Starweek Magazine

Jericho Rosales: Echoing Hope

- Ida Anita Q. Del Mundo -

MANILA, Philippines - Fame has a different meaning for actor/singer Jericho Rosales. Known for his various roles in film and television, and venturing into singing as well, the performer sees his popularity as a way to reach out to a great number of people and touch lives through his work.

Growing up, Jericho had no plans of being an actor. “Like any other kid with an active imagination, I wanted to be an astronaut or a Transformer,” he shares. Instead, he started out on the service crew of pizza chain Greenwich. After his stint at the restaurant, he became a personal driver. It was his boss, he recalls, who suggested that he join a popular noontime show’s Mr. Pogi contest. At first, he did not want to join the show because it was just something he and his friends would laugh about. But he needed money at that time and decided to enter the contest – “without my friends knowing.”

It is not surprising that Jericho won the contest and soon after took up hosting. From there, the young talent took workshops and became part of ABS-CBN’s Star Circle batch four. After some 11 years, Jericho’s career has truly taken off, the actor being one of today’s top stars, appearing in numerous TV shows including recently concluded hit series Dahil May Isang Ikaw, and previous series Betty La Fea, Kahit Isang Saglit, and Pangarap na Bituin. His most recent movies include Nasaan Ka Man in 2005; 2006’s Pacquiao: The Movie in which he played the ring icon, working hard to capture in detail the famous boxer’s mannerisms and accent; and Baler in 2008, for which he was named best actor by the 11th Gawad Pasado and the 25th PMPC Star Awards, among many other acting awards and nominations that the actor has received thus far in his career.

Among his many roles, Jericho considers playing Miguel in Dahil May Isang Ikaw as one of his most challenging, as the role demanded him to give his whole self as an actor.

“The preparation is the hardest thing to deal with,” he says, mainly because of the pressure it takes to shoot a daily show, with the cast and crew often pressed for time to finish shooting each episode. Research and stretching are two of the aspects included in Jericho’s preparation for shooting, showing that his acting is not only intense physically, but also entails a deep understanding of the role he is to play and an emotional connection with his character. “I love challenges,” he says.

When he has time away from his job, Jericho enjoys sports. He also loves adventure, singing, concerts, watching TV, playing with Legos and going back to his childhood, and skateboarding – activities that he enjoys with his son, Santino, who he affectionately calls his “adventure partner.” He reveals that if he had not become an actor, he would probably have become a full time singer and producer. In fact, he wrote and co-wrote all 14 songs in his 2006 album Loose Fit.

“I want to be a dancer in a movie,” Jericho says when asked about his dream role; he enjoys watching break dancers and hiphop dancers perform. He also wanted to appear in Panday, which he got to do in the 2005 television adaptation. He says that he would also like to appear in a father-son movie, something that would be very close to his heart.

The busy actor has many projects lined up. He will be promoting his album Change throughout January and February, going on mall tours and guest appearances. He is also slated to promote Dahil May Isang Ikaw in Malaysia and do shows in London. He also will be starring in a romantic comedy with KC Concepcion, among other projects in the works.

“I want to make more movies… movies that will matter,” says the actor, as he plans to venture into producing and other aspects of filmmaking.

With fame comes controversy, and Jericho has had his share of both. When asked how he handles this, he says, “It’s easy… The only thing that makes it hard is if you are doing something wrong and you’re trying to cover up.” He adds, “I try to stay on the good side.”

He says that being connected with his friends and his church community also helps him stay grounded. It ultimately boils down to honesty. “If you did something wrong, then apologize for it, say you’re sorry. If it’s not true, then say it’s not true and don’t worry about it.”

As for popularity, Jericho says that from the start and until now, “It was just a part of it.” He used to feel awkward when fans would scream at a mere wave of his hand. Now, “I feel more touched than surprised or awkward,” he says. “The best thing for me is when someone texts me or calls me, or when I find out that a person gets inspired because of my job.” One friend who was in an accident, for example, texted Jericho thanking him for being an inspiration towards his recovery through the actor’s role in Dahil May Isang Ikaw.

“It’s the inspiration more than anything else,” Jericho says of what is important about his job. Despite the long hours and the hectic schedule, he says he is motivated to do his job because of his purpose: “Giving back,” which he does through his performances on camera and on stage, as well as through his compositions.

There was a time, Jericho recalls, when he became burnt out from all of the stress that came with his busy schedule of tapings, guest appearances, and other appointments. It came to a point that he wanted to quit. Taking time off, he used it creatively, composing songs, forming a band and touring the Philippines and Malaysia, not as the actor that everyone had come to know, but as a recording artist. “I enjoyed the stage as a singer,” he says.

After that, he started to reflect and pray. He says, “I realized that I have a purpose in the industry… I can reach out to many people, share the Good Word, share how God came into my life and how he can change people’s lives.”

With the opportunity and the ability to inspire people all over the country, Jericho still says, “I’m just helping in my own little way… I’m just doing my job.”

That said, he tries to do his job well – “I choose my projects very well, I’m so careful about that,” he says. “I want projects that have meaning, lessons – I don’t want to waste the rest of my life doing something that is not worthwhile.”

“Being able to reach out to many people, to inspire… and to touch people’s lives” is what Jericho considers as his greatest achievement so far – something that he will continue to do as he echoes the message of hope that he has experienced in his own life to his audience.

Catch Jericho Rosales at the Change album show at Robinsons malls: Jan. 22 – Nova Market; Jan. 23 – Starmills, San Fernando, Pampanga; Feb. 5 – MetroEast; Feb 6 – Galleria.

Feb. 11 – 2010 Gayon Bicol Festival of Festivals Showdown in Iriga City.

Feb 13 – Dahil May Isang Ikaw promo show in Malaysia.

Log on to jerichorosalesonline.com for more details.







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