Zaijian Jaranilla just turned 21, but he still carries traces of his little saint boy persona that is humble, resilient and has so much love to give. Huge credit goes to his grandmother who shouldered the tough task of raising him in a positive environment despite his parents’ separation, as well as to the co-stars who treat him like family.
In this episode of Magadang Buhay The Podcast, Zaijian shares how his grandma’s love helped him cope with growing up in front of the camera, and in an unusual family setup.
“Hindi rin po ako makapaniwala na ang bilis ng panahon,” said he, who plays Ding in Mars Ravelo’s Darna. As a kid, he saw teleserye and movie sets as playgrounds. While most young breadwinners would feel like losing all of their childhood, Zaijian got to experience and enjoy every bit of it. He made friends at work but still has childhood neighborhood buddies to go back to.
Not that he was unaffected by his parents’ separation at the time, but he was able to get through the changes thanks to Lola Dulce, who gave him just the right amount of love and independence. Lola Dulce made sure Zaijian would feel complete, and that she will always have his back. Even if she took him under her wing, still she encourages him to communicate with his mom. Lola Dulce is also Zaijian’s number one fan. She watches his shows religiously.
The former child star is also blessed with a second ‘lola’ at work. He has Rio Locsin, who fondly calls him ‘bunsoy.’ They play grandmother-grandson in Mars Ravelo’s Darna series which opened a deeper bond between them. Rio treats Zaijian as her own ‘apo’ and she always tells him to be mindful of his actions.
“Maraming magaling pero bihira ang nagtatagal,” remarked Regine Velasquez upon hearing Zaijian’s story. Momshies Jolina Magdangal and Melai Cantiveros echoed Regine’s opinion that Zaijian maintained his career because of his positive outlook and attitude shaped by his on- and off-screen grandmas.
Tune in to the podcast and know more about Zaijian’s heartwarming story.