have to pretend. So how can you still put yourself in there? How can you still connect? She was great at teaching me to find exercises on how to do that," he shares.

In a couple of months, David will take a two-year break from his career in show business to do missionary work for his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"It’s very much focused on service—service to people in other communities and being able to change them. It’s also very much about sacrifice. For me, it was very hard because there would be a lot to sacrifice but that was my personal reason why I wanted to go—because of what you sacrifice and what you learn through sacrifice. Not having my family, my career, securer things in my life, I know in a way I will grow a lot which I haven’t been able to, yet. I’m looking forward to it," says David.

During the two-year period, David will have no access to Twitter and other social networking sites and he will not perform in public. He is also not allowed to disclose where he is going. He says he has talked to his management about the possibility of recording some songs so that his fans will have something to listen to in his absence.

"This is a huge part of who I am. I admire my friends who did it. I have seen how it has built their relationship with God. It will be hard but humbling," says David.

Source: Manila Standard Today by Dinna Chan Vasquez

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