JILLIAN Ward is definitely now one of the hottest teen stars of GMA Network. Her afternoon drama series, “Abot Kamay na Pangarap”, started airing in September. And now, after nine long months, it is still going strong in the ratings game.
There are times when its ratings are even higher than the Kapuso shows on primetime like “Voltes V Legacy”, “Hearts on Ice” and “Unbreak My Heart”. Enough proof of how strong and well followed the show is. No wonder it just keeps on being extended when most GMA dramas now run for only a minimum of three months.
The original members of the cast include Richard Yap as Dr. RJ Tanyag (who turns out to be Jillian’s real father), Dominic Ochoa, Pinky Amador, Andre Paras, Wilma Doesnt, Kazel Kinouchi, Dexter Doria, Ariel Villasanta and Dexter Doria. But due to its many extensions, several new stars were added to the show playing new characters to spice it up, like Allen Dizon, Dina Bonnevie, Ken Chan, Sophie Albert, Melissa Mendez, Lianne Valentin, Betong Sumaya, Ariella Arida, Joyce Ching, Samantha Lopez, Max Collins, Cassy Legaspi, Dion Ignacio, Gabby and Ryan Eigenmann and Sparkle young actors Raheel Byria and Michael Sager.
Jillian started as a child actress when she was only five years old in shows like “Trudis Liit” and “Daldalita”. She never experienced taking a vacation while on that awkward tween stage as she continues to have shows all throughout her career, like “Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko” and the two seasons of “Prima Donnas”.
Jillian turned 18 years old last February. She’s lucky that GMA-7 gave her a great role in “Abot Kamay na Pangarap” as Analyn Santos, the daughter of Carmina Villarroel who proved to be a child prodigy and became a full fledged doctor in her teens and encountered a lot of trials in her personal life and career.
“I’m really so happy and thankful to GMA for giving me this great character na naging malaki ang impact sa viewers,” she says. “It’s also a good transition for me from my former child star image to playing a more mature role. I’d also like to thank Tita Carmina who plays my mom dahil napakalaki ng tulong niya sa akin para magampanan ko effectively ang character ni Analyn.”
She is proud that the show imparts good values. “It stresses the importance of family, lalo na yung mother-daughter relationship namin ni Tita Carmina na very loving talaga. It also shows na kahit anong problema ang ibigay sa’yo ng ibang tao, lalo na si Analyn who encountered a lot of hardships as a young doctor, you should just hang on, don’t give up and never lose hope. Ang maganda kay Analyn, laging pure ang intentions niya kahit inaapi na siya.”
After she turned 18, folks want to know if she’s ready to accept suitors. “Wala nga akong time matulog dahil sa trabaho, suitors pa?” she laughs. “May nagpaparamdam but I don’t wanna encourage them kasi ang concentration ko lang ngayon is my career, and also my family. Darating din ang lovelife sa tamang panahon, kapag ready na talaga ako.”