Jennylyn Mercado keeps self in check; places family and career on top of her priorities

At her contract signing with recording company PolyEast Records, a noticeably happy Jennylyn Mercado was caught laughing and light-heartedly answering press questions. Has boyfriend Luis Manzano’s good-humored character rubbed off on her? The glowing actress-singer admits, "Nahawa lang ako sa positivity talaga nung tao. Very optimistic."


Jennylyn Mercado has a different glow about her these days, a glow that radiates from beneath her apparent beauty.

The actress-singer signed a contract with record label PolyEast Records yesterday afternoon, February 15, at Universal Tower along Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.

Jennylyn is pleased about starting work on her album under the recording company. She is supposed to produce one album this year.

"Kasi yung past album na ginawa ko, puro lahat ballad... almost lahat pare-pareho ng genre.

"So dito, parang mas challenging and mas exciting kasi iba yung concept, ’tapos iba yung attack nila," relays Jennelyn, whose previous three-year contract with Viva Records ended in 2011.

Jennylyn places her faith in this new company, trusting that her singing career will see the same fate as RnB princess Kyla, a successful talent of PolyEast.

"Yung mga people under this recording company, like sila Kyla... napapaganda talaga nila.

"So, ang dami nilang mga talent, mga artist na talagang very successful, like Zia [Quizon]... Sobrang fan na niya ako!"

While her album is still being conceptualized, Jennylyn mentions that she will sing upbeat singles.

"Gusto talaga nila ngayon na different Jennylyn. Gusto nila kumanta ako ng fast [songs]."

She adds that at least one revival will appear in her album.

JIU-JITSU AND UNDERWATER VENTURES. On top of all her expected projects this year— coming out with an album, working on a teleserye, and shooting movies for GMA Films and Regal Films— Jennylyn is determined to become better at Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu.

Under the tutelage of mixed martial artist Alvin Aguilar, the actress-singer attends two sessions a week.

Jennylyn relays that her training, apart from its fitness benefits, has taught her the value of self-defense.

"Sa ’kin, that’s very important, lalo na sa mga kababaihan ngayon. Sa generation ngayon, ang dami-daming mga nangyayari.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"Sa mga news, hindi mo... bawat panood ko ng news, may pinapatay, may nire-rape.

"So, mas maganda na rin siguro sa mga kababaihan na matuto ng konting-konti or basic lang na self-defense for women. That’s very important," says Jennylyn.

The singer-actress also says she is open to helping out in advocacies that advance women empowerment. She says she can teach the fundamentals of self-defense.

It is no wonder that Jennylyn maintains her stunning physique.

Since last year, the 24-year-old has been diving almost every week.

It’s real-life boyfriend Luis Manzano who got her hooked to scuba diving.

On Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, Jennylyn and Luis in fact celebrated underwater, somewhere in Batangas City.

"Nag-dive lang kami. Kasi ayaw namin yung traffic, e!

"Monday pa lang [February 13], umalis na kami papuntang Batangas para hindi namin maabutan yung traffic.

"So, pagdating ng Tuesday, nandun na kami. Kasi ayaw na namin maabutan... Di ba ’pag Valentine’s Day napaka-traffic, punong-puno yung lahat ng restaurants?

"So, talagang wala kaming pag-asa dito sa Manila. Pumunta kami ng Batangas."

Asked when all this started, Jennylyn smiles and replies, "Kasi nagbe-basic underwater photography ako.

"Medyo mahirap yun kasi siyempre yung buoyancy mo, hindi katulad sa land na steady ka lang."

She recounts the back story of how Luis introduced her to the newfound hobby.

"Gift niya ito sa akin! Before Christmas, pinag-lessons niya ako.

"Nagpunta kami ng Eskaya [Resort], ’tapos pinilit niya akong mag-discovery diving, e, ayoko! Hindi ako nakikinig, yung ganun.

"Sabi niya, ’Sige, dadalhin ka na lang namin kahit ’wag ka na sumipa diyan!’ Hinihila-hila lang nila ako.

"’Tapos pagdating namin ng Manila, [sabi ni Luis,] ’O, may lessons ka!’

"Hanggang sa nagkaro’n ako ng license, ’tapos naging certified diver ako. Dun na nag-start."

Scuba diving caused Jennylyn to stand in awe of the beauty of the deep. She tells of her newfound appreciation for the environment.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"Ay, grabe po! Pinag-aaralan ko na rin yung mga sea creatures.

"Kasi hindi mo siya puwedeng basta-basta, ’Wait, puwede ko ba itong hawakan? Baka mamaya may venom ito!’ Ganun.

"Kailangan mo rin pag-aralan yung mga creatures kasi ’pag nadaanan mo or natusok ka, baka magkaroon ka ng infection.

"Meron kaming dive master. Yung dive master namin, zoologist.

"So, pinagbabasa niya ako ng mga books, ’Ito marami niyan dito’ ganyan-ganyan."

KEEPING PRIORITIES IN CHECK. At the start of 2012, Jennylyn is on top of her game.

How does she manage to be a mother to son Alex Jazz, despite the time-consuming demands of her career?

The three-year-old toddler is Jennylyn’s child with former boyfriend Patrick Garcia.

"Si Jazz... yung mga ganitong klase ng work, sinasama ko na lang."

At the contract signing, Jazz, who turns four this August, was with Mommy Jennylyn.

"Except yung mga taping days, kasi 24 hours yun, magulo yung set. Ayoko siya isama sa mga ganun.

"Pero yung mga ganito, puwede.

"Kahit papaano siyempre, gusto ko rin magkaro’n ng time para sa kanya.

"Sa [Jiu-Jitsu] training ko, sinasama ko ’yan. Meron lang ’yang knee pads, elbow pads, saka helmet para anytime na kahit tumambling-tumbling siya dun, ’di siya madidisgrasya."

Jennylyn adds that one of her trainers in class happens to be the brother of Patrick.

But the actress does not seem bothered at any time by the mention of her ex-lover.

Moreover, everything seems to be in place in her life. What lesson has the toughest life experience taught her?

"Para sa akin siguro... kasi sobra ako magmahal, e.

"Hindi naman sa ngayon hindi ako nagmamahal masyado. Hindi naman ganun, parang ano lang, parang kailangan laging may limitation.

"Kasi lahat... kumbaga parang lahat ’binibigay ko, e. Parang walang natitira sa akin, sa family ko, sa trabaho ko.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

"Napapabayaan ko lahat. So ngayon... pantay-pantay. Alam ko na yung mga priorities ko."

She goes on to enumerate them: "Number one, yung family. Number two, yung career. Number three, of course, yung sarili ko."

Jennylyn emphasizes that she comes in third in her life: "Number three, opo. O, di ba? Number three lang ako.

"Number four, lovelife.

"Kumbaga, alam ko na yung mga priorities ko ngayon.

’Dati kasi hindi ako magte-taping kasi nag-away kami. Ngayon, hindi na."

Prodded to say if she sees this current relationship with Luis lasting, she quips, "Let’s see... Basta ngayon, alam ko na yung priorities ko."


WE RECOMMEND


FROM THE SUMMIT MEDIA NETWORK


SPONSORED CONTENT


COMMENTS

Loading comments

THIS JUST IN