MANILA, FEBRUARY 28 2012 (PHILSTAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo (PHOTO - David Archuleta was smiling teary-eyed during this exclusive farewell interview before he went back to the US.) In the TV5 soap Nandito Ako in which he plays a Fil-Am singer tracing his roots in the Philippines, American Idol alumnus David Archuleta delivers his dialogue in English and whoever is in the scene with him does so in Tagalog. Interestingly, they understand each other perfectly well. How do they do it?

“Before the shoot,” David told Funfare during a farewell interview a few days after he went back to the States, “they explained to me the scene and what the other actor was saying, and that’s how we understood each other.”

They did the same before David recorded the soap’s theme song of the same title, composed by now-US-based Aaron Paul del Rosario.

“So I knew the meaning of the song and I sang it straight from the heart,” said David.

Supposed to shoot for the soap in three weeks, David stayed for more than a month to record an album of covers (titled Forevermore for Sony Music, set for release tentatively second week of March) and managed to accommodate other projects including a pictorial as endorser of Bench’s hair-styling product Fix and gracing the Close Up Pyropalooza.

When Nandito Ako premiered on the Kapatid Network Monday last week, TV5 PR girl Peachy Guioguio texted Funfare, “Hello! Nandito Ako is trending in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, The US…worldwide!”

Sadly, David didn’t catch the airing because he had left by then to fulfill his two-year service for the Mormon Church, during which he’d be shut off from showbiz…well, partially.

“I’m leaving the Philippines with a heavy heart,” admitted David who has been embraced by Filipinos as a kapatid.

More on David:

After Nandito Ako, what?

“At first, I thought, ‘I can’t act? Why will I ever do it?’ I was so scared to act. Doing Nandito Ako was so much fun. It gave me confidence as an actor. I would love to come back and do another drama series.”

What role do you want to do next?

“Whatever character they make me portray. Who knows, maybe some kind of a sequel to Nandito Ako. But it depends on how well Nandito fares in the ratings and how much people enjoy it.”

In your free time, you took the jeepney to a wet market (in Novaliches). How much else did you see about Metro Manila?

“I wanted to see the real life in Manila, and not just the nice places that people brought me to — you know, the five-star hotels, etcetera. I went to eat halo-halo at a small store in Pasay City. I tried the balut but that was for a scene in Nandito. I didn’t eat the whole thing, though.”

[PHOTO - David Archuleta was smiling teary-eyed during this exclusive farewell interview before he went back to the US. After shooting the TV5 soap Nandito Ako, he managed to grace the Close Up event Pyropalooza (above) and the presscon for Bench’s hair-styling gel Fix which he’s endorsing (left).]

You’re doing a two-year mission for the Mormon church. Will it cut you off from showbiz?

“I will be in seclusion but not totally. I can use the computer once a week. I can write letters to my family and friends. I can tweet my fans to update them on what I’m doing. Mostly, I’ll be doing community service and help bring people closer to Christ. There’ll be time for to reflect on myself and my relationship with God.”

Why did you decide to do that service?

“It was more about the sacrifice. I was raised a Mormon and I think my parents did a very good job in teaching me to remember what’s important in anything that I do. God has given me so much. Time to give back, time to share with others what I’ve learned about my relationship with God.”

As a Mormon, what are you supposed to not do? Does it limit the kind of songs that you choose to sing and now the kind of roles that you have to portray?

“It’s more up to you to choose the right songs and the right roles for you. When people look up to you as a role model, you have to be careful with what you do and what you say. I try to relay a positive message in my songs.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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