Jessy Mendiola: Kapamilya’s current ‘It Girl’
“It’s hard to believe that I’m the network’s favorite,” actress Jessy Mendiola said of her status as the Kapamilya network’s current “It Girl.” “Whatever I’ve achieved now is the result of hard work. I’m very dedicated to my craft.”
Jessy plays the title role in ABS-CBN’s drama program, “Maria Mercedes.” She is also with comedienne Pokwang in the latest Star Cinema film, “Call Center Girl.” The 20-year-old actress is likewise among the country’s more popular product endorsers.
“If the network indeed plays favorites, I would’ve gotten this big break (‘Maria Mercedes’) some two years ago while I was just starting. I love what I’m doing that’s why I still accept work even with only a few hours of sleep. I guess my bosses took notice of me dahil panay ang segue ko,” she told the Inquirer during a recent media gathering.
In October, she was appointed tourism ambassador to South Korea by the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO). According to KTO Manila office director Sanyong Zhu, Jessy was chosen because “at an early age, she is already one of the most influential celebrities in Philippine society. She has more than 580,000 Twitter followers, who could be potential supporters of Korean tourism like herself.”
As tourism ambassador, Jessy spent a week in South Korea recently. She visited palaces and other famous tourist spots, as well as met and interviewed the K-Pop group Boyfriend and 2NE1’s Sandara Park. Jessy was also able to see a number of hospitals, which are known cosmetic surgery centers in that country.
What are you expected to do as a tourism ambassador?
They told me I needed to visit Korea about four times. This was so I’d know what was happening there and I’d be able to share it with the people here. Being an ambassador is so much fun. It doesn’t feel like work. I’ve learned so much about their culture. While I’m tasked to promote Korea here, KTO has also appointed a Korean celebrity to promote the Philippines there.
This will surely give you opportunities to collaborate with Korean artists. Are you amenable to this?
I’ll just cross the bridge when I get there. Right now, I don’t have offers yet. With the tight work schedule I keep because of “Maria Mercedes,” I don’t think that’s possible any time soon. But given the chance, I’d love to work there.
Koreans are very much into cosmetic surgery. What’s your take on that?
I’m not against it, but I prefer to go natural. Honestly, I’m terrified of going under the knife. While Korea is known for this, the country also offers natural treatments as alternative.
I also want to say that Koreans practice healthy living. In fact, they’d rather walk 10 blocks from their homes to their offices than ride cars or take the subway. Most of them are lean—to think they have up to 11 courses each meal. For dinner, I was served as much as five different kinds of appetizers, two main courses and about four various types of desserts.
Now that you’re single, are you open to the possibility of finding love in Korea?
While I was there I kept thinking that Mr. Right could just be around the corner, but I didn’t find him. I did get to meet the all-male singing group Boyfriend. (Laughs.) They’re too young for me. One of them could be perfect for my little sister.
How true is the online report that actor Sam Milby has already won your heart?
I’m not ready to commit to anyone just yet. I guess Sam’s name came up because he was the first guy who had made public his interest in courting me.
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