Derek Ramsay lights up a court filled with 5,000 kids

IMAGE Mark Atienza

Derek Ramsay remembers how he lost his head on seeing the 5,000 children in Montalban, Rizal: "It went blank actually. I always get nervous when I go up on stage but I've never been that nervous with kids, all looking at me."


What an electrifying week for Derek Ramsay!

First, his TV5 primetime show Kidlat has been given the green light to go on for 17 weeks. (Teleseryes usually air for a 13-week season.)

Second, he had the chance to spend time with some kids in Montalban, Rizal that couldn't get enough of him.

Third, he's heading to Davao with the Kidlat team for the Araw ng Dabaw 2013 weekend.

OUTREACH PROGRAM. "I love you Kidlat" could be seen from the neighboring school in Montalban, with high school students and teachers waiting around during class hours hoping to catch a glimpse of Derek.

The teenage students were not included in the Kapatid, Ka-Hero Outreach program held last March 13 because children two to 12 years old were Kidlat's primary audience

That didn't stop the school's population from waving their makeshift banners and screaming "Kidlat!" and "Derek!" the entire morning.

In an interview, Derek explained what the experience meant to him: "This is the best feeling, it is the best."

He recounts that as he was putting the Kidlat costume on, he felt nervous especially since it was a hot day. But when he finally came out and saw the crowd, "When you're up there, okay lang, gumaganda nga yung pagbasa ko ng Tagalog!"

Derek went onstage to read a story in Filipino to the kids, who filled up nearly the entire basketball court and kept craning their necks and pushing against each other to get closer to the stage.

"That's 5,000 kids showing their pearly whites," he related. "It's a great feeling, tapos doon sa kabilang side may mga teenagers naman na kumakaway rin, I'm lost for words with this experience."

Derek is no stranger to the adulation of ladies, gays, men, and the general population of adults. Fans jostle to get near him when he is out or to admire him in his movies, aside from various television shows he's been a part of.

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But children hold a special place in his heart, "[They] are so innocent and when you look at them, they really idolize and look up to you. I'm really excited to call my nephews and my mom and dad and tell them about this great experience. Completely a new experience for me, it's overwhelming," the hunky actor says with a big smile.

Keeping his head firmly fixed on his shoulders, Derek admitted that he hardly thought about ratings or being number one upon seeing the kids. "Di ko na naiisip yun. Ang iniisip ko na lang na is I'm here and these kids are all enjoying it."

He is also quite overjoyed that his role wasn't simply to show up.

"Of course, we are here to help, giving backpacks to help the students, camping gear to help the school..."

The outreach program is a joint initiative of the groups and foundations under the MVP Group of Companies in coordination with Silid-Aralan, Inc.

They picked Kasiglahan Village Elementary School for its accessible location.

INSPIRING KIDS. Derek wants Kidlat to be remembered as a show that proves every person's ability to help others.

He told the kids, "There a lot of things to learn when you watch our program. It also shows that ang kabutihan, lagi niyan matatalo ang kasamaan."

While delivering his message, a group tried to get his attention, to which Derek remarked with a smile, "How can you not love this, right?"

Moving on, "It is with pride that I take on the responsibility that I have to inspire these kids to stay in school and work hard.

"Because in the world today, with the world getting smaller and smaller, competition is getting greater and greater, it's very hard to make a living without an education.

"I encourage these kids to stay in school, work hard...and I will always say that they have to respect and admire the jobs that their teachers... teachers are what make us. Besides our parents, it's our teachers. They pave the road to where we're gonna go in the future, so I have a lot of respect for teachers, so I wanna pass that on to these kids," Derek concluded.

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