Jolo Estrada

Despite the political rivalry of their elders, Jolo Estrada said there was no awkwardness between him and Joaquin Domagoso on the set of a recent TV project.

“There were no issues. Sa parents ko, OK naman. That’s part of the industry—you work with different people. And I’m willing to work with anyone,” the aspiring actor said in a recent Zoom group interview to promote “Ethan’s Return,” this afternoon’s episode of GMA 7’s weekly anthology, “Regal Studio Presents.”

Jolo’s grandfather is former president Joseph Estrada, who was unseated by Joaquin’s father, Isko Moreno, as Mayor of Manila in the 2019 elections. This newbie is the son of Jinggoy Estrada.

“At first, he wasn’t aware that I’m [Erap’s] grandson. During a break from taping, I told him that I know his father who’s a very nice guy. He was like, ‘How do know my dad?’ Then, a coactor said Erap’s my grandfather. That was when he realized that our families have a history,” he related.

Working together

But whatever happened between their elders clearly hasn’t rubbed off on Jolo and Joaquin. “JD (Joaquin’s nickname) is easy to work with. Sobrang bait,” Jolo said.

“Ethan’s Return,” which airs this afternoon, will be Jolo’s TV debut. In the drama-fantasy episode, Jolo plays Clark, a man whose dreams get shattered, after the mysterious return of his fiancee Grace’s (Thea Tolentino) childhood sweetheart Ethan, who had died in an accident 10 years ago.

“I’ve always wanted to act, but didn’t have the opportunity. But one day, my manager, Leo Domingo, told me that there was an opening. It may be my last chance, because I’m not getting any younger,” said the 26-year-old newcomer, who took workshops to help him in his foray into acting.

“What I’ve learned from the workshops is that you have to find experience and reach into your heart to find something you can draw upon,” he said. “When I get my script, I lock myself up in the bathroom and act out the scene.”

No pressure

But he’s starting to get the hang of it, slowly but surely. “I’ve had some guest appearances in the past, but this is the first proper series I did where I would actually get to see myself act. I’m nervous,” he said.

Does he feel pressure from the fact that he’s part of a famous show biz and political clan? “There’s no pressure from the family. They just tell me to do my best. But I pressure myself to be good,” said Jolo, who also dreams of becoming a host.

It helps that his uncle, Jake Ejercito, is also on the same boat. “He’s still new to acting but he has had more experience than me. We get to talk about work and he gives me tips,” he said.

Their famous last name can be a double-edged sword. “It’s a blessing because we come from a family who’s known in show biz. The downside is that people watch your every move and the expectations are high,” he said.

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