Jake Cuenca: Challenging role in “Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin” is “God-sent”

From the time we first glanced at Jake Cuenca’s thespic might in Tayong Dalawa opposite Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson in 2009, we already knew how dedicated and passionate he was in the acting craft.

Especially when the gripping role of Dave in the series became the turning point in his career. This was when, Jake said, he had been taken seriously as an actor and was “told to be myself. That was when I said (an acting career) is for me.”


However, his first five years as an actor, he said, was an ordeal. “The first five years were very difficult. It was a struggle. I didn’t know if it was meant for me. Projects were very hard, financially it was very difficult,” he revealed.

But being cast in Tayong Dalawa brought him validation and fulfillment in his showbiz journey, which he said gave him a “higher purpose in life.”

“I didn’t have purpose and direction in my life. It now showed me reason to achieve something. Before showbiz, I was lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Jake disclosed.

“Tayong Dalawa was the one that opened my eyes to the craft and working with such great actors, seeing them at work. It inspired me to be even better, to take my craft very seriously,” he added. In his latest project, Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin, Jake is reunited with his Tayong Dalawa co-stars, Kim and Gerald, and the drama revolving around the lives of triathletes had since been a new, difficult challenge for him as an actor.

Method acting

His role as the triathlete Carlos is certainly one that pushed his boundaries, not only as an actor, but also in physical endurance and mental strength. Jake said method acting was the necessary technique in effectively portraying the role.

“I think with this role, method is the best way to go about it kasi ang hirap artehin yun eh. You pretend to be the best triathlete and once they put you in a room of real triathletes, you need to think alike. I want to be put in that room and say kaya ko ito. I am able to what all you guys are doing. In fact, I’ve done it. That’s the way it worked out for me in this role. Para it makes sense.”

But the best thing about his character is that it has taught him self-discipline, and a renewed focus on health and wellness. God-sent

“It’s God-sent. You really have to put your vices aside. Regardless if it’s drinking or whatever. You have to put it aside and the best thing I got out of this is I wake up at 6 in the morning, start my training and go about my role.” Jake stressed it was something new for him.

“I used to not be like that. I was used to sleeping and waking up late, maybe go the gym in the afternoon or late at night. But now, like starting my day at six and going about it at that.” The role truly made what Jake is right now. “It’s been a part of my life. The character becomes part of me,” he declared.

Renewed passion

This has led to a renewed passion for the craft, as Jake plans to further hone his skills by taking acting lessons abroad. Jake had attended the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York previously and stressed he would continue learning, including a shot at film directing.

“I found my craft, I found my love for acting. Now I continuously study acting, continuously learning. It’s a never ending learning experience for me and I’d like to be better with every single performance,” Jake said. Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin is a must-see, first-of-its-kind teleserye premiering on Monday, May 1 on Prime Tanghali before It’s Showtime.