Last January, fans of Eat Bulaga's Kalyeserye were pleasantly surprised to have finally met the face behind the intriguing character of Jake, Yaya Dub (played by Maine Mendoza)'s classmate whom she's working on a project with and the person whom Alden Richards is getting a bit jealous about—Jake Ejercito.
We recently got in touch with Jake and asked him about his role on the Kalyeserye which made him a household name and a beloved character in just one episode (he was overwhelmed by the support he got after appearing on the show!). Read on to find out how he was cast for the role, being in showbiz, his vision for the Filipino youth, and more!
Before you appeared on Kalyeserye, have you watched a few episodes from the series already?
"I had seen a few clips online because I got curious what the craze behind AlDub was about each time it would pop up on my Twitter feed. Later on, I would also walk into my mom's room and occasionally find her cracking up while watching it."
How was your appearance on the show planned? Were you already cast even before the character was introduced? Was it top secret?
"Eat Bulaga reached out to me about a week before I was to appear on the sketch. To be honest, I thought it was a long shot at first for a number reasons. One was because it's highly unlikely for me to do anything like it since I usually get the jitters whenever I'm in front of a crowd. More importantly, my parents and I were worried about the possible backlash I would get from the fans of AlDub because we all know how much they support the love team. It was only set in stone the night before my guesting.
"I wasn't following the show, but apparently, the character Jake had been introduced weeks before Eat Bulaga approached me. That's why it was quite amusing how much I fit the bill."
People found your character inspiring and very lovable. How similar or different are you from Kalyeserye's Jake?
"In terms of educational background and attitude, I'd say pretty similar. Like the character, I'd like to think I'm respectful, especially towards the elderly. I'm also more often reserved than not, but I'm at the same time down for some silly antics when pressured. Although I don't think I'll ever have my isaw with coffee again.
You've tweeted that you were overwhelmed by AlDub nation's response after you appeared on the show. What's your favorite tweet/comment from them so far?
"As I said, I was worried to receive adverse reactions from Kalyeserye's audience, but I was surprised and grateful (I still am!) that the feedback was generally positive and a good chunk of them still want me to go back on the show.
"My favorite comments would have to be those that came from people whose first impression of me was that I was snotty and a stuck-up, but my guesting made them realise that I'm actually down-to-earth and can also be 'masa.'"
Will we still see you on Kalyeserye in the future?
"I honestly can't tell as it would depend on a lot of factors, but I'm not closing any doors."
How was it like working with Maine and the Lolas?
"Another reason why I was apprehensive about doing the show was because of the amount of talent on it. Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Paolo Ballesteros have been brilliant at doing what they do for years now. Maine, likewise, is a complete natural. So I was concerned that I might ruin the show not just for the viewers, but also for the people behind Kalyeserye.
"As some may have noticed, I was crazy nervous that I was shaking for the first few minutes. But Maine and the Lolas did a lot to help me ease in and feel comfortable, so I ended up having loads of fun anyway."
Have you met Alden already? If yes, what was it like seeing your karibal on screen in real life? If not yet, how are you planning to break the ice when you finally meet?
"I actually haven't. I’ll probably greet him with a pabebe wave!"
Are you planning to join showbiz?
"Considering that both my parents used to be actors (READ: ICYDK, he's the son of Laarni Enriquez and former president Joseph Estrada!), I did have a tad bit of inclination to follow their footsteps growing up. But I don't think I'm cut out for it, so I'll just leave it to the pros."
You have this school project with Yaya Dub on the show that promotes positive change. In real life, what's your vision for the Philippines and for the youth?
"It's my humble opinion that we, as a people, have unfortunately sidetracked over the decades. Our crab mentality and culture of bahala na or being apathetic have led our country to lag behind our Asian neigbours.
"Having also been a student of Politics, my vision is for more people, specially the youth, to not get disillusioned by our current situation. We should engage ourselves more and let our leaders know what we think. Each one of us can incite change and make a difference without being a part of the system."
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