"'You don't look like us.' That’s what a man told me."
This was how former Nickelodeon star Eduard Bañez recalled his experience as a Filipino in the United States of America. He said he'll never forget that scenario.
Bañez had a harder time fitting in, he told ABS-CBN News. Though many Asian artists are getting their flowers now, the erstwhile Star Magic artist believes that Asian hate crimes are still around and that every day he has to work hard to prove himself.
The side comments and the feeling of not belonging are the two worst things, he emphasized. "But I'm happy that the Filipino community here is very strong. Laban lang."
"Asian hate here is very wide. I wanted to make an impact in the community by increasing visibility. Kasi dapat nilang makita 'yung value natin as a human. We are working so hard kaya sana 'yung respeto nandu'n," hesaid.
Bañez added, “Kapag napapanood ko sa TV na ang daming nakaka-experience ng Asian hate, nalulungkot ako. We should treat people equally and gracefully."
When asked if he has plans on going back to the Philippines and revive his showbiz career, the former MTV Asia host replied: "Of course. Nami-miss ko na ang Pilipinas. Iba kasi mag-welcome ang mga Pilipino. Nami-miss ko rin ang mga pagkaing Pinoy."
He happily announced that he's producing shows when he comes back. He plans to mount Ed Sheeran and Sia's concerts in the country once he returns from the US.
"Naka-work ko na ang team nina Ed Sheeran and Sia for my music video. They were very nice and welcoming. Sana matuloy ang pangarap kong concerts na ipo-produce ko," Bañez shared.
Bañez was part of Star Magic Batch 15 alongside Megan Young, Jessy Mendiola, and Bela Padilla.
Asked what he has learned as a dreamer outside the country, he answered: “Accept who you are. Be happy with what you get. What you did is what you will get. Being successful is a process of determination."