Busy schedule notwithstanding, Dingdong Dantes knows his top priority in life – to be a good father to daughter Zia.
In a recent interview, he told Bulletin Entertainment that he’s a hands-on dad. He accompanies Zia to her swimming lessons and seemingly belying his macho image, Dingdong even plays with his daughter at home.
“Nag-luluto-lutuan kami,” he said, smiling.
The 36-year-old actor gets his exercise nowadays mostly by just being with Zia as “mahilig kasi siya tumakbo-takbo.”
The actor proudly revealed Zia can already construct sentences at her age.
“Kasi mag-two (years old) na siya and madaldal na,” he said. “’Yung mga words medyo napagdudugtong-dugtong na niya. Mga dalawa, tatlo minsan apat pa. Kasi dati pa isa-isa lang.”
Though Zia already recognizes him as “Dad,” Dingdong prefers she learns to call him Tatay.
Dingdong loves to travel with his family.
“Sabi ko kasi, ayoko ng gumastos tayo sa mga material na bagay. Mas better mag-travel dahil pwedeng may matutunan tayo at the same time maganda ’yung bonding. Mas okay na ganu’n,” he said.
The actor recalled their 15-day vacation last May, roaming around Santorini, Italy and Spain.
Though it was not purely vacation as they attended a friend’s wedding and visited Marian’s Dad while there, Dingdong noted they enjoyed the break especially with Marian celebrating Mother’s Day in the place where she was born.
He shared the most memorable moment of the trip.
“Simple lang eh, ’yung mabigyan lang siya (Zia) ng pagkakataon tumakbo-takbo ng safe, nanunuod lang kame, sa isang open space. Free kami to do whatever, ’di naman lahat pero wala kaming inaalalang oras, traffic. ’Yung mga simpleng bagay na ganu’n, ’yun kasi ’yung ’di namin nagagawa dito because of work so we appreciate that very much.”
The actor might not have another out-of-the-country trip this year as they need to fulfill obligations relating to his and Marian’s respective careers.
He hopes to visit Santa Claus Village in Finland next.
“Hindi pa pwede ngayon dapat may konsepto muna rin siya (Zia) ng Pasko, ’pag medyo matanda-tanda na siya,” he said, adding “’Di ko pa rin nakikita ’yun eh so sabay na rin ako.”
This August, Dingdong is set to return to the director’s chair for an episode of Marian’s Philippine weekly drama anthology series “Tadhana.” He is also set for the second season of “Alyas Robin Hood.”
He tells fans to expect a much-improved show.
“Kasi for me ’pag sinabing part two, whatever the audiences saw from previous season, kailangan mag-double up, in terms of the drama, action, sa comedy, total look, production value, double up lahat.”
He hinted they’re going to shoot scenes in diverse places including Morocco and Africa.
“Siyempre dapat level up lahat pati ang looks, scenery, locations,” he maintained.
“Alyas Robin Hood” already started shooting some scenes, and according to Dingdong “medyo nangangapa pa ako pero naging okay din agad kasi malaking bagay na ’yung kasama namin dito ay sila pa rin ’yung dati.”
In book two, Pepe, the vigilante character he portrays, is now a full-fledged lawyer.
The actor revealed the story will continue from the surprise ending of book one where Jaclyn Jose’s character gets kidnapped by persons unknown.
Audiences should look forward to the new cast members including Solenn Heussaff, Ruru Madrid and Edu Manzano, who will play a special role on the series.
“I’m excited to work with Ruru kasi makakasalamuha ko ng madalas ’yung character niya, while for Solenn it’s very interesting to see her do more action roles after ‘Encantadia.’”
He’s thrilled to work with Edu, whom he considers “idol sa industriya.”
“Sobrang excited din ako sa mga eksena namin kasi biggest twist ng season ay mangyayari between us,” he added.
Asked to comment on her love team partner on the show, Andrea Torres, being bashed by fans loyal to Marian, he said, “I think na clarify na naman nila (Marian and Andrea) dati ’yun. Pero with regards sa bashing, I don’t think anyone deserves to be cyber bullied.”
He added: “It’s something we should all stop and para sa akin naka-klaro na namin dati ’yun. What’s important now is gagawin namin ’yung mga trabaho namin.”
He asked those he called “outside forces” “na ’wag na nilang bigyan ng masamang kulay kung ano ’yung magagandang trabahong ginagawa namin.”
“Let’s not involve personal lives dahil we’re professionals,” he added. “I reiterate no one deserves to be cyber bullied, not anyone, not me, my family, not anyone.”
Joining the cast are Paolo Contis, Gary Estrada, Rey PJ Abellana, Gio Alvarez, Dave Bornea, Lindsay de Vera, Rob Moya, Anne Garcia, and Luri Vincent Nalus.
Under the helm of Dominic Zapata, “Alyas Robin Hood” will soon air on GMA Telebabad.
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