The Return of John Lloyd Cruz

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An excerpt of MEGA Entertainment Editor G3 San Diego’s exclusive interview with the award-winning actor, who is back after a four-year hiatus.

To be very honest, when I found out I was interviewing John Lloyd Cruz, I grew very excited. I thought, there must be a wealth of stories there, in his four-year absence, since he turned his back on what many people believe is the perfect life—the world of a highly-acclaimed actor, the number one movie star: impossible good looks, unparalleled talent, unmatched fame, unbelievable wealth, never-ending success and millions of adoring fans from all over the world.

There must be a very compelling reason for him to walk away from all that. And I wanted to know why.

But then, I became very nervous. Because from what I know of John Lloyd, in my many interactions with him in the times we’ve worked together, I believed him to be an extremely elusive and private person. I suddenly wasn’t sure what he would be open to sharing with me and our readers.

As I commenced my interview, with Lloydie sitting right across me, four years since I saw him last at Maja Salvador’s birthday party, he looked like a new man. But as I looked closer, I recognized the depth in his eyes, and what seems to be the experiences they held behind them. I suddenly had a feeling that this was going to be a very delicate conversation… not delicate like the summer day of the interview, but delicate like a bomb. So, I tread carefully.

I didn’t want to hold back.

I know for many of us, there are many things we want to ask John Lloyd after he made his “showbiz comeback” official through his new agency Crown Artist Management. I’m sure many want to know about his relationship in the past four years, how it started and why it ended, how he feels about it right now, but that wasn’t where I wanted to go with this interview.

The first thing I wanted to know more about was the biggest change in his life since all this happened—the change of becoming a father.

Hindi siya ganun kadali. Parang pang pelikula lang pala yung ano—yung parang nalaman mo parang, ‘Magiging tatay na ako!’. Para sa akin hindi. I mean, kung ano yung nangyari sa akin, hindi. To each its own. Baka naman sa iba, totoo ‘yun and you can never tell kung ‘yun ay totoo o hindi. Okay yan, ‘yung nangyari sayo. Pero para sa akin… We wanted it eh. Alam naman na namin na it was going to happen,” John Lloyd opens up.

“Halu-halo kasi siya eh. Ang dami nangyari at that time… like yung father ni Ellen (Adarna) passed away two weeks before pinanganak si Elias and she was going through motherhood, becoming a mother and our own personal issues. ‘Diba parang lahat ang dami nangyari. And halos walang time actually to reflect on what’s happening on a day-to-day basis. And I was going through my own…So ngayon lang talaga nung nakita mo na and humahaba na yung mga araw—‘ diba parang andyan na siya. Totoong responsibility na. Oo, pupunta kayo ng doctor… So, siguro sa akin lang, it’s a process na—kapag kasi masyado ka na nag re-reflect about the process, para siyang ‘life happens when you’re so busy planning.’ Para siyang ganun. But ‘pag may mga random or mga unexpected na conversations and you actually ponder on being a father, ‘yun lang naman talaga yung time na mapapaisip ka na, ‘Oo nga noh?’ Kasi napaka-ano niya eh, matrabaho siya so—parang practical siya. It’s very physical as well, so nandun ka sa physicality of being a father, parang minsan lang naman yung mapapaisip ka and mapapa-reflect ka na, it feels nice ah,” he adds about the reality of having a son.

When I asked him what in himself he sees in Elias, he answers “Ayokong makita sarili ko. Wala.”

But when I ask again, he lets out a smile and says “Bibig, mata. Meron siyang ginagawa sa bibig niya, sa mata na kakabahan ka eh kasi… pero magbabago pa naman ‘yon. But he’s very stubborn like me and like the mother,” John Lloyd describes his son.

When I ask him what he enjoys doing with Elias, he answers very simply.

“We like to get lazy, especially at night, ‘yung winding down na and time for bed. I like those moments, yung talagang galing kami sa buong araw na, very active kasi yung bata eh, and madalas struggle. He’s about to turn three. Very active siya so madalas hindi na siya nakakapag-nap in the afternoon. So pagka ganun, at you see him winding down at night, pipikit-pikit yung mata niya nilalabanan niya. ‘Yun yung gustong gusto ko na parang alam mo na napagod siya today so it’s a good day…” John Lloyd shares of his simple joys with Elias.

“I’m not big on—I don’t spurge on gifts or toys kasi eh. Gustong gusto ko pagka meron siyang dinadampot na, meron siyang, he’s playing with something na alam mo ng hindi naman laruan. So, I like that moment ‘pag makikita mo siya, like nasa garden lang kami and he sees a stone and he pretends na it’s something else like a cave or a fish. Parang pag nakikita ko yung mga ganung moments parang napa-proud ako. And pinakaproud ako hearing him say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

Yun lang naman yung parang munting pangarap ko nung pinanganak siya na sana matuto siya mag ‘please’ at ‘thank you,’” he adds what his dreams are for his son.

When I ask John Lloyd about his future hopes for Elias, he’s much more open-minded to possibility.

“I don’t know. I hope he finds something na he likes to do? And sana he can identify the things that he wants to do and enjoy it. Kasi wala eh, I don’t know. I just want him to acknowledge that his life is a big blessing to me and in the process, sana makita niya rin how to be a blessing to others. Parang wala pa ako mahihiling ngayon kasi sa totoo lang buhay niya ‘yun eh. I want him to live his own life. I’m not gonna call the shots for him definitely,” he dreams.

Read more about John Lloyd Cruz and his comeback in MEGA Entertainment June 2021 issue available in ReadlyMagzterPress Reader and Zinio

Photography: GEE PLAMENCO

Text: G3 SAN DIEGO

Art Direction: NICOLE ALMERO

Grooming STEVEN DOLOSO

Hair JAY WEE

Styling REX ATIENZA

Special thanks to CROWN ARTIST MANAGEMENT INC., MAJA SALVADOR, MIKKI GONZALEZ and RAMBO NUNEZ