John Lloyd in his element
I will never forget John Lloyd Cruz’s kind gesture of making my dalagay, IC Mendoza, sleep on his couch at his home when IC was too sleepy to drive after hanging out with him, Angelica Panganiban and Alex Gonzaga. I also cherish the time Lloydie made my daughter, Bianchi (who’s a big “JLC” fan) so ecstatic when he gamely talked to her on the phone.
It only goes to show that his famous line, “Ingat!” in his biggest commercial endorsement, Biogesic, is no lip service.
It has been nine years since the analgesic brand launched its Ingat campaign. Lloydie is such an effective endorser that the brand has become synonymous with him and vice versa.
My media colleagues and I cornered Lloydie at the “Isang Pasa50lamat” press conference hosted by Unilab at Edsa Shangri-La.
JLC was in his element, as he dished out unshow-biz answers.
Here are some of Lloydie’s musings:
“I almost feel unworthy to be an endorser for almost a decade. I remember my humiliating experience when we shot the first TV commercial. It took me 52 takes before I could get it right. I said to myself, I’m an actor so this should be easy. Being a brand ambassador, however, is no longer work for me.
“I had reservations doing the latest commercial, which includes my personal team. They are the people I work with every day. It felt like I’m exposing my private life by putting [them] out there.
“It has gone beyond seeking a medicine. I have owned it. I need to take it when I have headaches from [dealing with] paperwork and contracts. I go through every single thing myself.
“I want to venture into producing more than directing. I am into the indie scene now. The idea of collaborating with different actors, directors and producers excites me.
“It’s tough to get old in show biz. When I was younger, I would just accept every project that was offered to me. Even if I’ve reached my peak, I don’t want to be complacent. I am now choosy with my projects. I base [my decisions] on the material.
“My world has grown bigger. I am not just confined to my home network, ABS-CBN. I want to break away from my usual roles. I refuse be typecast.
“It’s hard to fight for your craft. Erik Matti’s ‘Ponzi (Honor Thy Father)’ will serve as an eye-opener since it’s an unusual project. I want people to have a different perception of the John Lloyd they’ve gotten used to.
“I experienced many trials in the last three years. I had to learn how not to hate show business. I began questioning the industry and the process of the people in it. When it hurts, it hurts.
“Local show biz is network-dependent and ratings-driven. But I believe the audience now wants something more and something different.
“My realization is that I have to protect my art and my core to achieve what I want, artistically.”
I had a blast at the opening of my new favorite resto, Naci Café Lounge (Fox Square Building Connecticut Street, Northeast Greenhills).
The cozy place takes international comfort food to a new level. Its sumptuous dishes were created by the café’s master chef Ed Quimson.
I can’t have enough of their kani mango crunch salad and lengua in creamy sauce, to name a few of the resto’s tasty chow.
Its sister company NC Ramen has opened right beside it and offers a whole range of Japanese dishes with ramen and gyoza as their specialties. To cater to night owls and early birds, both restos have the “Early Chow,” which is perfect for a last-stop meal before heading home after a night out, or as breakfast before going to work.
At the fete, it was nice to reconnect with my good friends from way back, the owners of the resto-bar, Lovely Rivero (of “That’s Entertainment” fame) and Nacy Nocom, who used to be a movie producer. He produced many of the late Lino Brocka’s films.
Thanks to both of them for making me feel so welcome. (Naci is open from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., Monday to Thursday; 7 a.m. to 5 a.m., Friday and Saturday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.)
You will feel instantly at home in this resto. Their dishes are too yummy for words.
‘Batang-Bata pa Kami’
Ateneo Grade School Class of 1965 celebrates its golden anniversary on May 31, with “Batang-Bata pa Kami at 50.” Activities start at 3 p.m. These include a wreath-laying at the St. Ignatius statue, a campus tour, a Mass and a program. Reminisce about your formative years as Ateneans!
For inquiries, call Butch Raquel, 0917-8037868.
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