Jake Cuenca on World Cinema award, advice for young actors

Alexa Villano
Jake Cuenca on World Cinema award, advice for young actors
This is the second acting award Jake received for 'Mulat,' the first in 2014 at the International Film Festival Manhattan

MANILA, Philippines –  For Jake Cuenca, winning the Best Actor award for the movie Mulat (Awaken) at this year’s World Cinema Festival Brazil was an unexpected honor, since he made the film a few years back.

“It feels really good. But the thing is parang I don’t want na parang …I was going to say that I’ve done this movie a few years back and this is a very lovely surprise,” Jake said of his award for the movie, which was given to him by director Diane Ventura.

“But obviously parang it motivates me to do more indie movies, because after this movie kasi I was able to go to school. So parang feeling ko mas marami pa akong maibibigay pa (I feel I can give much more). And I think that shows with the other stuff that I’ve done so far,” he added. 

Jake received the award from Diane during a brief ceremony at a press conference Friday, June 17 at Romulo Cafe in Quezon City.

Jake also said he felt very proud knowing how hard they’ve worked on the film and that his win also came at a time other Pinoys were honored abroad: Jaclyn Jose won at the Cannes Film Festival and Sid Lucero also won at the  Los Angeles Comedy Festival last May.

“Sabi nga nila it comes in 3s of course, Ms. Jaclyn Jose won Cannes and ako parang napa… when I found out I won this, narinig ko yung nangyari on (I heard about the news on) Ms. Jaclyn Jose… and then si Timmy (Sid Lucero) then. Ka batch ko si Sid Lucero eh (Sid Lucero was my batch). So nakakatuwa na for me, really I feel proud,” Jake said.

“To tell you the truth, Jaclyn Jose, me, and Timmy – we’re not the conventional leading men. Ms. Jaclyn Jose is not a conventional leading woman. She’s not commercial. She’s not a billboard on EDSA really but the thing is, when you do something you love, you put all your love and passion into a project, this all comes back to you. Nakakatuwa na iyon (That makes you feel happy) and for sure, and both feel the exact same way,” he said added.

Jake said that he always reminds today’s young actors to love what they do.

“You have to have enthusiasm to learn and to be able to give something everyday in life,” Jake said.

He also said that today’s young actor’s should prioritize practicing their skills and not just focus on social media, which he said he has been observing with some newbies.

“When I say hard work, you go to the set early, you read your script and you perform like there’s no tomorrow. That’s for me,” he said.

Sana malaman nila na instead of being on your phone, wala akong pinapatamaan ah, I’m just saying because this is what I noticed with the young ones.”

(I hope they realize that instead of being on your phone, I’m not directly hitting on anyone, I’m just saying because this is what I noticed with the young ones.)

BEST ACTOR. Jake Cuenca says his win as Best Actor at the World Cinema in Brazil was a surprise since he made the film a few years ago. Photo by Alexa Villano/Rappler

Aside from Jake, Mulat also won the Best Narrative Feature award. The movie is directed by Maria Diane Ventura. 

In 2014, he also won the Best Actor Award at the 2014 International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) in New York. 

In the film, Jake falls for a mysterious woman (Loren Burgos) with a “strange mental affliction.” His character clashes with Ryan Eigenmann, who portrays the other strong male character in the story.

Jake is currently doing the upcoming drama Because You Love Me with Gerald Anderson and Yen Santos, to be directed by Dan Villegas. 

‘Encantadia’ reboot, prod of Arci

In a separate interview after the press conference, Jake also said he was very happy for his Pasion de Amor co-stars including leading lady Arci Muñoz who is now enjoying new projects. 

“Wow, I’m happy for everyone. To tell you the truth, all 3 boys, lahat kaming tatlo may (all 3 of us have a) soap. May movie on top of that. With Arci, she’s geting what she deserves rightfully so kasi sobrang professional niya (she’s really professional). Sobrang alam niya na mahal niya ang ginagawa niya (She knows that she loves what she’s doing) and we had a chance to talk about it in our last US tour. And hopefully we get to work again,” Jake said, adding he was suppose to do a movie but had to decline because of his busy schedule.


Jake also had nothing but positive things to say about Encantadia director Mark Reyes, whom he worked with in the show. In the original Encantadia, he played Kahlil, the son of Alena (Karylle) and Ybarro (Dingdong Dantes).

Di ko pa nakita yung (I haven’t seen the) teaser. I haven’t seen [it], ” Jake said of the upcoming reboot. ” But with all confidence, Mark Reyes is directing it again and you bet it’s going to be a good show. Direk Mark is the best in fantaserye, not being biased… but Direk Mark is one of the best at what he does.”

As to whether it also gave him a boost in his career like the other original cast members, Jake said: “It was something. Definitely, I’m not going to take anything away. Parang doon ko naramdaman na ‘wow, kaya ko pala makuha atensyon ng tao. (That’s where I felt like ‘wow, I can get the attention of the people.) But of course, not to take away anything from ABS-CBN, I am what I am today because of ABS-CBN.

“But of course yung kurot na naramdaman ko, na may kaya ako sa industriya  (that pinch I felt, that I have something to help me make it in this industry) was with that show. Pero everything that I am today – the breaks, the evolution of me, my enthusiasm and my love for acting is all because of ABS-CBN.” – Rappler.com



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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.