New Dawn: A Refreshed Jessy Mendiola Shines Brighter

New Dawn: A Refreshed Jessy Mendiola Shines Brighter


From shifting lifestyles and priorities, cutting unwanted baggage, and even healing relationships, this version of Jessy Mendiola-Manzano is undoubtedly the happiest we have ever seen her in

Dressed in all white, the ever-graceful Jessy Mendiola-Manzano sat down and prepared herself for our quick catch-up. Interestingly enough, there was a mood shift. It’s indescribable, as if everything suddenly got brighter, clearer, and the tiredness faded away. Was this the feeling of genuine positivity? That was exactly how our chat with Jessy Mendiola-Manzano went—the exchanges of laughter, the deep cuts, and the openness of it all. We caught up on how daily life has been as a wife, talked about family plans she has with her “howhow” Luis, and went in-depth in conversations about physical, emotional, and mental health.

Jessy, in her own words, is “just a simple girl who likes simple things.” She mentioned this followed by a quick giggle, but she’s not kidding. “When people ask me how are you, it’s actually not hard to explain… I’m very much content with my life right now. Growing up, you know, that’s all I wanted: ‘yung maging happy. Baka magka-iyakan tayo dito,” she said, with a bigger laugh than before. 

Of course, we had to know where she gets this positive outlook from. It’s not common, especially for those on the daily grind, to live a life without the stresses at the top of the mind. Her secret: strive for productivity. “Ako ‘yung tipong tao na hindi mapakali when I don’t do something productive. Even the simplest things like cleaning my room or cleaning the bathroom or fixing up my clothes talagang gives me a sense of happiness na at least I did something today,” she explained.

This mentality, alongside working out, prepping her own meals, setting aside some play time for her adorable poodles, and managing her YouTube channel, keeps her laser-focused in achieving her goals. But a question surrounding her life recently has been if she will ever return to the silver screen. It has been quite some time since we’ve seen her on set, now taking a break after a 13-year straight run in television and films. With her YouTube channel being the hub for her daily content, has this platform become the replacement for the former Maria Mercedes?

Being as real as she can be

Nestled in the “About” tab of her YouTube account, Jessy writes, “Through my YouTube channel, I want to share with you the real Jessy who loves God, life, and the people around her.” This couldn’t be more true.

Since 2018, Jessy has been releasing personal vlogs and insider looks online in her YouTube channel. But when the pandemic hit last 2020 and more people went and stayed online, it looked like everyone took to the platform to create their own fan engagement, personal content, and income streams. Just like most, Jessy took the outbreak seriously, and since YouTube was already a part of her lifestyle, there was no adjustment needed.

“It just so happened na may pandemic and I’m a very anxious person, so I think it wouldn’t be good for me to go to tapings tapos ang dami kong iniisip. So [YouTube] was not really a replacement [for acting] but it was more of a different venue or platform to show other things… When you do TV work or movies, scripted ‘yan, you play a role. But in your YouTube channel, you can do anything and everything you want under the sun,” she explained.

Her online content became like a daily diary—showing her fans the truest and most personal corners of her life. “I don’t see it as work, I see it as something very personal and it helped me a lot. It’s like an open book. I share my weirdest things, as in pati ‘yung humor ko, nagiging parang kay Luis din.” Genuinity has always been the goal for Jessy, and as she recounted:

“At the end of the day, I have to remind myself, ‘Why are you doing this? Are you doing it for views; for subscribers?’ No, I started my YouTube channel because I want people to get to know me at ‘pag titignan mo sa goal na ‘yon, na-hit na siya.”

Jessy Mendiola-Manzano on the purpose of her YouTube channel

It’s not all home video and raw content on the mind of the lady once known as the “primetime princess”. Even if Jessy has stepped away from the spotlight for the meantime, the heat of show business still warms her up. “I still miss working with other people and miss portraying a role. I’ve gotten offers naman kahit noong start ng pandemic, ang daming offers [for shows], pero… I guess there’s a right time or a right project for that but right now, I’m really happy with what I’m doing,” she revealed. 

Reclaiming her glow

It was made public during the latter months of 2021 that Jessy was preparing herself, especially her body, for pregnancy. “Lu and I are slowly transitioning to the next level: starting a family. As much as possible, I want to devote my time there,” she said, with a calm demeanor.

For others, having a toned body does not fit within their idea of pregnancy. But for Jessy, physical fitness has always been a part of her life, and has stood by her values every step of the way, shunning all the unsolicited advice and naysayers. “I don’t really believe in forcing other people to do whatever you are doing. Ako kasi, I always speak about personal experience… Even before, when I was younger, I would always be so active… but now it’s a whole different ball game,” she said.

The sad reality, however, is that the negativity didn’t stop there. Not only has she been criticized over the simple act of working out, but even her physical appearance continued to be a subject of attacks. “I was bashed for [my skin for] so many years. People would say, ‘Maputi lang siya, hindi siya maganda. Ang daming nagsasabi ng ganoon. It’s just so funny because we’re all so different, I mean obvious naman na hindi tayo pare-parehas ng itsura, shape, skin tone, or skin color. So you can’t really bash or hate on someone.”

“When you get bashed, it’s important for you not to fight back, but instead shed light on something personal to you. When I get targeted na ‘Maganda lang siya dahil maputi siya,’ eh maputi naman talaga ako, so nasa ‘yo na lang kung magandahan ka sa akin o hindi.”

Jessy Mendiola-Manzano on taking criticisms about her skin

Even amid these comments, Jessy takes pride in skin confidence. You can see it within seconds of scrolling her Instagram feed. Even just recently, she unveiled a personal photoshoot that had people looking nowhere else except her skin. But the realities of life are unavoidable: “I’m not getting any younger. Napansin ko hindi na ako naggo-glow or mukha na akong pagod I think a few years ago when the pandemic started. My skin wasn’t at its prime, so sabi ko, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m getting old,” she admitted.

It was at that moment she decided to take matters into her own hands by refocusing her skin care routine. For the simple girl in Jessy, skin care should not be a place for complex procedures and unnecessary fluff: “I’m not the type na may 10-step skin care routine; I just can’t. So when I got introduced to SKN Care Solutions, nagulat ako na, ‘Ah talaga, ito lang? Ito lang yung gagawin ko to get great skin?”

As the newest face of SKN Care Solutions, Jessy takes on the responsibilities of not just being an advocate of skin confidence, but also product diversification, and finding the best value-for-money. “[People] would always ask me, ‘Magkano po ba ‘yan? Mahal po ba ‘yan?’ And it’s just a great thing that SKN is offering something so affordable for everyone kasi you don’t have to shy away from these products. ‘Yung ibang tao kasi, iniisip nila ‘yung price range or if sinasabi na iba na okay itong product, but for me, why don’t you just try it out first and see the difference, ‘di ba?”

With their newly-launched SKN Revita-C product line, the goal of having acne-free, brightened, and fresh skin is much closer than before. With a Face Wash, AHA/BHA Toner, Vitamin C Serum, Retinol Cream, and Sunscreen all part of this range, premium rejuvenation now becomes accessible to more beauties.

Jessy also opened up about the opportunities that stemmed from the rise of SKN Care Solutions, namely making self-made entrepreneurs out of people especially during these tough times. Skin care can be a source of income too, as she shared: “Noong nag-start ‘yung pandemic, [people lost their jobs and] nag-start ng businesses ‘yung mga tao [at home]. SKN offers opportunities to other people and if you get to follow their social media accounts, you get to see na even if you’re just at home, you get to reward yourself for all of your hard work.”

Her message stemming from this partnership is loud and clear: skin care should be about the self and not the other. That’s why the term “self-care” has become synonymous with the practice. “Ang common mistake ng tao, dahil naka mask ka, you don’t have to take care of your skin because people don’t see it. But at home, you see yourself and nakaka-bother siya. Why are you taking care of your skin for other people? ‘Di ba you’re supposed to take care of your skin for yourself? That’s what I realized,” Jessy shared.

Shrouded in emotion

Conversations on care shouldn’t be just skin-deep. Throughout our chat, Jessy continued sharing stories of family, friends, and her husband—a sign that relationships play a big factor in her outlook on life. But thankfully, she’s surrounded by people who take and receive positivity. This belief in an auratic exchange is something she gladly explained to us:

“If you don’t try to do something good for yourself, it will also affect your emotions… [That will lead to] negative thoughts and energy, and ‘yung aura mo hindi magiging okay, and that’s what you will put out in the world and the people around you notice that. But when you put out good energy, positive energy, they will feel it too, and it will go back to you ten times.”

Try as you may, but negativity is inescapable. It’s only how you handle it that will determine the outcome. This was put to the test back in 2020 when Jessy and Luis felt these troubles. “I think the pandemic really affected our emotions, our mental health… It came to a point na naghiwalay kami… We started getting on each other’s necks,” she opened up.

“It came to a point that I was willing to let go. I told him, ‘If this relationship didn’t make us happy anymore, then why do we have to continue on when there are other things you can do in life, when there are other people you could meet? Malay mo, the next na mame-meet mong girl, siya na ‘yun, ‘di ba?”

Jessy Mendiola-Manzano recounting her emotional low point

You know how the saying goes: “Time heals all wounds.” For the couple, it took a month of separation before they started to continue healing. “It could’ve been years, it could’ve been a really, really long time, but we made sure we put an effort to heal. So finally, when we healed from that experience, everything just fell into place and that’s when we decided to get engaged.”

Searching for the good place

It’s hard to detail the inner workings of Jessy without mentioning her newly-reinvigorated spirituality. As our chat veered into mental health, Jessy immediately gives credit to her faith for being her rock, forretress, and foundation.

“Praying helped me a lot. It’s sort of my stress reliever. It’s something else. Sabay-sabay lahat ‘yun nangyari eh, when Lu and I broke up, kasagsagan ‘yan ng first lockdown, at ‘yun din ‘yung time na bumalik ‘yung faith ko. I started praying a lot—praying the rosary hanggang sa lahat ng positive energy and blessings, dumating [sila] at sunod-sunod pa.”

This is how Jessy reclaimed her glow. Yes, “glow” partly means her skin that she admitted began fading when she stopped self care early 2020 when she was still locked in taping. But “glow” also refers to her aura. For this, she had to make a few hard decisions—changes in her life that needed to happen. “‘Di ba you let go of the things, ‘yung stresses, o ‘yung pagod na hindi nagko-contribute sa glow mo? So nag let go na rin ako. ‘Yung mga late hours, ‘di ko na kaya. Sometimes, kapag ‘yung working conditions ‘di na okay, [ile-let go ko na rin]. Old habits, people, vices… I realized ‘di ko na kailangan ‘yung mga ‘to.”

“Holistic self care dapat: physical, emotional, mental. Head to toe, you have to take care of yourself kasi if you don’t, who else will?” 

Jessy Mendiola-Manzano sharing self care advice

Jessy concludes our chat on the trifecta of health and wellness with a self promise that shows focus even amid the happy-go-lucky demeanor: “I’m putting all of my energy on my personal life. [Luis and I] want to build a family. I’m also going back to my studies. I want to finish my education. I’m taking my time and my personal health and life is more important than trying to do everything in life.”

For the meantime, we can catch Jessy nestled in her home and become her delightful self on her channel. Maybe it’s for the meantime, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this lifestyle shift will be for a while. This could be the happiest we have seen Jessy, and if her personal mantra of positivity begets positivity is true, then it seems like she’s in a really good place.

Photography SHAIRA LUNA, assisted by LANCE VON LUNA
Creative Direction EL PEREIRA and NICOLE ALMERO
Production Design at ABIGAIL MIGUEL, assisted by GERYK MARAÑA and BOJANE BELTRAN
Shoot coordination LOUIS ESGUERRA and MJ ALMERO
Shot on location I AM ABI STUDIO

Videography KIERAN PUNAY

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