Desidido ang Brazilian-Japanese model na si Daniel Matsunaga na matuto ng wikang Filipino. Kaya naman nag-hire siya ng tutor para turuan siyang magsalita ng Tagalong.
"It's okay, I can understand but there's a lot of words that I have to understand and memorize. A lot of verbs, a lot of nouns...it's really different from Portuguese. But then, I'm studying just being here in the Philippines and talking to you guys. You guys talking Tagalog, I can understand most of the meaning," sabi ni Daniel nang makausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa presscon na ipinatawag ng Mercator Model and Artist Management para sa kanilang tatlo ng mga kapwa niya Brazilian-Japanese models na sina Akihiro Sato at Fabio Ide kahapon, March 4.
Ayon kay Daniel, nasa "60 percent" na raw ang mga Tagalog words na naiintindihan niya.
STAYING IN THE PHILIPPINES. Sumabak na rin sa pag-arte si Daniel sa pamamagitan ng GMA-7 telefantasya na The Last Prince, kung saan gumanap siya bilang werewolf na prinsipe. Kung noong una'y hindi pa siya masyadong convinced to join showbiz, ngayon daw ay buong-buo na ang loob niya to penetrate Philippine showbiz.
"Yes, now, I decided to stay," sabi ni Daniel. "I had plan to go back to Brazil before. That's why maybe I'll stay, maybe no. It was two months ago. That's why I had a break. But I decided to stay. I didn't go back to Brazil and decided to just bring my family here soon so they can visit Philippines. I just wanted to go back last time because I wanted to see them. So, if they come here, there's no reason for me to go back there. I can focus with my acting."
Nag-iipon lang daw si Daniel ng pamasahe para sa kanyang pamilya dahil medyo mahal daw ang plane tickets.
Tinanong din ng PEP si Daniel, ano ang naging deciding factor niya to stay here in the Philippines?
"It's because I have some jobs in modeling and I have to do some scenes in The Last Prince," sagot niya.
Isa sa most sought-after international models si Daniel. Dito na lang sa Pilipinas ay ilang TV commercials niya ang kasalukuyang napapanood. He also has a modeling career in Thailand, Singapore, and other Asian countries.
Pero bakit nga ba ang Pilipinas ang pinili niya?
"Because of you guys!" mabilis niyang sagot. "You're all very nice, funny, everybody here are nice. The food is also very good. Masarap!"
Aminado si Daniel na malakas siyang kumain, pero binabawi raw niya ito sa pagdyi-gym araw-araw at paglalaro ng football.
THE LAST PRINCE. Ayon kay Daniel, nag-enjoy siya nang husto sa The Last Prince.
"It's been very, very nice. I love it! It's very challenging and I love challenge. With The Last Prince, everything was new for me. To be part of acting, it's the first time and I really like it," sambit ng model turned actor.
Kumusta na sila ni Kris Bernal na siyang lead actress ng The Last Prince?
"She's very nice person," mabilis na sagot ni Daniel. "I was really surprised the last time I went to the taping, she has prosthetics and I do not know... I was like, 'What happened to you?' She was not beautiful with the prosthetics but she's really pretty. Very beautiful but with the prosthetic, what happened?" natatawa niyang sabi.
Sa story kasi ng The Last Prince ay pinapangit ang hitsura ni Kris dahil sa sumpa.
Aside from Kris, naging kaibigan din ni Daniel ang leading man ng The Last Prince na si Aljur Abrenica. Ayon sa kanya, wala raw rason para pagselosan siya ni Aljur, tulad ng mga lumalabas sa ilang write-ups.
"Maybe Aljur can be jealous because I'm just a new guy who came to The Last Prince. But of course, Aljur should not be jealous because, you know, I'm just their friend," paliwanag ni Daniel.
Ano naman ang message niya sa mga fans ng loveteam nina Aljur at Kris dahil tila siya ngayon ang lumalabas na kontrabida sa team-up ng dalawa?
"No, don't be mad, don't be angry at me," nakangiti niyang sabi. "I'm just doing my job and I'm really happy to be part of Last Prince and working with them is a pleasure to me. I really enjoy it. There's really no point to be mad at me because Aljur is a friend of mine and we really talk every time, fun moments, nice moments. So, there's no point to be angry."
Daniel is also shooting for an indie film titled Survivor on Caramoan Island. Tungkol daw ito sa survivors ng isang plane crash.
"I'm a chef in the movie. And it's a comedy film. I have a problem that every time I get too excited or angry, I fall asleep. I enjoy it. The location was also beautiful, virgin island. I think it's going to be shown on May. And I hope thay can also show it in Brazil," sabi ni Daniel.
PINAY BEAUTIES. Ayon kay Daniel, okay lang daw sa kanya kung may mga babaeng open sa kanilang admiration towards him. For Daniel's part naman, mga mga Pinay rin daw siyang ina-admire.
"Actually, there's a lot of beautiful girls in this country. I love all of them. There's KC Concepcion, Marian Rivera, Kris Bernal, and Carla Abellana... They are very beautiful," sambit niya.
Is it possible for him to fall in love with a Filipina?
"Of course, walang problema. I plan to stay here longer, so, we'll never know the future," sagot niya.
Bukas, March 6, sa Grand Coronation Night ng Binibining Pilipinas 2010 ay isa sa special guests si Daniel.