Jake Cuenca: My mom is my secret weapon

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
Jake Cuenca: My mom is my secret weapon
Jake says he turns to his mom, Rachele Leveriza, for support in dealing with heartbreaks and controversies.
STAR / File

Jake Cuenca as Mayor Troy Ramones in ABS-CBN’s drama series Viral Scandal described his character as “a role of a lifetime for me.”

With the show coming to an end, Jake reflected on his role and expressed his love for his mom in time for today’s celebration of Mother’s Day

“As much as I prepared for (my character as) Mayor Troy, ang galing kasi yung parang ako pa yung tinuruan sa huli,” he stated in a virtual call. “It was such an experience because at one point, for me, talagang anak na talaga ang tingin ko kay Charlie (Dizon). I remember the last few days talaga I really felt like I wasn’t me anymore. I was more like Mayor Troy.”

He further recalled that while he was driving back home after filming, he felt that “it was one of those roles that I was definitely satisfied with in the end.” He said, “Yung hindi siya yung tipong nahirapan ako ipagpag or dinala ko pa sa bahay. It’s something that ended there… It was so beautiful.”

In ABS-CBN’s drama series Viral Scandal, Jake plays Mayor Troy Ramones, which he calls his ‘role of a lifetime.’
Jake’s Instagram

The 34-year-old actor was also thankful for his co-stars and the team behind Viral Scandal and considered them as his family. “Mahal ko talaga sila lahat diyan sa show and to see everyone now, I’m just happy. It means so much happiness and love,” he uttered.

The biggest takeaways for him in doing the series are the memories he had shared with everyone. “I think I said in a post na nung dumating kami dun, we were all strangers. Hindi kami magkakakilala and by the end of the first cycle, pamilya na kaming lahat so I think my biggest takeaway from the whole experience was probably working with everyone. Sobrang nag-enjoy ako working with everyone, the staff, the crew, (and) the actors.”

“I can really say na, in general sense, for 20 years (that) I’ve been doing TV, soap operas, masasabi ko talaga na it’s the first time na the role generally taught me something,” he reiterated.

“Anlaki ng takeaway ko going home. Ang laki ng tinuro ni Mayor Troy talaga as a human being, as a future father one day, maybe as a future husband one day. What he taught me is pagmamahal para sa anak,” continued Jake. “It’s hard for a person like me to fathom kung papano yung pagmamahal sa isang anak. I don’t have a child (yet) but definitely, naramdaman ko yun kay Charlie and definitely naramdaman ko yun kay Kay (Dimples Romana). If there is any understanding that I have for parenthood, nakita ko yun eh. I really did experience it with Raven (Kaila Estrada) and Rica (Charlie).”

He was also asked during the digital media conference about how he would usually handle a controversy or a viral issue. “Generally, for me, I’m just honest to myself,” he replied and referred back to the question asked by this paper about proving a mother’s love, which is also one of the themes in the series.

“For me, with all these controversies, one secret weapon I’ve always had, no matter what, kahit anong sinasabi ng tao sa akin, no matter how (twisted) they get the story sometimes, one person that’s always there by my side is my mom,” he declared.

“(Regarding) your question about an experience in proving love for my mom, to be honest, kulang-kulang pa,” he shared. “Everything I’ve done in my life, it’s not enough for me to show how much I love my mom because one person who is there for me, no matter what happens, no matter what heartbreak, no matter what incident, what scandal, whatever viral issue that’s out there, one person who always has my side is my mom.”

“I will say that when it comes to these issues, I think the most important thing is that you are around the people who know you the best. The people who will give you their advice on how to handle things and for me, that’s my mom,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Markus Paterson, who plays Jigs in the series, said he’d express his love for his mother by supporting her every way possible. He promised his mom that he would go home to Pangasinan as soon as possible to help in her campaign. His mother is running for vice mayor in the province.

“In anything she does, I’m there with her. I’m one call away and she’s one call away, too,” he added.

Aljon Mendoza (as Pogs) shared that he would always do video calls with his mother and exchange “I love you’s” before saying “Goodnight.”

“Before, I had a hard time saying I love you to her but now I’m able to express it,” he went on. “I noticed din na, gustong-gusto niya yung kailangan ko siya. Minsan, gusto niyang tupiin yung damit ko. (I would say) ‘Ako na lang.’ Tapos sabi niya, ‘Hindi mo na ako kailangan.’ Ganun siya. (I’d tell her) ‘Sige, sige tupiin mo na, mommy.’ Gustong-gusto niya yung kailangan siya tsaka yung nag (sasabi ng) I love you. Yung sweet. Kasi sweet yung nanay ko.”

Aya Fernandez (as Ella), on the other hand, related a mother’s love to Ben&Ben songs. “You don’t really have to prove (it) if you love someone, but siguro one of the indications of real and true love is kapag pipiliin mo yung tao araw-araw. And that’s what I do with my mom,” she told The STAR.

For Ria Atayde (as Atty. Laura Dizon), “the most distinct way I feel my mom’s love is how much she is helping me in terms of moving out.” She shared, “Next week, I’m gonna be living on my own. For the first time, I’m going to be independent already. It took her five years para payagan ako to move out. Pero ngayon, siya yung tumutulong sa akin bumibili ng appliance at siya yung tumitingin whenever she’s available.”

“That’s how I know that she loves me right now. (Moving out) is not something she wants but because she knows it’s what I say I need and then she’s just respecting it, embracing it and celebrating it,” the daughter of veteran actress Sylvia Sanchez added.

The cast members greeted their mom a Happy Mother’s Day and the same goes to all the mamas out there.

(Watch the last few episodes of Viral Scandal, which airs weeknights at 9:20 on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, TV5, Kapamilya Online Live on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, Jeepney TV, iWantTFC, WeTV, and iflix.)


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