Maalaala Mo Kaya will celebrate its 20th anniversary with five special episodes set to air this October. One of these episodes will be top-billed by Jake Cuenca in his first time to play a gay role. During the press conference MMK: Dalawang Dekada which was also graced the show’s host and ABS-CBN President Charo Santos Concio, Jake shared that he had a great time doing the gay role. “I just really had fun doing the episode. Sobrang saya naming lahat kahit medyo nagmamadali kami sa taping at mahirap. Kapag napanood sana maramdaman niyo rin ‘yung sayang naramdaman naming lahat. It was my first time doing a gay role that’s why it was very challenging for me.”
In the episode shot in Barcelona, Spain, Jake plays a gay man who is torn by the embittered relationship of his parents, played by Vivian Velez and Ricky Davao. Jake’s father is a full-blooded Spaniard from Barcelona, but Jake never got the chance to see them during the shoot because of the hectic schedule.
The matinee idol confessed that at first he was shocked when told what role he would play. “Actually natakot ako nung inoffer sa akin. Sabi sa akin ng handler ko may role raw for me sa MMK and sa Barcelona ishu-shoot. Una kong tanong, ‘Sino leading lady ko diyan?’ Ha ha ha! Two days later sinabi sa akin na gay role nga.”
But the 23-year-old star explained that he is serious about his craft that’s why he didn’t want to back out from the challenge. “I think I was ready for it. Coming from In the Name of Love, ang dami ko nang natutunan. At first, I was scared to do it but I knew I was ready and matagal ko nang gustong gumawa ng ganito ka-challenging na role. Tuwing nago-offer ang MMK ng role it always an honor kasi nabibigyan kami ng pagkakataon na mag-guest. With no hesitation, I said yes.”
During the initial reading of the script, Jake had transvestite celebrity Bebe Gandanghari as his character peg. But when production began in Barcelona, he got to meet the person on which his character was based. Jake said, “Going into the character ang naging peg ko was Bebe Gandanghari. Nagpapayat ako for two weeks. Pero napadali ‘yung pagpasok ko sa character kasi kasama namin sa shoot ‘yung letter sender. Nakakakwentuhan ko siya, nakikita ko siya bago ako gumawa ng eksena kaya nami-mimic ko siya. Siya na ‘yung naging peg ko. Swerte ko na nandun siya. I took time to get to know him.”
With his experience in the MMK episode, Jake said he is open to doing another gay role as he considers that a part of learning as an actor. “Alam ko na darating talaga ‘yung gay role. It was just a matter of time. Ito ang isang bagay na kailangan kong patunayan na kaya kong gawin. Gusto ko na mas malayo sa totoo kong personality, mas maganda siyang gawin.”