“It's more fun in the Philippines,” says Fil-Aussie international singer-actor Miguel Ayesa, popularly known as MiG.
In an interview with GMA News Online, MiG, who was raised in Australia said he will always see himself as a Filipino.
“I was born here [in the Philippines], my parents and grandparents were born here. You can't move ahead unless you know where you've been,” he said.
MiG recently starred as Stacee Jaxx in the “Rock of Ages” Manila shown from June 15 to July 8 at the RCBC Plaza in Makati City.
Although MiG has only been to the Philippines a few times, he never forgot the moments he spent in the country.
“I was born here, so that's one. I also used to come back for Christmas holidays every year so that's at least eight there. Then as an adult, I'd say about another five or six times,” he recounted.
“But the last time I was here was six years ago so I was well overdue for a visit,” he added.
Working with Filipinos
MiG worked with a full-Filipino cast for “Rock of Ages” Manila including local stars Nyoy Volante and Vina Morales.
He had nothing but the highest praise for his fellow cast mates.
“Nyoy and Vina are just perfection on and off the stage. The talent in the Philippines is world class. There is no doubt about it,” he said.
He said the final show on July 8 was an emotional curtain call.
“I have grown so close to my new Filipino family. I will be saying goodbye to some new very close friends...and I hate goodbyes,” he said.
When asked if there was something that he would like to take with him from the Philippines but can’t, MiG answered: “The whole ROCK OF AGES cast.”
“But I can't because they wouldn't all fit in my luggage. But why would I want to? I just never want to say goodbye and I want to show them off to the rest of the world!” he said in jest.
He also said he admired the cast along with other Filipinos and that “we as a people, have so much to be proud of.”
"I have always been a Gary V. and Martin Nievera fan and of course I marvel at The Pac Man's dominance in his sport, and I can't leave out all those with Filipino heritage that I celebrate like Lea Salonga, Jessica Sanchez, Apl De Ap, Nicole Scherzinger,” he said.
Rediscovering his homeland
MiG said there were some differences with his current visit compared to the previous ones.
“For one thing, I'm here longer. Also, to actually work here in a fully Filipino production with Filipino artists is so different to how I've worked here before,” he said.
“I also thought that people would have forgotten me but to my delight, many people still remember ROCKSTAR:INXS very well. It truly feels like I've finally REALLY come home,” he added.
MiG basically starts his day in the Philippines hitting the gym early.
He eats a “glorious breakfast buffet” and goes back to his room to “try to deal with as much business as possible.”
After this, he is free to spend the day as he wishes which he usually does with family unless there is a show, interview or appearance scheduled for the day.
He also visited a few local malls.
“I've hit some malls like Mega Mall, Podium, and Robinsons Galleria and Greenbelt but am trying not to buy too much as I have to travel with too much already,” he said.
At the end of the day, MiG enjoyed Filipino generosity with some of his favorite Filipino food “that is so delicious, they had to name it twice” like kare-kare, halo-halo, pancit luglug and pica-picas.
“They share everything and offer you first before they think of themselves,” he remarked.
‘I shall return’
MiG will return to London and finish his contract with the Michael Jackson musical, Thriller Live after Rock of Ages Manila.
He will then work as an editor’s assistant with a TV company for the Olympics.
As for his Filipino fans, he assured that he will be coming back.
“There are a couple of things penciled in but nothing definite. But you can count on it, I shall return,” he said.
MiG finally gave a message for his fans in the Philippines.
“Thank you for all welcoming me back with such warm open arms. I feel a connection with you now more than I ever have and I hope this is just the beginning of a long and loving relationship,” he said.- VVP, GMA News