Geoff Eigenmann tells main reason for returning to Kapuso network

"We've been talking about it ever since naman, even when I was with ABS-CBN before. GMA was never... They are always there inquiring, so it's good to be back once again. For sure nga, 100 percent Kapuso na 'ko," says Geoff Eigenmann about his return to GMA-7.


Kahapon, March 11, ay ganap na ngang naging isang exclusive Kapuso si Geoff Eigenmann. Kasama ni Geoff ang kanyang manager na si Perry Lansigan at inang si Gina Alajar nang pumirma ng kontrata sa GMA-7, kaharap ang top executives ng Kapuso na sina Atty. Felipe L. Gozon, Mr. Jimmy Duavit, at Ms. Wilma Galvante.

Right after ng contract signing ay nagkaroon ng pictorial at saka iniharap ng GMA-7 sa PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at ilan pang piling editors at columnists si Geoff (pronounced as Jeff), kasama ang senior program manager na si Ms. Redgie Magno sa Board Room ng GMA Network Center.

"It feels very good, actually. I've been anticipating this day since nag-usap kami ng manager ko. We were really looking forward at inasikaso na namin agad," simula pahayag ni Geoff.

Sinabi ng anak nina Gina Alajar at Michael de Mesa na kailan lang ang naging pag-uusap nila about his possible transfer.

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"We've been talking about it ever since naman, even when I was with ABS-CBN before. GMA was never... They are always there inquiring, so it's good to be back once again. For sure nga, 100 percent Kapuso na 'ko," saad ni Geoff.

NO CONTRACT WITH ABS-CBN. Taong 2004 nang mula sa pagiging isang Kapuso ay lumipat si Geoff sa Kapamilya network, kaya may five years din siyang nawala sa bakuran ng GMA-7. Ayon kay Geoff, naging maayos naman ang pag-alis niya sa ABS-CBN.

"Okay naman, no burned bridges, if I may say. It went well naman, nagpaalam kami. It went smoothly and we didn't go na umalis na lang kaming bigla. We did everything step by step at kinausap namin lahat ng dapat na makausap."

Wala ba siyang kontrata sa ABS-CBN?

"I had a contract in ABS-CBN but it expired already. My contract with them was for two years. From 2004 to 2006," sabi ni Geoff, na ang last TV show sa Dos ay ang Lobo with Piolo Pascual and Angel Locsin.

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Napag-alaman ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) na kung may balak mang habulin pa siya ng ABS-CBN, malabo na itong mangyari dahil, ayon kay Geoff at sa kanyang manager, wala raw siyang kontrata sa kahit na anong show ng Kapamilya network since wala na rin naman daw siyang contract with the network and its film arm Star Cinema.

Nag-expire na rin ba ang contract niya sa Star Magic or co-managed pa rin siya ng Johnny Manahan-led talent agency hanggang ngayon?

"I never really had a contract with Star Magic. I was co-managed, but I never signed any contract with them," paglilinaw ni Geoff.

Hindi ba siya pinigilan ng ABS-CBN nang magsabi siyang lilipat na?

"Well, nagpadala naman kami ng formal letter. Siguro, busy lang sila, may mga inaasikaso..."

When asked kung may counter-offer ang Kapamilya station sa kanya, Geoff said, meron. But his manager Perry quickly clarified that it's not a counter-offer dahil meron talagang offer. Nauna raw talaga ang offer ng Dos. Supposedly, may gagawin sanang dalawang projects si Geoff. Pero ayon kay Perry, hindi pa lang daw nila ibinibigay ang oo nila.

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Geoff confirmed na, at present, may ginagawa pa siyang movie under Star Cinema. Ito ang Estrella with Maja Salvador, Shaina Magdayao, and Jake Cuenca.

"I'm still doing the movie. We're still shooting now at tatapusin ko pa rin. It's being directed by Direk Rico Ilarde."

What about the Moon River soap with Maja?

"Yun ang isa sa dalawang soap na naiwan," banggit ni Geoff. "We started taping pero nag-stop din kami after a while. We're not really sure of the reason. Ni-revise the whole script, ni-revise ang story. And then, yun. Matagal na rin kaming nag-stop, before Christmas."

Wala bang magiging conflict if i-resume ang taping at wala na siya?

"I guess, they will get somebody else," sagot ni Geoff.

Ano naman ang pinagkaabalahan niya noong wala pa siyang ginagawa?

"Well, siyempre, ang naging number one kalaban ko was myself. Just thinking of other ways to do aside from just being sad na wala akong work."

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Was he frustrated then?

"Yeah, there was a time na na-sad ako, wala akong ginagawa. What should I do? So, I focused on other things. Exercise a lot kasi, I had to trim down. So, this is the time I can work, I'm happy."

What could be the reason kung bakit nawalan siya ng trabaho for a while?

"At first, shows were always lined up. Pero palaging napapalitan, palaging nade-delay. So, kung lumipat na nga ako at may naiwan akong project, hindi ko na alam. I guess, it's up to them [ABS-CBN] and it's up to them to look for a replacement for me."

Feeling niya ba napabayaan siya sa iniwan niyang network?

"Hindi naman, maybe they are just looking for the right project. At saka, ang dami rin kasing stars ng ABS, so may iba rin silang pina-prioritize. So, we're just waiting. And I guess, yung mga projects na natapat sa akin, hindi lang natutuloy."

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Sa loob ng limang taon, posibleng nakapag-develop na rin siya ng friendship among ABS-CBN stars. Now that he's in GMA-7 again, paano na ang relationship niya with his Kapamilya colleagues?

"Friendship-wise naman, I don't think there will be a problem. It doesn't necessarily mean that if we work in different networks, hindi na kami mag-uusap. Even behind the camera, outside of work, yung friendship is still there," saad ni Geoff.

Sino yung pinakamami-miss niya sa Kapamilya?

"Actually, marami... Marami akong naging kaibigan talaga."

Mas mami-miss ba niya ang na-link sa kanya noon na si Nikki Gil?

"We're good friends! That's it talaga! Friends lang!" natatawa niyang sabi.

COMING HOME. Ano ang naging reaction ng ina niyang si Gina Alajar sa kanyang desisyon na bumalik sa GMA-7?

"Actually, 100 percent ang support niya. Whatever I do naman in showbiz, she doesn't meddle. But kung kailangan, sila ni Perry talaga ang nag-uusap and she's supportive of whatever it is talaga."

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Nabuhayan ba siya ng loob sa paglipat niya?

"Yeah. Of course, of course! It's good to be back doing what I love doing the most."

Ang unang show ni Geoff sa kanyang pagbabalik sa GMA-7 ay ang S.R.O. Cinemaserye. Aware daw siya sa kontrobersiyang kinasangkutan kamakailan ng show at ng original choice sana sa role ni Geoff na si JC de Vera.

"It doesn't really bother me," sabi ng 24-year-old actor. "Sa akin, it landed on my lap and I will do whatever I can just to give justice to the role. I don't really mind if I'm the first choice, second choice or kung replacement lang ako, it doesn't bother me at all."

Isang dahilan daw ng pagpu-pullout kay JC sa S.R.O. Cinemaserye ay dahil lalabas na supporting lang ang aktor kay Marvin Agustin. Totoo bang supporting role lang ang gagampanan ni Geoff dito?

"I think, based on the script, lahat kami, pantay-pantay ang istorya. We all have our own part in the whole script, so walang sapawan, walang lamang sa amin. Walang support. We're main cast talaga, we're main characters," paliwanag niua.

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Somehow ay nakapag-build na rin siya ng pangalan niya sa ABS-CBN, now that he's back in GMA-7, ano naman ang expectations niya?

"Ano naman, e, I'm not afraid na wala akong gagawin dito. I'm sure, 100 percent certain na aalagaan ako rito no matter what and whatever show they give me after, tuluy-tuloy yun. Alam ko na lahat ng show na ibibigay sa akin ay worth it. It will showcase what I can do and what I can prove as an actor. They will give me working projects for sure."

PEP asked Geoff what made him decide to go back to GMA-7. Was it his personal decision, his manager's influence—Perry Lansigan is said to be more identified with GMA-7 being the manager of the network's hottest male star Dingdong Dantes—or was it because naramdaman niyang hindi siya masyadong nabibigyan ng projects sa Dos?

"Well, honestly, my number one thing is, I miss what I do," sagot niya. "Matagal akong napahinga. I miss what I do talaga. Mahirap yung walang ginagawa, e. And it's hard to focus on other things na hindi ka naman into. So, I'm happy that I'm working again and I can do what I love doing the most."

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Now that he's a Kapuso again, sino ang inaabangan niyang makasama muli sa mga future projects niya?

"No one in particular naman, but I'm open to working with anyone naman. For me, the more people I work with, the more I can expand and grow as an actor. Natututo rin ako sa kanila."

Posible kayang buhayin muli ang team-up nila ni Heart Evangelista, na nakasama noon ni Geoff sa Hiram ng ABS-CBN at isa na ring Kapuso ngayon?

"Puwede siguro... I'm open with the idea. Bahala na si Lord kung anumang show ang dumating, but I have no qualms in working with Heart again. Naging maganda naman ang chemistry namin before and I guess, may fan base na rin kami."

But among the Kapuso female stars, sino yung puwede niyang sabihin na he's attracted to?

"I would love to work with Marian Rivera, of course, Iza Calzado... I'd love to work with Sunshine Dizon again, if possible."

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Yung nagagandahan siya or puwedeng sabihin na crush niya?

"Maxene Magalona, she's very beautiful. I like her face," sagot ni Geoff.

Okay lang din ba sa kanyang makatrabaho si JC de Vera?

"I guess so. Wala namang magiging problema sa akin to work with kahit sino man."

KAPUSO/KAPAMILYA. Since nakapagtrabaho na siya with the two leading networks, ano ang nakita niyang kaibahan ng Kapuso at Kapamilya?

"For me kasi, when I went to ABS before, ang laki ng adjustment ko kasi I don't really know anyone. Pero dito, kapag bumalik ako, sanay na 'ko sa mga tao. I was more familiar with the people here. So, wala masyadong adjustment for me. And with everyone in the staff, everyone was really supportive. Everyone is professional.

"I can say siguro na, mas alaga rito, that's for sure, mas alaga rito," habol niya.

Pero nilinaw ni Geoff na wala siyang pagsisisi nang lumipat siya noon sa ABS-CBN.

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Aniya, "I'm not gonna say anything bad with ABS, they took care of me. Marami akong natutunan with them. I guess, it was just time to move on and mature, for me as a person and meet other people."

COMPETITION WITH DINGDONG. Sinagot din ni Geoff ang possibility na magkaroon ng competition daw sa pagitan nila ni Dingdong Dantes, na hina-handle din ng manager niyang si Perry.

"I don't think there will be a competition," sabi niya. "There's no need for competition between me and Dingdong. Dingdong, being in the business longer than I have, marami pa 'kong dapat gawin just to be able to achieve what he has. So, wala, I don't think there will be [any competition] at all..."

Mahati kaya ang atensiyon ng manager nila sa kanilang dalawa ni Dingdong?

"Hopefully no, hopefully no."

Sa puntong ito, sumagot ang kanyang manager na si Perry na alam daw ni Dingdong ang tungkol paglipat ni Geoff. In fact, alam din daw ni Dingdong na contract signing kahapon at supportive sila sa isa't isa.

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Ayon naman kay Ms. Redgie Magno, lahat ng projects ni Geoff after S.R.O. ay pinag-uuspaan pa lang kaya wala pa silang masasabi kung ano ang magiging next show ni Geoff. But she assured that, definitely, there will be shows lined up for Geoff.

Hindi na rin daw masasabing kailangan pang i-build-up nang husto si Geoff dahil alam na naman ang kakayahan nito bilang isang aktor.

Ani Ms. Redgie, "Unang-una, alam naman na natin ang kakayahan niya bilang isang aktor. Plus, alam ko rin, sinasabi nga rin ni Gina, ang masisiguro raw niya, si Geoff, he's a professional actor. Hindi kami mamumroblema in working with him. Ang dapat nga raw niyang trabahuhin, kung saan naka-support din si Gina, ay yung ma-improve pa niya yung acting niya.

"At siyempre, privilege din ng network na yung time na 'yan, na ready na siya for mature roles, talagang heavy dramatic na mga roles ay nasa amin siya."

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Tinanong ng PEP si Ms. Redgie kung si Geoff ba ang pansagot ng GMA-7 sa mga pinoproblemang male stars ng Kapuso network.

"Mahirap naman na parang ilagay mo siya na pansagot sa ibang problema. Kasi, meron naman siya na sarili niyang iba... Unfair rin naman kay Geoff na kaya mo lang siya kinuha kasi may nakikita kang magkakaroon ng problema. Siyempre, nire-recognize namin na magiging asset siya ng network. Regardless kung may problema, kung kumpleto pa rin ang artista namin, welcome siya na addition sa aming Kapuso stars," saad ni Ms. Redgie.


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