With his comeback project Paraluman now available for streaming on Vivamax, Jao Mapa said the project is already one of the most memorable for him.
“I was already excited when I received this project. More so, never sa tanan na buhay ko na tinawagan ako ng director para i-explain yung buong storya right there and then on my cellphone and his expectations. Never have I done first meeting or conversing with my director prior to doing the project. So that’s when it hit me, this is a big thing and that’s where I was at that time. In a nutshell I didn’t really force myself into getting in this role.
“It all started with signing up with Viva. Aster Amoyo calls me up and asks if I wanted to be managed by her and I said yeah sure and she said you’re going to be co-managed by Viva. So I have a really great management team right now. I don’t think of it as a sexy or erotic film. I consider it a comeback film so that was the beginning of it all,” he shared.
In order to build their online chemistry, Jao shared how he and his leading lady Rhen Escano bonded during a workshop.
“Prior to the workshop direk Yam (Laranas) already explained the whole story pero nag-evolve pa yung story parang he made the characters gel with each actor. So nagpasanib ako, nasaniban ako sa character na ‘to. This whole process I was very excited with this character. Kumbaga nagpasanib ako dito sa character. Kaya dito sa pelikulang ito wala kang makikilala na Jao Mapa even when I was off cam I was him all the way. My character really developed with Mia’s (Rhen) character. We were just really enjoying and it was really a great experience plus with the guidance of direk Yam I think we were able to pull it off,” he shared.
While shooting with Rhen for the film, Jao denied that his non-showbiz wife Cecille got jealous seeing their intimate scenes.
“No that is not true. I don’t know where you got that (laughs). Actually before I accepted this project nag-usap kami ng misis mo and she said I could make the decision. I was open to her before I accepted this film. I accepted this since trabaho naman. My wife has been doing also acting in stage and film so naintindihan niya yung larangan ng trabaho ko and she’s supportive of me. If she wasn’t, I wouldn’t do this film,” he explained during the Paraluman mediacon.
After quitting showbiz in 2000, Jao said he has no regrets focusing on his studies. The 45-year-old actor and painter is now also a proud father of three.
“I’m happily married. My wife is four years younger than me. But opposites attract kami. Mas mature siya kesa sa akin thinking wise. So she’s more adult for me but that’s where we meet. If I was going into an affair like that, I guess now age or beauty is not a question when it comes to love. Anything goes. It’s a mystery and it’s wonderful how love works and actually I just go with the flow but having an affair is not my cup of tea. I’m enjoying where I am right now. I’m pretty much blessed with my set up. I’m pretty much pumped and I think that this is what has been bestowed upon me from God the Father and I’d like to keep it that way. I’s really with direk Yam’s imagination that this whole thing has come to be. This is his creation. It’s a great story and I’m just happy I’m able to pull it off and I’m surprised at how me as an actor reacted to the situation. I guess it’s already an open book for this kinds of scenarios,” he shared.
Watch Paraluman on Vivamax. Starring Jao Mapa, Rhen Escano, and Gwen Garci. Directed by Yam Laranas.