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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 26, 2016

Meet Jake Ejercito: The Reluctant Actor Who Has Impressive Screen Presence In 'God Gave Me You'

JAKE EJERCITO is turning 26 this Easter Sunday. We got to talk him at his mom Laarni Enriquez’ classy Maria Maria Restaurant in Greenhills (in front of Xavier School) the night before his initial acting experience in the Eat Bulaga Lenten presentation, “God Gave Me You”, was about to be shown last Wednesday. He admits he’s excited about it, but is very nervous about how people will judge his acting.

We tell him he has nothing to worry about as he has good pedigree. Both his parents (Mayor Erap and Laarni) are very good actors, so it’s in his genes. “Baka receding genes ang napunta sa akin,” he jokes.
Well, he has nothing to worry about. For a first timer, he did quite well. The more important thing is that there’s no doubt he has that incandescent something called star quality. He has a very charming screen presence that will surely win him a lot more fans.

His role as Capt. Matthew Montecillo, a pilot who’s the boyfriend of Maine Mendoza, is not really that difficult to portray because he quickly dies in a car crash just as he is about to propose to Maine. He does still appear in some flashback scenes but the stars here are Maine and Alden Richards so they have longer exposure.

So will he now seriously pursue an acting career? “I’m enjoying the experience so far as everyone’s nice to me, but I’m still going back to my studies in Northumbria University in Singapore on April 4. I’m just here on Easter Break. Classes will end in June then I still have one more year before I finish my master’s degree, so I don’t know.”

Jake is the best looking son of Mayor Erap. He actually looks so much better in person than on screen as much of his charisma is lost in pictures. Maybe he should get a good stylist or makeup artist to bring out the best in his looks when he faces the camera.

We were there when the idea of getting him to play the role of Maine’s classmate named Jake was hatched. “Eat Bulaga” exec Malou Choa Fagar first talked to him on writer Allan Diones’ cellphone about the possibility of him playing Jake in the hit “Kalyeserye”. At first, he was urong-sulong, but he finally did it and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Viewers liked him so much.

“I was really reluctant noong una kasi I watch ‘Eat Bulaga’ even in Singapore and I know how possessive Aldub fans can get. I was afraid I might just be bashed. But they assured me they’ll take good care of me so nilakasan kong loob and I was so happy when the fans’ response was very positive.”

Actually, Jake has already been talked about even before he appeared in “Eat Bulaga” as there were talks that he’s the real dad of Andi Eigenmann’s daughter, Ellie. “I’m very close to Ellie, but I’m not her dad. Andi and I grew up together. Magkababata kami kasi my mom and her Tita (Veronica Jones, sister of Andi’s mom, Jaclyn Jose) are very closed friends so lagi kaming nagkikita sa iba’t ibang social occasions. Andi and I were on for some four or five years. But we broke up two years ago. Up to now, we’re still friends. But lately, wala kaming communication. She doesn’t approve of my joining showbiz.”

Is it true he is now playing beautiful music with KC del Rosario, the daughter of Brunei’s Prince Jefri Bolkiah? “We did hang out a lot but hindi ko siya naging girlfriend. I’m very much unattached now.”

We tell him if ever Alden and Maine will do a movie, he should be part of it as the third wheel in a love triangle. “Naku, movie agad? I’m not ready yet. ‘God Gave Me You’ lang nga, sobra nang kaba ko, a movie pa? I should prepare for it well muna. But I’ll enjoy working again with Alden and Maine kasi pareho sila mabait, supportive, inalalayan talaga ako sa scenes namin together. But in the meantime, priority ko pa rin ang studies ko in Singapore.”