JC Alcantara recalls his life before showbiz

JC Alcantara has come a long way from trying his luck as a commercial model to becoming one of today’s most promising millennial stars. As he surges forward, he doesn’t forget to look back on where he started.  

In this exclusive feature from Tara, G!, listen to JC reflect on his beginnings as an actor and life as a breadwinner, plus his similarities with Dan, the passionate and big-hearted ‘tropa’ of Team Wise. 

If you were able to watch JC’s life story in Maalaala Mo Kaya, you know that he faced harsh realities since childhood. Growing up, he and his siblings lived with different relatives. His OFW mother had to return home after experiencing abuse from her employer, burying their family in debt. They had a difficult life in Nueva Ecija. Sometimes they’d make do with one meal a day. 

He nevertheless collected happy memories as an elementary student when he really felt carefree, “Kumabaga, wala akong iniisip na problema. Ang iniisip ko lang kung papaluin ba ako kasi palagi akong nakikipaglaro every tanghali at uwian, so late na ako umuuwi.”

As a teenager, JC lived in his uncle’s house and got support for his schooling in exchange for working as the family’s helper. It was a traumatic experience for him and likewise the turning point when he decided it was time to take matters into his own hands. 

“Doon ko na-realize na ayokong habambuhay ganito kami. Tapos naglayas ako. Nagtatrabaho pa rin ako do’n sa pinuntahan ko. Sabi ko, ‘Bakit ganito?’ Wala akong mararating kung habambuhay ganito lang ako,” he mused.

He boldly went to Manila to try his luck in showbiz even if he had no relatives to take him in. The universe favors the bold, they say. True enough, it sent JC the people he needed to survive and move closer to his dreams. Most of the time, though, JC had no one to rely on than himself, “Doon ako naging matapang. Natuto akong tumayo sa sarili kong mga paa. Dapat meron kang apoy sa sarili mo na gagawin mo lahat para matupad ‘yung pangarap mo.”

He started joining pageants, and a total of 31 auditions, all of which rejected him. As fate would have it, he met a commercial model friend who referred him to another audition. He asked for a sign that if he fails anew in the audition, he’d go home to Nueva Ecija and accept that he is meant for a different path. After a week, he was informed that he is chosen for a commercial, and the rest is history. 

"Hindi lahat minamadali. Dapat pursigido ka, mahal mo ‘yung ginagawa mo. ‘Pag napansin ni Lord na naghihirap ka na, ‘pag akala mo hindi ‘yun ang para sa’yo, ibibigay Niya sa’yo nang kusa kung guston gusto mo talaga,” he reflected.

The Rise artist stays motivated in his career, looking forward to taking on more challenging roles and going international. He takes inspiration from his former Halik co-star Jericho Rosales who had a similar journey. He mentioned that Jericho gave him words of advice and motivation while they were working on the teleserye. 

JC also embraced his role as a breadwinner even if it isn’t a piece of cake, “Ikaw ang takbuhan ng lahat na minsan hindi nila napapansin ‘yung pagod mo, ‘yung hirap mo.”

The pandemic has been difficult for JC due to sickness in the family and other expenses, but he’s determined to provide for the people he loves and help other people,

“Hindi ko pa rin sila pababayaan na kahit may nasasabi sa akin ‘yung tao, tutulungan ko pa rin.”

That’s how selfless he is even to his friends. There was a time he went home to Nueva Ecija to check on a friend suffering from anxiety. He’s the type of friend who tells unpleasant truths or real talks, which shows courage and faithfulness. 

He treads familiar ground as he plays a role that he resonates with. He currently stars in the coming-of-age series Tara, G! as Dan, the good guy of Team Wise. JC said he’s proud of his character, who is very passionate, loyal, and a shoulder to cry on, just like the real him. 

Joining JC in Tara, G! are Anthony Jennings, Kaori Oinuma, Vivoree Esclito, Zach Castaneda and Daniela Stranner. Stream the series via iWantTFC.