There’s no dull moment when you talk to Jolina Magdangal — who took the marital plunge last November 21 with Rivermaya’s Mark Escueta. So, when we learned that the versatile singer-actress would be gracing the “KapuSong Pasko” concert at SM Davao last weekend, with Mark Herras, Sam Pinto, Ryza Cenon, “Protégé’s” Lovely Embuscado and Jaya, we hopped on a plane and “crashed” GMA 7’s merry-making in the south.
And, we’re glad we did, because we weren’t just entertained by Jolina and Jaya’s crowd-pleasing hits and heart-warming carols at the concert, we also enjoyed watching Mark strut his terpsichorean swagger in front of mostly shrieking, swooning females.
The lovely Sam also entertained us with a spirited account of her sexy cover pictorial for FHM this month.
But, it was really Jolina who glowed more than anybody during the event — and with good reason. When we finally caught up with her at the Waterfront Hotel, we asked, “Is married life all it’s cracked up to be?”
She beamed, “Since the wedding, Mark and I have been busy entertaining friends and family from the States. Kaiba kasi ang arrangement namin, because we didn’t have a proper honeymoon after the nuptials.
“This may sound cheesy — but, I’m loving every minute of it, because I really enjoy being with Mark. We always have a good time together — even when we’re just malling, eating ice cream, strolling in the park, or chatting in the garden. We’ve been a couple for two and a half years now — at nagugulat ang iba na everything happened so fast.
“But, I realized na hindi pala sa tagal o bilis ng samahan nakasalalay ang success ng isang relationship — mararamdaman mo na lang if it’s meant for you! You don’t even have to look for it. After going through a couple of heartbreaks, the minute I said, ‘Bahala na si God sa akin,’ ibinigay N’ya — instantly! Siguro, kahit wala na kaming mga ngipin, magkakaintindihan pa rin kami ni Mark (laughs)!”
How different is her hubby from her past boyfriends? Jolina replies, “Ang nakita ko sa kanya, hindi ko na in-expect sa kahit kaninong lalaki — but, he proved me wrong. Hindi ko alam na may magmamahal pa pala sa akin ng ganito — he still opens doors for me!
“One time, dumalaw s’ya sa Tagaytay at ginabi, dahil nakipag-bingo pa sa amin. Then, my mom said, ‘O, gabi na, pauwiin mo na ‘yan.’ I pleaded with her, ‘Let him sleep on the couch — ate and I will sleep in the bedroom.’ She said, ‘If he really likes you, he’ll come back tomorrow’ — and he did! He hasn’t changed, even after almost three years!”
“Naisip ko nga, ang dami ko nang naranasan sa show biz: Nagka-crush ako, na-infatuate, na-in love, nagka-boyfriend — na akala ko, dun na papunta, pero wala… Kaya siguro pinadaan ako sa mga bagay-bagay, para mas lalo kong ma-appreciate ‘pag dumating na talaga ang para sa akin! Do I love him more than he loves me? Mahal ko si Mark, pero pinapakita n’ya sa akin na mas love n’ya ako!”
OK, let’s change the topic: She’s been singing professionally since she was a kid, as a member of Ryan Cayabyab’s 14K. What’s one advice from Mr. C that still works for her? Jolina quickly replies, “Do your best, even during rehearsals — para ‘pag show na, you’re just enjoying yourself!”
She has a distinctive singing voice — and she doesn’t sound like any other singer. What kind of music is she partial to? The 33-year-old singer-actress admits, “I prefer love songs, the easy-listening variety. Gusto ko ‘yung nakaka-relax, habang umuulan — I’ll sing for you while you’re crying (giggles)!”
So, does she cry when she sings to herself? Her kooky reply: “Ah, hindi naman masyado — konti lang. Actually, hindi na! — Hindi na daw, o (laughs)!”
Truth is, it takes a lot to make Jolina cry these days. She explains, “Last Monday [Nov. 2], Kyla also got married. Veil ako, kasama nina Rachelle Anne [Go] and Karylle. But, what happened afterwards surprised me: When Kyla was about to enter, binigyan ko sila ng tissue, kasi, sabi ko, ‘O, ayan, hawakan n’yo, kasi ilang kasal na ang napuntahan ko — at palagi ako’ng umiiyak!
“Then, I said, ‘Trust me, iiyak kayo!’ Indeed, when we saw Kyla, both Rachelle and Karylle cried — but,for the first time, I didn’t! Siguro, dahil wala na akong longing for something or someone — because I already have everything I want!”