Push offers a rundown of some foreign celebs who have opted to settle down and call the Philippines their home.
Photo Source: Daniel Matsunaga’s Instagram account, @dandanmatsunaga
“Some people would think na hindi ako Filipino pero I am so much more proud to be a Filipino at heart than many others out there na hindi proud sa country nila.”
These were the words of Brazilian-Japanese actor Daniel Matsunaga uttered when he emerged as the big winner of the 2014 Pinoy Big Brother All In.
Hailing from Brazil, Daniel has already been to over 25 countries but still chose to reside in the Philippines where he acquired permanent residency papers. In his previous interviews, Daniel said that he dreams of bringing his whole family to the country. According to a report by ABS-CBNnews.com, Daniel is petitioning to become a naturalized Filipino.
Eric “Eruption” Tai
Photo Source: Eric “Eruption” Tai’s Instagram account, @eruption23
Originally from New Zealand, Eric “Eruption” Tai became part of the Philippine Volcanoes, playing Rugby and later on, joined the Kapamilya noontime variety show, It’s Showtime.
In an interview with PUSH early this year, Eruption explained his long disappearance from It’s Showtime, saying that he was fixing his working visa. He then revealed plans of applying permanent residency in the Philippines.
Photo Source: Ryan Bang’s Instagram account, @ryanbangko
Korean actor-comedian Ryan Bang was discovered when he joined Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash of 2010.
Ryan, who became one of the hosts of the noontime show, It’s Showtime, has been vocal about wanting to stay in the country for good.
In fact, according to a report on ABS-CBNnews.com, Ryan turned down a comedy show offer in South Korea and even said, “Siguro kung pumunta ako sa Korea mas malaki ang kita ko pero sa tingin ko mas masaya ako dito. Kasi sobrang happy ako baka malungkot ako doon kahit malaki kita. Mahal ko din ang Korea dahil galing ako doon pero mas masaya ako dito."
Photo Source: Bret Jackson’s Instagram account, @bretwaw
Like Ryan Bang, actor Bret Jackson was also a housemate of Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash of 2010. But prior to joining PBB, Bret, who grew up in the United States, admitted in previous interviews that his biological mother physically abused him. His father got full custody and he moved to the Philippines.
According to a report on ABS-CBN.com, Bret, who lived in Dumaguete, is fluent in the Visayan language and updated with OPM. The article even quoted him as saying, “Even the Philippines takes me in as Filipino!”
Photo Source: Daiana Menezes’s Instagram account, @daianamenezes_
Brazilian model Daiana Menezes grew up in Brazil and as an international model and actress, was able to go around the world. However, she fell in love with the Philippines the most.
As cited in a report by PUSH in 2012, Daiana said, “I’ve been to Shanghai, Thailand, Hong Kong, and I’ve lived in Korea. I’ve lived in eight different places in Asia where the cultures are very different and the languages are different. Everything is different and the friends are also different. But nothing compares to the Philippines. Out of all the countries I’ve been to, this is really my second home.”
In 2013, Daiana even became the endorser of Choose Philippines, a campaign supporting the country’s tourism.
Bonus: Sandara Park
Photo Source: Sandara Park’s Instagram account, @krungy21
Born in South Korea, Sandara Park or Dara began her showbiz career when she joined and won second place in the Kapamilya talent search contest, Star Circle Quest in 2004. She did several movie and TV projects, even launching an album.
In 2007, Dara left the Philippines for South Korea. In 2009, she was launched as a member of the K-pop girl group 2NE1 and became known worldwide.
Even though Dara has a flourishing international career and has been to a lot of countries, she still does not forget the Philippines. Proud to be dubbed as the “Pambansang Krung Krung ng Pilipinas” as written on her Twitter bio, she still speaks fluent Filipino and would visit the country from time to time. In fact, she celebrated her 30th birthday last year in the Philippines.