At 14 years of age, young actor John Manalo has his hands full. Even with no current projects in ABS-CBN, his home network, he is busy working with top celebrities in two big movies this year.
In Mano Po 6: My Mother, an entry to this year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), John plays the son of Sharon Cuneta, whose best friend is played by Kris Aquino. John also gets to share the billing with champion boxer Manny Pacquiao in Wapakman, another MMFF entry.
According to the teen actor, he feels no challenge working with these three big stars. Although he still has a lot to learn so he could match the performances of Sharon, Kris, and Manny, he said they all help him with much kindness.
"Hindi naman po mawawala sa isang tao ang pagkamabait," he told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during the presscon for Star Magic's September-October birthday celebrators last October 29.
The Megastar, for instance, is already close to his heart. Working with her in the movie Caregiver allowed them to bond together.
"Sobrang bait po niya kasi. Iba po siya. Siyempre po, mas close na po kami ngayon," John said.
The top actress always brings food to the set, he added.
"Minsan bumibili po siya ng food, tapos bibigyan n'ya po kami. Maasikaso po siya talaga," John said.
He said the same about Kris Aquino, even though they have no scene together yet in the shooting of Mano Po 6. He said Kris was kind to him when he played her son in the 2004 horror movie Feng Shui.
"Iba naman po kasi sila ng ugali pero parehas po silang mabait," he answered when asked to compare the two actresses.
MANNY PACQUIAO. John described the champion boxer, who is all set to fight Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto on November 14 (15 in the Philippines), as very generous. Manny even gave him a gift two months ago.
"Si Manny Pacquiao po mabait po siya, galante. Mapagbigay. Binigyan niya po ako ng dalawang rubber shoes," John said.
Were they expensive?
"Hindi na lang po ako magsasabi ng brand... 'sakto lang. Mabibili rin po ng kahit sino. Pero siyempre, wala naman po yun sa presyo. Nandun po yun sa pagbigay," he said.
John said he does not know why Manny gave him the shoes.
"Ewan ko po. Tinanong niya lang po kung anong gusto ko," he said.
For now, shooting for Wapakman has been postponed because the lead star is in Los Angeles, training for his upcoming bout.
"Tigil po muna yung shooting kasi nagte-training po siya," John said.