Ian Veneracion Image Credit: Supplied

Filipino actor Ian Veneracion will serenade UAE fans in a special show that will be staged in Dubai at the Shaikh Rashid Auditorium, Indian High School on October 19. For eager fans who have been awaiting this moment, the show’s title, Ian Veneracion Finally, aptly fits.

Veneracion has promised a night full music and interaction with his fans. “[It will be] a relaxing night of music,” the actor said in an email interview with Gulf News tabloid!.

“I’m very excited and proud to meet the real-life heroes of our country, the OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) who work hard to give their families a better life. I’m hoping to spend meaningful time with them,” he added.

The 42-year-old actor, who’s been in showbiz for more than three decades, top-billed the recently concluded successful television soap opera, A Love to Last, where he played Anton Noble IV opposite Bea Alonzo.

Bea Alonzo and Ian Venaracion in ‘A Love to Last’.

Portraying the character of Anton Noble IV gave him life lessons both as an actor and as a person, he said.

“That we only have one world, but we live in different ones,” reflected Veneracion. “Everybody has his/her own perception of things. Hence the disagreements, especially between men and women due to our natural differences in thought processes.”

A Love to Last was a romantic family drama television series. There was something special about the character of Anton, said Veneracion, compared with his portrayals in previous soap operas.

“My most special role is as Anton because the lines where so blurred between fantasy and reality. I share with Anton so many personality traits as a person so most of the time, I wasn’t sure if I was still acting, or if it was real,” he revealed.

His past projects are also more centred on family or family-oriented themes like Pangako Sa’Yo and Maria La Del Barrio, where Veneracion is more comfortable being a family man himself.

Venaracion and Jodie Sta. Maria in ‘Pangako Sa’ Yo’.

“I like family-oriented stories because I see myself as a man who wears many hats, and the most dominant as me being a father. That’s my priority. Family is my core and everything else is just there to compliment that. Second is my health. And third is my career, my art, my music, my sports.”

While he is very much in the limelight, Veneracion makes it a point to keep family matters away from the prying eyes of the public.

“I value my privacy. Some people think that celebrities are public property, I strongly disagree. I am no one’s property. I am my own person and I’ve never felt the obligation to explain myself to anyone especially with regards to my personal and family life,” he explained.

Having been in the entertainment industry for more than 30 years, Veneracion revealed his secret to remaining on the top of his game.

“I don’t make a conscious effort to make myself relevant,” he said. “I just do my own thing and I’m just lucky that I live in a time where my art, my interests and craft as an actor are well appreciated.”

Venaracion and Maria in ‘The Achy Breaky Hearts’

In the past few years, he has done a lot of romantic television dramas and movies, but Veneracion said he’s open to explore more genres.

“I’ve done a lot of roles, action, drama horror etc. As an actor, I like doing different stuff, I don’t want to stay in my comfort zone because I end up being bored. I’m an explorer by nature, and need to constantly stay outside my comfort zone in most aspects of my life, like my art, my roles, my sports, etc”

Aside from acting, Veneracion is also a licensed pilot. An avid outdoorsman, he dabbles in skydiving, paragliding and scuba diving.

The multi-talented actor also dabbles as a singer. He said: “I’ve always played the piano and guitar since I was a kid so music has always been a big part of my life. And I’ve never thought that anyone would be interested in my musical side. Now that they seem to find it interesting, I’m glad to share that aspect of myself to them.”

While he has worked with stars like Bea Alonzo, Jodi Sta. Maria and Eula Valdez, is there anyone else that he wants to work with?

“I enjoy working with them for different reasons, but the common denominator between all of them is that they are all generous actors in terms of sharing a part of themselves to their fellow actors, which is a vital aspect of any actor. There is no one that instantly comes to mind when I’m asked who I’d like to work with, but more importantly, someone as generous as the three you’ve mentioned,” he added.

Indeed, Veneracion doesn’t seem to have any problem establishing chemistry with his leading ladies — actresses of different generations actually.

“Acting is not about pretending. On the contrary, it is being, feeling, experiencing. It has to be real. That’s why the saying ‘artists create lies to tell the truth’ holds true especially for actors,” says Veneracion.

Veneracion also believes that acting is an infinite process of learning. “Just like in any art form, one never stops learning and improving. Experience is the best teacher, that’s why I believe age is an advantage.”


Which do you prefer: movies or television?

Who’s the best leading lady for you and why?
“I can’t answer that! Lagot ako [I’ll be in big trouble]! [Laughs.]”

Are you a vain person?
“I’m the opposite of vain. I should care more about how I look because of my work, but just can’t convince myself to care that much about something so superficial and temporary.”

Are you a morning person or nocturnal?

What’s on your playlist right now?
“Sting, Dire Straits, John Mayer and Anggus and Julia Stone.”

Favourite scent of a woman?
“Something that smells like a baby.”

What perfume are you wearing?
“I wear women’s perfume, it makes me happy. I feel I’m being followed by a beautiful woman wherever I go. [Laughs.]”

What is a typical day for Ian Veneracion?
“Typical day always starts by me drinking coffee, while looking at my bikes [and] playing my guitar. Then go to taping or shooting or whatever it is I have to do that day.”

Do you know how to cook? What’s your favourite dish?
“Yes. I took a three-month culinary course in cooking and baking in Centre for Asian Culinary Studies. I make the best tiramisu in the world, in my taste.”

What’s the most odd or bad experience you had with a fan?
“Bad experience with a fan? Maybe when someone asked me to take a photo with me in a most awkward time, while I had just arrived at a funeral and I’m still mourning the loss of a friend. I find that really annoying because there is a proper time for everything, and it’s sad that some people would sacrifice good manners in exchange for more “likes” to their social media account at the expense of others.”

What part of your body do you find sexy?
“Yikes... I haven’t found that yet... Although, I think I have nice feet.”

3 things you can’t live without.
“A woman, art, bacon and eggs.”

Things that people don’t know about you.
“I’ve been my kids’ barber since they were born [only the boys] and I’ve managed to be pretty good at it by now — and I should be because Draco is 19 now!”

Your thoughts on social media?
“I’m not a social media person. I intentionally don’t read comments, good or bad, because my independent spirit is something I treasure. Being conscious of other people’s opinion might affect that.”

What do you make of celebrity trolling?
“Bashers don’t exist in my world. I don’t see them, I don’t hear them, I don’t feel them. I spend a lot of time appreciating kindness, people who help me remind myself of how grateful I am to be living in a beautiful world, surrounded by kindness.”


Bea Alonzo
“[She’s] cranky and kind at the same time.”

Jodi Sta. Maria
“Kulit [persistent] and philosophical.”

Eula Valdez
“Crazy but at the same time... crazy!”

Don’t miss it!

Ian Veneracion performs in Dubai on October 19 at the Shaikh Rashid Auditorium, Indian High School. Tickets for the gig start at Dh75. Fans can also purchase a ticket for a meet-and-greet photo op with the actor for Dh225. Gates open at 6pm and show starts at 8pm.