Leah Salterio – The Philippine Star

January 24, 2022 | 12:00am

Actor Diego Loyzaga had a very productive 2021. Undoubtedly. He resumed his showbiz career last year and successfully did five films.

Diego started 2021 with Yam Laranas’ Death of a Girlfriend, where he was paired with AJ Raval. Then, he was cast in the weekly TV series, Encounter, the Philippine remake of the hit South Korean drama that aired on TV5.

He starred in director Joel Lamangan’s LGBTQ comedy, Bekis On the Run, scripted by Ricky Lee and where he was joined by Sean de Guzman, Christian Bables and Kylie Verzosa.

Diego also topbilled the Money Heist-inspired film, House Tour, megged by Roman Perez, Jr. and the South Korean adaptation, Nuel Naval’s More Than Blue. He wrapped up the year with Fifth Solomon’s Dulo, where he was paired for the first time with girlfriend, Barbie Imperial.

Diego starts 2022 with an early film project, The Wife, where he works for the first time with director Denise O’Hara, as well as with Louise de los Reyes and Cara Gonzales. He plays the computer-engineer husband of Louise who cheats on her with his erstwhile girlfriend. However, their marriage will be subjected to a different test when the guy is diagnosed with the Big C.

It will be remembered that in 2018, Diego took an unexpected and much-publicized hiatus from showbiz when he underwent personal problems. He hied off to Australia for a much-needed break.

“I had to do some self-realizing of what I wanted to do or what I really wanted to be,” Diego admits. “It was difficult. It wasn’t overnight. It wasn’t one week. It wasn’t one month. It took a very long time.

“I hope other people who are going through the same experience, take time off. I don’t know how much time you need so you will realize a lot of things. Find out your weaknesses, find out a part of yourself.”

Diego surprised not a few when he hurriedly left for the US at the start of 2022. The trip was definitely unplanned. In fact, the actor left by his lonesome, leaving behind his girlfriend of one year, Barbie.

He booked his flight quietly a day before he left. In fact, that was his first time to the US. “I came here all of a sudden and it wasn’t planned,” says Diego.

There was also no plan to bring Barbie along. “I don’t think Barbie has a new passport,” Diego says. “I don’t think even if she wanted to come here, she couldn’t have come here. She needs a visa to come here.”

Diego is apparently enjoying his first time in the US. His point of entry was initially in the East Coast and he has explored New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and even Washington, DC.

The 26-year-old actor later moved to Los Angeles to meet up with his cousins and other friends. “I think I found a home here in America,” the actor admits.

With his first film project for the New Year, Diego cannot be thankful enough. “Swerte and blessed,” he asserts. “We’re grateful that we are always given an opportunity to work, despite this pandemic. We are grateful beyond words. I’m thankful.”

Diego admittedly regrets the opportunities lost when he left showbiz four years ago. “But I was lucky enough to be given a second chance to be in showbiz again,” he says. “Since I’m here, I’m grateful. I’ll make the most out of it. I thank everyone who supported me, everyone who is behind the reason I am given this second chance.”

Just this pandemic, Diego realized a lot of things. “There are so many things you can’t control,” he maintains. “That brings a lot of anxiety. You don’t know if you will have work. You can’t control if you will get sick or mahawa ka or your family.

“You can’t control when the pandemic is going to end. I guess accepting the things you cannot control also helps. I know it’s a process. Life is a process. I’m not saying just because I’ve been through it once, it’s never going to happen again. I’m happy that it happened to me and I’m happy that I learned from that process.”

Diego attested it doesn’t take much to make him happy. “Just being contended with everything I see that’s in front of me every day, that’s okay with me,” he says. “We have food to eat, house to live in, we have work and that’s a big factor.

“Malaking bagay that you can continue working to put food on the table and continue saving money even when it’s such hard time, like right now. The fact that we have work is such a blessing in itself. Nakakatuwa lang talaga.

“We’re one of those few lucky people who are working despite the pandemic and are still grinding despite everything that’s happening around.”





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