Jennylyn Mercado’s advice to fellow single moms
Vanessa Balbuena (The Freeman) - May 12, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Jennylyn Mercado, 31, is spending her Mothers’ Day today in Dubai where her biological mother is based in what will be the second meet-up for the year between the previously estranged parent and daughter.

The actress told Cebu press in a recent interview at Rico’s Lechon in Lapu-Lapu City that she just plans to take her mom, Jinkee Pineda, out for dinner.

“Ilalabas ko lang yung nanay ko kasi this year, January pa kami nagkita, tapos May na. Baka December na naman kami magkita ulit,” said Jennylyn, in town to promote her current GMA-7 primetime series “Love You Two” with co-stars Gabby Concepcion and Clint Bondad via a mall show at Gaisano Island Mall Mactan and a Kapuso Barangayan at the Tipolo Elementary School Gym in Barangay Tipolo, Mandaue City.

Jennylyn surprised followers last January when she posted a photo on her Instagram account having lunch with her mom before the latter flew to London. In 2011, Jennylyn made headlines when she gave the now-defunct Yes! Magazine a tell-all interview of her troubled childhood. Among the salacious details the public feasted on were the physical abuse she endured from her stepfather that made it to the front page of tabloids, her mother choosing to look the other way from said abuse, and the lack of financial support as she was growing up.

The “Starstruck” first female winner was taken in and raised by her aunt, Lydia Mercado, whom she considered her adoptive mother and whose 2016 death due to pneumonia was a big blow on Jennylyn.

Her mom belied Jennylyn’s claims in the tell-all, and they have had a long-standing rift since.

Perhaps age, time, the passing of her adoptive mom, and experiencing motherhood herself has softened Jennylyn’s stance as all seems to be well between her and Jinkee.

A mother to 10-year-old Alex Jazz – her love child with ex-boyfriend Patrick Garcia – Jennylyn said the challenges of raising a son alone is definitely outweighed by the fulfillment it brings.

“Mahirap na masarap,” she said. “Mahirap kasi ikaw lang mag-isa, pero kaya naman. Masarap dahil nakikita mo na napapalaki mo ng mag-isa yung anak mo na mabait, magalang, matalino, God-fearing…I’m very proud. Ang sarap sa pakiramdam na napapalaki ko siya ng maayos at matino na ako lang mag-isa.”

To fellow single mothers, she tells them not to feel alone and helpless as she believes no trial is insurmountable.

“Kailangan maging matapang at matatag sila. Walang problemang hindi nasosolusyonan. Lahat ng problemang binibigay sayo, para sayo yan kasi alam ni God na kaya mo. Maraming mga taong sumusuporta sa kanila. Hindi sila nag-iisa, porke’t wala silang partner. Nandiyan yung mga magulang nila, mga kaibigan nila, so huwag silang mawawalan ng pag-asa. Huwag nilang pababayaan ang sarili nila. Yun yung importante, kasi kapag pinabayaan mo ang sarili mo, hindi mo na rin maaalagaan ang anak mo,” Jennylyn said.

Told to  also dish out advice to actresses who choose to hide or deny their pregnancies for the sake of their careers, Jennylyn opted instead to call on the public not to judge them.

“Siguro may kanya-kanya tayong rason kung bakit natin ginagawa ang isang bagay,” she said. “Kanya-kanyang diskarte at desisyon sa buhay. Kailangan irespeto na lang natin.”

Aside from starring in “Love You Two,” Jennylyn is also expected to return to the big screen via the Star Cinema film “Heart of Mine” with Richard Gutierrez and JM de Guzman as her leading men. It will be her second project under Star Cinema after 2016’s “Just the 3 of Us” opposite John Lloyd Cruz.

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