Why Steven Seagal Loves to Shoot Movies in the Philippines

Why Steven Seagal Loves to Shoot Movies in the Philippines

"I’ve been in the Philippines probably close to a hundred times. You just didn’t know,” said American action star Steven Seagal.

He is in Manila not just to serve as judge in the Miss Earth beauty tilt, but also to do preproduction work for a television series titled “General Commander” that he plans to make here in January 2018.

The 65-year-old American actor and martial artist is best known for a string of blockbuster action movies from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, which included “Above The Law,” “Hard to Kill,” “Marked for Death,” “Out for Justice,” “Under Siege,” and “On Deadly Ground.”

He was one of the world’s top action stars until the late 1990s when he started to star, producer and sometimes write films that were released direct-to-video and more recently as video-on-demand.

Seagal said to Inquirer that he kept coming back to the country because of “the people … Filipinos are gentle, kind, musical, fun, humble and have great sense of humor.”

He added that he has spent most of his time in Manila, “but I have gone to Vigan, Boracay and all the small islands with Chavit.”

Seagal was referring to Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Councilor Luis “Chavit” Singson. The action star and Singson turned out to be longtime friends. Singson later told the Inquirer that he’d be producing an actioner for Seagal here.


Image: Malacañang photo
Steven Seagal meet Duterte at Palace. Image: Malacañang photo

As to why the Philippines was picked as location of the main base in the story, Seagal explained: “We wanted a place that’s exotic and different. We’ll shoot 80 percent of the series here … and maybe in New York, Moscow, Kyrgyzstan and two more places.”

Seagal, who’s a seventh-dan black belter in the Japanese martial arts aikido, also showed interest in incorporating Filipino martial arts in the series, particularly eskrima and kali.

He likewise referred to Fil-Am martial arts instructor Dan Inosanto, best known as the training partner of Bruce Lee, as his “blood brother for more than 40 years.”

Steven Seagal meets Duterte at Palace. Image: Malacañang photo
Steven Seagal meet Duterte at Palace. Image: Malacañang photo


“He is the best knife fighter on Earth,” beamed Seagal. “If you look at ‘Out for Justice’ (1991), you will see me doing some nice eskrima and kali there.”

GMA News reported that Seagal met President  Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang on Thursday, October 12. Photos released by Malacañang on Thursday evening show Duterte chatting and laughing with Seagal, and even doing his signature pose with the actor. 

Former Ilocos Sur governor Luis "Chavit" Singson accompanied Seagal during his meeting with Duterte, the Office of the President added.


Indah Gilang Pusparani

Indah is a researcher at Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Daerah Kota Cirebon (Regional Development Planning and Research Agency of Cirebon Municipality). She covers More international relations, tourism, and startups in Southeast Asia region and beyond. Indah graduated from MSc Development Administration and Planning from University College London, United Kingdom in 2015. She finished bachelor degree from International Relations from University of Indonesia in 2014, with two exchange programs in Political Science at National University of Singapore and New Media in Journalism at Ball State University, USA. She was awarded Diplomacy Award at Harvard World Model United Nations and named as Indonesian Gifted Researcher by Australian National University. She is Researcher at Regional Planning Board in Cirebon, West Java. She previously worked as Editor in Bening Communication, the Commonwealth Parliament Association UK, and diplomacy consulting firm Best Delegate LLC in USA. Less
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