Dingdong Dantes to fresh grads: Enjoy life, but have direction

Alexa Villano

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Dingdong Dantes to fresh grads: Enjoy life, but have direction
The actor stopped college to pursue showbiz, but graduated last March 2014 with a degree in Business Administration. Here, he shares his advice for new grads

MANILA, Philippines – Enjoy life, experiment – but have direction, says actor Dingdong Dantes.

“You really have to enjoy life first before committing to something. It’s good to try different jobs, but put a limit for yourself, like in a year’s time [for example]. Kailangan meron kang direksyon na mapupuntahan (You need to have direction),” he said.

Dingdong, who rose to fame as part of the show TGIS (Thank God It’s Sabado) studied in San Beda College before transferring to Ateneo de Manila University. He left to pursue showbiz, but in 2012, he enrolled in West Negros University and last March 2014, graduated with a degree in Business Administration, major in Marketing.



Dingdong said that whether it be showbiz or a corporate job, what matters most is that one shows the passion that comes from within.  

“It means coming from the heart, it’s coming from you. So as long you are not trying to impress anyone, pretending to be someone else, in terms of trying to come off na alam mo eto, alam mo lahat – the more na hindi ka makukuha for the job, the more na hindi nila makikita yung sincerity mo.

(So as long as you’re not trying to impress anyone, pretending to be someone else, coming off as if you know everything  – the more you won’t be selected, the more they won’t be able to sense your sincerity.) 

Malaking bagay din yung preparedness mo bilang isang tao. Yung pagkatao mo ang mahalaga. Yung knowledge, wisdom in terms of experience, lalabas din iyan,” he said. 

(How prepared you are as a person is also important. Your character is important. Knowledge, wisdom in terms of experience – it will come out.) 

Like a job interview, Dingdong said the auditions he went through helped him a lot to be who he is today. He now looks back fondly on a number of them, particularly on his audition for Marimar, where he met his wife, actress Marian Rivera. (IN PHOTOS: Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera’s wedding day

“I would say that those phases, like audition phases  and yung mga (those) applying, lining up, they are a significant part… a great turning point in one’s life. Because the fact that you are there is already a choice that you wanna level up or engage into  something new. 

“So in the auditions I have been through, siguro isa sa pina-memorable  (I guess the most memorable) is the Marimar auditions – well, aside the fact because that’s where I met my wife, it really is kumbaga one of the big projects that was given to me,” he said.

National Youth Commission and married life 

Aside from being an actor and businessman, Dingdong is also commissioner for the National Youth Commission. He was appointed last May 2014, but officially took his oath in September

Photo by Ryan Lim / Malacañang Photo Bureau

According to Dingdong, what he loves about being a youth advocate is the fact he can communicate well with young people and share his experiences with them. 

“One of the greatest parts about being part of the Youth Commission is that dapat parte ka ng kabataan (you are part fo the youth). And I can say already being 34 turning 35, wala na ako sa sakop nung jurisdiction ng 15-30, meaning napagdaanan ko na yung pinagdaanan ng mga kabataan. And yung experiences ko na iyon, ginagamit ko to help in the agency I am in.

(And I can say already being 34, turning 35, I am not part of the 15-30 bracket, meaning I’ve already been through what the youth are going through. And I use my experience to help in the agency I am part of.)

“So in terms of my time being a youth advocate, being someone who works for the commission, it’s a 100% job. Hindi siya yung (It’s not like) I come to the office at 9 and then leave at 5. It’s not that way. If someone has to wake me up at the middle of morning, it’s part of the job. And being part of the entertainment industry still, is helping me also as duty as commissioner because para sa akin it helps both ways.  One doesn’t become a liability to the other one. Nagtutulungan sila (They complement each other).”

Dingdong also discussed the importance of social media. As part of the NYC, he supports the advocacies of Rappler’s Move.ph.

“With the use of social media, new media, we can make ourselves relevant and it goes beyond that. In my capacity as NYC, I handle the committee on environment, so Project Agos is very much in sync with our projects this year and that has something to do with disaster reduction management, climate change issues and the like,” he said.

Aside from the NYC, Dingdong is also the chairman of Yes Pinoy Foundation, which aims to make nation-building a way of life by empowering through the Filipino Volunteer Sector.

Married life

On the subject of married life, Dingdong said that being married has given him a deeper desire to do his job well.


“When I got married, all the more na mas na inspire ako, mas nagkaroon ako ng (I was inspired, I had more) fuel and energy to fulfill my tasks,” Dingdong said.

As for being a husband to Marian, Dingdong said: “I’ll spend some quality time [with her] like this Holy Week, we’ll make sure we’re somewhere and bond without forgetting the really essence of Holy Week.” – Rappler.com


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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.