He might as well be called a Pinoy idol. After 15 days of continuous shooting for TV5’s much-awaited mini-serye, “Nandito Ako,” international singing star David Archuleta faced media members one last time on Saturday evening before he finally left the country early Sunday morning to go to Singapore for another engagement, and back to the US to prepare for his two-year missionary work.
Despite fatigue and sore throat setting in as a result of his hectic schedule that included finishing his scenes for the mini-serye, TV guestings, and a grand fans day on Friday night, the 21-year-old singer showed that he was a pro and a really nice guy by saying yes to a request to sing the mini-serye’s theme song, “Nandito Ako”.
In his striking crooning that was once described by New York times as a “lovely, foggy R&B voice,” David impressed the audience with his heartfelt rendition of “Nandito Ako,” prompting a group of writers to comment that David seems to have imbibed the romantic song’s lyrics.
In an interview, Joanne Banaga, one of the mini-serye‘s supervising producers, said David had a grueling itinerary that involved taping on weekdays and doing promotions on weekends. Yet through it all, “He wasn’t difficult to work it. You call him at this hour or you tell him not to wrap up yet, and even if he’s sleepy, he just sings or jogs to wake himself up. The only challenge that came up while working with him is that you invest in an emotion and you get to like him. He’s like a son to you. You get attached to him. Sobra. He’s so humble that he’s not comfortable when you try to praise him.
“And ‘good’ is not okay with him. He wants to give his best all the time.”
At the press conference held at the Meralco Fitness Center in Ortigas where David was presented along with the other cast members of the TV drama series, he admitted that he’s going to miss working with his fellow actors especially since they’ve become closer to each other. Asked whether he’s developed something more than just friendship with either Jasmine Curtis-Smith or Eula Caballero, his co-actors in the series, David replied: “I’m always being asked about that! It was really fun working with Jasmine and Eula. They’re both just really great actresses and great girls. It’s just been so great and everyone’s been supportive. I don’t want it to stop.”
In the beginning, however, when the TV5 project was first presented to him, David confessed his reluctance to come to the Philippines and accept the acting project. “When the offer first came, I was a bit reluctant because I didn’t know what the experience would be like – to be away from home to do a series, which is something that I’ve never done before. I really had my concerns and my doubts.
“But what really made it great was that I started to get out of my comfort zone, including trying more food and being more adventurous. Everyone was supportive and the TV5 management was just so easy to work with. (The experience) has made me more mature. This isn’t something that I would normally do but I was willing to take on the challenge. I just had time enough before I go on a missionary for a couple of years. It’s been exciting and it just taught me a lot about myself as a person. It’s so weird because I didn’t expect that at all.”
On his fifth visit and his longest stay in the country, David fulfilled his wish to ride a jeepney again and to visit a local market. David was also spotted backstage at the recent Annebisyosa concert of Jasmine’s sister, Anne Curtis. David dropped by, accompanied by some TV5 crew, halfway through the concert mainly to show support for Jasmine who was a guest in the concert.
Jasmine said she invited David to Anne’s show but had advised him beforehand: “She’s not really a singer.”
But the American Idol Season 7 Finalist said that, all the same, he enjoyed the concert. “It was really fun but what I really respected about Anne was the message she was showing to people, to follow your dreams. She was open about not being a great singer out there but she still sang, ‘You know, I can do this, as long as I’m willing to work hard and do my best, and so can you.’ I really appreciate the message that she’s trying to bring and she’s encouraging more people to do the same thing.”
Now that he’s completed his work for “Nandito Ako,” David expressed his openness to exploring an acting career. “This has been one of the best experiences in my life. I’m not a great actor and this is something new to me. But I hope to continue because this is something that I would love to work on and enjoy. It’s such a great thing to share with people.”
“Nandito Ako” will air on TV5 starting February 20. Meanwhile, watch David (above) as he sings the mini-serye’s theme song at Saturday night’s press conference.