JAY Manalo is very candid in admitting that he’s just 47 years old but he already has three grandchildren. “Maaga akong lumandi at nagmana sa’kin 'yung mga anak ko, 'yung panganay na lalaki at 'yung pang-apat na babae naman,” he says. “Ang maganda sa mga anak ko, nagtapos muna sila ng pag-aaral nila bago sila nagsipag-asawa. Maayos naman silang nagpaalam, kaya na raw nila, so bakit ko naman sila pipigilan gayong ako mismo, hindi ako napigilan ng magulang ko noon?”
He says he has 12 children with 5 different women and the youngest is just one year old, with his eldest grandchild even older than his youngest offspring. “Pero hanggang 12 na lang talaga 'yun. Hindi ko na dadagdagan pa uli. Tama na ang sandosena.”
To see his kids and grandkids, you can visit Jay’s Instagram account as he posts all their photos there. He’s obviously very proud of his big brood.
At 47, he now also plays father roles in movies and TV shows and he doesn’t mind at all. He currently plays the dad of Barbie Forteza and Kate Valdez in “Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday”, with Snooky Serna and Dina Bonnevie as their mothers. In the story, he doesn’t know that he had sired kids with Snooky and Dina and it will only be later that he will discover that he has two daughters because Snooky and Dina are fighting over him. Has he experienced this in real life?
“No, hindi ako pinag-aawayan ng mga babae, lalo ng magkaibigang babae gaya ng characters nina Snooky and Dina in our show,” he says. “Hindi rin naman ako gago na alam kong magkaibigan, tapos sabay kong liligawan. At yung mga nanay ng mga anak ko, hindi sila nag-aaway at hindi rin nila ako inaaway. Hindi ko naman ginusto yun, e. Nangyari na lang. Itinadhana.”
The taping of new episodes of “Anak ni Waray vs. Anak ni Biday” is currently on hold. “We’re all hoping na sana nga, matapos na itong health crisis na kinakaharap nating lahat so we can continue with our normal lives,” says Jay. “Nami-miss ko nang mag-taping. Alam nyo naman, no taping, no suweldo kaming mga artista kaya sana, makapagtrabaho na kaming lahat ulit.”
YOU might not be aware of it but you can actually access lots of free movies on Youtube and Vimeo. One of our great finds is the Vimeo lineup of movies of LVN Pictures uploaded by Citizen Jake (which we suppose is Director Mike de Leon whose family owns LVN.)
Some of the movies in it we’ve seen before, but we were so young then in the 50s, so we don’t mind seeing them all over again. First is the iconic “Waray Waray”, starring the hit love team of Nida Blanca and Nestor de Villa, who did so many hit romantic comedies for LVN. “Waray-Waray” has an original theme song that was even recorded by Eartha Kitt. Nida’s impish charms is so fascinating and Nestor is really one of the handsomest matinee idols of his generation.
Also available are two acclaimed dramas starring a young and sexy Charito Solis. First is “Malvarosa”, based on a popular komiks novel and directed by Gregorio Fernandez, the father of Rudy and Merle Fernandez. Chato stars as the only girl in a family of untruly boys, with their mom, played by Rebecca del Rio, a hopeless alcoholic.
Then there’s “Kundiman ng Lahi”, with Chato symbolizing the sacrificing Filipino woman who undergoes many trials and tribulations but comes out triumphant in the end, as directed by Lamberto Avellana. But the movie for which she won her first acting award, “Emily”, is not in the list. Wonder if it’s still available. We can’t forget it as it used the memorable theme song from “High Noon”.
Also available is “Higit sa Lahat”, also directed by Gregorio Fernandez, which won best picture in the Asian Filmfest in 1956 and with lead actor Rogelio de la Rosa winning as best actor in his role as a husband and father who makes it appear that he died in a fire so his wife (Emma Alegre) and son (Ike Jarlego Jr.) can claim the insurance money for his demise.
We also saw the original “Lapu Lapu” starring Mario Montenegro whos’ very convincing in the title role. It was a big production for its time as it’s a costume flick, but they use such flowery Tagalog words in the screenplay. Go check youtube and Vimeo while we’re on lockdown and you might find lots of classic films to your liking.