Jean Garcia insists she and Jojo Manlongat are "just friends"

Mar 4, 2009
"Ako, I wish na I have a companion, di ba? Oo, pag makita ko, why not? Pero kung walang makikita, okay na rin. I have two children and I have my friends and family, okay na yun, and I have my work. Pero kung bibigyan ng pagkakataon, why not? Ang hirap kaya mag-isa sa buhay, 'no! Of course I would love to have someone with me, di ba?" says Jean Garcia about marrying a guy.

The local adaptation of the hit Koreanovela All About Eve promises to be one of the biggest drama events this year. This new GMA-7 primetime soap, which will start airing on March 9, boasts a powerhouse cast that includes some of the most respected names in the drama department—Jean Garcia, Eula Valdes, Sunshine Dizon, Iza Calzado, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Alfred Vargas, and Richard Gomez.

For sure, one of the most awaited highlights in All About Eve are the confrontation scenes between Jean and Eula, who have clashed before in the hit ABS-CBN primetime soap Pangako Sa 'Yo. Here in their new soap, Jean and Eula play former best friends who turn bitter enemies.

During the press launch of All About Eve last night, March 3, PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press sat down with Jean. We asked her what are the changes since the last time she worked together with Eula.

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"Ah, wala naman, wala naman," said Jean. "Actually, parang wala namang difference dahil kahit hindi kami nagkatrabaho, parang pareho pa rin. Parang alam mo yun, the same. 'Tsaka yung excitement kasi nandun. Kasi nga, siya gumawa na siya ng mga fantasy, di ba? Ako rin. So ngayon, parang normal naman, parang heavy drama love story."

Prior to All About Eve, Jean and Eula last worked together in ABS-CBN's fantaserye Kampañerang Kuba in 2005. Now that they are both with GMA-7, why did it take them so long to work together in a project?

"Siguro tumayming lang sila [GMA-7 management], kung anong maganda talagang project. Kasi nung pumasok kasi si Euls [sa GMA-7], gumawa na siya ng dalawa. Ako, pang-pito ko na, e, pang seven ko na dito. So siguro, right project lang. Humanap lang sila ng tamang project for us," explained Jean.

Fans of Jean and Eula would surely love to see their confrontation scenes. But Jean was asked who she thinks is the better actress—she or Eula?

"Ang maganda sa amin ni Eula, walang sapawan," she replied. "Kasi alam mo, ang isang artista para maging magaling ka, may eksena na eksena mo, may eksena na eksena n'yo. Kailangan mo ang tulong ng kapwa mo artista para maging magaling kang artista. Hindi puwedeng I, me, and myself."

SEVENTH PROJECT ON GMA-7. Jean enumerated to the entertainment press her past projects with the Kapuso network before All About Eve. These are Majika, Atlantika, Impostora, La Vendetta, Dyesebel, and Gagambino—all primetime shows.

It seems like she never runs out of projects in the Kapuso network?

"Kasi kami naman ni Eula," Jean said, "honestly, personally ako, opinion ko is, kung saan may trabaho, di ba? Kasi ako, may dalawa akong anak, ako yun personally. Pero I think with Eula also. Kumbaga, trabaho lang talaga, walang personalan.

"Kung saan makakapagbigay ng project na maganda, at mabibigyan ka ng trabaho, why not? Kasi sa hirap ng buhay natin ngayon, hindi na tayo puwedeng mamili, hindi ba? Kung saan lang po meron. Basta huwag ka lang gumawa ng isang bagay na ikaka-turn off sa 'yo ng network. But I think kung maayos kang artista, ginagawa mo ang trabaho mo, I think hindi ka mawawalan ng trabaho."

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One thing that PEP noticed is that the publicity of All About Eve does not only focus on its younger cast members. Jean, Eula, and Richard were also given much-deserved importance; they even have their own billboard along EDSA.

What is Jean's reaction to this?

"Yun nga, kaya nga very, very grateful kami, very thankful sa GMA, kasi yung... Kumbaga, kasi ngayon—personally, opinion ko lang—hindi naman pupuwedeng kasi [iasa] natin sa mga artista lang. Kailangan, it's a teamwork, e, teamwork 'to. It's a good cast, good staff, good crew, very good director, very good script, very good yung mga writers, magagaling...

"Alam n'yo yung isang proyekto, magiging successful lang kung maayos lahat, di ba? So I think sa panahon natin ngayon, kabuuan, e. Kailangan teamwork, kailangan lahat dedicated. Kailangan lahat may passion. Siguro dapat bagay, bagay ang isa't isa. Dapat may rapport para maging successful ang project," Jean explained.

ONE MAN, TWO WOMEN. The topic suddenly shifted to her lovelife. Is Jean still dating businessman Jojo Manlongat?

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"Naku, we're just friends. We go out. Ang hirap-hirap kasi na pag lumabas ka with friends... Naku, si Jojo pa! My God, no, hell!" she exclaimed.

What does she mean?

"He's very, very nice. He's a very nice friend," Jean answered vaguely.

Incidentally, Jojo was once linked to Sunshine Dizon, who plays Jean's daughter here in All About Eve. Are they okay?

"Of course, of course!" Jean answered immediately. "At saka very close po kami ni Sunshine. So, yeah."

Do they talk about Jojo?

"Hindi, kasi wala naman po talaga, we're just friends," she stressed. "And if ever naman kasi na sabihin mo pang hindi, tapos na yung sa kanila, e, di ba? Kasi sa akin, wala rin akong pakialam, tapos na kayo, hindi ko na problema 'yon. Ex mo yun, ex ko 'to; kayo, bahala kayo, di ba?

"Basta ang sa akin lang, wala tayong tinatapakan, walang problema. It just so happens na Jojo and me are just friends. And Shine knows that, and if ever na kunyari magkaroon kami ng relasyon ni Jojo, I don't think na, you know, may pakialam pa do'n si Shine. Walang pakialamanan, di ba? Basta wala kaming tinatapakan, at wala kang sinasaktan, and you're always good, di ba?"

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At 38, Jean seems to be attracting more men than ever. What is her secret?

"Hindi ko nga rin po alam. Nag e-enjoy lang po talaga ako."

But she clarified that not all men that were linked to her became her boyfriend.

She said, "Mga chika-chika lang naman 'yang mga 'yan. Kasi lahat naman ng sinasabi nila na naging boyfriend ko, hindi naman lahat yun naging boyfriends. Sabi lang nila, tumu-trophy lang sila, aminin! Huwag na nating pag-usapan yung kung sino-sinong naging."

Does she still want to get married?

"Ako, I wish na I have a companion, di ba? Oo, pag makita ko, why not? Pero kung walang makikita, okay na rin. I have two children and I have my friends and family, okay na yun, and I have my work. Pero kung bibigyan ng pagkakataon, why not? Ang hirap kaya mag-isa sa buhay, 'no! Of course I would love to have someone with me, di ba? Aminin mo 'yan, ha!"

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LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER? Speaking of lovelife, it has been reported that Jean's daughter, young actress Jennica Garcia, is now having her own trouble with her lovelife. She has reportedly broken up with boyfriend Mart Escudero.

"I don't think may problema siya," said Jean about her daughter. "Kasi ang usapan is... Nagka-boyfriend ang anak ko, and she's happy. Hindi ako kinakabahan sa kanya, kampante ako, kasi alam ko priority ng anak ko is work, and she's very happy. Very happy siya sa work niya, kaya very happy din ako for her.

"Kasi sabi ko nga, nung sinabi niya na mag aartista siya, sabi ko, 'Mga three months lang 'yan or six months the most. Kasi mapapagod 'yan sa puyat,' ganyan, tapos mahiyain pa, di ba? Pero hindi, sobrang mahal niya yung trabaho. Kung ano man yung ginagawa niya ngayon, at ang dami kong naririnig na mga positive na mga sinasabi about her.

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"Tapos tungkol naman dun sa lovelife niya, sa naging boyfriend niya..."

Naging boyfriend? we stressed.

"No, no, no, I'm sorry... Huwag n'yo ako i-quote diyan, kasi ayokong magkaroon kami ng ano ng anak ko, di ba?" she backtracked. "But we talk about it, e. And you know, si Jennica, kung ano lang yung nandiyan, dun siya happy, e. So whatever it is, sila man ni Mart ngayon or hindi na sila, I guess it's her ano, e... She's only 19. Di ba, hindi naman ibig sabihin pag ito yung boyfriend mo, 'eto na 'to, di ba?

"Kung ako nga, hanggang ngayon I'm 38, wala akong kaseryosohan, di ba? But I have two children, di ba? So I guess she's on the right track. Kasi, ang ano ko lang kay Jennica, I'm very, very proud of her kasi she knows what she wants. And what she wants now, kung ano yung ine-enjoy niya ngayon is her work."

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Does she still see Jennica and Mart together?

"Actually, hindi rin kami masyado nagkikita ni Jen. Kasi nga, parang trabaho ako, tapos siya rin may work," said Jean.

What is her advice to Jennica when it comes to failed relationships?

"Pray, di ba, everything... If you are happy, if you're not happy, if nasasaktan ka, or masayang-masaya ka. Yung sa akin is be thankful. 'Pag may problema ka, pray and ask God for forgiveness, guidance... As always, nandito lang kami for her, no matter what."

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"Ako, I wish na I have a companion, di ba? Oo, pag makita ko, why not? Pero kung walang makikita, okay na rin. I have two children and I have my friends and family, okay na yun, and I have my work. Pero kung bibigyan ng pagkakataon, why not? Ang hirap kaya mag-isa sa buhay, 'no! Of course I would love to have someone with me, di ba?" says Jean Garcia about marrying a guy.
  • This article was created by . Edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.
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