A series on seven brave soldiers as they forge brotherhood despite their differences now airs on ABS-CBN and, so far, it’s all good.

“A Soldiers’ Heart” features a band of brothers made up of Alex (Gerald Anderson), Elmer (Vin Abrenica), Benjie (Yves Flores), Abe (Carlo Aquino), Michael (Nash Aguas), Phil (Jerome Ponce), and Jethro (Elmo Magalona), who all have different reasons for joining the army, but are bound by one goal: To protect the country.

They are also joined by Lourd (Sue Ramirez), the sole woman in the group who is out to prove that serving the country is genderless.

Apparently, some think it’s inevitable for competition between “A Soldier’s Heart” and another network’s upcoming series, which is also set in the military world.

In an interview with Bulletin Entertainment prior to the show’s premiere, Gerald was asked if this thought adds pressure on him as lead actor.

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Gerald Anderson

“It’s nice because, siguro kilala niyo ako, I’m a very competitive person. But it just makes it even better, mas napapaganda yung proyekto namin because siyempre, magiging competitive tayo sa kabila,” he said.

More than that, Gerald said the series is a tribute to Filipino modern-day heroes. It is timely and relevant as it sheds light on the hardships endured by soldiers, all personifications of bravery for dedicating their lives to the country.

“Yung mga sundalo ang bida dito, hindi naman kami (mga actors). We want to highlight the sacrifices that our soldiers give. Gusto natin ipakita ay ‘yung katapangan natin sa mga tao, sa bayan… ay ‘yung katapangan nila. Yan ang pinaka-importante sa lahat,” the actor said.

The pilot week of the show sees Gerald and others undergo intense military training.

And it’s all real, Gerald claimed, “Hindi lang siya acting.”

The actors went through three-day physical and mental training for the roles. Gerald described the experience as “pinaka-mahirap na tatlong araw ng buhay ko.”

“To be honest, I really enjoy what I’m doing and I feel that we’re doing something for the country. Kahit pagod na, it’s super fulfilling,” Gerald shared.

“It’s something very close to my heart, na dumaan kami sa ganoong klaseng training. And pagsuot namin ng uniform na ‘yun, kahit sa taping, iba yung pride, iba ‘yung respect.”

In one of his scenes, he used an explosive that almost went off in his face.

He narrated, “Oo, muntikan akong nasabugan talaga sa totoong buhay. Nagkamali yung pumindot, napaaga, e, nandun pa ako, nandito pa yung mukha ko tapos sumabog, nagulat ako. So yung reaction ko doon, totoo!”

Nevertheless, all of these experiences gave him new perspective in life.

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The lead cast of ‘A Soldier’s Heart’

“I’ve minimized my complaints in life. Nababawasan ko yung pagka-I Rita. I was able to build up patience parang nakakahiya naman ng magreklamo tayo dahil traffic sa EDSA, dahil yung mga sundalo natin hindi sila sure, hindi sila sigurado sa buhay nila kung makakabalik sila dahil sa bakbakan… ”

‘Moving on’

Asked about the status of his heart, Gerald said: “Ayos naman.”

“Binigay ko na sa trabaho,” he added.

The actor got embroiled in an alleged “third party” issue with Bea Alonzo and Julia Barretto last year.

He has received negative comments from followers of both camps especially at the height of the controversy.

Gerald would rather not dwell on the bashing.

“Exposed kami dahil sa social media… open para sa kahit sinong taong puwedeng mag-comment. But nasa inyo na ‘yan, nasa atin na ‘yan, kung paano natin tatanggapin. Alangan naman dahil sa may nag-bash sa akin, titigil na ako. Ang dami ko pang pangarap, ang dami ko pang pinapakain. Hindi naman ako yayaman dun sa bashers,” he said.

Respect

Gerald was also asked about his opinion on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, as well as President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements about it.

He said: “Above my pay grade, wala na ako say ‘don pero sana maging maayos. Respetuhin natin kung ano maging decision niya but, syempre, at the end of the day, sana may trabaho pa rin lahat na nasa ABS. At the end of the day, siya pa rin ang Presidente natin, respetuhin natin kung ano man ‘yon.”

Under the direction of Richard Romes, “A Soldier’s Heart” airs Mondays to Fridays on ABS-CBN primetime block.

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