GMA Network’s prime time king is all set to play the role that made Song Joong-ki a favorite among Filipino Korean drama fans in the local adaptation of Descendants of the Sun.
At the press gathering at Mesa on the 5thlevel of SM Aura, Dingdong said he hasn’t been informed yet of the actress that will play the role of Kang Mo Yeon, the doctor Captain Yoo Shi Jin (Song) fell in love with.
“Nothing has been said yet,” the actor told the press.
Now that his wife Marian Rivera is back in form to start work again, the network executives might be considering casting her as the female doctor.
Still there are rumors that Jennelyn Mercado (who is still in the current romcom Love You Two that premiered on 22 April) could be it, but Dingdong kept mum about the matter.
“It’s network decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dingdong and Jennelyn are together in Starstruck (Season 7) as co-hosts.
Dingdong was also introduced to the press by FooDee Global Concepts, which owns the brand Mesa, as the chain’s first celebrity endorser.
FGC’s Rikki Dee and his son Erik welcomed the actor to their food business family. “It is with much pride and honor to have Dingdong in our family as our first celebrity endorser,” Erik Dee announced.
Asked later why Dingdong and not other stars, Rikki said, “I know that he (Dingdong) likes most of the food we serve in the restaurant. He and his wife (Marian) patronize our Power Plant mall branch.
Dingdong said, “My wife has also learned how to cook some of the dishes in the restaurant because she would ask how those are made. While my wife’s version is good, it is still different when you have the one in the restaurant. He mentioned specifically, Baby Squid in Olive Oil.
This dish is one of the restaurant’s best sellers that also include Crispchon – a juicy and flavorful rendition of suckling pig served two ways (either wrapped in malunggay crepe or tossed in chili garlic), Tinaparoll – smoked tilapia with chunks of tomatoes, onions and salted eggs in spring roll wrapper and best enjoyed with Mesa’s pinakuratsauce. And then there’s Laing Two Ways – dried taro leaves simmered in coconut milk and spices served both wet and dry and topped with crispy chicken adobo flakes, Mesa Braised Beef – beef simmered in coconut milk (it is the restaurant’s take of the Malaysian dish beef rending), and Shrimp in Salted Egg sauce.
Both father and son agree that Dingdong best represent the brand as it transitions itself into a household Filipino casual-dining restaurant in the country and overseas. “Dingdong is the best representation of where we want to take Mesa as a brand. He is a modern Filipino family man who puts his family first and settles with nothing but the best for his family. In that same way, Mesa treats its guests as its own family – nothing but the best in food, service and ambience for them here at Mesa, “Rikki Dee says.
“Through this collaboration with Dingdong and his team, Mesa will be institutionalized as your go-to Filipino restaurant serving you authentic classic flavors served with modern twist,” added Eric.
Mesa is now on the road to opening a hundred branches in the country and overseas. Currently it has 60 company-owned and franchised branches nationwide. And Rikki added that Mesa has roving chefs to make sure that the branches outside Metro Manila will conform to the standards set by the company for the restaurant.
The Dees are very positive that with Dingdong on board, Mesa’s road to 100 will be accelerated. And Dingdong will be happy to be part of the restaurant goals and success.
For a Mesa branch near you, visit its Facebook, Instagram pages or the website: www. Foodeeglobal.ph.