Jennylyn Mercado is truly a homegrown talent of GMA 7, being molded into a versatile actress and host that she is now, following her win in the first season of talent reality show “Starstruck” 16 years ago.
Jennylyn feels grateful to remain a Kapuso after renewing her contract with the network last week. But despite her success, Jennylyn refused to be called as GMA’s queen.
“I can’t explain how I feel whenever I see Mr. Gozon, Ms. Lilybeth, and Mr. Yalong. They’re like my parents. That’s how I feel whenever they are there, I feel their love. It has a different kind of warmth. I’ve been with them for a long time already and they never changed,” Jennylyn told the press.
She started her career with GMA in 2003 after winning “Starstruck,” together with Mark Herras, who eventually became her loveteam. Since then, Jennylyn starred in leading roles on TV dramas and in the movies, including “Super Twins,” “Captain Barbel,” “My Love from the Stars,” and the currently-airing “Love You Two. In 2008, Jennylyn gave birth to son Jazz but that didn’t stop GMA from managing her career.
“Those times, I thought I couldn’t return anymore and face the public. In my 16 years with GMA, I have really witnessed how they treated me like their daughter, as a family, and not just as an artist. During those moments when I thought I can’t come back anymore after giving birth, they still welcomed me with open arms. They fully accepted me and didn’t forsake me,” she said.
Jennylyn turned emotional during her contact renewal as she recalled the challenging times in her career. Not all who go on hiatus are given a chance to bounce back and be warmly accepted by the public again.
“There were times when I thought I can’t return anymore, but like what I said earlier, hindi naman ako pinabayaan ng GMA.. When the time came that I am ready to return, they accepted me and never had doubts of taking care of me and my career. I won’t be where I am now if not for them,” she said.
The proud mother has no regrets as those challenges made her the person she is now. Jennylyn manages to remain at her prime as some products of talent shows are not as successful as she is now. Of course, she never thought of transferring networks.
“If there are things that I regret, things that I did that weren’t right, I think it’s just fitting that I experienced those because I learned a lot from those challenges,” she said.
From acting, Jennylyn has ventured into singing and hosting. Now, Jennylyn stands as host in the newest season of “Startruck.” She advises aspiring actors to love their craft.
“Never stop learning the things you want to achieve. They must be in a good company with good people. Surround yourself with good friends and you must be brought up well. Love your parents and never forget where you came from. Always keep your feet on the ground. Don’t change and always treat the people around you equally,” she said.
With the ongoing preparations for the Filipino remake of “Descendants of the Sun,” Jennylyn is rumored to be taking the role of Dingdong Dantes’ onscreen partner. Is that role in her contract?
“As of now, I’m still focused on vLove You Two,V, and co-hosting ‘Starstruck 7,’ as well as another movie,” she said.
Jennylyn has a lot on her plate, thus, we might not hear wedding bells soon yet with boyfriend Dennis Trillo. She still wants to accomplish a lot of things, including going behind the camera. For now, their fans can see them together in their “CoLove” collaborations on YouTube.
“I want to to put up an actual store and bakeshop for the cookies I sell online. I also want to put up another branch for my salon. I also want to learn more and be able to work with others. There are many actors I haven’t worked with yet. I also want to learn more about production. As an actress, of course, I also want to learn how they are able to complete a soap. I want to learn, grow and see what else I can do,” she said.
Jennylyn is also busy working on a movie with Ai-Ai delas Alas and ABS-CBN actor Coco Martin. The Kapuso actress is happy that networks are now more open for collaborations among their respective talents.
“They have started shooting for six days and two days of those are with me. It’s fun on the set and the movie’s theme is also light. I’m happy that we got a chance to work with actors from another network. It feels great and I’m happy. ”