When Jao Mapa decided to quit acting two decades ago, he admitted it was not an easy road for him after he prioritized getting his Fine Arts degree at the University of Santo Tomas.
“In a nutshell, actually I got into showbiz 1993 and I had to take a break in 2000. I wanted to finish my studies. Not only that, medyo na-burnout ako. Napagod ako sa trabaho nun. I was working 24/7. I was a working student then and there were shootings, there were events. I would go around the Philippines doing events, doing Palibhasa Lalake, doing shows. And I said I wanted to finish college so I did and I graduated 2003. Nung 2003 onwards to the present ayan, medyo struggling ako,” he shared during the Paraluman mediacon.
After being cast in the film Paraluman, Jao said he could not turn down an opportunity to earn more income not just as a painter but as an actor as well.
“I had to go back to showbiz because it would be good income also. But I also was then practicing painting so it was only now in this pandemic that I’m in full blast with my talents right now. I am painting and I am also back here because of this project.
“Yun na nga, I think it was a learning process for me at I keep on saying meron na akong paghuhugutan. I’ve learned different feelings and now I’m applying it to my acting right now and I’m selling my paintings right now. That’s where I am,” he said.
Despite the challenges he faced during the past two decades, Jao shared why he is still thankful for his talents in painting.
“I would say na laking tulong lang talaga yung paintings. I think in this day and age, kulang ang isang trabaho to support me and my family. So I’m just really thankful that I have a fallback that I finished back then. So kung kailan nagkaroon na ng crisis, saka siya sabay sabay nag-flourish. Sabay sabay siya lumipad. My paintings flew and in this pandemic it helped me. I’m very thankful for both my talents, my painting and acting. It’s what’s supporting me right now. And I would say that not only has showbiz been a very big helping factor for me today but also I’m very thankful that painting also is actually being successful same way that acting is right now,” he explained.
Paraluman will be available for streaming on Vivamax starting September 24 on Vivamax. Starring Jao Mapa, Rhen Escano, and Gwen Garci. Directed by Yam Laranas.