How an endless passion for acting always brings Raymond Bagatsing back

Raymond Bagatsing may call foreign lands like the US or Australia his home. But why does he always come back to the Philippines?

To pursue an endless passion—his love for acting. This passion led to a drive to improve his craft further throughout his 20 years in the business and become one of the most sought-after character actors in the country.

How journey began

His journey started in his frequent trips back to Manila from Melbourne, where he studied high school.

With the help of a talent agency and his father who also had contacts in the entertainment and advertising industries, Raymond had projects here and there, mostly commercials and bit roles in movies, mostly action films wherein he showcased his martial arts skills as villains “na patay kaagad.” As this became routine, he started to lose interest. Raymond went back to Melbourne to do some “soul searching” and contemplate on his future.

After weighing his options, his love for acting made him decide to come back to Manila and fully embark on a showbiz career.

“Destiny. It just happened. More projects came. It was there…I finally decided to take the plunge. Now I wanted a career,” Raymond told ABS-CBN.com in an exclusive interview.

Teleserye favorite

Raymond has since chartered his career with celebrated and acclaimed roles, especially on TV, that made him a teleserye favorite. Being an actor, he said, “taught me a lot of things about life and about myself.”

After a string of noteworthy performances in teleseryes from 1997 to 2006, including a memorable role in the classic Mula Sa Puso in 1997 and an Asian TV Award-winning performance in the MMK episode “Wedding Cake” in 2000, Raymond decided to leave the country again. He relocated to Los Angeles in 2006 to start a new life.

But then again, his passion for the craft never ceased. After four years, Raymond again decided to return to Manila and accepted a role to restart his showbiz career.

“When I came back in 2010, 2011, after being away for four, five years sa US, ABS-CBN was there. Direk Lauren Dyogi was there to give me a project called Sabel,” Raymond said. His recurring role in the series signified his relentless, resurging passion for acting. He had since been busy with consecutive appearances in major TV dramas in the next five years.

Best Actor nomination

Raymond also appeared in several independent films, including the acclaimed Boundary, which gave him a Best Actor nomination in the 2012 Gawad Urian.

This year, Raymond will again showcase his acting prowess in a pivotal role for the upcoming ABS-CBN drama Pusong Ligaw, wherein he plays Jaime, a business magnate who will turn a heartbroken and distraught Tessa’s (Beauty Gonzales) life around and become his wife, fashion designer Terri Laurel.

“I haven’t done such a character before, especially with the goatie and the suit all throughout. But it will be exciting. We are in the process making the story very solid para mag-enjoy ang mga taong manonood. There are times when you are in the dark. Ano ang mangyayari dito. It’s something I look forward to.”

Big milestone

Raymond said the drama is very much a big milestone in his journey as an actor, as it will make more people see him in a different light, portraying a multi-dimensional character that will surely interest viewers.

“I’m very thankful. It’s a good role. It’s a good cast. I’m just enjoying the experience,” Raymond said.

Will Raymond depart once more after the drama’s airing?

“I don’t know. I don’t plan long term for my career. I just live for the moment. I may go but whenever showbiz calls, I’ll always be back,” he said.

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