Dingdong: Go easy on President Aquino


06:41 PM May 24th, 2011

By: Marinel R. Cruz, May 24th, 2011 06:41 PM

Dingdong Dantes feels people should cut the President some slack

DINGDONG Dantes admits to being curious about President Aquino’s love life, but the actor said that reporting about it shouldn’t overshadow more pressing issues.

“Everybody wants to know about the President. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think we should talk about his love life in the papers only up to a certain extent,” Dingdong told Inquirer Entertainment on Friday night.

Only last week, Aquino was photographed with a date at the reunion concert of the 1970s band Hotdog at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati.

“We should assess him by how well he deals with the country’s problems. I think personal issues about him should be last on the list,” said Dingdong, who campaigned for Aquino during the May 2010 presidential elections.

During Friday night’s thanksgiving party for his top-rating TV series “I Heart You, Pare” at the GMA 7 offices in Quezon City, Dingdong also expressed his views on the most pressing national issue today: the reproductive health bill.

“I’m for it for many reasons. But, in a nutshell, I’m for educating people about reproductive health,” he pointed out. “I don’t pretend to fully understand what is in the bill or its importance. I just know it promotes responsible parenthood.”

The actor added: “I’m against abortion, though. I’m Catholic. I think it shouldn’t take a law to change a person’s morality. We evolve but, up to a certain extent, retain the essence of our being Catholics.”

“I Heart You, Pare,” which premiered on Feb. 7 with Regine Velasquez in the lead role, airs its final episode on May 27. Last April, Iza Calzado replaced Regine shortly after the singer-actress announced that she’s pregnant with her first child and needed complete bed rest.

Dingdong denied that the decision to replace Regine with Iza had an adverse effect on the show. “The series ended just as planned. We didn’t try to shorten or lengthen it,” Dingdong stressed. “In fact, the transition from Regine to Iza happened very smoothly, mukhang hindi pinilit.”

Dingdong said he intends to get a well-deserved break, now that taping for the show has finally ended. “I want to relax—watch movies, go to the beach—before plunging back to work again.”

He is set to do two films this year, one a collaboration with Kris Aquino.

The actor also said he would make time for the “Para Paaralan” project of his Yes Pinoy Foundation, which was re-launched in February with President Aquino as special guest.

Dingdong said his team has already trained over 200 student leaders from different areas in Rizal province on how to prepare for disasters. “These kids come from areas that are especially prone to earthquakes. We trained them in the hope that they would pass on what they learned to other children,” he said. “We continue to get funding for our projects. Things are looking bright for the foundation.”

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