Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wish Ko Lang

March 18, 2006: Good Samaritans
Article posted March 17, 2006


Are you willing to help a stranger in need? How far will you go for somebody you don’t know? This Saturday, an unusual experiment will be conducted by Vicky Morales and Wish Ko Lang. In the midst of ordinary circumstances, they search for people with extraordinary goodness.

To aid them in their mission, Wish Ko Lang turns to two of today’s most popular celebrities. Comedian Pekto transforms into a man with elephantiasis (severe swelling of the limbs). Will somebody help Pekto cross the footbridge in Morayta and Munoz? Meanwhile, teen star Jennylyn Mercado wanders the streets as a young pregnant woman.

What will happen to the original Starstrcuk Survivor inside a crowded QC market? Get to know modern-day Good Samaritans and the surprises that await them on Wish Ko Lang this Saturday

Friday, March 17, 2006


Women's Journal
March 11, 2006


She’s always been known as the Ultimate Female Survivor. But never has that phrase meant more to Jennylyn Mercado than it does now, in the aftermath of her very public break-up with Mark Herras.

After what she went through, Jennlyn has earned the right to be called a true survivor. The relationship – which lasted one and a half years – taught her many things, the most important of which is never to give yourself away completely to another person.

“Nagising ako,” she says, adopting a thoughtful expression. “Pero okay lang, kasi natutunan ko na next time, you shouldn’t give everything. You should always save something for yourself.”


What happened was painful but because of it, Jennylyn reached deep inside herself and found the strength to move on.

What truly hurt her was the fact that it was Mark who broke off the relationship. According to Jennylyn, he simply turned cold all of a sudden; a week after that, stories started coming out in the papers in which Mark claimed that the reason for the break-up was that he wanted to concentrate on his career. “Hindi ako naniwala, kasi part din naman ako ng career nya,” says Jen, who had no choice but to accept his decision, however painful it was.

It was even more so for Jen’s Mommy Lydia, who treated Mark as her own son. “Umiyak sya, kasi mahal na mahal niya si Mark,” says Jen.

But there is a saying that when God takes away, he gives back a hundred, even a thousandfold. That certainly happened in the case of Jen, whose career flew shortly after they broke off. She landed meaty roles….Then, as a year-ender, she starred in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, Blue Moon, opposite Mark, a role for which she earned rave reviews and a People’s Choice award.

The movie was a personal breakthrough for her, since it showed that she could put her pain behind her and work with Mark on a professional basis. Of course, it came with a price. It required a kind of inner strength she never knew she had.

It was especially difficult during the shooting of Blue Moon, since the two of them were cast opposite each other as lovers in the Regal Films period drama. But Jen thinks her heartbreak served its purpose in that it helped make her a better actress.

“Sa akin, okay lang (na masaktan) kung makakatulong naman. Siyempre, noong una, mahirap, pero sinabi ko na lang sa sarili ko na acting lang naman ang gagawin ko. At saka dito makikita kung talagang professional ako.”

Needless to say, Jen proved herself equal to the challenge. Even as the negative publicity raged in the tabloids and newspapers, Jen managed to stay above it all by focusing on what she had, not what she lost.

She found things to distract her from rumors about Mark having a new girlfriend. At one point, it was reported that Jen herself was seeing someone – acoustic singer Nyoy Volante. The talks amused people close to her, since many folks happen to know that Nyoy is seeing singer Nina.

…”Naging outlet ko din ang paggigitara,’ says Jen. “Minsan nagpupunta din kami sa videoke ng mga friends ko para maglibang.” Fellow Starstruck season one survivor, Yasmien Kurdi, was one of the friends who became her sounding-board.

Most of all, Jen poured her heart and soul into her work. “Kinarir ko talaga ang trabaho ko para walang masabi sa akin sina Direk (Joel Lamangan) at Mother Lily.


What hurt Jen most about the break-up was how informal it all was. Some of the things that Mark allegedly said in interviews likewise hurt Jen a great deal, but she has put this behind her. When Mark changed his cell phone number, she changed hers as well.The pain has done wonders for her singing. Because of it, she is able to better emote her songs. “Nakatulong talaga, lalo sa pagkanta. It’s so painful, pero nagagamit ko naman lahat,” says Jen.

If Mark is supposedly in a relationship, what about Jen? When will she be ready to open her heart and fall in love again? Turns out, even she is not sure. “Siguro darating na lang yan sa tamang oras,” says a stoic Jen.

But she now knows what to do. She wants to spend some time really getting to know the person before getting into another relationship. “Gusto ko siya talagang makilala.”

If she’s not in a relationship, it won’t be for lack of suitors. Desirable men are hot on her trail, among them young actor Dennis Trillo, who is one of those being paired with her. “Sobrang crush ko siya,” smiles Jen. “Iba siya; kapag tinitingnan mo siya, parang very gentle at parang napaka-peaceful niyang tao.”

Another young actor who was supposed to be paired with her was Hero Angeles. There used to be talks about Hero moving to GMA-7 and being teamed up with Jen. When whose plans fell through, Jen received the news with serene acceptance.

“Mabait naman siya,” she says of the ex-Star Circle Quest Grand Questor, who entered showbiz at about the same time that she and Mark did. “Di ko lang alam kung bakit hindi natuloy yung team-up naming. Hindi ko naman kasi siya masyadong nakakausap noon.”

There is also Jake Cuenca, another GMA-7 talent that she has become very close to. Jake even gave her a Chihuahua. But whatever fate has in store for her love life, Jen is ready to accept it. Whether or not a new love enters the picture, is no longer important to her at this point.

What is important is protecting her name. Explains Jen: “Iniingatan ko ang pangalan ko at ang kilos ko sa public. Hindi nga ako masyadong gumigimik ngayon dahil baka mamaya makita lang ako sa isang bar na may kasamang lalaki kung anu-ano na maisulat tungkol sa akin. Baka sabihin nila na naghiwalay lang kami ni Mark, nagloko o naglalasing na ako. Gusto ko muna ng tahimik na buhay.”

Then the normally quiet Jen blows us away with her next statement: “Naging tanga na ako minsan. Ayoko na maging gaga.”


Fighting words, those. Indeed, Jennylyn Mercado has decided to, as the saying goes, take the bull by the horns. She has realized that the key to making a perfect future lies within herself, and not in a relationship or with someone else.

She is ready to face the future now. She is excited about all the career opportunities coming her way... Jennylyn and Janno will also be doing a duet for her second album. This is something Jen is very excited about in the last few months, she has been focusing on her acting; now, she says, it is time to turn her attention to her singing.

“Noon kasi, naka-focus kami sa loveteam naming ni Mark. Karamihan ng roles ko noon, mga pa-sweet. Ngayon, bukod sa mas mature na ang mga roles ko, mas focused na rin ako sa aking singing career.”

Jen is very happy over the way her career is going that she has no time to worry about competition. She is also very happy for Yasmien, whose album In the Name of Love, is doing very well. “Kami naman ni Yasmien, never nagkainggitan,” says Jen. “Susuportahan ko sya kahit ano ang mangyari. At alam kong susuportahan ko sya kahit ano ang mangyari. At alam kong susuportahan din niya ako.”

With that kind of support, it is almost certain that there is no other place for Jen’s career to go but up.

1. How do you think other people see you?

People see me as someone who is bubbly, cheerful and nice. I know others also think of me as someone who loves deeply and is very compassionate. My life being known to the public, I am, overall, perceived as a survivor.

2. If you were a box of crayons, which color would most reflect your personality and why?

Pink. It is my favorite color. And I think it reflects both the girl and the woman in me.

3. What’s the single biggest mistake you’ve made in your life? What lesson did you learn from it?

My strength is my weakness. I love deeply. But I don’t think of it as a mistake, because things are meant to happen to open the way for learning. Now, I am learning to love myself more.

4. What’s your favorite way of spending your free time?

I spend my time with family and friends. We all enjoy videoke, trying out restaurants, walking around the malls, or simply hanging out at home telling stories.

5. What is it about you that not many people know?

People do not know that I am afraid of rejection. That’s the reason why I don’t easily open up or wave and smile at fans. I fear that I will be ignored or not welcomed.

6. If your life were a movie, what movie would it be? Why?

Kirsten Dunst’s Crazy/Beautiful. It’s a story of a once rebellious teen who finds solace in self-expression. She has been hurt in numerous ways, but learns to cope with life. Later on, she realizes that contrary to what she believes, the world is not all against her. And she learns that true love heals.

7. What do you love about being in showbiz?

Showbiz has brought me great opportunities. More than the fame and the glamour, what I appreciate most is the chance to give my family a better life, provide for their needs and make them proud. Through the years I have also gained friends and acquaintances who teach me how to deal with life. These experiences have made me a better person.

8. What do you hate about it?

With respect to my career, I think I am in a stage where everything I do is noticed: what I wear, what I do, how I talk, how I walk, who am I with. There are just moments when the pressure builds up. But I know that it’s part of the trade. I’m just thankful that the people – whose opinions really matter – appreciate me for who I really am.

9. What is your favorite pick-me-up when you’re depressed?

I sing my heart out. I go out with friends, lock ourselves up in a videoke room and belt all we want. Chocolates are also helpful.

10. Who has been the single biggest influence in your life? In what way?

My Mama Lydia. Now that I am of age, I realize the responsibility she took upon herself when she adopted me. She had a choice not to do it, but she did. She’s the one who always keeps my feet on the ground, and makes me thankful for all that I have and all that I am.

11. When was the last time you cried? Over what?

I cried over a loss. My latest heartache is known to everyone. I don’t want to elaborate on that. I also cry for the loss of others. The Leyte (landslide) incident also made me cry buckets of tears.

12. When was the last time you were truly happy? What made you feel that way?

It was a series of events. I got the People’s Choice for best actress, my duet with Janno Gibbs won another award, and I learned of Gawad Tanglaw’s best supporting actress citation for my performance in Blue Moon. Then again, I’m easy to please. The corniest of jokes can make me laugh.

13. What’s your favorite travel destination?

I don’t get to go around much, except for work, I always love going home to the province. Be it in Leyte or my biological father’s hometown in Cebu. I loved our trip to San Francisco and am looking forward to going to New York. I wish I could get to travel more.

14. Who is your favorite traveling companion?

My mom, she takes good care of me wherever I am.

15. If you had an unlimited amount of cash and could give yourself a present, what would you buy?

It would have to be a computer unit that has the works! Large memory, a video system that can keep all my videos and pictures, an audio system where I can play my music, and probably compose my songs, and fast and unlimited internet access so I can download and chat all I want.

16. If you had to choose one woman to represent everything that the modern Filipino woman is today, who would you choose, and why?

Miss International Precious “Lara” Quigaman. She’s smart, articulate and carries herself well. She balances a good career and a happy personal life. And she has a good relationship with God, her family and friends. She’s a good example to women of all ages and all cultures.

17. Any last words you’d like to share with WJ readers?

Life is a learning experience, let’s always keep a positive outlook. Challenges will always be there to toughen us and make us wiser. We should not be afraid to face them, because there is a God who will guide us, and family and friends who will support us, as long as we do what is right. let’s not be afraid to experience life. Let’s live it, learn from it and be happy.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Laugh to Laugh

Ni Veronica R. Samio
Ang Pilipino STAR Ngayon

Lumaki na ang pamilya ng Laugh To Laugh ng QTV 11, Lunes-Biyernes, 8-830 NG. Ginawa ito para lalo itong maging masaya, magulo at kaaliw-aliw. Dati’y sina Ryan Yllana at ang Jaboom Twins na sina Jaja at Bomboom ang mga bida rito pero ngayon ay ipinanganak na sina Boy 2 Quizon at Julia Clarete at ngayo’y enter na rin sina Alfred Vargas, Juliana Palermo at Wilma Doesnt.

Special guest ngayong gabi sina Camille Prats at Andrew Wolfe. Gayundin sina Jennylyn Mercado, Paul Salas at Renz San Juan. Direksyon ni Michael Revilla.


Nitz Miralles People's Tonight

Sina Jolina Magdangal at Marvin Agustin pala ang isa pang love team sa I Love New York, ang serye nina Jennylyn Mercado at Mark Herras na kukunan sa New York. Ayaw lang itong kumpirmahin ng GMA-7 dahil hinihintay pa ang release paper ni Marvin mula sa Star Magic ng ABS-CBN. Sa July pa mag-i-expire ang kanyang contract, pero pumayag na ang Star Magic na siya'y i-release. Hopefully, pag-alis nina Jennilyn at Mark sa first week ng April, kasama na sina Jolina at Marvin. Naniniwala raw ang Siyete na may fans pa ang dalawa at matutuwa sa muli nilang pagtatambal.

* * *

Tungkol sa adoption ang topic ng Moms this Thursday. Guests sa episode na Sa Sinapupunan ng Langit sina Jennylyn and Lydia Mercado, Celia and Katherine Lising and Flordeliza and Gianina de Leon. The joys and hardships sa kanilang relasyon ang isi-share ng mga guest.

Sa Friday episode na Katanghalian ng Buhay, ipakikita nina Pinky de Leon, Nanette Inventor at Elvie Pineda na there's life after 50… and after menopause.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Assessing past & present StarStruck winners

STAR BYTES By Butch Francisco
The Philippine Star 03/14/2006

(First of two parts)

StarStruck crowned last Sunday night Marky Cielo and Jackie Rice as its new set of winners – with Marky later emerging as the ultimate sole survivor.

Before we set our hopes and expectations on Marky and Jackie, let us trace and assess first what has become of the previous winners of this now very popular artista search.

Jennylyn Mercado – StarStruck’s first ultimate female survivor had always been pilloried for having bad PR. Two years after her victory, things haven’t changed much – except for the fact that people around her have finally understood why she had always been aloof to everyone (she was a battered child and is still in the process of healing wounds of the past).

But I do appreciate her for her honesty and for not covering up her true feelings. If she’s annoyed, then that’s that. Never mind if that would entail a walkout from her end, which was what happened in a few instances.

The girl could also be headstrong, but admirably independent-minded. At the height of her big break-up last year with screen partner Mark Herras, their handlers had tried to save the situation by making sure they didn’t display coldness toward each other at least during their on-cam interviews. But then, Jennylyn had agreed to do a live phone patch with Startalk and Startalk being Startalk (the program really ferrets out the truth), the real state of their soured relationship just showed for everyone to feast on.

I remember that Mark was with us in the studio and – with sincerity – said "I miss you" to Jennylyn, who was on the phone. To that, the girl’s icy retort was simply: "God bless."

Fortunately, their careers had become so stable that the break-up hardly affected their projects as a love team. In fact, Jennylyn, who initially just excelled in singing, had also become a good actress – an award-winning one, having received the Tanglaw Best Supporting Actress trophy for Blue Moon.

In the future, I see Jennylyn as one of our top leading actresses excelling in the field of drama. Beautiful and talented, there is no doubt she’ll become bigger than what she is today. (To be concluded)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Pagbalik nila from New York, sina Jennylyn at Mark na uli!

ABOUT SHOWBIZ Ni Nitz Miralles
Ang Pilipino STAR Ngayon

Kundi sa last week ng March ay sa first week ng April aalis ang grupo nina Jennylyn Mercado at Mark Herras para mag-shoot ng seryeng I Love New York daw ang title. Sabi’y 28 days mananatili sa New York ang grupo at baka ma-extend pa depende sa itatakbo ng shooting.

Sana lang, tapos na ni Mark ang taping ng My Darling Mermaid episode nila ni Pauleen Luna para sa Season 10 ng Love to Love. Ang dinig namin, three times palang nakakapag-taping ang actor at sa Anilao sa Batangas pa ang taping dahil sirena ang role ng dalagita.

Samantala, matupad kaya ang binanggit ni Director Louie Ignacio na pagbalik nila from New York ay sina Mark at Jennylyn na uli. Kung paano ito mangyayari, bahala na si direk Louie roon.