Monday, April 16, 2012


The (real) Lucky one
By MAUREEN MARIE BELMONTE
April 16, 2012, 8:56am


MANILA, Philippines – Luis Manzano’s luck is running really high these days. Aside from getting a rare chance to have his real-life girlfriend, Kapuso star Jennylyn Mercado, appear in his Kapamilya show, his mother, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, is also slated to be a guest player on “Deal or No Deal” as part of his birthday special.

Luis enthusiastically shared during his live interview on “The Buzz,” aired on April 15, that Jennylyn would be on the show on April 29, while his mother would be trying her luck with the briefcases on April 21, which also happens to be his birthday.

Breaking out of his parents’ shadow

Being a son to both illustrious showbiz personalities—Vilma and Edu Manzano—is no easy thing, Luis admits, especially since most people attribute his success to his parents' clout in the industry. But he relates that he’s lucky enough to be given the chance by his parents to prove himself capable of his own success, in his own terms.

“The best part about it is hindi nila pinaramdam sa akin [na I’m living in their shadow],” he said.

Despite the public persistently projecting on him the “illusion of the shadow,” Luis gratefully said, “Mas binigyang halaga ko ang pinapakita sa akin ng parents ko, na there was no shadow.”

“Sinabi nila sa akin, ‘Do what you wanna do. If you wanna be an actor, go for it,’” he shared.

Asked if he had to exert “extra effort” for him to stay who he is, he confessed the challenge had always been more about becoming his own self as well as a role model.

“…[Mas may pressure sa part na] bilang tao dahil alam ko ‘yung napakaganda ring pangalan na iniwan ng aking mga magulang and I think mas importante sa akin ‘yung pagiging tao. ‘Yung pangalan na naiwan nila,” he explained.

Luis underscores that he isn’t delusional enough to presume everyone would just accept that he’s actually managed to make a name for himself all on his own.

Directing a message to his critics, he stated, “Truth be told, until my last breath, there will be people saying na nakuha ko ang lahat ng ito dahil sa mga magulang ko,” he emphasized, “Na dahil lang sa magulang ko.”

He reasoned, “At the end of the day, ako po ang nagpupuyat, ako po ang humaharap sa camera. Kung ano po ang sinasabi ko ay nanggagaling rin sa akin. So ang sa akin lang, as long as I try my best, I work as hard as I can at nagpapasaya ng tao then thank you very much.”

Plans and the future

Meanwhile, Luis opts to be cryptic about his reported intent to delve into politics. It seems that the 31-year-old is still on the fence about the matter, preferring instead to contemplate on what he gets from show business.

“Iba ‘yung nakikita kong fulfillment through a movie or on the TV screen, when people come up to you and tell you, ‘Napaiyak mo kami;’ ‘Ang galling mo mag-host, napatawa mo kami,’” he enthused.

However, Luis immediately noted that he’s “aware” of both his parents’ feats in terms of helping people in need through politics. “I think it’s innate in every human being to be of help to others,” he quipped.

For what it’s worth, the award-winning TV host is clearly not in any rush to make big decisions in his life, and the same obviously applies to settling down.

Though he’s turning 32 in less than a week, Luis reveals there are no concrete plans between him and beau Jennylyn to exchange “I Do’s” anytime soon. But, at least, they have talked about it.

“Not sit down conversation. Casual. Because sabi ko nga, I’m not getting any younger and at the same Jen is still a very young lady. And para sa akin mas importante ang mga obligasyon ni Jen bilang isang anak at, higit sa lahat, bilang isang ina kay Jazz. Mas dapat na bigyang priority ‘yun,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, in the same episode, via a taped interview shown at the beginning of the segment, the blooming “Mats Mats” (Luis’s pet name for Jennylyn) gave him sweet greeting. “Happy birthday baby, love na love ko ito eh,” she directed to Luis, who was with her when she was interviewed.

Also via a taped interview, the Star for All Seasons likewise expressed how proud she is of Luis.

“Siyempre I’d like to greet my son a happy, happy birthday. I’m so proud of you ,anak. Ang akin lang, tumatanda ka nang ok, keep up the good work anak. Mommy is always here so you’re really lucky. I love you Lucky,” she declared.

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