DAVAO CITY—“They don’t always see each other, but when they do, Jazz is more than happy to be with Luis,” said actress Jennylyn Mercado when asked to describe the relationship between her 4-year-old son Alex Jazz and her boyfriend, actor-TV host Luis Manzano.
Luis, often candid and gregarious in interviews, has opted to keep mum about Jazz, Jennylyn’s son with actor Patrick Garcia, saying it would be best to leave the talking to the boy’s parents.
The actress, on the other hand, appeared to be more than willing to share details. “Jazz is very comfortable around Luis, who loves kids. He knows how to handle Jazz. My son always laughs at Luis’ antics.”
The actress admitted that she wasn’t ready to explain to Jazz the cause of her breakup with his father. She added, “I’ll figure out how to do that when the time comes. Jazz is still so young; it might take a while.”
Just like any mother, Jennylyn tries to shield Jazz from controversies. “I don’t say negative things about other people. I make sure Jazz grows up in an environment full of love and affection,” she said during a GMA 7-hosted gathering for entertainment writers.
Sadly, Jennylyn noted, some people really know how to push her buttons. At the renewal of her contract with GMA 7 in January, Jennylyn broke down when asked to react to Patrick’s comments. In a press conference a week earlier, Patrick had described Jennylyn as “narrow-minded,” having gotten angry with him for failing to send money for Jazz. He claimed that
Jennylyn forbade him to see his son shortly after.
“I got really emotional at the time, but I’m okay now. I’ve resolved not to talk about my issues with them (Patrick and his family), but it seems to me that there are people who really want to use me, to hurt me and my son. I really can’t understand them. Have I done them any wrong? Must they keep spreading lies?”
She stressed: “Have pity on the boy. If you don’t want to see him, I won’t force you.”
From Luis, Jennylyn said she has learned to remain positive. “He’s very optimistic. He has learned early on that people in show business are often misunderstood and misjudged. I’m happier now that I’m with him.”
At this point, as if on cue, Jennylyn got a call from Luis.
No cause of conflict
Five minutes later, the actress rejoined the media group. Unlike what most people might think she said, she and Luis—an ABS-CBN contract artist—have never had trouble working for rival stations. “It has never been a cause of conflict. He visits me on the set of my TV shows as often as he can. I also do that for him.”
Jennylyn, as well as her “Indio” costars Sen. Bong Revilla, Rhian Ramos, Ehra Madrigal and Sam Pinto, were the featured guest performers during the Kapuso mall show held at the Gaisano Mall activity area here last weekend. Other Kapuso talents in the “Araw ng Dabaw” festivities were Dennis Trillo, Rafael Rosell, Maxene Magalona and Kris Lawrence.