Jerald Napoles: Blood ties not the sole measure of being a parent

For Jerald Napoles, blood ties not the sole measure of being a parent

By: - Reporter
/ 12:20 AM October 02, 2023
Scene from “Instant Daddy” —VIVA FILMS
Scene from “Instant Daddy” —VIVA FILMS

While he’s more comfortable doing comedy, Jerald Napoles doesn’t want his show biz career to revolve around just one genre.

“I have done a lot of comedy projects … Nakuha ko na ang pulso at pitik. Even without a script, I’m able to improvise. But I want to be known as a versatile actor. I would like to try different roles and genres with every project I do—that’s what gives our job flavor. That excites me,” he said at a press conference.

Jerald’s upcoming movie, the family drama “Instant Daddy,” could very well be the acting vehicle he has been looking for. And he believes that his being a comedian can work to his advantage.


“Some comedians turn out to be effective dramatic actors. I think it’s because people already expect you to make them laugh, so when you do the opposite and make them cry, the effect is amplified. But when you watch a known dramatic actor, you already brace yourself, anticipating that he will make you cry later on,” he said.


Jerald, who traces his roots to theater, had to make do with supporting roles when he crossed over to the mainstream scene. But as of late, the 40-year-old actor has been landing lead roles in movies, like “The Write Moment” and “Ikaw at Ako at ang Ending.” And he considers himself lucky, because this wouldn’t have happened years ago, he said.

“We’re in an era where people realize that anyone can be a lead actor. It’s such a nice feeling knowing that something like this is actually possible … na may chance pala,” he said. “I used to go to auditions with hundreds of other hopefuls vying for two roles. So I couldn’t help but feel grateful when people put their trust in me.”


Pride and joy

Directed by Crisanto Aquino, “Instant Daddy,” which opens in cinemas on Oct. 11, is the Philippine adaptation of the popular 2013 Mexican film “Instructions Not Included.” It follows a taxi driver named Val (Jerald) who shuns romantic relationships for fear of ending up in a dysfunctional marriage like his parents did.

To compensate, he hooks up with different women—most of them his passengers. One day, one of those women—a spa therapist named Julie (Danita Paner)—shows up with a baby girl that she claims is Val’s daughter. And before he knows it, Julie is gone. And Val is left with the responsibility of raising a child that he’s not even sure is his.

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Val named the baby, Mira (Althea Ruedas). While the commitment that comes with fatherhood wasn’t in the cards for Val, he eventually learns to love Mira. Raising and taking care of his daughter is no longer a mere duty; it has become his pride and joy. However, their lives are turned upside down when Julie returns, seeking custody of Mira.

Jerald Napoles (right) with Althea Ruedas —VIVA FILMS
Jerald Napoles (right) with Althea Ruedas —VIVA FILMS

Playing a father was challenging for Jerald for two reasons: First, he’s yet to be one; and second, he was raised by a single mother.

Babysitting job

“My mother and father were separated. I didn’t grow up with my father. We did have a relationship, but he wasn’t always there. I remember, as a kid, he would visit me and we would go out together. But he was also an OFW (overseas Filipino worker), so that didn’t happen often,” he said.

But he didn’t resent his father’s absence. “My mother oriented me, at a young age, to never harbor ill feelings toward my father. She explained to me that the love she gives me is one thing; the love my father gives me is another,” he added.

For what it’s worth, though, Jerald said, he used to babysit his siblings and cousins back in his early teenage years. “I grew up in Tondo. My uncles and cousins would often leave their kids with me, just so they could play basketball. They would be away for like four hours. Somehow, I was able to draw inspiration from that,” he said.

It also helped that his costar Althea is one talented and precocious actress. “You can only work with what your scene partner gives you. You base your emotions from there. And I’m thankful I got to work with her because she’s really good,” he said of Althea, who has starred in the film “Doll House” and is part of the ongoing soap “Iron Heart.”

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If there was an important lesson he has learned from doing “Instant Daddy,” it’s that being a parent isn’t solely determined by blood ties. Love can be just as powerful. “Meron tayong mga nanay-nanayan or tatay-tatayan. I think being a parent is limitless. It all boils down to how much love you can give,” he said. INQ

TAGS: Celebrities, Entertainment, Jerald Napoles

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