How James Reid ended up starring in Zack Tabudlo's 'Para Sa Mga Ex' MV

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2021 05:52 PM | Updated as of Oct 25 2021 06:44 PM

MANILA — James Reid starring in Zack Tabudlo’s music video for “Para Sa Mga Ex” was a case of perfect timing, the breakthrough singer said, recalling that the track was the last of his 14 originals to have its dedicated short.

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Speaking with ABS-CBN News on Monday, Tabudlo shared that he was in the process of completing his album, “Episode,” when Careless Music, Reid’s own record label, reached out to him to collaborate.

“Episode” was released this month under Island Records Philippines, with Spotify amplifying Tabudlo’s full-length debut internationally as one of its RADAR artists.

“We were in talks about doing the music videos for the album. It was just perfect timing,” Tabudlo said of Careless Music. “‘What if James hops in to one of the music videos?’ Sakto, ‘Para sa Mga Ex’ was the missing music video. ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ Everything connected!”

Released on Sunday, the music video sees Reid breaking down as his character is overwhelmed by memories of his ex — a visual contrast to the lyrics about having moved on and no longer wanting to reconcile.

“Working with James has been such a pleasure,” Tabudlo said. “Knowing that he went on a two-year break from acting, and kind of [returned] to the whole acting thing again because of my music, it’s such an honor. [He’s] such a big actor. A lot of people really loved the music video. It just shows how much of an actor James is.”


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Interestingly, the music video’s release coincided with fresh speculation surrounding Reid’s personal life, after his real-life former girlfriend and collaborator Nadine Lustre was reported to be dating anew.

Tabudlo got candid about his own experience that led to him composing “Para Sa Mga Ex,” reacting to the observation.

“We’re in a phase, as well as my music, where everyone goes through heartbreak. I know friends who’ve gone through heartbreaks. I’ve gone through exes,” he said.

By putting out songs about being vulnerable, matched with portrayals like Reid’s, Tabudlo said he hopes to help break the stereotype about men not being emotional.

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“I want to break that stereotype, especially for guys who really can’t express their feelings. There’s a stereotype where if guys go through heartbreaks or tough times, people would look at it, ‘Dapat malakas ‘yan.’ They won’t really cry. James gave so much justice to that character. 

“People in general — guys, girls, whatever — get hurt. We have our lowest of lows. We get hurt. We become vulnerable. We cry. We break. And that’s just part of life,” he said.

Prior to Reid, Tabudlo got to collaborate with other big-name stars for his music videos, such as Paulo Avelino and Charlie Dizon for “Hindi Ko Kaya,” and Andrea Brillantes and Seth Fedelin for “Binibini.”

In his interview with ABS-CBN News, which was arranged by Spotify, Tabudlo talked about the process that led to the casting coups, and how the stars’ mainstream popularity has helped extend the reach of his songs’ messages.

Tabudlo is set to release several more music videos — one each for the 14 tracks in “Episode” — culminating in his solo digital concert scheduled on December 23.