His Filipino co-stars Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Eula Caballero welcomed him with flower garlands at Manila’s airport Friday. They’ll be shooting the TV5 drama the next few weeks.

Fans and journalists jostled to take pictures as the 20-year-old singer emerged from the airport gate.

Archuleta said in a video blog before leaving the U.S. that he has taken acting lessons to prepare. He says: “I’m excited about it. … This is a new experience for me.”

TV5 Vice President Perci Intalan says “it’s a dream come true” for the network to have Archuleta in a Filipino show.