Jericho Rosales has been in showbiz for fourteen years—which is no mean feat for any star.
He started out as a member of the famous Hunks and has evolved into a serious actor and dedicated musician.
At the press conference of his latest endorsement, Vantage, Echo (his nickname) reveals the secret of his staying power. "Basta I just make sure laging prepared pagdating sa... whether sa singing, sa acting.
"I make sure na talagang handa ako."
One of his most successful (if not the most successful) projects to date is Pangako Sa 'Yo, which featured his former reel- and real-life partner Kristine Hermosa.
It ran locally for two years (2000-2002), and was distributed to Malaysia, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore and several African countries.
He has, so far, won seven acting awards—his latest was given two years ago for his performance in Baler.
As a recording artist, he was hailed as the Most Promising Recording Artist by the Guillermo Mendoza Awards and declared Male Recording Artist of The Year in 2010.
STRATEGIES TO SUCCEED. Every star's career is a work in progress.
Preparation is a must, says Echo.
He elaborates, "Kung kinakailangan mag-training, mag-aral... katulad nung mga ibang artists na seryoso sa trabaho nila, ginagawa nilang investment yung pag-aaral, pati yung pagpi-prepara.
"So, I think, I believe in preparation... pagdating sa career ko."
Visibility and popularity are also important. Advertisers notice who's on the radar.
"I'm glad I'm with companies nga that support me," the Kapamilya actor says. "I think... I love my endorsements kasi lahat sila cool, lahat sila wholesome."
Jericho is also grateful for the support of Manila Genesis Entertainment and Management, which manages his career, and Star Records, which gave him the "chance na magsulat ng kanta."
He relates, "Nandiyan na sila, sinusuportahan ako simula nung palyado pa lang yung tono ng boses ko. Yung ganun.
"Hindi sila nag-give up sa 'kin.
"So yun... actually, for me that's very important, you work with people na pare-pareho kayo ng goal."
The actor-singer also credits Star Magic, the talent-management arm of ABS-CBN, which handled his career in the beginning.
"I still consider them family—yung talent center family ko—sina Mr. M [Johnny Manahan], Miss Mariole [Alberto], yung the Hunks, lahat sila.
"Lahat ng mga trips namin, I owe it to them.
"Lahat ng mga tao... even kayo, guys [the press]...
"Masarap, e, I've learned how to really... maging humble, kailangan mong ma-accept kung ano yung dapat mong marinig.
"It's hard, pero kailangan."
LIFE LESSONS. Yes, he has made a few mistakes along the way, but he focuses on what he has learned.
"Ang daming magandang lessons sa life, kasi hindi naman titigil ang buhay, so every time may setback, rock and roll lang, tuloy lang."
As soon as he realized the importance of having a "purpose sa buhay mo," he says, everything fell into place.
"Lahat susunod—yung love life mo, yung career mo, susunod dun sa purpose na inilaan para sa 'yo.
"I realized na meron akong gagampanan na papel dito sa buhay ko.
"Kaya ngayon, pipilitin ko na walang babae, pipilitin ko na yung career ko aligned dun sa kagustuhan ni Lord, na kung ano talaga yung role ko."
His role, he says, goes beyond the characters he portrays on TV and movies.
Echo adds, "As of now, sa career ko kailangan ko, mag-inspire ng mga tao, ng mga kabataan, ng mga magulang, ng mga tao na nagdaan din sa mga pinagdaanan ko."
He talks about the value of listening.
"Listen to the people na... it's always good to have [a figure of] authority. If you have a person who cares for you, you are blessed.
"If you don't have a parent, meron kayong mga managers na alam kung [ano ang] magandang goals para sa inyo," he explains.
"You have to listen, you have to be humble.
"Kailangan mong lumabas, go out of the box para makita mo yung ginagawa mo.
"Kailangan wag matigas yung ulo mo, especially kung bata ka pa. Katulad ko, ang dami kong naging mistakes."
With regard to his relationships, acceptance is key.
He says, "You have to love a person sa mga mali niya at sa mga tama niya, di ba?
"It cannot always be perfect ang lahat.
"I went to Malaysia, tinalikuran ko yung ano ko, sinira ko yung ibang relationships ko, mga ganun, just because rebelde ako dati, di ba?
"But I've learned how to, you know, how to say sorry, how to accept my mistakes.
"Actually, all those mistakes made me [wiser]. So mas matalas ako ngayon. Mas matibay ako ngayon.
"So, I think yun yung mga lessons on love, life, and career."
What's next for Echo?
In the near future, he wants to work with Direk Marilou Diaz-Abaya, who directed critically-acclaimed films like Brutal, Moral, Karnal, Jose Rizal, Bagong Buwan, to name a few.
"Pangarap ko din yun," he says.
Hollywood is another possibility.
"Baka bumalik ako sa States... we'll see 'pag... if I have time after the soap, para maghanap ulit ng work, para at least abroad.
"Yung pangarap ko nandun, e.
"Gusto ko rin... gusto kong makita, gusto kong ipagmalaki na Pilipino ako, na magaling kami dito sa Pilipinas sa paggawa ng pelikula.
"Puwede rin kaming sumali sa ganyan, di ba?
"I really wanna help the Filipinos, in my own little way, na mag-improve ulit yung movie industry," he says.