Jennylyn Mercado: The storm is over

Jennylyn Mercado will always remember 2007 as a colorful year of firsts. For the first time, she thought of quitting showbiz, caught as she was right smack in the middle of the storm that blew over the heads of Angel Locsin and manager Becky Aguila.

“Yes,” Jennylyn reveals, now that the smoke has cleared, “I wanted to quit showbiz and just continue my studies. I was in fourth year high school when I entered showbiz.”

So she prayed a lot, kept mum about the issue and let things resolve themselves. They did. Now, the dark clouds are gone and the sun is shining again on her. Jennylyn has decided to stay put in GMA 7, and she can’t be any happier. The StarStruck winner hardly has time to sleep a wink. She stars in the primetime series La Vendetta and in the indie film Nars. Another indie film, Manila West Side, will be released next year along with her third album for GMA Records.

Next week, Jennylyn will have a new show, whose title and nature she still refuses to disclose. Then, she gets paired with Sen. Bong Revilla for the first time in the Metro Filmfest entry Resiklo.

“That’s why I turned down the offer to star in Joaquin Bordado with Robin Padilla,” explains Jennylyn. “My schedule is too tight. The other reason is too personal.”

No, she insists. Failing to land the leading lady role in Bordado is not the reason for the rejection. Jennylyn adds she would still turn down the offer, even if it were a leading lady role. She and her manager have already decided and there’s no turning back. No amount of cajoling will make Jennylyn say what her personal reason for turning down the role is. So we’ll have to leave it at that.

Jennylyn is also keeping her cards to herself where the issue of renewing her contract with GMA Artist Center is concerned. The contract, which expires Jan. 31, 2008, includes a clause that extends Jennylyn’s stay with the Kapuso Network until 2008 and 2009.

But again, Jennylyn is mum about what hers — and her manager’s decision will be early next year. She and Becky will have to discuss things first, says Jennylyn.

Now, the P64-M question: Would she move to ABS-CBN if Becky asks her to?

Jennylyn’s answer is quick: “Malaking diskusyon `yan. But one thing’s sure, I will let GMA 7 in on everything that’s happening. I don’t want what happened before (referring to Angel’s surprise move to transfer to ABS) to happen again.”

By laying her cards on the table, Jennylyn wants to avoid committing the sin of omission Angel did before her. And it’s well Jennylyn does that. She has learned that people don’t look kindly on stars who fail to look back where they came from.

Jennylyn knows that what she owes what she has — including three branches of her Jen’s Boutique all over the metro — to GMA 7. And she just can’t turn her back on the network.

Jennylyn also recognizes the big role Becky is playing in her career.

“I owe her a lot. I trust her in my career. She knows what’s best for me,” says Jennylyn.

She can breathe freely, now that the year is about to end with nary a hint of the controversy she has now gotten so used to. The laidback mode extends to her role as Bianca Samual, Bong’s love interest in Resiklo.

Unlike last year’s Metro filmfest entry Super Noypi where Jennylyn moved heaven and earth to save people, she is sweet and retiring in Resiklo. After all, the hero’s leading lady is supposed to let her Knight in Shining Armor hog the limelight, right?

“The tables are turned. Instead of doing the saving, the way I did in Super Noypi, I am the one being saved here in Resiklo,” reveals Jennylyn. Oh yes, it’s the damsel in distress waiting for her Prince Charming to come rushing and save her from the bad guys (in this case, aliens out to sow evil and wreak havoc on earth).

“The pressure has eased up. And I’m so thankful I’m not being linked to my leading man this time,” smiles Jennylyn.

Resiklo is her fourth Metro Filmfest movie, after Happy Together, Blue Moon and Super Noypi, in that order.

This time, her starrer is a blend of romance, action and suspense with a lot of CGI special effects thrown in for good measure.

“It’s bigger than Exodus,” Bong promises. And it also delivers a strong social message: Recycle, recycle, recycle!”

The title roler, the robot Resiklo, is a product of recycled materials himself. He is made of scrap metal, but is none the worse for it. In fact, he — along with Bong’s character, Commander Crisval Sarmiento — even emerges the hero.

“We are using 7.1 Dolby, a first in the Philippines,” Bong reveals. He has another reason to be proud. This early, Bong adds, an international distributor has shown interest in the film.

Let’s hope — not just for him, but more so, for the local film industry — that these great expectations are met.

MARIDOLl RAñOA-BISMARK
The Philippine Star

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