What Jake Ejercito learned about fatherhood from Erap

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
What Jake Ejercito learned about fatherhood from Erap
Jake Ejercito plays Jake, the wild child among the Estrella brothers in ABS-CBN’s sexy-drama series A Family Affair.
STAR Creatives TV

After starring in ABS-CBN’s romantic-comedy series Marry Me, Marry You and in the infidelity-themed show The Broken Marriage Vow, Jake Ejercito once again graces TV screens in the new sexy drama A Family Affair as one of the Estrella brothers.

The series follows the story of Cherry Red (Ivana Alawi), a beautiful woman who gets adopted by the Estrellas. During her stay in the mansion, she forms unique relationships with the Estrella brothers, particularly with her first love Dave (Sam Milby), fiancé Paco (Gerald Anderson), the wild child Seb (Jake), and the youngest brother Drew (Jameson Blake).

Jake felt “blessed,” “fortunate,” and “grateful” for the consecutive projects that were given to him by the Kapamilya network, he said in a recent press conference.

In a separate media event, during the launch of A Family Affair with select press, The STAR had a chat with him where he got to talk more about his own family relations, particularly with his dad, former actor and President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

Jake with A Family Affair co-stars and ‘brothers’ Sam Milby, Gerald Anderson and Jameson Blake.

He opened up about how Erap influenced him as an actor and as a person in general.

“He always tells me to make sure your eyes are always expressive,” he shared of the acting tips he received from him. “Lagi niyang sinasabi sa akin, kahit wala kang lines, mata pa lang, kailangan umarte na.”

Erap also taught him the value of education and a sense of empathy for other people. Jake has a master’s degree in Marketing with honors from Northumbria University in Singapore.

“People know that he didn’t finish college. So ayaw niyang maranasan namin mga nangyari sa kanya ‘coz he was bashed for not finishing his studies,” Jake told The STAR.

Jake with daughter, Ellie, and dad, former actor and President Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada.

This is what he likewise imparted to his 10-year-daughter, Ellie, with former girlfriend Andi Eigenmann. “I keep on instilling in her to prioritize her education. We know she is in Siargao and ‘pag nasa Siargao ka, it’s like paradise. So, I always message her every morning, ‘How’s school, What did you do today?’ I guess most of all yung education and also yung empathy,” he shared.

“(Dad) taught us to have empathy for others,” he continued. “He always tells us to think about greater good of the greatest number. Lagi mong iisipin yung pangangailangan ng kababayan natin and that’s why siguro kasi I guess nasa dugo rin namin kasi talaga yung public service.”

“’Pag nagta-travel kami ni Ellie, I try to pick places or show her places na iba sa kinalakihan niya, out of her comfort zone. Para makita niya na, especially nag-COVID tayo, matagal kami na-stuck, hindi lang ito yung buhay. Madami pa ang iba’t-ibang klaseng buhay. Para also she is socially aware,” added Jake.

So, does he have any plans of entering politics like his dad? “To be completely honest, also before I used to say that I would never enter showbiz, and look where I am now,” he answered before adding, “(but) to answer your question, I’m not closing any doors. If you ask me now, I have no plans whatsoever at all. Hindi sumasagi sa isipan ko. As of now, no plans. In the future, who knows.”

With Father’s Day being recently celebrated, his message to his dad was, “I just wanna thank him for being a great dad, a great provider in spite of everything that happened to us, our family. I couldn’t ask for a better dad. I just wanna tell him I love him, I wanna wish him more, more life, more healthy years to come.”

Jake also recalled that his favorite memory with his 85-year-old father was watching NBA Games with him.

“Growing up when I was a kid, my dad was in public office. (He was) vice-president, president so I barely saw him, parang once a week, twice a week. And at night lang yun kasi late siya umuwi. When I woke up wala na siya kasi he had to go to the office,” he narrated.

“Nung time na na-detain siya, that’s the time that I get to know my dad on a personal level. Yung bonding namin nanonood ng NBA, kasi no choice siya eh. Wala siyang bisita, wala siyang work. Siguro yun yung parang I guess some sort of a blessing in disguise,” Jake, who is the son of Erap with former actress Laarni Enriquez, told The STAR. “Kasi kahit painful yung memory, memorable pa rin siya kasi yun yung we had our moment.”

On the other hand, Jake’s co-stars in the series, Gerald and Jameson, also shared their best memories with their dads.

Jameson’s favorite memory with his stepfather, who passed on last year, was learning how to ride motorbikes and cars.

As for his biological dad in Hong Kong, “Growing up it was hard to tell because I was really young and I didn’t know, my parents were fighting a lot but I couldn’t see it. They didn’t show it to us na may nangyayari sa kanilang dalawa. He’d always show na happy yung family,” he shared.

Nevertheless, one of the actor’s treasured moments with him was eating popcorn for breakfast while watching baseball. “Now, everytime I get the chance to go to Hong Kong and visit him I just make the most out of it — every time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gerald recalled he felt his father’s love during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption that happened 31 years ago on June 15.

“We were in Olongapo, sa Subic Bay yung naval base because my dad is a US Navy. Dun siya nadestino where he met my mom. For some reason vivid yung (memory), parang pakiramdam ko earthquake. Yung bahay namin nanginig. Tapos yung dad ko, kinuha niya ako. Tapos parang kinover niya ako ng ganun (hand gesture),” he recounted.

“It’s like bahala na kung anong mangyari sa kanya pero yung anak niya gagawin niya para mailigtas. I don’t know why I just thought of that now. 31 years ago today (June 15) that it happened,” said Gerald.

Directed by Jerome Pobocan and Raymond Ocampo, the series also stars Aya Fernandez, Edu Manzano, Rans Rifol, Heaven Peralejo and a lot more.

(A Family Affair is available on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, A2Z, Jeepney TV, TFC IPTV and TV5).


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