Righteous prince

Clint Holton P. Potestas discusses show business, fashion and faith with an upcoming drama prince.

With his penchant for charming people with a smile and heartthrob looks, Jake Maningo could instantly pass for a fixture in show business. Right timing should be just around the corner: He adores the camera lights; he is into dramatic portrayals, and he does not mind the intrigues that plague celebrities. Like father, like son, perhaps?

(His father, Gil, played the protagonist who saved the community through his faith in the Holy Child in the local afternoon drama, Dumudu-ong Sa Sto. Nino.)

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To begin with, Jake was able to coast along easily with the industry’s demands. At 12, he joined the cast of the now-defunct shows, Ang TV-Cebu and Sabado Na Gyud, Ngiga Gud. And just recently, he has appeared on ABS-CBN’s Agua Bendita when the soap opera shot several episodes in Cebu.

Life is a drama, anyway. “If I were to concentrate on show business, I’d like to take drama roles, just like my father,” he says. So it would not be a surprise if, one day, mainstream entertainment would hail him as – drum roll, please – drama prince.

In the meantime, the 25-year-old is busy juggling two jobs at the same time.

Designing for Kulas and Tropical Relic, the family-owned clothing and souvenir lines, provides him the creative outlet for his training in graphic design at First Academy of Computer Arts in Manila.

Additionally, his degree in Inter-disciplinary Studies with Communication and Leadership at the Ateneo de Manila gives him the technical skills in running the seven branches of their stores (three boutiques are in Bohol), as the company’s vice-president for marketing.

However, his success was not in a silver platter. “I worked in Shangri-la’s Mactan Resort and Spa for more than two years at the front office, and I really experienced what true service is all about. The hotel is known for its excellent service, so I applied to learn it.”

“It was a very humbling experience, indeed. I was mistakenly called a waiter. To be honest about it, I found it very rude, but I still rendered my genuine service. I learned so many lessons while on that job,” he continues. “Leadership begins with service.”

Humility is also a virtue he developed at home with four other siblings: Paolo, 28; Vince, 19; Pancho, 12; and Ikina, 4. And perhaps, in his heart of hearts, it’s the same virtue that helped him through his search for the “righteous queen.”

“I am single, and not particularly seeing anyone at the moment.

I am still searching for the right girl because I want to treat my wife as a queen,” he beams. Who could that be? Of, course, the girl who shares the same kind of devotion.

“My dad is a devotee to the Sto. Nino. Every Friday, we both go to the basilica and pay homage to His image. I believe He guides me with every decision I make,” Jake shares.

“When my dad was in China, he was not able to visit the church for quite some time. So when he returned, we directly went to the church, but a miracle, I think, happened. He parked outside, but instead of pulling out the key, he grabbed a small image of the Infant.” Jake continues, “We had to wait for my uncle to arrive with the duplicate. I told my dad, you know, He wants you to stay longer with Him.”

To say that Jake Maningo is in touch with his spirituality is not an overstatement. But if you’d like to address it as profound faith, that faith which could move mountains and convert the most unbelieving into a witness, Jake would probably agree.
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