|Jean Claude Van Damme plays the bad guy in the upcoming action flick "The Expandables 2" opposite Sylvester Stallone
MANILA, Philippines – International action star Jean-Claude Van Damme is hoping to return to the Philippines soon, according to entertainment editor Ricky Lo.
Van Damme met Lo during a Hollywood junket to promote "The Expendables 2," which opens in Philippine theatres on August 16. The movie, which stars Sylvester Stallone, also features an all-star roster of action stars Jet Li, Liam Hemsworth, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham.
“I’ve been to the Philippines several times. I have several friends there, like Jude Estrada, the son of the former President (Joseph Estrada),” Van Damme told Lo in the article, which was published in The Philippine Star on Sunday.
Van Damme currently lives in Hong Kong with his wife.
“I’ve been telling my kids about how beautiful the Philippines. They should go to the Philippines and then go to Hong Kong later,” Van Damme, dubbed the “Muscles from Brussels,” added.
His son, Kristopher, who lives in Los Angeles, told Lo: “I’ve heard so much about the Philippines from my dad. He told me about how gracious the people are. I would love to go to the Philippines.”
According to Van Damme, the first movie he did was shot in the Philippines “with a very low budget.”
“I was also the first guy to endorse Red Bull in the Philippines when that (energy drink) was only starting,” he said.
Asked if he has plans to visit the Philippines again, the actor said: “Absolutely! For the last six years, I’ve been staying in Hong Kong and I travel a lot around Asia. One of these days I will go back to the Philippines. Asia is a wonderful place. The people are so…different. They are very relaxed, they have a different type of philosophy. They are so respectful. That’s why I love Asia. It gives me a different kind of feeling.”