MANILA, Philippines - Venezuelan actor Fernando Carrillo, known to Filipinos for his role as Fernando Jose of the hit series "Rosalinda", expressed his desire to meet boxer Manny Pacquiao.
"One thing I really want is to meet Manny Pacquiao. So Manny, if you are a real man, I want to meet you. Yeah, let's see if you can take that on," said Carrillo, who used to be the leading man of telenovela superstar Thalia in "Rosalinda", which aired on ABS-CBN in 2000.
The Venezuelan actor admitted that he is a fan of Pacquiao, whom he described as "a nice guy." He even praised the Filipino boxer for accepting defeat with dignity.
Pacquiao recently lost to Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez after being knocked out in the sixth round of their fourth bout last Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
"I really admire the man... I like Pacquiao because he is a man of the people. He is a man of his wife, he is a family man. He is admirable in defeat. Walking around with a big smile, he's a champion," Carrillo said.
"I love you, Manny. Wherever you are, you and your family, God bless you and you know he is a dignified Filipino that represents the country. And he is worried about his country. He has a social heart that not every successful man has, and that's wonderful.
"So, even in defeat to a Mexican, Mexico and Philippines have a lot in common, very similar," he added.
It has been 12 years since his last visit to the Philippines, but Carrillo said the country always had a special place in his heart.
"Twelve years na ang nakaraan nang umalis ako ng Pilipinas, pero hindi kailanman nawala sa aking puso ang Pilipinas," said the Venezuelan actor, who will be managed by Viva founder Vic del Rosario and music producer Christian de Walden.
If given a chance, Carrillo said he would like to do a musical series with the country's top young artists.
"Maybe like 'Glee', like a musical," he said, referring to the American TV series. "Because I'm into music and I want to do comedy and [work with] a new generation of kids. I want to be surrounded by the most beautiful and talented kids in the country."