Geoff Eigenmann says his role as Fernando Jose in Rosalinda came as a big surprise

"With this Rosalinda primetime show, biglaang nangyari sa akin. When I transferred, I was supposed to be doing, una na nga yung SRO. Then, after that, I was supposed to be doing the Dramarama [Sa Hapon]. Yun ang alam ko, and then, biglang yun...nag-iba ang mga plano. The role of Fernando Jose fell on my lap. So, yun, I'm really happy," says Geoff Eigenmann.


Matagal nang naibalita rito sa PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) na ang baguhang si Carla Abellana ang gaganap sa papel ni Rosalinda, na orihinal na ginampanan ni Thalia sa isang Mexican telenovela, sa local adaptation nito. Pero matagal bago nakahanap ang GMA-7 ng male star na gaganap sa bilang Fernando Jose Altamirano, na ginampanan noon ni Fernando Carrillo.

Kahapon, ika-7 ng Hunyo, sa isang mini-presscon ay pormal nang ipinakilala ang balik-Kapuso na si Geoff Eigenmann bilang si Fernando Jose.

Ayon kay Geoff, everything came as a surprise to him. Tila alam na raw yata ng lahat, except him. Ang ilang executives nga raw ng Kapuso network ang nag-break sa kanya ng good news.

"I came here sa GMA, yung manager ko, si Perry Lansigan, wanted me to have a meeting with Tita Lilybeth [Rasonable]. So, yun, sila ang nagsabi sa akin that I'm going to be Fernando Jose. It was really a surprise talaga and it's like my jaw dropped, wala akong masabi. This is such a big project for GMA and I'm very excited about it. Happy ako na ako ang napili nila," kuwento niya.

Dagdag ni Geoff, "Kasi, noong lumabas yung Rosalinda the first time, yung character nilang dalawa as Rosalinda and Fernando Jose, minahal silang talaga ng Filipino audience. So, yun, excited ako, at siyempre, kinakabahan din."

FERNANDO JOSE. Aminado si Geoff na may kakambal na pressure ang project na binigay sa kanya ng Kapuso network. Una, pareho silang sasabak ng kapareha niyang si Carla sa lead role. Pangalawa, phenomenal ang success ng Rosalinda nang ipalabas ito sa Pilipinas via ABS-CBN.

So far, kalahati na ng 80 episodes ng Rosalinda ang napapanood ni Geoff.

"Pinag-aaralan ko talaga," sabi ni Geoff. "Ang daming preparations na ginagawa. I'm watching the whole series. Nagpi-piano lesson ako, kasi si Fernando Jose, musician-lawyer. And with Carla naman, nagwo-workshop kami, getting-to-know each other."

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Ano naman ang naging impression niya sa gagampanang role upon watching it?

"Ako, actually, I find it hard to play Fernando Jose. One of the things para sa akin is music ang frustration ko. Never akong natutong mag-play ng instrument talaga. So, as Fernando Jose, pinipilit ko talaga how to play the piano.

"And with his characteristic naman, ang hirap, e. Childhood pa lang niya, sobrang hirap na. He lost his dad, maraming nangyari sa kanya when he was young na dumikit sa kanya until he gets older. Parang na-brainwash siya as a child kaya doon ako nahihirapan in playing Fernando Jose.

CARLA ABELLANA. Sa kanilang dalawa ni Carla, puwedeng sabihin na si Geoff ang mas inaasahan na magdala ng tandem nila at ng show mismo since mas experienced at mas matagal na siya sa business. Ano ang masasabi niya rito?

"Well, kung ako ang magdadala... Siguro nga, mas marami na akong experience than Carla. Pero, pareho rin kami. Pareho naming first big show sa GMA. So, for me, pareho kaming newbie. Pareho kaming may kailangang matutunan. May mga bagay kaming puwedeng ituro sa isa't isa and learn from each other pa rin.

"So, wala naman akong iniisip na mas lamang ako sa kanya. Like I've said nga, we're both coming in to this as a love team, so susuportahan ko siya," pahayag ng pangalawang anak nina Gina Alajar at Michael de Mesa.

Ayon kay Geoff ay nagkasama na sila ni Carla sa iilang pagkakataon, tulad sa ginawa nilang cinema plug at story conference ng movie. Kumusta naman silang dalawa?

"Okey kami," sagot ng 24-year-old actor. "We're doing really well. We're getting to know each other more. Nagwo-workshop kami at may days na buong araw, magkasama kami. I'm getting to know her more and more, and I'm really happy. Excited ako na magsimula na kami para makaeksena ko siya."

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How does he find Carla as a leading lady?

"The first thing, as you can see naman, she's very beautiful. When I met her pa lang, as soon as I entered the room, may jaw dropped na, kasi she really stands out in the crowd. And getting to know her more, nakakausap ko siya. She's a very smart girl. Very educated.

"For me, she's really perfect to be Rosalinda. Kasi yung nakikita ko kay Carla na sobrang similar kay Rosalinda, yung pagka-selfless na gusto nila, everyone around them, masaya than themselves."

Yung tipo ba ni Carla ang posibleng ma-in love o magkagusto siya romantically?

"It's not hard to fall in love with Carla," sabi ni Geoff. " Physically pa lang, very beautiful. Tapos yun nga, she's very smart, very sincere. Sobrang totoong tao. Not really hard to fall in love with her."

Nangiti naman si Geoff nang may magsabing may boyfriend na ang newcomer.

"That I really don't know..."

On Geoff's part, he's happily single daw ngayon.

BIG SHOES TO FILL. As early as now, iba't ibang opinyon na ang lumalabas sa pag-team up nina Geoff at Carla. Nandiyan na ang comparison sa naabot ng love team nina Dingdong Dantes at Marian when they did Marimar, na isa pang hit series ni Thalia.

Posible rin kayang maabot nila ni Carla ang na-achieve ng love team nina Dingdong at Marian?

"That's a very big shoes to fill for sure. Siyempre, Dingdong and Marian, they've proven themselves already many times, one of the pressures sa amin. Kami ni Carla, we've been talking a lot and I promised her already that I'm gonna give her my support all the way. Whatever it is, no matter how small or big maybe, susuportahan ko siya with whatever. Kampi kami rito all the way," saad ni Geoff.

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Kailan lang din nang bumalik sa GMA-7 si Geoff mula sa ABS-CBN. Sa kanyang pagbabalik, una niyang ginawa ang SRO Cinemaserye Presents Ganti.

Pagkatapos ba ng once-a-week series niya, alam na niyang pang-leading role na sa primetime ang susunod niyang gagawin sa Kapuso network?

"No, actually," sagot niya. "With this Rosalinda primetime show, biglaang nangyari sa akin. When I transferred, I was supposed to be doing, una na nga yung SRO. Then, after that, I was supposed to be doing the Dramarama [Sa Hapon]. Yun ang alam ko, and then, biglang yun...nag-iba ang mga plano. The role of Fernando Jose fell on my lap. So, yun, I'm really happy."

Maganda ang naging paraan ng pagpapakilala sa kanya bilang si Fernando Jose sa Showbiz Central kahapon. Bukod pa ang nakahanda agad na press conference for him. Kung babalikan, naging mainit din ang ginawang pagtanggap sa kanya ng network nang magbalik siya bilang Kapuso.

Does he get overwhelmed sa lahat ng nangyayari sa kanya ngayon?

"Yes, of course, nao-overwhelm pa rin ako," sabi niya. "Tao lang naman, di ba? That much attention is really overwhelming naman. I'm just taking it slowly and taking everything in, thinking things through. So, relax lang."

Maaasahan ba ng mga manonood na gagawin din nila ang sexy scenes na ginawa noon nina Thalia at Fernando Carillo sa original Rosalinda? Bukod sa pagpapakita ng kanilang kaseksihan ay napakarami ring kissing scenes nina Thalia at Fernando noon.

"Yeah, I guess, isa rin yun sa aabangan nila with the show coming out. Kami naman ni Carla, we're both giving 100 percent for the show. So, all-out talaga," pagtatapos ni Geoff.


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