Allen Dizon weighs in on the success of Abot-Kamay na Pangarap

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Allen Dizon weighs in on the success of Abot-Kamay na Pangarap
Allen Dizon with Abot-Kamay na Pangarap co-stars Carmina Villarroel and Jillian Ward.

MANILA, Philippines — For “most awarded” indie actor Allen Dizon, it’s a proud moment to be part of a successful mainstream project.

Allen was initially slated as a “guest” character in GMA’s highest-rated drama, Abot-Kamay na Pangarap, but his performance led to the extension of his character’s role.

In the show, he plays Dr. Carlos Benitez, who would become the husband of Lyneth (Carmina Villarroel), the illiterate mom of a genius daughter, Analyn (Jillian Ward), the youngest neurosurgeon in the country.

When he joined the show in February, he was told the series would last until June. 

With young co-star Angel Guardian in the action film Off-Load.

“Sabi ko, sige, meron pa akong four months na magte-taping. Before ‘nung time na ‘yun, while taping kami ng Abot-Kamay, yung mga extension namin sunod-sunod. ‘Nung pagpasok ko, biglang tumaas yung ratings, pataas ng pataas yung ratings namin. So every month parang nagkaroon kami ng extension, hanggang June (this year). Then before June, mga April, sinasabi nila may extension naman December.”

With Bibhusan Joshi, founder and director of Smart Access, and Stephanie Dizon Lasig, country manager during his contract-signing as Philippine ambassador for the company.

(So I said, okay, I still have four months of taping. But before that time, while we were taping Abot Kamay, our extensions happened one after the other. Our ratings suddenly increased, consistently going up. So every month, it seemed like we were getting extensions, until June this year. Then, before June, around April, they were saying there would be an extension until December.)

The actor with his children Lucas Allric and Nella Marie.

To date, they were told that the show has been extended until March 2024 but the audiences of the show can never be too sure. One thing is for sure, Allen takes pride in playing his character, asking to watch out for the continuous development of his role and the evolving connections among the characters.

“Nakakatuwa dahil ang ganda ng role ko. Paganda ng paganda yung mga ginagawa kong eksena. Bawat isa sa amin, mga character, nagkaroon na ng mga koneksyon lahat.”

Allen came to realize the show’s popularity during last All Souls Day when it took him hours to attend to his father and grandmother’s graves due to the influx of people seeking pictures with him.

“So, that’s how it is — there are really so many people watching Abot-Kamay because every time I’m outside, even when my child calls me, they refer to me as Doc Carlos,” he said.

“So before, my character was very kind, very helpful. But suddenly, he changed, right? Like adding a bit of spice to Carlos’ character. So, I find that interesting.

“Para sa akin, ito na yung pinakamagandang teleseryeng nagawa ko at ginagawa ko ngayon (For me, this is the most beautiful teleserye I have done and am currently doing),” he added.

And because of his teamup with Carmina in the series, they are now set to do a film together next year with filming to be done in Australia.

Asked to weigh in on the success of the show, Allen cites several factors. For him, in terms of storytelling, it’s an inspirational medical drama, and the creative team makes sure that its situations happen in real life, they’re not absurd. Additionally, it’s a reflection of united set, where everyone has come together to make the series work.

“Perhaps, that’s also one thing — no one acts like a star. I mean, all the cast members are nice, everyone gets along, no prima donnas, and we don’t have any issues at all, from Jillian to Carmina, to Richard (Yap), to Kazel Kinouchi, Pinky Amador. Literally, all of us in the cast get along, and it’s like we’re one big family. When we’re together, we’re playful. Everyone understands each other. Our working relationship is good, and that’s why you can see it.”

Besides Abot-Kamay na Pangarap, Allen has a string of films this year. He finished Ligalig with National artist Nora Aunor and directed by Topel Lee. The Louie Ignacio-directed Abenida, which won for Allen Best Actor at the 2nd International Imago Film Festival di Civitella del Tronto in Teramo, Italy, is still looking for the most fitting playdate here in the Philippines.

He also stars in Pamilya Sa Dilim with Laurice Guillen, Sunshine Cruz and Teri Malvar under the direction of Jay Altarejos. He also did the action-packed Off-Load, which was directed by Rommel Ricafort.

Allen also has a horror family drama, Poon, with Janice de Belen, Ronaldo Valdez, Gina Pareno, as well as Acetylene Love with Cannes Best Actress Jaclyn Jose.

Meanwhile, Allen was launched as brand ambassador of Smart Access Philippines, an international consultancy that provides comprehensive visa and migration solutions in Australia. The 10-year-old Smart Access, which has branches in Australia, Nepal, Pakistan and Philippines, opened branches in the country this year, including one in Pampanga, hometown of Allen.

The company is owned by two migrant lawyers from Australia — Nepalist Bibhusan Joshi and Filipino Reyvi Marinas. It’s an affiliate of De Guzman, San Diego, Hernandez, Mejia (GSHM) law firm in the Philippines.

Joshi in a statement said that they chose Allen as an endorser for his “achievements as a multi-awarded actor, winning almost 50 acting awards locally and internationally, and for being a good example of a great family man who advocates the importance of education to his children.”

“Allen’s life is a success story — from a simple and dreaming probinsyano-turned-respected actor and businessman. Just like his teleserye’s title Abot-Kamay Ang Pangarap, (Allen proves that) as long as you have dreams and the determination, success will come to you.”

Allen has been an actor for 26 years now. He first entered the entertainment business as a model. He then became the leader of the sexy male group, Viva Hot Men. He has since been able to reinvent himself into one of the most reliable and sought-after actors to date. But he never thought he’d become one.

“Actually, I just wanted to finish school and help the family. Yun lang naman ang pinakagusto kong gawin sa buhay ko that time,” said the actor, who became a working student to support his single mom after losing his father at a very young age. 

The now 46-year-old father of three would finish HRM in college and has ventured into the car-trading business and is a part-owner of a restaurant franchise in Pampanga.

Asked the secret to longevity in show business, Allen simply said it’s the love for craft.

“Perhaps, it’s my love for my work. You won’t last for, let’s say, 10 years, 25 years, 26 years, if you don’t love your job. You should enjoy everything you do. Actually, it’s not a secret, but that’s always my advice even to beginners or those starting out.

“But first, you need to double and triple your effort in finding what you’re really passionate about. At least, you need to discover your own purpose.”

“And professionalism. Of course, you don’t want to be late, you don’t want to do multiple takes, so naturally, you need to refine your craft.”

“Plus, how I respect my colleagues at work, how I get along with everyone during shooting and taping. For me, life is really about pakikisama.

“Everything, in any field, wherever you are — whether in the Philippines, Australia, on the street, or in the world of showbiz — if you don’t collaborate and respect your colleagues at work, you won’t be successful,” he concluded.

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