Jela

Jela doesn’t need a hunk to please her

April 4, 2022 Mario Bautista 377 views

JELA Cuenca played one of the lead roles in Brillante Mendoza’s “Palitan” but lately, she’s just playing supporting roles in “Silip sa Apoy”, “Boy Bastos” and now, in “Island of Desire”. How does she feel about it?

“Okay lang naman, ang importante, sunud-sunod pa rin ang assignments ko at hindi ako naze-zero,” she says. “Grateful lang akong nakapasok ako sa Viva kasi ang laki ng naitulong nila sa akin ng family ko sa panahon ng pandemic. And I’m also happy dito sa role ko in ‘Island of Desire’ as the best friend in the island of lead star Christine Bermas. The movie is not focused on just the love scenes and I’m thankful to Direk Joel Lamangan kasi napalabas niya talaga ang acting ko dahil hindi lang ito basta pagpapa-sexy. May love scenes din, but ang aabangan nyo rito, ‘yung mysterious story.”

In one dramatic scene, she is supposed to slap Christine and hurt her. “Hirap na hirap akong gawin ang scene na sasaktan ko si Christine kasi I don’t do that in real life. I don’t believe in violence, but Christine said okay lang ‘yan, gawin mo na kaysa ipaulit pa sa atin ni Direk. So nagawa naman namin nang maayos.”

Still the talk of the town is the Kit Thompson-Ana Jalandoni “bugbugan” blues. Has she ever been a battered girlfriend?

“Ay never po. Hindi ko pa naranasan ang ganung sitwasyon sa sarili ko, but when I was young, nakita yung tatay ko na sinasaktan physically ang nanay ko. Super sakit para sa isang anak na makita ‘yun sa nanay niya. Very violent kasi ‘yung papa ko, nambubugbog talaga kaya naging super happy ako nang maghiwalay sila ng nanay ko.”

The experience left a mark on her. “And naipangako ko nun pa sa sarili ko na I will try my best para maiwasan ‘yung nangyari sa mom ko. So far, namin lucky ako kasi never ko pa na-experience ‘yun. When we did ‘Silip sa Apoy’, ‘yung character played by Angeli Khang is battered wife ni Sid Lucero at nakakaawa talaga. I will never let myself be a victim like that.”

What can she say to actual victims of physical abuse? “When you have an abusive partner, aba, e iwanan nyo na. Kailangang bigyan nyo ng halaga ang sarili nyo, love yourself, and don’t allow yourselves to be victims of domestic violence. It’s really important to know ‘yung ugali ng partner mo at alamin nyong mabuti ‘yung pinapasukan nyo para maiwasan ang ganung sitwasyon ng pananakit.”

Since her new movie “Island of Desire”, which streams on Vivamax on April 1, is about desire, what is desirable for him in a man?

“Ang desirable for me is not just good looks but, mas importante, ‘yung marunong makisama and okay na makipag-communicate sa ibang tao. Poging hunk ka nga, hindi ka naman marunong makipagkapwa-tao, hindi ka pa rin desirable para sa akin. Lalo’t nambubugbog pala ng babae, ano naman ang desirable doon?”

She enjoyed being directed by Joel Lamangan for the first time. “Sobrang kinabahan ako noong una kasi naninigaw nga raw siya. I was so affected sa nerbiyos ko at nawawala ako sa eksena. Pero hindi naman niya ko sinigawan. He just talked to me patiently. Sabi niya, dapat pag punta mo rito sa set, in character ka na. Pag-aralan mong mabuti ang script at isapuso mo siya para kapag take na, ready ka nang umacting sa harap ng kamera. It was good advice and I followed it.”

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