Saturday, May 06, 2006

Savoring the perks of her victory

By Ruel J. Mendoza - Manila Standard

Starstruck Ultimate Female Survivor Jackie Rice isn’t just a pretty face to look at. As this year’s big winner of GMA-7’s phenomenal artista-search, Jackie promises to do good with what many people will expect from her. She will show them that she can sing, dance, act and even direct a movie in the future.

The sweet young lass from Olongapo City recently turned a year older. But Jackie did not have time to celebrate her 16th birthday since she is loaded with taping schedules. She says that it’s better to work on her birthday than do nothing at all.

“I’m already adjusted to my everyday schedule,” Jackie says smiling. “I would rather work than do nothing in one day. Besides my parents are in Olongapo City and they could not come to Manila in a jiffy because my dad isn’t comfortable traveling. And my mom has work so I’m by myself most of the time here in Manila.’’

“Like what I said I’m really used to it now and I would find it weird if I don’t get up early in the morning and work until the wee hours in the morning.’’

‘‘Like what Tito Joey (de Leon) said, mas masarap matulog na pagod ka sa trabaho kaysa sa natulog ka na wala namang nangyari sa iyo sa buong araw. That’s actually true.”

The once shy girl’s dream of becoming an actress has finally come true when she won in this year’s Starstruck search. Aside from the two-year exclusive contract with GMA-7, she also took home P1 million in cash. As of late, Jackie has used up part of her winning money to purchase a brand new van, stuff for her rented condominium unit and paid a hefty commission to her manager/discoverer who helped her join Starstruck.

“There’s still a lot of money left and my mom placed it in the bank for me. We will use it for our piggery business,” Jackie beams. “I’ve longed dreamt of putting up our own business and putting up a piggery is a very lucrative business, especially in the province. Almost all of my talent fees from my shows go directly to my bank account. I want it to grow so that I will have a secure future and my family will benefit from it as well.”

Another dream for Jackie is to buy a big house. Ever since she was little, they have been moving from one house to another. They never had a house they can call their own.

“As long as I know, we’ve been renting different houses. And I want to really buy a big house for my family. Para naman maranasan namin ang magkaroon ng sariling bahay, ‘di ba? My dream house has to have a big garden with a huge swimming pool. I know that someday I will be able to have that fulfilled. That’s why I’m working very hard for all my dreams to come true.”

Jackie will not have a hard time earning since she already has three shows in GMA-7: SOP Gigsters, Love To Love: Season 10 and Fantastikids. She’s also the new image model of Crimson Shirt and she has numerous TV guestings and personal appearances.

It’s no wonder why Jackie isn’t keen on having a boyfriend right now. Her last relationship was with her co-Starstruck batch Bugz Daigo of Cebu City. They only lasted for a month.

“Bugz was my sixth boyfriend,” she recalls. “The five other were from my school in Olongapo. I’ve never had a serious relationship. Parang laro-laro lang. And I don’t really go for really good looking guys. I’m more on the personality. Kahit hindi ka masyadong guwapo, basta mabait ka at okey ka makisama, we can work something out together.’’

“But now that I’ve been busy, there’s really no time to entertain anybody right now. Okey lang kung friends na lang muna. I want to really be serious with work.”

In all her shows, she has Starstruck Ultimate Sole Survivor Marky Cielo as her partner. Would Marky fit in her qualifications for a boyfriend?

“Marky is a very nice person. Ever since we were starting out in Starstruck, he was one of the nicest boys in the group. But of course Marky fits, pero hindi naman niya ako type, eh. Iba ang gusto niya. Secret na lang ‘yon!” she laughs. “You better ask Marky personally kasi baka magkamali pa ako.”

Aside from being an actress, Jackie also dreams of being a film director. She wants to sit behind the camera and direct her favorite stars in the future.

“God willing, I would like to take up film and TV directing in college. I like to be behind the camera and take charge of everything. Sabi nga nila, the director is the captain of the ship, ‘di ba? I want to take full responsibility of any project. I want to be known someday as a good film director and not just an actress.”

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