In the prime of his life, John Lloyd Cruz has already achieved much in terms of acting.
From his stint in the defunct youth-oriented weekly drama Tabing Ilog, the former teen star has already proven that he deserves to be part of the local show business.
His skill has been recognized more than once by respected award-giving bodies such as Film Academy of the Philippines and FAMAS. Early this year, the Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc. hailed him as Box Office King for 2008 because of the success of his movie with Sarah Geronimo titled A Very Special Love.
For some, these already make John Lloyd as one of the biggest celebrities today. But the actor refuses to entertain the idea.
He told the media at a conference held recently, 'Maraming mga magagandang bagay ngayon na dumarating sa akin—pelikula, endorsements, sa career ko. Masasabi ko na may narating na rin tayo kahit papaano. Pero at the end of the day, pagkatapos ng trabaho, pag-uwi ko, I still try to be that person that I wanna be—with my family and with my friends."
The multi-awarded actor added that he would like to maintain the life that he had before entered showbiz. He doesn't want to forget it just because he's famous already.
"Kumbaga, iba 'yong trabaho, iba 'yong personal," he said, "mas nagma-matter sa akin 'yong sa pag-uwi ko at pagkatapos ng trabaho. Sa tingin ko, 'yon ang key kung bakit... well, I'd like to believe na 'yon ang key kung bakit hanggang ngayon nandito ako, mas 'yon ang nagma-matter sa akin than being number one. Mahirap kasi kapag number one ka, e. When you're on top parang wala nang ibang daan kundi pababa. Mas okay na ako dito kung nasaan ako ngayon."
John Lloyd admitted that being a prominent person would lead to losing his private life. However, the young Kapamilya actor said that there were times when he wanted to take off his celebrity mask and live a normal, carefree life.
He explained, "'Yong trabaho namin, to be in this business, it's already tough, e. Pero para ma-maintain mo siya at labanan mo ang mga struggle, mas mahirap 'yon. Ang daming kailangang gawin, ang daming kailangang isipin—ang hirap ng ganitong trabaho.
"Pero pag-uwi mo, gusto mo na lang maging normal. Gusto mo lang humilata sa couch, kapag nagugutom ka, 'Mommy, ano'ng pagkain?' Gusto mo lang maglambing, gusto mo lang maging open na, alam mo 'yon, walang nakatingin sa'yo, walang umiintindi sa'yo, walang nakamasid sa'yo. So, kapag nasa bahay ako, I can be that person, relax lang ang muscles ko. Kasi the moment na lumabas ka ng bahay, simula na ng trabaho 'yon, e, automatic na 'yon."
"I HAVE CHOSEN THIS PATH." In spite of all the public attention, which makes him feel uneasy, the 26-year-old actor said that he had already made a decision to keep walking the path of being an actor.
He said that as early as Tabing Ilog days, when most of the Pinoy audience would call him by his character's name Rovic, John Lloyd already knew that acting would be the craft that he would always treasure.
He related, "Siguro mas safe na lang kung sabihin ko kung kailan ko unang naramdaman na ito talaga ang craft na aalagaan ko for the rest of my life, 'yong mga latter part ng Tabing Ilog. Doon nagsimula talaga ang interest ko [sa acting]. Doon, I started to take my job seriously. Noon, parang feeling ko, ito na ang path na gusto kong tahakin talaga.
"Bawat role after Tabing Ilog sineryoso ko na. In every story na ikinukuwento, in every film and every teleserye, ang goal ko sana is paganda nang paganda. Hindi lang paganda nang paganda dahil sa success na maabot kundi kung paano ko mapapayaman 'yong characters na gagampanan ko. I guess, it's safe to say na after Tabing Ilog, mas ginusto ko maging actor."
IMPROVING HIS ACTING SKILL. Talking about his acting skill, John Lloyd said that he's now trying to learn how to keep himself from getting involved in the characters he portrays. This he did in his upcoming movie In My Life.
"Now it's less personal," said John Lloyd when asked about the changes in his acting style.
He continued, "Kasi before, especially noong younger years ko, very personal ang attack, parang isa lang ang pinanggagalingan. Parang makuha mo lang, medyo mag-trigger lang ang emotions, deliver ka na, then okay. 'Yon ang tinatawag kong personal na attack. Ang Pinoy laging personal ang attack. Now, ang pina-practice ko is, I always try to make it come from the character's perspective and from the character's heart. And partly cerebral, parang it's a combination now."
He further explained this by giving an example. John Lloyd said, "Parang kapag nanood kayo ng mga foreign films, 'yong European at saka American, hindi mo kailangang makakita ng luha para ma-hook ka or maiyak ka. Pero kasi malaking part no'n ang treatment din, e, —'yong pagma-mount ng eksena and 'yong kabuuan ng pelikula. Pero I'm hoping na mai-apply ko kahit papaano kasi there's so much more to acting than shedding a tear. So, sana mag-manifest 'yong power ng emotion kahit na less manifestation sa iba."
After more than 10 years in the business, does John Lloyd think he has already made his mark?
"It's always a struggle, e, hindi mo kasi alam kung may napatunayan ka na. Until now I still question myself kung credible ba or kung 'yon bang mga nagawa ko, e, pumasa," answered John Lloyd.
Right now, the only thing that John Lloyd is certain about his career in showbiz is that, "Ayaw ko siyang mag-end kasi, sa totoo lang, ito lang ang alam kong gawin. Gusto kong pagyamanin siya."