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by Blaise Gacoscos
Yes! Magazine, June 2001

JERICHO ROSALES, 21, has what it takes to become big. He not only OWNS one of showbiz's handsomest faces, his has got character going for it. And he not only has goals, he has talent to match!

He played a repressed son unable to go up against his powerful father in Star Cinema’s domestic drama Tanging Yantatt. For his efforts, he was rewarded with a Best Supporting Actor nomination by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the foremost film critics’ body locally.

Jericho probably owes much of his credible performance in that film from having lived a lifetime at 21. They were poor, his father abandoned them when he was five, and he helped his mother sell fish in the market at an early age. He hasn’t stopped working since. He wasn’t choosy either and worked at one time or other for a drainage company and for Greenwich Pizza. By the time he was 15, he was a stowaway. But at about this time, he also began to take a grip on himself.

Sometime in his efforts to straighten out his life, he joined, and won, the Mr. Pogi contest of “Eat... Bulaga!” Then hejoined ABS-CBN’s Talent Center and was formally launched as part of its Batch 4. Since then, he has become a prized talent of his mother studio.

Jericho explains the change in his fortunes: “Siyempre, dapat may goal ka. Maramiug masisipag sa Talent Center pero minsan ‘pag ‘di mo pa panahon, ‘di mo pa time. You know, mga wish kailangan may effort e. Meron ang bibigyan mo ng tulak para matupad. Tapos, gandahan mo ang trabaho mo. Disiplina, ‘tsaka siyempre mahalin mo yung trabaho mo, at dapat marunong kang makinig.”

Talent Center as a base is, of course, studded with competition. Moreover, it’s been criticized for not always providing for a level playing field. That is, some members are supposed to be getting more push, and sooner, because of their connections and backing.

For his part, Jericho defends the Center: “Aaminin ko, ‘di naman nawawala 'yon bilang artista, ‘di ba? Pero na-realize ko na ‘pag dumating 'yung panahon na para sa 'yo, alam nila kung kailan ka dapat ilagay. Alam nila kung kailan ka dapat isalang. I mean, you can always learn na lang muna e. Pagdating ng panahon na hinog na hinog ka na saka ka isasabak. Mas mabuti na 'yung sigurado kaysa naman 'yung feeling mo kaya mo na pero hindi pala."

As for some talents getting the better end of the deal, he says: “Suwerte sila and they should make the most out of it. Huwag nilang sayangin. Maraming sumasama ang kalooban dahil nakikila nila sa puwesto 'yon. Gusto n'yo ba‘ng sasabihin ng ibang artista sa inyo: ‘I could do better than that? ‘Kaya nga, kapag nasa posisyon ka, ilugar mo ang sarili mo kung saan ka babagay. Like, ako, ‘di ko gustong magbida na sa pelikula kasi ayoko pa.”

What comes after Tanging Yaman?

The good news is Jericho was originally tapped to play one of Vilma Santos’s children in the film version of Lualhati Bautista’s Dekada ‘70 to be directed by Chito Roño.

The bad news is Jericho gave up the entire project because the film’s working days coincided with the taping days of his top-rating soap opera “Pangako sa ‘Yo.” The role went to Piolo Pascual in the end.

“Somehow nanghihinayang ako," Jericho admits. “Siyempre, nag-research ha, kinausap ko 'yung mga aktibista, di ba? Binasa ko ‘yang libro, binasa ko ‘yang script. Okey lang, at least I learned something in the process. Ang mentalidad ko kasi, kung may mawawala sa ‘yo, may darating pang iba. Marami pang iba.

From a restless young talent, the words sound comforting enough.

~ e n d ~




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