IT CAN NOT be denied that among young actors today, Jericho Rosales is one of the busiest and most sought after. He doing both TV shows like Ang Panday and Bora, and movies like Nasaan Ka Man and the international film he just did in Malaysia and Belgium . He is endorsing a number of products and he's also going to the U.S. and Europe for a concert tour with the Hunks this coming October and November.
Really, he has so much to be grateful for. So when he turned 25 on September 22, the first thing he did was count his blessings and thank the Lord.
“EVERYTHING in my life and career is doing good right now, so my only prayer is for it to get even better,” he says.
His faith has grown deeper through the years and he now does regular Bible studies to keep his spiritual life more meaningful. His growth started when he worked with Coney Reyes as his mother in the drama show, Munting Paraiso , some years ago and she became his personal counselor.
“She helped me to sort things out in my life and discern what my real purpose in life is. Before that, I felt that somehow, it's not fair for me that at such a young age, I became the breadwinner of my family after my parents separated. I had so much responsibility. I hardly had time for myself. There were moments when I felt so pressured because I didn't get to sleep anymore. I'm taping or shooting everyday, transferring form one set to another. I felt I wanted to quit and just to go to the beach and bum around,” reveals Echo.
“But with prayers,” he continues, “I finally realized that everything that is happening to me, like me getting all the good opportunities in my career, is for the simple reason that I'm here to serve my family. ‘Yun ang purpose ko in life: to share with my loved ones. I eventually learned to forgive my parents for breaking up. After that, things became easier for me to accept. I realized that everything that is happening to me, like me getting all the good opportunities in my career, is for the simple reason that I'm here to serve my family. ‘Yun ang purpose ko in life: to share with my loved ones. I eventually learned to forgive my parents for breaking up. After that, things became easier for me to accept. I realized that I'm truly fortunate because the Lord is giving me a lot of good breaks, samantalang ang iba, nagrereklamo dahil they don't have any job. Now, I want to do good because it makes me feel good to good. And I've learned to love my work even more.”
As a result, he has already won much acclaim for his acting. He has two best simple performance by an actor trophies from the Star Awards for TV for the Forceps (1998) and Pasa (2000) episodes of Maalaala Mo Kaya and he has also won praises for his performance as Angelo in Pangako Sa'Yo . In films, he has obtained nominations for Tanging Yaman as a son who's alienated from his father, Bagong Buwan as a dedicated young soldier and Santa-Santita as an anti-hero. He has also proven that he's a bankable box office star in such romantic hits as Trip , Forevermore and Ngayong Nandito Ka , where he was paired with ex-girlfriend Kristine Hermosa .
HOW did he feel when Kristine fell in love with his friend Diether Ocampo ?
“By that time, matagal na kaming wala ni Kristine so I really felt happy for them. Diether is a good man at bagay naman sila, so baka they're really meant for each other,” he says.
In his case, he has already broken up with Cindy Kurleto , who later revealed that they really went steady but Jericho ordered her not to admit it in public as it might adversely affect his show and team-up with Kristine. Is it true Cindy didn't want to be paired with him in his new show, Ang Panday ?
“No, it's not that,” he says. “What happened is she has commitment to do shows with GMA-7 and she wants to honor it kaya she can't play my wife in Panday.”
Have they reconciled?
“No,” he quips. “Ayaw na niya. Pero sobrang ganda niya in her soap commercial, ‘di ba? As of now, we're just good friends, although I haven't seen her for some time now since we're both busy.”
Instead of Cindy, he's getting Heart Evangelista as his leading lady in Panday. He says more than a hundred girls auditioned with him and in the end, the ABS-CBN management has decided to pair him with Heart who actually did not audition.
How did he feel when he was told he'd be doing Ang Panday on TV? “Of course, I felt flattered and thankful that they chose me to do a role that the late Fernando Poe, Jr. immortalized on the big screen. Hindi nga ako agad makapaniwala ako ang napili nila until we started taping in Ilocos.”
FOR the big screen, Jericho was also seen in the romance thriller, Nasaan Ka Man , where he was paired with Claudine Barretto for the first time. Claudine, Diether and Echo played the adopted kids of sisters Gloria Diaz and Hilda Koronel . Even if they grew up as brother and sister, he and Claudine still fell in love with each other, much to the chagrin of Diether, who turned out to be also in love with Claudine.
“I played Claudine's NPA boyfriend in Kailangan Kita but I was only a guest role. In Nasaan Ka Man , I played the full-length role and I'm amazed at the chemistry I have with Claudine. Konting tinginan lang, we understand each other agad on how we'll do the scene, especially our lovemaking. Ang dami-dami naming kissing scenes. Our director, Cholo Laurel , made it so tender and lyrical. Ibang klase,” he says enthusiastically.
Those who've seen the film say Diether has the more challenging role as the villainous Ito, who became psychotic because of jealousy. Isn't he threatened by this?
“No,” replies Echo. “I'm perfectly happy with my role as Joven. Api-apihan ako rito as we were growing up kaya may pagkarebelde ako. It's only Claudine as Pilar who consoles me, kaya we became very close. Actually, they made me choose between the roles of Joven and Ito. I was shooting this simultaneously with Santa-Santita, where I already play a bad guy. If I'd choose to play Ito, salbahe na naman ang character, so I chose Joven, para mabalanse naman. I'm proud to be part of Nasaan Ka Man , the impressive debut of another good director. We shot the film on location entirely in Baguio . The ambiance of the city of pines suits the material perfectly, including the old dark house which is the setting of the story.”
THE NEW PANDAY
JERICHO has also just been to Malaysia where he participated in the shooting of an international movie.
“The TV viewers there are familiar with me as my teleserye, Pangako Sa ‘Yo , is now being shown there. The producers of the film came over here and offered m to play a role in it. I play a very important role, but not the lead role. All the lines are in English. They'll release it abroad. I shot in Malaysia for one week then we flew to Brussels in Belgium and shot there for another four days,” narrates Echo.
“Pagbalik ko rito,” he continues, “that's when I resumed taping for Panday in Ilocos. The show excites me a lot. ABS-CBN is leaving no stone unturned to make sure it will please the viewers. But the action scenes are very tiring. Doon nga ako lalong bumilib kay FPJ for he did not only star in his won movies, but also directed them, which makes it all the more very difficult and tiring.”
Will he be able to fill in the shoes left by the late King of Action Films?
“I know Fernando Poe, Jr's portrayal of Panday is one tough act to follow at mahirap siyang mapantayan, but I'll try my best para naman hindi ako mapahiya,” he humbly says.
“I made a lot of preparation for the role before we started taping. I had extensive physical training at nag-aral pa ako how to ride a horse. You know, I was so glad when the first time I wore the Panday costume then mounted my horse, the people on the set all remarked: ‘Ay, si FPJ! But of course, the final judgment is in the hands of the TV viewers if they'd really accept me as Panday.”
After Panday , he wants to cultivate his music career.
“I will soon record an album with my band, Jeans. The band was formed two years ago with my guitarist friend, Danny. I've written a lot of poems and he helped me set them to music. I also helped him arranged the songs on his keyboards. Now, we're all set to come up with an album of all original songs. I'm excited as this is a new development of my career, becoming a singer-songwriter and a recording star, ends Jericho