Jak Roberto: Hard-earned fame

by Bernie V. Franco
Oct 29, 2020
Jak Roberto: “Kung kailan ka pala pa-give up na, doon naman ibibigay sa iyo, na hindi mo inaasahan na break."
PHOTO/S: Dookie Ducay via @jakroberto on Instagram

Just when he was about to give up his dream to get into showbiz, a door opened for Jak Roberto.

Looking back, Jak recalls the endless auditions and countless rejections before he got the ticket to enter showbiz.

BACKGROUND

Jak, whose real name is Jan Rommel Osuna Roberto, was born in Nagcarlan, Laguna, on December 2, 1993.

His younger sister, Shaira Lenn Osuna Roberto, a.k.a. Sanya Lopez, is also a celebrity.

Their parents are Marilyn Osuna and Ramil Roberto, who died when Jak was five years old and Sanya was two.

Jak recalled taking odd jobs starting when he was in grade school to help his mother bring food to the family table.

With his small hands, he inscribed epitaphs on tombs for his earnings.

He recounted in his interview in Tonight with Arnold Clavio in 2017, “Nung grade school ako, bago mag-Undas, sabi ko, ‘tamang-tama puwedeng pagkakitaan iyan.’

"So bili ako ng mga pintura. Siguro per puntod 30 pesos.

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“Wala na kaming tatay, e. Si Mommy walang work that time, so kahit papano yung baon namin, sagot ko na.”

When he got into showbiz, Jak did not give up his studies.

He finished Hotel and Restaurant Management at the Philippine Women’s University in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

early struggles

In 2011, Jak became part of Walang Tulugan with The Mastershowman, a late-night musical show in GMA -7. He was 18 years old.

The Kapuso actor recounted to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in May 2020 the ordeal of auditioning again and again and being turned down each time before he earned a spot in Walang Tulugan.

He said in brief, “Life-changing nung napasok ako sa showbiz," remembering, "Nung nag-start kase ako, grabe yung audition, grabe yung mga pressure."

There were other hassles. His family had since moved from their hometown in Laguna to Bulacan, a long commute each time he would be called to audition.

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He related, “’Yung struggle nung time na iyon na masasabi kong ang hirap talagang makapasok sa industriya. Naranasan ko, e.

"’Lagi mong ipinagpi-pray na sana makuha ka kasi syempre yung pamasahe araw-araw… Wala pa tayong masyadong budget noon. Commute din palagi.

“Tine-text kami ng manager, ‘tapos luluwas kami. Pag may tinext na kailangan ng ganitong karakter sa ganito, sa Manila, sa mga indie films.

“So, talagang binibigay namin yung best namin para hindi masayang yung effort.

“Kasi dumating na yung point na nakakatamad na. Siyempre, from Bulacan pa kami.

"Luluwas pa kami para mag-audition sa mga sa commercial sa Makati."

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Jak admitted that with each rejection, he felt his hope to make it in showbiz was also fading away.

It got him into thinking he could be pursuing the wrong path.

He told PEP.ph, “Parang dumating sa time na, ‘Parang di sa akin to, ah.’ Ganoon na ang napi-feel ko, e. Hindi yata para sa akin, kasi ilang beses ka nang nare-reject...

“Yung parang sinabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Ito yung last audition ko. Pag di talaga, mag-aaral na lang ako. Ituloy ko na lang yung college ko.

DISCOVERY

But at that point inwhen Jak was ready to accept defeat, a series of events happening in one day changed his luck.

First, there was a call to audition for a period film, El Presidente.

The film, which was to be released in 2012, starred Nora Aunor as Maria Agoncillo, the wife of Emilio Aguinaldo as portrayed by E.R. Ejercito.

Jak tried out for a slot as one of the soldiers, an extra, and resolved it was to be his last audition.

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Second, the late star builder, German “Kuya Germs” Moreno (1933-2016), happened to be at the audition's venue to accompany Nora.

And third, an entertainment reporter friend of Jak who also knew Kuya Germs was there, too.

The friend introduced every one at the audition, including Jak, to Kuya Germs.

Jak’s manager, who was with him, took this as a cue for him to step in and make a pitch for his ward.

The talent manager told Kuya Germs Jak could sing and dance to fill in a slot in Walang Tulugan.

Jak laughed at the recollection because he could neither do both.

The seasoned host and star-builder then invited Jak and his manager to the taping of his late-night show.

Jak recalled, “Sabi ni Kuya Germs, ‘O, sige, every Friday may taping kami sa Studio 7. Punta na lang kayo doon.

"’Tapos hanapin mo itong sekretarya ko... Pakilala kayo na pinapunta ko kayo para i-audition ko kayo sa studio.’

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“Prepare ako ng minus-one. Isang linggo, pinraktis ko. Talagang, dyusko, parehas kaliwa ang paa ko.

“Hanggang sa, bahala na. Dumating na yung araw. Ayun, luckily, winelcome kami ni Kuya Germs as one of the cast ng Walang Tulugan.

“Then yun na yung nagbukas ng pintuan para sa aming lahat.”

Summing up, he told PEP.ph, “Kung kailan ka pala pa-give up na, doon naman ibibigay sa iyo, na hindi mo inaasahan na break."

Eventually, Jak signed up with the GMA Artist Center, the Kapuso network’s talent management arm, and has remained in its stable up to the present.

In 2015, Jak became part of the all-boy trio 3LOGY, together with Kapuso actors Jeric Gonzales and Abel Estanislao. All three of them appeared in the now-defunct GMA-7 Sunday variety show Sunday All Stars.

SHOWBIZ CONNECTION

In 2017, Jak did his first-ever major role as Andoy, one of the love interests of the main star Barbie Forteza in the GMA prime-time teleserye Meant to Be.

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The romantic comedy, which also starred Kapuso actors Ken Chan, Addy Raj, and Ivan Dorschner, ran from January to June 2017.

In a true-to-life romantic twist, the chemistry between Jak and Barbie went beyond the set of Meant to Be and, eventually, they became a couple.

This year, 2020, marks their third anniversary as sweethearts.

Jak is the older brother of Kapuso actress Sanya, who entered showbiz less than a year after Jak became a celebrity.

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SOCIAL MEDIA

Jak’s Instagram account @jakroberto has 1.7 million followers.

His verified Twitter account, @jak_roberto, has 127, 000 followers.

Meanwhile, Jak has also successfully ventured into vlogging on his own YouTube channel.

He has 2.4 million subscribers and his videos, which usually feature Barbie and Sanya, have millions of views.

TELEVISION

  • Magpakailanman: Ang Dance King ng Quarantine (GMA-7, 2020) as DJ Loonyo
  • Wagas Presents: Wait Lang... Is This Love? (GMA-7, 2019) as Eugene Bitao
  • Kara Mia (GMA-7, 2019) as Bonifacio “Boni” Burgos
  • Daddy’s Gurl (GMA-7, 2018) Jonas
  • Contessa (GMA-7, 2018) Santiago “Jong” Generoso Jr.
  • My Love from the Star (GMA-7, 2017) as himself
  • Meant to Be (GMA-7, 2017) as Andres “Andoy” dela Cruz
  • Bubble Gang (GMA-7, 2016-present) as himself
  • Sunday All Stars (GMA-7, 2015-2016) as part of 3LOGY

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Jak Roberto: “Kung kailan ka pala pa-give up na, doon naman ibibigay sa iyo, na hindi mo inaasahan na break."
PHOTO/S: Dookie Ducay via @jakroberto on Instagram
  • This article was created by . Edits have been made by the PEP.ph editors.
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