Actor-model Jake Cuencacelebrated his 21st birthday earlier today, December 30, at theCRIBS (Create Responsive Infants by Sharing) Foundation, Inc. in Marikina City.
Instituted in 1986 byDoña Consuelo Zobel Alger, CRIBS Foundation, Inc. (formerly known as CRIBSPhilippines, Inc.) provides shelter for abandoned babies (0-2 years old) andsexually abused girls (7-17 years old).
Jake's celebration thisyear was a stark contrast to the party last year with his celebrity friends.
"I didn't really have alots of plans for my birthday and personally parang, siyempre, I made it apoint na gusto ko sana ‘tong birthday ko mas gusto ko mag-share," explainedJake on his decision to do charity work instead of holding a party in some hipestablishment.
"Kasi more than for me,siyempre, parang last year I had a party with my friends, ganyan... Gusto ko talagathis year mas ako 'yong magsi-share, ako ‘yong magbibigay. So, para sa ‘kin itongbirthday na 'to is really special for me."
Jake's family and a fewsolid supporters were also on hand to assist the birthday boy in entertainingthe CRIBS kids who were all happy to partake in the celebration of theircelebrity guest.
The former Palos star is no stranger when it comesto lending his presence to worthwhile endeavors. Jake is an avid supporter ofRed Cross Philippines, aside from attending a number of charity events, which ispart of his duties as a celebrity. It was Jake's first time though to organize a charity event from scratch to finish.
He explained: "This one,mas personal. Kasi kami ang nag-ayos ng food, kami ang nag-ayos nung ibangbagay. Unlike sa Red Cross, siyempre, I'm just invited. I'm invited to support themor the other charities that I do. They invite me to go there. This one talaga,parang, mas nagkusa ako and I volunteered to do this today, ‘yon ang pinagkaibanito."
AMORE RESPONSIBLE JAKE. Now that he is 21, Jake repeatedly said he is determined to live up to his age, which also explains whyhe chose to spend his special day with underprivileged children.
"Gusto ko i-exercise ‘yongpagiging adult ko, and for me, I think the perfect way to do so is on my birthday,and the perfect way of being an adult is taking care of kids, making kids happy."
What's his birthdaywish?
"Ang wish ko para sasarili ko, sana tuluy-tuloy lang ang blessings," he smiled. "Kasi I honestlyfeel I'm very blessed in so many ways, kaya sana tuluy-tuloy lang. Basta ako, I'lljust continue to give 110 percent with everything I do, whether it be withwork, whether it be with the kids, whether it be with my family."
Romance, according toJake, would have to take a backseat to give way to other things—quite a surprisingstatement for one whose lovelife has been a tabloid staple inthe past.
"Talagang committed nacommitted muna sa trabaho ko, and the lovelife siguro can wait," said Jake. Hepaused a bit before adding, apparently changing his mind, "Pero, siyempre, pagnagmahal ka naman hindi mo naman mapipilgilan ‘yan."
The birthday boy onlyhas kind words to all the women he once loved. "Yong mga minahal ko dati talaga,I'm lucky to have met all the girls I've been with in the past. Marami akongnatutunan sa kanila. I mean more than anything, feeling ko siyempre, ako din angmay pagkukulang. So, that's why I'm doing my best to exercise being an adult andat the same time I want to mature.
"I mean, di kopinipilit and nagpapasalamat ako sa mga pinagdaanan ko dahil kung hindi sa mgapinagdaanan ko, hindi ko din matututunan ‘yong mga natutunan ko."