Ian Batherson (right) and Valerie Weignmann are the stars featured in the "Moving Closer" commercial of Close-up.


The actor considered the broject a good break. As for the lady, she is "just happy and I can't wait for the other things na coming up to me."


Photo: Richard Gerard Gay

Kapamilya meets Kapuso in the latest Close-up commercial!

Nope, there wasn't a conscious effort to pair two reality TV stars from the opposing networks. But now joining the ranks of Gabby Concepcion, Tonton Gutierrez, Dawn Zulueta, KC Concepcion, Sam Milby, and Daniel Matsunaga are Ian Batherson of Starstruck and Survivor Philippines and Valerie Weignmann of Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition Plus.

At the press conference held in Mall of Asia last March 17, the Filipino-American actor exclaimed, "They are not just stars, they are icons, I am really honored."

Ian had starred in other commercials before, and even played support in one of the same toothpaste brand's ads. "But it has always been my dream to be lead and I knew what I was up against. I knew who were the previous endorsers, previous models," he said, and they're "all guwapo, maganda, and you know..."

For Valerie's part, she credits her years in modeling for this plum role. Initially, she felt "kinabahan."

But when it already sank in, the confidence came naturally.

"To be one of them, it is an amazing experience," remarked Valerie.

But "the European with the Filipina heart" (how she described herself) said she has a long way to go as far the journey to stardom is concerned. 

"I don't see myself a big star yet," she added. "But let's see what happens, what opportunities are coming after me."

MOVING CLOSER. That day, the new song "Moving Closer" by Never the Strangers was also launched.

The song is not as "cheesy" as the OPM hits "Closer You and I" of Gino Padilla and "Just A Smile Away" of Jaime Garchitorena.

It's not also upbeat just like Sam Milby's "Close To You," Rico Blanco's "Come Closer to Me Now," Paolo Santos's "Close," and Barbie Almalbis's "Just a Smile."

But it's "nakakakilig," as Ian would put it, and it's "romantic in a contemporary way."

At press time, the song has made it to the eight spot of MYX charts.

Ian said, "I'm very confident in this song, in this band, and I'm very confident in my beautiful partner Valerie."