EXCLUSIVE: Why Jennylyn Mercado’s Ride to Stardom is Far From Over

EXCLUSIVE: Why Jennylyn Mercado’s Ride to Stardom is Far From Over


In her 20th year of dreaming, believing, and surviving, Jennylyn Mercado proves that she is a driver of  many things, including the force to forge through

Driver. After twenty years in show business, Jennylyn Mercado is a driver. Was, is, and will always be. In the span of her career, one that intersected with her personal life, she has held a number of roles in her hands. But what do they all have in common? It’s all her taking full charge. 

RELATED: Jennylyn Mercado Shares Her Top 3 Products For A Radiant Holiday Look

The view from the driver’s seat

Black leather jacket by DIESEL

Ganoon na pala ako katanda? Ganoon na pala ako katagal sa showbiz?” The actress reflects with an unbelievable tone in her voice. It was a question of what it would be like to look back. Suddenly, a younger version of Jennylyn was talking. Wide-eyed and unbelieving of her future that was about to unfold. When the present her reappeared, she speaks with more certainty. “Happy ako na hanggang ngayon, nandito pa rin ako sumusuporta sa akin, sa trabaho ko, sa ginagawa ko.”

Jennylyn Mercado proves that as time past she only gets better at her craft
Sheer white dress by MARTIN BAUTISTA

In 2003, a 17-year-old’s life changed when she claimed the First Female Survivor status. While the competition paved the way for her to explore the other realms of her skills, there was one passion that drove her to test the waters of the spotlight—singing. 

The thing about first loves is that they will remain. Forever etched in our memories, they mark a time when we started dreaming and doing. That is singing for the Kapuso star. But when the found love comes along, that passion one did not expect, it may just surprise you how it can change your life. This was acting for the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival Best Actress. 

Off and on-screen, Jennylyn Mercado proves that she is a strong and fearless woman

From singing to acting, the actress had these to bank on her career. With much knowledge of the craft and its complexities, many would wonder what the secret is to longevity. For Jennylyn, it’s not just her expertise nor her drive. It was building relationships with people. 

She stresses, “Malaking bagay ‘yung pakikisama. Hindi mo kailangan tingnan ‘yung estado nila. Maging pantay-pantay kung paano mo sila tratuhin, irespeto.

The joy in joining the ride

Black leather jacket by DIESEL

Constant collaboration and evolution, according to Jennylyn, keep her driving through different roads and directions. Although drama was her speciality, the actress hopes to hone her craft even more. 

Hindi ko pa nakakatrabaho si Marian. [Kung siya] hindi naman drama, siguro pwede comedy para iba. Si Alden, [at] si Piolo. Marami pa akong gustong makatrabaho. Si Sarah G., sa song, Oo!” the artist enumerates.

Custom puff-sleeve dress by ROBIN ORTEGA

The idea of working together goes without saying that her reel and real partner in life, Dennis Trillo, will be in the picture as well. “Tandem, oo!” The actress said excitedly, considering a collaboration with her husband. This time, they are more than game to do anything that will challange them, especially horror and suspense. 

For her individual works, Jennylyn still has a few dream roles. “Pwede ako magdark, pwede ako magkontrabida roles,” the suggestion came with firmness. 

The rider’s stride

The actress goes blonde for the shoot, proving that her beauty is versatile

These days, the actress is no longer speeding to keep up with high energies and more determined young stars. To her, all roads lead to Dylan, her daughter. Every action, role, or decision now comes  with a question for Jennylyn. Will my daughter be proud of me? 

One day, her daughter will finally realize who her mother is. When the times, Jennylyn hopes Encantandia will be Dylan’s introduction to who she is beyond her matriarchal role. “Isa ‘yun sa mga una kong projects nung kakapanalo ko pa lang sa Starstruck,” she comments, adding a personal story to the show. She adds, “‘Yung konsepto ng show, mas pambata dahil fantasy.”

Custom puff-sleeve dress by ROBIN ORTEGA

As for the moves that Jennylyn does for herself, most of them center around health—a way to be in her best for roles that call her to be the best, such as a mother, wife, and actress. Back then, it was jujitsu and triathlon. Now, she transitioned into Pilates. Alongside that sport, she has discovered the rush of motorbiking. “Dati Vespa, [then] nag-evolve to big bike. Masaya siya, lalo na if you bike tapos walang traffic,” she said. 

Black leather jacket by DIESEL
The actress’ recent hobbies include riding big motorbikes to enjoy scenic views

Whether she’s Jennylyn from yesterday, today, and tomorrow, her character stays the same. The drive to dream, believe, and survive never loses its impact on her as an actress, wife, mother, sports enthusiast, as herself. If offered a chance to talk to her younger self, Mercado said, “‘Wag kang susuko kasi marami ka pang pagdadaanan. Maniwala ka sa sarili mo, at maraming nagmamahal sa’yo.” For her present self? It’s a tap on the shoulder. “You did a great job,” she would say. 

Looking brightly ahead in her future, Jennylyn is driving into tomorrow by embracing the fruits of her hard-earned labor. “Sa future, magrelax ka na!” She said with a laugh, but also with a knowing smile that only meant one thing—she’s far from hitting the brakes on her craft and on life. 

Custom puff-sleeve dress by ROBIN ORTEGA

Fashion Direction and Beauty Direction CHLARINE GIANAN
Styling AJ ALBERTO, assisted by IAN VINARAO
Sittings Editor
Shoot Coordination JOANA FERNANDO


Order your print copy of this month's MEGA Magazine:
Download this month's MEGA digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]