When Thai Ambassador to the Philippines Thanatip Upatising was introducing Thai pop icon and superstar Mario Maurer to the members of the press, he could not help but notice the obvious excitement in their eyes.
Hence, the Thai ambassador quipped, “I’ll make this introduction short and sweet because I know what you came here for. I will no longer elaborate as to why we chose him for this role. I want you to see it for yourself.”
Then, looking dapper in a black suit and with his locks brushed up like a modern James Dean-hairstyle, the 27-year-old actor emerged from the backstage and greeted everyone with a smile.
Mario Maurer had a quick stop in Manila over the weekend to promote “Experience Thailand,” the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s campaign.
The actor, who is internationally known for the films The Love of Siam (2007) and Crazy Little Thing Called Love (2010), arrived early morning Saturday and headed to Dusit Thani Hotel to meet some of his fans and the members of the press. Later in the afternoon, he graced another meet-and-greet held at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall.
Maurer is billed as Thailand’s “Ultimate Face of Tourism,” while he’s on a mission to promote Thailand as Tourism Authority’s celebrity ambassador. His new role entails more travel to different country’s including the Philippines.
According to the actor, traveling to different countries and experiencing other cultures give him a wonderful experience. He especially loves being able to share with other people the delights and good times that await them in Thailand.
Prior to his visit to Manila, he made promotional stops in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City on May 14 and in Guangzhou, China on July 30. In these junkets and appearances, Mario, along with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, aims to reach out and promote key spots and a variety of local activities that tourists may experience and enjoy as they visit the Southeast Asian jewel. He is set to visit Indonesia and Myanmar in his next assignments.
“Philippines and Thailand have a lot of things in common, not just the weather and the beaches. When it comes to culture, Thai people are very hospitable, we smile all day and like Filipinos, we are very respectful to elderly,” Maurer told the Manila Standard.
His visit to the Philippines is just a limited engagement but the actor promised that when given a chance, he would come back and spend more time with his Filipino friends.
Also known in the country for starring with Erich Gonzales in the hit romcom Suddenly It’s Magic (2012), the Thai actor wanted to work in the country besides fulfilling his role for the government of Thailand.
“Thailand can be visited all-year round. If it’s your first time there, I recommend that you visit the major city such as Bangkok. Because in Bangkok, you have many places to explore—old temples, the food, the people. If you have free time, you can go to Chiang Mai. Of course, they have a lot of elephants there,” he said.
While the country can be visited anytime of the year, the heartthrob said that Filipinos can look forward to Songkran Festival, Thailand’s New Year fest held in April and the full moon festival, Loi Krathong in November where decorated boats are set to float on the river. June and August are also good times to visit, as Filipinos will enjoy the annual Grand Sale all over Thailand.