Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jennylyn: Happy to be back in drama

By Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) Updated July 17, 2012

Jennylyn Mercado stars in the new GMA 7 soap Hindi Ka Na Mag-iisa and in the forthcoming Regal movie The Bride and The Lover with Hayden Kho as leading man.

Manila, Philippines - In the past months, Jennylyn Mercado has branched out to other facets of showbiz. But she said that there’s nothing quite like doing drama.

Jennylyn currently topbills the new GMA 7 series Hindi Ka Na Mag-Iisa on Afternoon Prime. “I was really excited when I learned I would be doing this because I really missed drama. For nine months I didn’t do any soap,” she told The STAR during the recent promo tour of the soap in Cebu.

“Masyado akong pahihirapan dito, maraming taong mananakit sa akin… But the story basically revolves around love of family,” added Jennylyn, who was joined in the regional tour by co-stars Sid Lucero, Angelu de Leon, Frank and Saab Magalona, and Crystal Reyes.

During the almost year-long break from doing soaps, Jennylyn got busy with other things — particularly hosting.

“I’m really an accidental TV host. I just gave (hosting) a try. They gave me Showbiz Central and Protégé. Now, I’m getting hosting gigs, you know, even hosting pageants! Never in my wildest dreams did I expect I would go into hosting. I still have to be confident as a host.”

Jennylyn also finished recording an album, to be released on July 25. “It’s a mix of all-originals from alternative, love songs to rock, composed by Wency Cornejo, Gab Alipe of the band Urbandub, Nyoy Volante, etc.”

She’s also currently shooting the movie The Bride and The Lover for Regal Films with Lovi Poe, Paulo Avelino and Hayden Kho. “It’s going to be different from the roles that I portrayed in the past. The character’s a fighter and daring, but not really that daring as I’m already a mother. When it comes to projects, my son is always a consideration.”

The single mom added, “Ngayon wala akong ibang inspiration (for my work) except my son (Alex Jazz). I am very happy and content.”

Asked what else she hopes to do as an actress, she readily said a project that will give her an acting award. “Ang ku-kumpleto sa pag-a-artista ko talaga ay Best Actress. I’m really praying for a role that will give me that.”

Nevertheless, Jennylyn tries to balance her work with non-showbiz interests — interests which you won’t expect from this very dainty lady. “I got into ju jitsu and wrestling for self-defense. I got into them because we are all girls in the family, except for my son. I haven’t used (them) on anyone though (laughs).

“Because I bulked up with ju jitsu and wrestling, I thought I needed to have a sport that will tone my body down so I got into triathlons. I already did a full marathon. I will be joining the upcoming Iron Man in Cebu,” she also shared.

Apparently, it is Jennylyn’s love for action-packed activities that keeps her relationship with Luis Manzano exciting

Their dates are diving escapades, with Anilao, Batangas and Bohol as the couple’s favorite dive sites. One of their latest out-of-town dates was swimming with the whalesharks in Oslob, Cebu.

Incidentally, Cebu is like a second home to Jennylyn. “Kasabot ko ug Cebuanokay taga-Cebu man gyud ko (I understand Cebuano because I’m really from Cebu). I come here at least once a year, every summer, for a vacation as my family and relatives are from here.”

Jennylyn recalled that her very first regional trip for the Kapuso Network after winning the pioneering edition of StarStruck was Cebu. That was nine years ago.

Jennylyn waxed nostalgic, saying so much has happened since then. “I didn’t expect I would last this long and I’m still surviving. Ang daming nangyari na sa buhay ko. For one, I gave birth and had a son. Nakakatuwa kasi akala di ko talaga makaya so I’m thankful to be still here.”


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