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Mikael Daez is a ‘peace envoy’

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ONE of nine chosen by the Office of the President, he is set to visit Mindanao soon.

Actor Mikael Daez says he is at once nervous and excited about his coming trip to  war-torn provinces of Mindanao as part of his work as a peace ambassador.

Daez is one of nine ambassadors chosen by the Office of the President to participate in its “I Am For Peace” campaign launched in October last year. “It’s a multilevel campaign whose aim is to make Filipinos more aware of the peace process in Mindanao,” Daez tells the

Inquirer.

While he admits to “feeling a bit tense” about the forthcoming tour, Daez says, “I’m ready for it.”

He adds that he has heard stories from his contacts at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPA) about security risks, “but I know the government will try its best to keep us safe.”

Daez, 25, is also involved with the nonprofit organization called Oxfam International Philippines, as pitch person for its “Eat Brown Rice” campaign. “I’m thrilled and proud to be the group’s spokesperson here. It’s an advocacy that’s close to my heart. I know that when I say something about this, people will be able to relate. All my adult life, I’ve worked at living healthy.”

Daez explains that the purpose of the campaign is to orient people not only about health problems, but also about various concerns about the rice situation in the country.

The actor was last seen on television in February, on the afternoon soap opera “Sana ay Ikaw Na Nga,” opposite Andrea Torres. He also appeared in the early morning magazine show “Unang Hirit” and the gag show “Bubble Gang.”

“I learned a lot from working with the ‘Bubble Gang’ team. It began with just one guesting, and when I experienced how much fun it was to be with them, I agreed to appear for 10 straight weeks. I’m not a regular on the show, but I’m putting it out there—if they’re interested in me, I’m more than willing. I felt that I grew so much as an artist in the short time I was with the group,” he says.

Starting Monday morning, Daez and Torres will be acting alongside GMA 7’s newest recruit, Christian Bautista, in “With a Smile,” a “dramedy” directed by Louie Ignacio.

Excerpts from our chat with Daez.

The morning time slot is dominated by ABS-CBN’s “Be Careful With My Heart.” What are your thoughts on this?

I take it as a challenge. Of course we want to be the best daytime show. We need to be No. 1, but we plan to achieve that step by step. First, we need to make the viewers know what we can offer.

I’ve studied the situation and seen that the early-noon time slot gets the biggest viewership. I’m flattered to be part of the cast that GMA 7 has put together to attract viewers for that slot. I must confess that I hesitated at first, but I sought the advice of people I trusted and, eventually, I accepted the offer, with much enthusiasm.

This is your second screen partnership with Torres. Would you say this means you are effective together?

I’m very happy about what’s happening. Andrea and I started in the business at about the same time. We saw each other grow as actors and as people. I’m glad that viewers appreciate our work. I guess we’re effective together because we’re pretty close even off-cam. She understands me.

Do you see this friendship with Torres developing into something more intimate in the future?

I don’t anticipate. If it happens, I will welcome it. However, we try to separate our personal from our professional lives. If we don’t, we know there’s a big possibility that it will affect our work. We’re very dedicated to our craft and we don’t want that to happen.

(mcruz@inquirer.com.ph)


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