Jennylyn Mercado: Halfway House

Jan 17, 2007
Jen admits that Blue, the tiny Pomeranian on her lap, is her favorite among her three dogs. "Regalo ko siya sa sarili ko noong birthday ko [May 15]. Kaya Blue ang name niya, kasi ýon ang nakasulat sa birth certificate niya. Hindi ko na pinalitan." Her two other dogs are gifts from friends. Mark Herras gifted her with Wesley, a male Shih Tzu, and from Jake Cuenca came Migs, a male Chihuahua.

If Jennylyn Mercado had her way, she would still live in Las Piñas, where she spent her childhood days. But her busy schedule dictated the need for a house in QC, closer to the hub of showbiz.

As if all that wasn't hectic enough, there are live TV appearances and guestings to attend to, plus tapings, rehearsals, dubbings, and story and press conferences.

That's the reason for the move to a newly bought townhouse inside a middle-class subdivision in Quezon City. But Las Piñas is never out of Jen's mind.

"Kasi nandoon lahat ng kamag-anak namin, especially ang father ko," she says. "Saka dito sa QC, ang layo ko din sa mga kaibigan ko," Jen adds.

Her future plans inlucde saving up and relocating to Las Piñas. "Gusto ko sana, ipa-renovate ko ýong bahay namin doon. O kaya, kahit hindi sa dati, basta malapit pa rin doon."

Still, she intends to hold on to the Quezon City townhouse. "Dito lang siya. Uuwi lang ako dito 'pag maraming trabaho or 'pag alanganin na. Parang halfway house lang."

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Jen's adoptive mother loves the idea.

"Kasi talaga namang taga-Las Piñas kami," says Mommy Lydia. "'Yong una naming bahay doon na na-foreclose, 289 square meters ýon. Sa BF Resort ýon. Ýong bahay namin doon ngayon, maliit lang, pero up and down naman. Ngayon, kung gusto ulit doon ni Jen, di, mas maganda."

Mommy Lydia says she has already scouted around for a possible residence in Las Piñas. In particular, she's eyeing a place in Brittany Bay Subdivision, owned by the family of Senate President Manny Villar.

"Ang ganda!" Mommy Lydia gushes. "Ang ganda-ganda talaga. Doon ýon sa tapat ng Ayala Alabang."

Mommy Lydia says she has already initiated talks with the Villars, whom she personally knows.

"Matagal na namin silang kilala. Parang kapatid na ang turing nila sa akin. Kung minsan nga, hindi ko na natatawag na Senator, Manny na lang. Noong mag-senator siya, nakasama nang mag-campaign si Jennylyn. Noong mag-blessing dito sa bahay, lahat nga sila nagpuntahan. Ýong kapatid ni Jen, ‘yong isa kong anak, inaanak ni Manny Villar sa kasal."

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"Huli kaming nagkita-kita noong mag-open ng boutique si Jen sa Findssa Star Mall. E, kanila ýon, e, sa mga Villar. Ang humahawak ngayon sa Star Mall, ýong anak na sina Mark at Camille. Sa mga housing naman, si Paulo. Sa madali't sabi, sila ang nag-ano na mag-boutique doon si Jennylyn."

At the boutique opening, she talked to the senator about the Brittany house and mentioned the possibility of getting a discount.

"Sabi naman niya, ‘Sige, kung gusto nýo, kausapin nýo lang ako. É, biniro ko naman, 'ka ko, sa susunod na kampanya, isama niya ulit si Jen. E, sabi, baka raw wala nang susunod."

For the moment, the Quezon City townhouse is going through a facelift.

"Nabili niya ito na yari na," Mommy Lydia says. "Kami na lang ang nagpintura ng iba. Kasi, dati, puti lahat 'yan."

The repainting was done in April 2006, while Jen was in New York for the filming of the defunct GMA-7 teleserye, I Luv NY.

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"Gusto ko siyang ma-surprise," says Mommy Lydia. "Kasi, pag umalis 'yan nang medyo matagal, gusto ko pagbalik niya, may bago siyang nakikita sa pinaghirapan niya. So, pati kuwarto niya, pinapinturahan namin."

With the help of Becky Aguila, Jen's manager, Mommy Lydia bought new things for the house, too. Jen came home to be greeted by new furnishings.

"Gaya niyang mga upuan sa dining room, saka 'yong chandelier na nabili namin sa Megamall—sa muwebles-muwebles doon. Naglagay kami isa sa kusina, isa sa sala. 'Yang mga upuan saka 'yong lamesa, sa Play ‘N Display naman."

Hangga't maari nga, ayaw ni Tita Becky na may ipasok ditong luma. Maganda nga namang puro bago.

When Jen's schedule permits it, Mommy Lydia wants to hold a second house blessing for Jen's halfway house.

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Jen admits that Blue, the tiny Pomeranian on her lap, is her favorite among her three dogs. "Regalo ko siya sa sarili ko noong birthday ko [May 15]. Kaya Blue ang name niya, kasi ýon ang nakasulat sa birth certificate niya. Hindi ko na pinalitan." Her two other dogs are gifts from friends. Mark Herras gifted her with Wesley, a male Shih Tzu, and from Jake Cuenca came Migs, a male Chihuahua.
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