Infor the long haul
(The Freeman) - November 30, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines – After boosting his stock by winning a popular reality TV show over three months ago, Daniel Matsunaga is striking while the iron is hot.

His calendar is at its fullest, the PBB All-In winner says, and while the effects of sleep deprivation can get to him at times, Daniel wouldn’t have it any other way.

"It’s actually crazy because I didn’t expect at all to be a winner of Big Brother and after everything happened, there’s so many blessings, so  many things happened and at the same time, so many great opportunities," gushed the model-actor, who was recently in town as special guest of a restaurant opening in Mabolo.

TV commer-cials, product endorsements, movie roles, endless appearances and guestings have poured in for the affable Brazilian-Japanese since he stepped out victorious from Kuya's house.

Peppering his replies with bits of Tagalog every now and then (after around five years in the country, Tagalog expressions now roll naturally off his tongue), the heartthrob couldn't stop repeating just how thankful he is that a land far away from his original home has consistently embraced him with more than open arms. "Talagang masaya ako ngayon kasi everything that I dreamed of in the past, it’s coming true and its becoming reality for me. I’m really thankful for everything that's happening," he says.

Daniel had in fact tried out for Brazil's edition of the Big Brother franchise, but did not make the cut. Being a celebrity here in the Philippines, it was much easier for him to secure a slot in the reality program where stars like Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson and Sam Milby gained national prominence.

"All the opportunities in my life is actually happening here in the Philippines. When I decided to audition for PBB, it was really because I dreamt to be part of a reality show like that - to stay for months inside a house without gadgets and having no contact with people outside. It was a tough decision because you have to give up so many things to do something like that," he explains of what made him join the PBB fray.

Now a Filipino resident, Daniel says the plan is to "pretty much stay in the Philippines forever."

His elder sister Vanessa is now settled here after marrying a Filipino. His mom has been here since his announcement as PBB winner. Once Daniel's dad retires, he'll follow suit.

"God was right when he said I had a purpose here and everything happens for a reason," says Daniel.

Turning 26 years old just last Friday, he was given the option to take a day off. But ever the workhorse, Daniel opted to make it a working birthday, because, "work is a blessing, and you should never say no to blessings."

Appearing in the currently showing Star Cinema rom-com "Past Tense" alongside Kim Chiu, Xian Lim and Ai Ai delas Alas, Daniel will next be seen in the December MMFF entry "Shake, Rattle and Roll 15."

He stars in the "Flight 666" episode as a flight attendant in a "flight from hell."

He reveals having been offered a part in the ongoing primetime obsession "Two Wives," but had to decline the role in lieu of doing the two big screen projects.

Told not a lot of imports who can't get rid of their twang last long in Philippine showbiz (one can't play the dreamy foreigner for the nth time), Daniel reacts, "In Jesus’ name, I hope to last long. I always try my best and improve myself, so I hope to be here for a very long time."

When not fulfilling on-cam duties, Daniel attends to his business: a delivery food service for dieters and fitness enthusiasts.

On matters of the heart, Daniel has been vocal about wanting his next girlfriend to be the woman he'll bring to the altar. As to what qualities would make someone wife material for the star, he counts off, "For sure, someone God-fearing. Close with my family, mabait at maganda. God-fearing is the most I'm particular about, because if you don’t base your relationship in God’s word and will, everything never works so God is very important in a relationship."

What's a deal-breaker for him when finding that potential mate? “Someone uneducated, meaning, someone who fights about things that there's no reason for, screaming people...yung ugali na always screaming and maarte.” – VAB

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