Hollywood action star Vin Diesel, who is in Manila for the premiere of his movie Fast & Furious 6, has revealed why he was so excited to experience firsthand the Filipinos’ famed warmth and hospitality.

“My sister-in-law is a Filipino and so my niece and nephew are all… it’s been a part of our family for so long,” he was quoted as saying in an article on ABS-CBNNews.com.

Vin, who flew in the country via private jet on May 13, also shared that he saw how welcoming the Filipinos are when he was exploring the city on May 14.

“Yesterday I went around, I rented one of those buses and I was in the bus... There was a guy that’s selling stuff on the road. He came to the back of the bus and I thought he’s going to sell me something. He said ‘You’re Vin Diesel, you’re Vin Diesel.’ He lit up like a Christmas tree and this is a guy that’s working in the streets, selling stuff to cars going by. He forgot about all that, I just saw his heart come out. It makes me fall in love with the Philippines,” he said, adding that the street vendor’s reaction was a “testament” of the Filipinos’ nature.

“I think it is reflected in the street vendor that came up to the car and I think it is reflected in the huge global stars like Manny (Pacquiao). I think he is just as giving and just as generous and welcoming like that street vendor. That says a lot about the people,” he said.

He later expressed his appreciation for the country’s culture during a meet and greet with his Filipino fans.

"Mahal ko kayo (I love you all.). I love Manila. I love you all so much. We are so proud to do the first Hollywood premiere [of the franchise] here in the Philippines," he was quoted as saying in a separate article. "I can feel the love from you. I think this is the best place I've ever been to in my life.”

(Photo by Andre Almeida via Flickr Creative Commons)

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