John Lloyd Cruz and His Period of Enlightenment

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Read an excerpt of MEGA Entertainment Editor G3 San Diego’s exclusive interview with cover star John Lloyd Cruz.

Four years is a long time to be away from something, especially something that you love. For John Lloyd, it was the craft of acting. “Hindi kasi ako tumigil ng work kaya ko nasasabi, I’ve never stopped making films kasi kahit nag-quit ako sa ABS-CBN, hindi ako tumigil ‘dun. Si Lav Diaz kept giving me something to work on. I needed that. That helped a lot. “Oo parang break from yung ‘showbiz’ yung nangyari, generally speaking.” I don’t know what to call it. And ayoko nga siya tawagin na kahit ano eh because it will seem like a reduction of what actually transpired,” he tries to explain the four-year absence.

“Before I stopped working for ABS-CBN, before I quit my contract, naiintindihan ko eh, kasi I was behaving rather badly. Naiintindihan ko kung bakit parang ilag sila and even the people, you know, medyo alangan din ‘diba? Mag-reach out sa’yo through text or through email or whatever. And mararamdaman mo na may konting hesitation and… so ayun, naiintindihan ko naman, naiintindihan ko,” John Lloyd says about suddenly being inaccessible to people around him.

“Kaya lang medyo nag-ano siya, nag-linger so kahit na medyo ‘Uy, okay-okay’ ka na and then parang medyo na-release mo na yung dapat i-release and medyo nakikita mo na yung meron ka nang nakikita, not entirely in the dark anymore, meron pa rin syempre hesitation yung tao eh… and it’s totally understandable.”

Now that John Lloyd is back, he looks back on the four years and recognizes them for what they were. And as they say, hind sight is always 20/20.

The period of darkness he experienced wasn’t a result of years of exhaustion only the biggest superstars usually go through. After all, John Lloyd was only 13 when he began his showbiz career. He was 33 when he left showbiz. He worked straight for 20 years.

Hindi siya pagod eh, it’s more of parang luminaw siya. Luminaw yung nasa harap mo and parang ganun lang—in a snap of a finger, nakita mo kung ano yung totoo… na parang ‘Wow.’ Parang nagising ka sa disilusyon, parang ganun. ‘Yun yung pinaka malapit kong—kung pano ko siya ma-de-describe. Kasi hindi siya tungkol sa isang araw na napagod na ako ayoko na mag- work. Parang as if I was betrayed by my own choices, because I didn’t know, I didn’t understand the whole process of my being there.

John Lloyd CRUZ

He continues “So Monday you wake up and it would present itself to you. And then wala ‘yung pag buka ng mata mo hindi mo na pwedeng isara na, parang in a way, parang kung pano natin alamin yung mabuti at hindi mabuti.”

“Not particularly masama pero diba alam natin kung ano yung mabuti para sa atin, alam natin yung ‘di mabuti para sa atin. Parang ganun siya, hindi mo pwedeng i-deny. Hindi mo siya pwedeng—irreversible ba,” John Lloyd describes his process of enlightenment.

“Innate ‘yung desire to come back to what’s simple—to what’s natural. So number one is to set your environment. You have to choose your environment, what brings you healing. Parang all of a sudden it was easy to identify in this environment, parang ang gaan ng pakiramdam ko. In this environment parang yung araw ko, it’s balanced ‘ diba? You perspire, you get to exercise and hindi lang yun, parang pinapawisan ka doing something that you really like. For example spending time in the garden, spending time in the mountains or sa tubig, isang malaking element din ‘yung tubig eh. It’s healing,” John Lloyd now speaks with so much clarity.

I asked him if, even in this serenity, there were times he was tempted to go back to his old habits and he answered honestly.

“May mga point na parang you want to challenge yourself kung—if you can distance from hard elements kasi syempre you also want to know and find out kung kaya mo ba ’ diba? Kasi alam naman nating lahat na kapag may mga foreign elements sa atin, mas nagiging clouded yung ating decision-making, mas nagiging blurry ‘yung harap natin. So you try your best na kayanin o alamin na kung walang ganyan kaya mo ba? So okay naman.”

And in his absence, many of John Lloyd’s friends in show business stepped up to help fill the spaces he left behind. And for them, he is most grateful.

“Definitely iikot lang ang mundo. Definitely ‘yun, magtutuloy-tuloy yung mga trabaho na naiwan and nagpapasalamat nga ako na may mga trabaho akong naiwan na ang nagtuloy ay yung iba na mga kaibigan rin naman natin sa ABS-CBN. Number one si Piolo (Pascual). ‘Diba nakahanda agad sumaklolo tapos my other friends sila Vhong Navarro, sila Kuya Yani (Agbayani), sila Luis (Manzano), and definitely may hindi ako na-mention na pangalan na talagang umalalay at sumaklolo. Pero nevertheless, ‘yung pasasalamat mo sa kanila talagang abot-abot because ‘yun yung mga pagkakataon na hindi mo naman pinlano yun eh. Hindi mo naman inasahan na magkaka ganun,” John Lloyd looks back in gratitude.

Related: Bea Alonzo shares her true feelings for John Lloyd Cruz

Continue reading about John Lloyd Cruz and his return to showbiz in MEGA Entertainment June 2021 issue available in ReadlyMagzterPress Reader and Zinio

Photography GEE PLAMENCO





Styling Rex Atienza