12 Questions with Jacob Benedicto

12:00 PM

So here is this guy: the typical mestizo that charms almost every woman who gets to see him pass by.  But more than good looks, Jacob Benedicto is a man of immense talent, sheer determination, and tons of fun.

Singing is Jacob's first love having started as a theater performer.  His passion for music lead him to audition for The Voice of the Philippines Season 1.  It was his first major shot to fame.  He might have not been able to turn any of the judges' chairs but his audition trended in Twitter for days.  He was talked about.  People were certainly pleased.

But if we think we have seen the last of Jacob, he was later cast as on the housemates of Pinoy Big Brother All-in as the Cutie Crooner ng Parañaque.  His stay was, unfortunately, short-lived after being evicted on Day 35, making him the fourth evicted housemate of the season.

It might have been a long journey for the young crooner, but now, he has found his place.  He has finished recording his album and is only waiting for it to be launched and released.  He was part of Past Tense, the Kim-Ai movie that made raves in ticket sales and is now a regular cast member of the ABS-CBN primetime series Dream Dad with Zanjoe Marudo playing the lead.

Despite his busy schedule, having to board an airplane for three days to attend to different commitments, Jacob was still able to join Kirby Asunto, Marlo Mortel, and Arnel Pineda in Rebuilding Bohol: Gift of Joy, A Benefit Concert held last December 13.  He faced the crowd with enthusiasm and a sunny disposition, something which he always had for the entire day I spend with him as part of Rebuilding Bohol's hospitality team.  His singing impressed the audience, especially his last notes of Yakap sa Dilim.

Hours before the show, I got to sit down with him together with the Hospitality Team head, Maria Escabarte, and his Road Manager, Jaime.  It was a very fun conversation; Jacob's crazy fun antics and animated reenactments causing everyone to burst out laughing.  This is when I saw how Jacob was just like everyone of us --- that behind the celebrity status is a man who is living a dream and is having fun, even presumably. laughing, on his way to where his brightest star lie.

1. Describe yourself using the last letter of your first name.
Jacob: "B? Behaved. I'm a very behaved person. Told you I don't like to party, inum...ganun. I'm a good guy."
(Note: We were laughing and teasing Jacob with this answer.)

2. If you are not a singer or an actor, what could you have been?
Jacob: "I would be a chef.  Everybody asks me that. I'd love to be a chef someday.  And I still think that one day, I will be a chef."
Maria: Have you tried doing culinary studies?
Jacob: "Hindi pa.  But I'll think about it."

3. The sweetest thing you did for a girl?
Jacob: "I remember when I was 13 years old --- I was grade seven --- I had a girlfriend.  She went to Baguio for the weekend.  And I convinced my parents I have to go to Baguio no matter what cauise I didn't want to be away from her for the weekend. So I convinced my parents to drive me to Baguio and let me see her for one day.  I was thirteen years old."

4. The best memory from your childhood?
Jacob: "My best memory from my childhood was my first visit back to the Philippines cause I grew up in Indonesia and I lived there for ten years.  My first Christmas back in the Philippines after living in Indonesia for years."

5. An embarrassing moment you can share?
Jacob: "One time I was talking about how much I like this singer (referring to Arnel Pineda) and he was sitting right behind me. Hindi, ano... (pauses) Lea Salonga had a concert in Alabang Town Center.  This was 2011..or 2012, something like that.  My cousin was one of the choir singers in her show.  I went back stage to greet my cousin "Hey! Like Oh my God, is Lea here?" then I started singing Reflection and I was pretending to be Lea.  When I turned around, she was there.  Good thing she might have never remembered me."

6. A song that you are guilty of singing but you're shy to admit?
Jacob: "Taylor Swift's Shake It Off. In the car when it plays (sings animatedly, then everyone bursts out in laughter) I swear, every time that plays in the car. Sobrang catchy ng tune."

7. Fondest PBB memory?
Jacob: "Oh! My fondest PBB memory is the first moment Kuya said, "(imitating Big Brother's voice) Pwede ka ng pumasok."  So I entered the magic hallway.  I fixed my shirt, I prayed, and I cried a little bit but no one seen it and I go inside and I see the house for the first time.  I remembered smelling the house and seeing the house, [and I said] 'Wow!' You know, I used to watch this on TV and I dreamed of being in this show.  Kasi di ba, who doesn't want to be in it? It's crazy! It's a life changing experience."

8. What is the essence of being a man?
Jacob: "The essence of being a man is doing the right thing always.  I learned that in life, there are many easy ways to do what you want, many easy ways out of your problems, many easy ways to get what you want.  But to be a real man, you do your best the right way, to achieve what you want and it feels so much better, trust me, when you don't take a shortcut to make your dreams come true.  And, bow."

9. What is your dream proposal?
Jacob: "I've always been fascinated by Santorini.  So I guess on a cliff, overlooking Santorini, while someone else is getting married on the side.  Their parties are so nice; there's lots of lights.  [I'll propose] while someone else is getting married at sunset.
Maria: Tas 'pag mag-"No", push mo na sa cliff.
Jacob: Kaya nga cliff eh! I just don't want a no.

10. Trademark pick up line?
Jacob: "'Hello?' No, wala akong pick up line? 'Hey, do you watch PBB?' Hindi. Joke lang.  'Or The Voice?'  No! I always go, 'Hey, do you sing?' That's my pick up line: 'Do you sing? Do you wanna duet. Coz you know...I kinda sing?'"

11. Favorite street food?
Jacob: "Isaw. Or Kwek-kwek.  Betamax is really good, too. I don't know. I really like street food. I'm not the kind of guy who's not picky.
deeJAY: Bili tayo ng balut!
Jacob: I hate Balut! I think it's animal cruelty.  How can you do that? I hate you!

12. The song that describes your lovelife?
"Yakap sa Dilim, which I am going to sing later (during the Rebuilding Concert). I always liked that, you know, old sexy feel, na parang 'Whoah! Parang feeling sexy but not really.' If not that, then Forevermore by Side A, because I'm a romantic guy.

Bonus Question: What makes you happy?
"Music makes me happy. No, joke lang! Food makes me happy. I love food. No, music and food.  I'm singing when I'm eating."
deeJAY: What's your favorite food?
Jacob: "Laing. Or Kinilaw.  No, oyster kinilaw.  Oyster kinilaw with truffle oil.  Joke lang! Probably, lechon, or sisig, or (in American accent) adobong manok."

Got a question to ask? I've got two ways: Like Deejay Writes on Facebook and comment your question on the 12 Question's official photo. Don't forget to share the photo so your friends will know this exists too. You can also follow me on Twitter (@deejayisawriter) and Instagram (@deejaywrites) and tweet me your question using the hashtags #deeJAYwrites and #12Questions.I will be choosing the best questions.


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DEEJAY WRITES is a proudly Boholano lifestyle and travel blog by LifestyleBohol in-house writer Deejay Arro. Launched in June 2014, DEEJAY WRITES ranks among the Top 200 Entertainment and Lifestyle blogs in the country and has been consistently receiving positive feedback from readers..