DINGDONG PROPOSES TO MARIAN RIVERA  

PHOTO: Screengrab from “Marian” show on GMA 7. Actor Dingdong Dantes has proposed to long-time girlfriend and actress Marian Rivera. Dantes made the proposal on his knees during Rivera’s dance show on GMA Network Saturday. A tearful but smiling Rivera accepted the offer of marriage by Dantes who introduced her after as “my fiancée”.FULL BREAKING NEWS REPORT.

ALSO: B-day wish ni Marian tutuparin ni Dingdong 

Live ang birthday episode ni Marian Rivera tonight. Mamaya, sa Marian, mag-iinit ang dance floor dahil isang powerhouse birthday special ang inihanda ng Kapuso Primetime Queen na pangungunahan ng kanyang boyfriend of nine years na si Dingdong Dantes. Say ni Marian, simula noong nag-launch ang Marian, it has been her wish na maging guest si Dong at finally matutupad na siya. “Since it’s my birthday, ito na din ang special gift niya sa kaniya ng production,” she said. Bukod sa gagawin ni Dong, dapat ding abangan ng mga manonood kung sinu-sino pa ang magiging guests ni Marian. Marian will celebrate her birthday this Aug. 12 actually. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Something about Marian 

No question was dodged. Nothing seemed to faze her. GMA 7 star Marian Rivera was at her most candid and chatty, when she sat down with Inquirer Entertainment recently.
Out of the blue, she announced that she had come straight from doing the laundry at home. She’s been on her own for the last seven years, she said. “I have no help; I do my own chores.” She cooks, does grocery shopping, pays the bills, cleans the aquarium. And when she finds the time, she bakes. “I’m hyper,” she admitted, “and very hands-on.” GMA 7’S prime talent courageously faces the Inquirer team, right after doing the laundry. Before her rapt audience could recover from that, she tossed two more surprises on the table: She watches cartoon shows to unwind. And she paints.

There’s much more to her than meets the public eye, Marian insisted. That’s why she gets exasperated when media reports on her supposed fits of jealousy whenever boyfriend Dingdong Dantes works with another actress. It makes her want to vomit, she said. “Nasusuka ako.” Those rumors imply that she is easily rattled, that she has low self-esteem, she said. “Am I not pretty? Don’t I conduct myself well?” Well, she is certainly not lacking in self-confidence. And, she volunteered, the take-charge attitude that works for her at home, she has employed at work. She personally picked her leading man (the slightly younger Alden Richards) and came up with the title for her new show, “Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw.” Marian explained: “The original title, ‘Catarina,’ was too sosyal (upscale),” she explained. “My followers are masa.” She means business. Are you now used to acting with a younger leading man? * READ MARIAN'S ANSWER AND MORE...

ALSO Earlier report: More than a heartthrob  

REPORT AND PHOTO OF FEBRUARY 2012: Sometimes, when the world gets really crazy, Dingdong Dantes finds the need to go very, very fast. “I like speed,” the 31-year-old actor admits. “When I’m alone especially, I just want to ride my bike and go somewhere and be back in three hours. That’s therapy for me.” Riding his Ducati Diavel and just getting away comforts him, the actor says; it reminds him that he’s in control. Dantes’ career has been an exciting ride as well. Ever since he burst into television over a decade ago, he has been a man living between time slots, caught in a hurricane of movies and TV shows. He’s been plastered half-naked on gigantic billboards and is dating FHM Philippines’ 2008 Sexiest Woman, Marian Rivera. But it isn’t easy being Dingdong Dantes, who started out as a good-looking guy and graduated to become the nation’s favorite heartthrob. After enjoying the perks of fame, he is now looking for a deeper sense of where he is and where he is headed. He’s looking for what’s next.

Born Jose Sixto Dantes III, he is the eldest of four children to businessman Sixto Dantes, Jr., and homemaker Angeline Dantes. Growing up in Cubao, Dantes seemed fated for the screen at an early age. “I liked portraying roles and creating scenes with my toys,” he recalls. Called “bibo” or energetic, Dantes was discovered at the age of 3. The way he remembers it, his family liked going to the malls, where he got into mischief, like hiding under the skirts of salesladies. That was, until an agent noticed him and cast him in his first TV commercial for Carnation milk. “Everything just followed,” he says. The early 1990s were the heyday of male dance crews, among them the Universal Motion Dancers and the Streetboys. Dantes, then a high school student at the Ateneo, joined a group called the Abztract Dancers for a year. Though short, that time proved instructional for the actor who, to this day, can tear up the dance floor.
The stint with the Abztract Dancers led to actual TV appearances, first on German Moreno’s juggernaut teen show “Saturday Entertainment,” and then that noontime staple “Eat Bulaga!” After high school, Dantes got the opportunity that would change everything. An agent who did TV commercials offered him an afternoon show on GMA-7. “That was the springboard that started it all,” he recalls. The show was “T.G.I.S. (Thank God It’s Sabado).” * READ MORE...


ALSO Philstar photos:Dingdong proposes marriage to Marian 

Fans of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes immediately took to social media after the GMA-7 actor proposed marriage to the 29-year-old actress. READ: Marian Rivera now engaged to Dingdong Dantes The hashtag #DONGYAN (a portmanteau of their names Dingdong and Marian) became the top Twitter trending topic in the Philippines right after Dingdong's proposal on the GMA-7 dance show “Marian” on Saturday, August 9. “Engagement of the year,” said actress-singer Roxanne Barcelo, one of Marian's close friends, on her Twitter account. “I love you both @iamdongdantes and #Marian Congratulations!” tweeted Ana Feleo. Roxanne and Ana worked with Marian in the 2012 series “Amaya.” Here are photos of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes taken during the live episode of “Marian," where the GMA-7 actor proposed to the Kapuso Primetime Queen

(Photos courtesy of GMA Corporate Communications/ GMA Network Instagram account) THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

CLICK HERE FOR THE MARRIAGE PROPOSAL EVENT PHOTOS SCROLL DOWN ON THE PAGE.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

Dingdong Dantes proposes marriage to Marian Rivera
 


Screengrab from “Marian” show on GMA 7

MANILA, AUGUST 11, 2014
(INQUIRER) 
Actor Dingdong Dantes has proposed to long-time girlfriend and actress Marian Rivera.

Dantes made the proposal on his knees during Rivera’s dance show on GMA Network Saturday.

A tearful but smiling Rivera accepted the offer of marriage by Dantes who introduced her after as “my fiancée”.


( Photo credit to marian rivera official fanpage )

B-day wish ni Marian tutuparin ni Dingdong By Dinno Erece Bandera 3:00 am | Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Live ang birthday episode ni Marian Rivera tonight. Mamaya, sa Marian, mag-iinit ang dance floor dahil isang powerhouse birthday special ang inihanda ng Kapuso Primetime Queen na pangungunahan ng kanyang boyfriend of nine years na si Dingdong Dantes.

Say ni Marian, simula noong nag-launch ang Marian, it has been her wish na maging guest si Dong at finally matutupad na siya. “Since it’s my birthday, ito na din ang special gift niya sa kaniya ng production,” she said.

Bukod sa gagawin ni Dong, dapat ding abangan ng mga manonood kung sinu-sino pa ang magiging guests ni Marian. Marian will celebrate her birthday this Aug. 12 actually.

* Siguradong pasabog ang episode na aabangan ng mga manonood dahil magsasama-sama sa isang live episode ang ilan sa mga pinakamalalapit na kaibigan ni Yan-yan.

Most probably too, baka complete ang co-host niya tonight including Julie Anne San Jose, Paolo Ballesteros, Mark Bautista and Christian Bautista.

No other PR yet kung sino ang makakasama pa nila or kung sino ang makikipag-reconcile kay Marian for her birthday pero malay natin hindi ba may isang pusong magbago ng isip at makibati, chos!

Mapapanood ang Marian tuwing Sabado ng gabi pagkatapos ng Pepito Manaloto sa GMA.

Something about Marian By Bayani San Diego Jr. and the Entertainment Staff | Philippine Daily InquirerMarch 17, 2014 | 12:03 am


SCREENGRAB FROM INQUIRE VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH MARIAN RIVERA

No question was dodged. Nothing seemed to faze her. GMA 7 star Marian Rivera was at her most candid and chatty, when she sat down with Inquirer Entertainment recently.

Out of the blue, she announced that she had come straight from doing the laundry at home. She’s been on her own for the last seven years, she said. “I have no help; I do my own chores.” She cooks, does grocery shopping, pays the bills, cleans the aquarium. And when she finds the time, she bakes. “I’m hyper,” she admitted, “and very hands-on.”

GMA 7’S prime talent courageously faces the Inquirer team, right after doing the laundry.

Before her rapt audience could recover from that, she tossed two more surprises on the table: She watches cartoon shows to unwind. And she paints.

There’s much more to her than meets the public eye, Marian insisted.

That’s why she gets exasperated when media reports on her supposed fits of jealousy whenever boyfriend Dingdong Dantes works with another actress. It makes her want to vomit, she said. “Nasusuka ako.”

Those rumors imply that she is easily rattled, that she has low self-esteem, she said. “Am I not pretty? Don’t I conduct myself well?”

Well, she is certainly not lacking in self-confidence. And, she volunteered, the take-charge attitude that works for her at home, she has employed at work.

She personally picked her leading man (the slightly younger Alden Richards) and came up with the title for her new show, “Carmela: Ang Pinakamagandang Babae sa Mundong Ibabaw.”

Marian explained: “The original title, ‘Catarina,’ was too sosyal (upscale),” she explained. “My followers are masa.”
She means business.

Are you now used to acting with a younger leading man?

* I’m still feeling my way around. Alden said there was no more wall between us. But, if you ask me, I don’t want the wall to disappear completely … there should be a little distance, to maintain the respect …

Alden doesn’t share everything, either, though he opened up about his family recently. That means he trusted me enough.


HER FAVORITE painting subjects are flowers and nude women. instagram photo

Your manager (Tony Tuviera of Triple A) said you were ready for “mature” roles.

I agree with Tatay (Tuviera). He said I should try new roles, new costars.

By “mature,” we don’t mean bold. I’d like more dramatic movie roles. I’ve done only comedy and love stories. I’d like to play dark characters. I am open to doing indie movies.

What roles would you like to try in indie films?

Anything I haven’t done before. And I hope to do that this year.

Would you play a prostitute or psychotic killer?

Puwede!

A lesbian, something like “My Husband’s Lover”?

Not on television. TV viewers are sensitive and conservative. Most of my TV fans are young and may not be ready for that drastic change. But in the movies, I can play anything.

Are the fans a big consideration in your career decisions?

Oo naman. They are the reason I am here. They are the ones who vote, spend on text messages, in every poll for the sexiest or most beautiful stars. I don’t even want to call them fans. That sounds cold.

Have you never played a dark character on TV?

Oh, right. In “Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang,” I was a bad girl at first. But GMA 7 received so many letters of complaint, we had to change the story. The ratings shot up.

Describe Carmela, your character.

She’s smart and beautiful; people get envious and want to put her down.

Can you relate to her?

The blessings in my life outnumber the bad things; the good cancels out the intrigues. Most people face the same challenges, and not just those in show biz.

What are the most annoying misconceptions about you?

I’d rather not talk about the past, but since you brought it up… the first one is that I am palengkera (war freak). But I fight back only when I’m pushed.

Another one is that I am suplada (aloof). Could that be because I am mestiza? I didn’t know that, as an actress, it was my job to greet and kiss everyone. I was not raised that way. I am just being myself, rather reserved. I don’t like people thinking I am “feeling close” (presumptuous).

I have fixed this. I showed the real Marian, no pretenses. I didn’t hide anything and people loved and accepted me.


SHE PICKED her younger leading man, Alden Richards. Photo courtesy of GMA 7 Corp Comm

I have no illusions. Thank you for your love, but I know that one day, someone younger and more beautiful will come along … my nanay (grandmother) taught me to value everything because all this fame will disappear one day.

Are you ready for that day?

Oo naman, since Day 1. My mom and grandmom keep telling me that this is temporary; popularity is fleeting. But the people whose lives you touch, that’s forever. That’s what’s important to me.

You talk so fast.

Hahaha! Caviteña e. Matatas (articulate), direct to the point. But I can turn it down, soften it. I can be gentle.

Are you less confrontational now?

If a reporter was mean to me and I answered back, who would benefit from that? But first, who would look like the underdog? Who would win? I’ve learned to swallow my pride. Dedma (ignore). Trabaho lang, walang personalan. Many reporters used to criticize me; now we’re okay.

How hard or easy was that to learn?

It was hard. I did it slowly. When you join show biz, you should be prepared to take the good with the bad.

What changes did the Tuviera team bring to your life and career?

Tatay and I have a mentor-student relationship. We don’t let a month pass by without seeing each other. He checks on me, asks what’s happening in my life. He reminds me to love my job, treat others well, and be thankful always.

Career-wise, how did things change under your new manager?

Triple A plans my calendar a month in advance, so I know what to expect every day. I like that. It makes me more excited about my work.

Tatay and I discuss everything but, in the end, he lets me decide. Sometimes we meet half-way.

After show biz, what are your plans?

I don’t think I will ever leave show biz. I’ll be here for as long as I can. My peg is Miss Gloria Romero.
So you’re willing to do mother roles eventually?

Oo naman. In fact, before “Mari Mar,” I did two mother roles (“Super Twins,” “Muli”). At age 23, I played mother to a 7-year-old kid.

I tell young stars, there are no small roles. In every project, give your best. If not for those mother roles, the bosses wouldn’t have let me audition for “Mari Mar.” Imagine that? From nanay to “Mari Mar”!

How has Dingdong changed your life?

Dong has taught me a lot. As a newcomer immersed in controversies, I could have been traumatized. I am thankful because Dong always sees the good in people. I learned to copy his optimism, his enthusiasm in charity work. He inspires me to be a better person. He has his own thing; I have mine. When we combine our [efforts] we get to help a lot of people.

There is talk that you are running for office?

No, I’m not. Even in Cavite, when people ask, I tell them I have no political plans. I just want to share whatever I have.

Are you ready for politics?

Ayoko! I’m not into politics! If Dingdong ran for office …?

Bahala siya sa buhay niya! Ayoko! But really, whatever he decides, I’ll support for as long as it’s good for him and will benefit others.


MARIAN reveals that she calls her boyfriend “Daddy” and he calls her “Baby.”

How have you changed Dingdong?

He used to be the one question, one answer type. I told him to relax, enjoy life. Now, he is more kalog (fun-loving) than I am.

Wedding plans?

As Dong would say: Not so far, but not so near. It sounds confusing, but we understand each other.

Is Dingdong romantic?

Yes, he is … always surprising me. It’s hard to describe what we have. I guess, we complement each other.
We always find a way to meet up, no matter how busy we both are. When we have free time, we go to the movies.

Do you still get jealous?

Nakakasuka, nakakadiri ang term na selos. They say I get mad when Dong has a kissing scene with another leading lady. But I also have kissing scenes with my leading men!

Why should I get upset? I know that, when the cameras are not rolling, he’s kissing me and not his leading lady. Why should I get jealous of another girl? I am confident that he’s mine! Am I ugly? Am I not sexy? Am I not presentable? But of course I cannot go around saying that because people will say I am arrogant. The point is, I have no reason to be insecure.

How do you handle the fact that your boyfriend is a heartthrob?

Well, men also fantasize about me. I should be flattered that other girls like him. We don’t compete. We are here to guide each other, inspire each other to become good people. That’s why we love traveling together. That’s real life—away from the cameras, away from show biz, we can be real. We can be ourselves, eat street food …

How would you describe your relationship at this point?

I’m not saying that we have a perfect relationship. I don’t know where we’re headed but, as Dong would say, it gets deeper and more meaningful every day. Why worry about little things? But I want him to feel that I am not just his girlfriend, but also his best friend.

If you end up together, will you remain best friends?

I think so.

What are his weaknesses?

Secret!

There is talk that you are living together.

What is the definition of living in? He has his own house in Quezon City and I live in Makati. He visits me and what is wrong with that? I’m not 12 years old! I’ve been living on my own since after college.

What do you do at home?

It may sound weird but I love doing the laundry, cleaning my house. I’m hyper. As long as I eat chocolates, I can survive on just an hour of sleep. Since I moved out of my grandmom’s house (in Cavite) seven years ago, I haven’t hired househelp. I never had a production assistant, either. I pay my bills, shop for groceries, cook …

What are your specialties?

Menudo, kaldereta, sinigang. Sometimes Dong asks me to cook Japanese fried rice. He challenged me to take up baking. I bought a book. Now, I can bake carrot cake, banana cake, muffins, cookies. Once I put my mind to something, I can do it.

Do you have pets?

I used to have a Shih Tzu, but I got rashes. Now, I have only fish in an aquarium—that I clean myself. I used to have a parrot fish, but its crap was way too big. After three days, the tank turned completely black. Naloka ako!

What else do you do at home?

I watch cartoon shows—“Ogie and the Cockroaches,” “Adventure Time” … anything on the Cartoon Network. It calms me. I also paint… while watching cartoons. Once I tried painting with the TV off; I couldn’t finish anything.

What led you to painting?

I had a wisdom tooth removed and couldn’t go out of the house. I was so bored, so I picked up a sketch pad. I used paint with charcoal; now, I’m into oil. I draw nude women and flowers. I don’t know what that means, but those are my favorite subjects.

Have you tried painting live models?

No! I just rely on my overactive imagination. Dong says I could be a scriptwriter, too. Tatay is also a frustrated artist. When he learned that I was into art, he invited me to his house and we had a painting session. Dong tells me to post my paintings on Instagram. Sometimes I’m too shy. Dong tells me, “Baby, not everyone can paint.”

He calls you Baby! What do you call him?

Daddy! He’s like a father, guiding me through life.

EARLIER REPORT (2012)

More than a heartthrob By Ruel S. De Vera |Philippine Daily Inquirer9:11 pm | Saturday, February 4th, 2012


GETTING SERIOUS: Dantes with girlfriend Marian Rivera (2012 Inquirer Photo/Jim Guiao Punzalan)

Sometimes, when the world gets really crazy, Dingdong Dantes finds the need to go very, very fast. “I like speed,” the 31-year-old actor admits. “When I’m alone especially, I just want to ride my bike and go somewhere and be back in three hours. That’s therapy for me.” Riding his Ducati Diavel and just getting away comforts him, the actor says; it reminds him that he’s in control.|

Dantes’ career has been an exciting ride as well. Ever since he burst into television over a decade ago, he has been a man living between time slots, caught in a hurricane of movies and TV shows. He’s been plastered half-naked on gigantic billboards and is dating FHM Philippines’ 2008 Sexiest Woman, Marian Rivera.

But it isn’t easy being Dingdong Dantes, who started out as a good-looking guy and graduated to become the nation’s favorite heartthrob. After enjoying the perks of fame, he is now looking for a deeper sense of where he is and where he is headed. He’s looking for what’s next.

Born Jose Sixto Dantes III, he is the eldest of four children to businessman Sixto Dantes, Jr., and homemaker Angeline Dantes. Growing up in Cubao, Dantes seemed fated for the screen at an early age. “I liked portraying roles and creating scenes with my toys,” he recalls. Called “bibo” or energetic, Dantes was discovered at the age of 3. The way he remembers it, his family liked going to the malls, where he got into mischief, like hiding under the skirts of salesladies.

That was, until an agent noticed him and cast him in his first TV commercial for Carnation milk. “Everything just followed,” he says.

The early 1990s were the heyday of male dance crews, among them the Universal Motion Dancers and the Streetboys. Dantes, then a high school student at the Ateneo, joined a group called the Abztract Dancers for a year. Though short, that time proved instructional for the actor who, to this day, can tear up the dance floor.

The stint with the Abztract Dancers led to actual TV appearances, first on German Moreno’s juggernaut teen show “Saturday Entertainment,” and then that noontime staple “Eat Bulaga!”

After high school, Dantes got the opportunity that would change everything. An agent who did TV commercials offered him an afternoon show on GMA-7. “That was the springboard that started it all,” he recalls. The show was “T.G.I.S. (Thank God It’s Sabado).”

* Dantes would work steadily on TV, his roles growing more prominent with the years until he started getting lead roles in the network giant’s teledramas and eventually, the movies. He currently headlines GMA-7’s latest primetime series, “My Beloved,” set to air this month and where he stars opposite real-life girlfriend and Kapuso star Marian Rivera. “My Beloved,” described by Dantes as “a story of death presented in a different light,” marks the fifth time he has worked with Rivera. They were previously paired in “MariMar,” “Dyesebel,” “Ang Babaeng Hinugot sa Aking Tadyang” and “Endless Love.”


Finding a cause to fight for (Photo by Wesley Villarica)

Working with Rivera is a case of extremes for Dantes. “There’s a certain comfort zone which I know I can always get to but on the other hand there’s also that funny feeling that instead of challenging one another, I end up taking care of her. And that might not meet the objective of the scene because your personal concern overtakes what should be done,” he says. The good thing about the two of them, he adds, is that they know how to balance things once they’re on the set.

Contrary to his pretty boy image, Dantes takes acting seriously. He uses phrases like “the objective” of a scene and takes nothing lightly when it comes to what he does onscreen. A recent career high was winning the Best Actor award at the 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival for his role as Ivan in the horror thriller “Segunda Mano,” where he appeared opposite Kris Aquino. In a risky change of pace, leading man Dantes played the movie’s psychopathic killer.

Dantes admits to a moment of hesitation when he read the script and figured out what was up with Ivan. “It was part of the objectives for Ivan’s role to be a shocker not just for me but for the audience. [But] I wanted to challenge myself and do something different.”

Still, the actor doesn’t see himself playing more villain roles. “I’d like to play characters in the middle who have reason [to be such]. It’s kind of like Ivan, who’s offbeat but has a reason for it.” Dantes professes a devotion to the kind of movie that provided the scaffolding for his film career. “I won’t let go of romantic movies because majority of our viewers are fans of [that genre]. But if I were to have it my way, I really want action dramas.”

Dantes the plain moviegoer however prefers comedies, but also watches dramas as long as he is alone. A favorite among favorites is Christopher Nolan’s sleight-of-hand offering “The Prestige.” Dantes gushes about how much he loves Nolan’s films, professing admiration for Leonardo DiCaprio and the way he involves himself in his films, as well as Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. He says he likes the dramatic challenges that DiCaprio set for himself, opting to work with top directors instead of just banking on being a matinee idol. Dantes could easily be talking about himself. “I just don’t want to be stereotyped and put in a box.”

He gets his wish in his two upcoming films-the international release “Dance of the Steel Bars,” a prison drama set in Manila and inspired by real events starring the Irish actor Patrick Bergin, and the horror film called “Aswang Chronicles.” Dantes is excited by the film that he says is a Philippine first because it is shot entirely against chroma.

“Aswang Chronicles” is also important because the movie is a collaboration between Dondon Monteverde’s Reality Entertainment, Post Manila and Dantes’ own production company, Agostodos Pictures, which co-produced “Segunda Mano” with Star Cinema and Kris Aquino’s MJM Productions.

Agostodos can also be taken as part of Dantes’ master plan to point his career in the direction he wants. Directing is something he’d like to do, having taken up formal courses in production and filmmaking back in college. Dantes’ longtime manager, Perry Lansigan of PPL Entertainment, says Dantes “will be one of our country’s courageous producers, tapping social issues relevant to our everyday life and Filipino culture.”

Veteran entertainment writer Ricky Lo says that Dantes’ directorial plans and his becoming a producer proves that he is looking at the big picture. Lansigan hopes that Dantes will be able to “represent a Filipino film in the global market and bring home awards.” Indeed, in ten years’ time, Dantes sees himself both facing the camera and working behind it, “definitely still very much in the industry.”

Dantes’ success is also due to his preternatural savvy for working with others, says Lo. “Besides his exceptional looks and talent, he knows how to deal with people, especially the media, something that most stars today take for granted. His having a good manager who knows how to protect his image and plan his career is a big help, too.”

Being a heartthrob isn’t something Dantes regrets. “Everything that happened to me in the past contributed to where I am now. If I were to go back, I would do the same thing all over again.”

His current involvement however shows that he is also looking to do something different and completely new. Like NGO work.

The YesPinoy Foundation office is located on the fourth floor of a Makati office building. Dantes’ office is a cross between Batcave and a museum, full of dark wood and a lot of what he calls his toys.

An avid toy collector, Dantes says his place in Quezon City is so full of statues and figurines that some of them have migrated to his YesPinoy office. Right behind him is a life-sized replica of the circular shield worn by Leonidas and his Spartans in the film “300,” a gift from TAPE, Inc. president Tony Tuviera, a man Dantes describes as one of his mentors and also a collector of toys.

There are busts of Batman and the Joker, as well as a life-sized bust of Darth Vader. There are statues of Superman and Sauron. There are various scale models of fast cars and fast bikes. There’s also a bronze statue of Marian Rivera as Darna, one in a production of three commissioned by Dantes and made by artist Richie dela Merced. Dantes gave one to Tuviera and, of course, another to Rivera.

Dantes’ interest in superheroes has more to do with what the heroic characters stand for. He totally understands a different class of hero, and has most likely modeled his NGO after it.

Founded by the actor in 2009, the YesPinoy Foundation is evidence of an ideal that Dantes is pursuing, a family heritage you might say. The Dantes family has serious ties with the military. The elder Dantes is heavily involved with the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, while the actor’s grandfather Sixto Dantes was a general with the Philippine Constabulary. Dantes himself is proud to be a reservist with the Philippine Marines with the rank of Master Sergeant.

While training with the Marines, Dantes heard about the devotion and sacrifices of the nation’s fighting men and women, and wondered about their dependents. The answer? YesPinoy Foundation, which was originally founded to benefit the children of fallen military men, mainly by providing them scholarships. It has since expanded into helping provide educational assistance to those who need it. The Foundation recently donated school supplies to the children of Cagayan de Oro who lost their school during typhoon “Sendong.”

Dantes has a personal interest in his own education as well. After graduating high school, he spent two years in San Beda College, attended the Ateneo for four more years and now is currently enrolled at West Negros University with his eyes set on earning a degree in techno management. The course at the Bacolod school allows him to finish his degree while also allowing him to work. He goes to Bacolod once every two months to attend class and adjusts his class load to fit his work sched. As if that degree weren’t enough, he’s also looking to taking up post-graduate studies.

When the actor says he really wants to take flight, he’s not kidding. Learning how to fly is on his to-do list. “I have a list of things I want to do next,” he explains. “Whenever I achieve it, I cross it out.” Already marked off the list are: founding his own production company, establishing a non-profit organization and winning a best actor award.

Still on the list are: flying school, going bungee jumping, going to Germany to experience Oktoberfest, and driving down the Autobahn.

But beyond his need to do new things, Dantes knows he has “to choose [his] battles wisely.” He adds: “I need to think if I should engage or not. You can’t do too many things at once. For me, when I’m working on something, I like to concentrate.”

Ask Dantes about very serious things and he gives very serious answers. He bemoans the fact that the gap between the country’s rich and poor is actually getting wider. “As a normal citizen, what I’m looking for is a solution I can be part of. I think that everyone can do that just by doing one simple thing for our country. It would mean a lot. I’m a big believer in people power, that if everyone just came together for one common reason and use their individual strengths, we would really get somewhere.”

No, he says, preempting the thought: He has no interest in a government job or public office. “I’d rather focus on my strength, which is in the [movie] industry.”

And no, he doesn’t really mind its close and often intrusive scrutiny of his love life. He is in fact sanguine about his past romantic exploits, first with Antoinette Taus, and later with Karylle Tatlonghari with whom he had a very public breakup in 2008. He maintains a good relationship with Taus, he says. “We never had a problem from the start, and we’ve been fine since.” But he has little to say on Tatlonghari: “We don’t talk. We have not communicated since [the breakup]. Let’s put it that way.”

Originally dismissed by cynics as a publicity gimmick, the Dantes-Rivera real-life love team is apparently going strong.

Dating in such a public profession isn’t easy but the two try their best to spend time together. “It’s very, very hard to find time,” he admits. “That why when our shows end, we make it a point to do something and probably go somewhere to have a vacation. For us, three days is fine, three days of not thinking about anything.”

The first thing he loves about Rivera is her great sense of humor. “It’s how she cares for me and the people I love, and that’s one of the best things I love about her.” Together, he admits they can be “magulo [rambunctious].” Sometimes, he’s the one’s who’s makulit and she’s the quiet one; sometimes, it’s the other way around.

Lolit Solis, publicist for both Dantes and Rivera, says that the fact that the couple has been dating exclusively in real life for so long does not affect their individual projects. “Magkaiba naman yung projects nila. Yung kay Dingdong, sa kanya, yung kay Marian, sa kanya din. Successful naman at nagre-rate yung mga project nila. [They have their individual projects and they are all successful]”

It’s not true, for example, that Dantes and Rivera had asked to work together when “My Beloved” came along. Dantes had originally been slated to work with Heart Evangelista, but Evangelista and Rivera had a feud. It wasn’t that Dantes refused to work with Evangelista, Solis says, but that he “thought this was not the time for them to work together.” Rhian Ramos was then tapped to replace Evangelista. Ramos had actually begun shooting “My Beloved” with Dantes when Ramos exited the project to deal with personal problems after a video from ex-boyfriend Mo Twister emerged online.

Instead of junking the series, the decision was made to choose another leading lady, and this time, it was Rivera.

Solis believes that the two being together offscreen and on, is a good thing. “People want the best for them,” she says, adding that the two ending up on “My Beloved” was “destiny.” Maybe, she says, the time the two spend together during this project will enable them to get even closer and maybe even decide to marry.

Dantes admits to thoughts about marriage. “[But] that’s very sacred to me and I really want to keep it to myself and it’s the same with her. That’s something we really don’t talk about because if we ever do, we want to be at the right time and the perfect moment.” Having a family, after all, is one of the greatest goals in his life.

At this point, Dantes’ iPhone chimes and he picks up, quickly apologizing for not picking up earlier because he was being interviewed. There’s a quick “I love you” and he’s back. It’s Marian, of course. She’s on her way over. “She just got her hair cut and she wanted me to be the first to see it,” he says, breaking into a grin.

Moments like this and you realize that the heartthrob label is for real. But that despite that label, Dantes can still go anywhere he wants. •

FROM PHILSTAR

IN PHOTOS: Dingdong proposes marriage to Marian By Chuck Smith (philstar.com) | Updated August 10, 2014 - 12:00am 29 152 googleplus0 0


Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera (Photo courtesy of Nice Print Photography)

MANILA, Philippines – Fans of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes immediately took to social media after the GMA-7 actor proposed marriage to the 29-year-old actress.

READ: Marian Rivera now engaged to Dingdong Dantes

The hashtag #DONGYAN (a portmanteau of their names Dingdong and Marian) became the top Twitter trending topic in the Philippines right after Dingdong's proposal on the GMA-7 dance show “Marian” on Saturday, August 9.

“Engagement of the year,” said actress-singer Roxanne Barcelo, one of Marian's close friends, on her Twitter account.

“I love you both @iamdongdantes and #Marian Congratulations!” tweeted Ana Feleo.

Roxanne and Ana worked with Marian in the 2012 series “Amaya.”

Here are photos of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes taken during the live episode of “Marian," where the GMA-7 actor proposed to the Kapuso Primetime Queen (Photos courtesy of GMA Corporate Communications/ GMA Network Instagram account)

CLICK HERE TO SEE PHILSTAR FULL REPORT AND PHOTOS SCROLL DOWN ON THE PAGE.


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