JM de Guzman at the launch of a shawarma brand he endorses; Ria Atayde at the 2019 ABS-CBN Ball
Star Magic/Released; Philstar.com/Kat Leandicho, file
JM de Guzman refuses to label relationship with Ria Atayde
(Philstar.com) - October 28, 2019 - 9:21am

MANILA, Philippines — JM de Guzman’s dreams are vivid, and, to borrow the title of his upcoming film for Cinema One Originals – lucid.

He recalls details as if they happened yesterday, not many nights before. 

“There was war. Anarchy. I still remember the sounds. Submarine-like planes fell from the sky. Suddenly, there came a strong electric force. Alleys were flooded.  Children from the streets were everywhere. There were killings, and the dead lay cooped up in a house. Darkness reigned,” he narrated.

Following his doctor’s instructions, JM tried to write down the details of his dream. But he can’t. So he sketched the figures he saw instead. The medical expert declared it was no ordinary dream. It was a nightmare.  

It wasn’t JM’s first brush with the  surreal. The Kapamilya actor admitted undergoing out-of-body experiences in his quest for ways to focus and relax his mind.

That’s why it would be easy to say these surreal encounters moved director Victor Villanueva to tap JM for the role of someone who challenges Alessandra da Rossi’s character to turn her dreams into reality in "Lucid." But JM said the connection between the real and the reel doesn’t exist in this case.

Besides, dark dreams are not all there is to JM.  He loves daydreaming about a happy home 10 years from now. He’ll be more stable. He’ll share a house of his own with his wife and the rest of his family. The children will be well-provided for. They will go to good schools, their father’s struggles behind them.  

“I will apply the lessons I learned after what I’ve been through. I will spare my family the struggles that were part of my life,” he vowed.

Related: JM de Guzman recalls life after rehab

Is actress Ria Atayde part of that future?

JM refused to label their relationship, only saying that they bring out the best in each other. She eases his anxieties by listening to, and talking to him. JM described Ria as “a rare find,” a good influence.

It can be recalled that an interview with "Tonight with Boy Abunda" early this month, Ria clarified that she and JM are "friends" and are "getting to know each other."

Her mother, award-winning actress Sylvia Sanchez, openly shows her fondness for JM. In fact, he convinced her to partner with him (and Ria) in a mixed martial arts gym they plan to open in Katipunan, Quezon City. The business is apt for someone who’s into martial arts like JM. 

Ria’s father, Arturo Atayde, on the other hand, is a lot more cautious.

JM shared how Ria’s dad stared at him and asked if the actor has indeed changed for the better. 

“Makukulong ka,” Ria’s dad deadpanned (referring to JM’s pending court case, for which he filed counter charges).

But JM isn’t bothered, knowing that like most dads, Ria’s is protective of his daughter.

JM’s relationship with Arjo, Ria’s brother, on the other hand, is strictly professional. They’re friends, yes. But their conversation revolves around the professional –acting and others. They don’t talk about Ria and personal issues.

As for his family members, Arjo said the De Guzmans are already urging JM to marry Ria.  

Until then, the industry is all the better because of the intensity JM brings to his role, and the passion he gives to his work.

Cinema One Originals runs from November 7 to 17, with "Lucid" having its local premiere on November 10, 7:30 p.m. in Trinoma.

JM DE GUZMAN RIA ATAYDE
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