“Up to now, I still see my psychiatrist. Kailangan ko naman talaga. But am on the way to being healed. Para na rin sa sarili ko. Ako rin lang ang makakatulong sa sarili ko. But it’s a good thing na am being surrounded by family and friends na talagang naka-suporta sa akin, no matter what. Ang pinaka-mahalaga is to be trusted uli para magampanan mo nang maayos ang career na ipinagkakatiwala pa rin sa iyo. I have a coming up soap pero for next year na po ‘yun.”
After graduating from his rehabilitation program at the Self Enhancement for Life Foundation (SELF) last July, actor JM de Guzman said that he’s now clean.
It could be remembered that in 2011, JM was considered as one of the most promising actors of his generation after starring in Angelito, ang Batang Ama. He was even predicted to give John Lloyd Cruz a stiff competition in the rom-com department when he played Anthony in the 2014 Cinema One Originals 2014 movie That Thing Called Tadhana that raked ₱134 million at the tills in just three weeks.
More projects keep pouring in, since then. But unfortunately, all these good opportunities in his then young career were cut short after he was accused of having erratic behaviors during tapings due to drug abuse. Then, he went on a hiatus for two years after confirming a drug addiction relapse. At that time, he was doing the afternoon series All of Me.
In October last year, he announced he was nearly two years sober. Indie projects and talent center Star Magic have since opened their doors to him. He had a successful comeback last April in the Kapamilya Gold afternoon block via Precious Romance Presents, Araw Gabi, where he is paired off with Barbie Imperial.
Now, the actor is back on the big screen opposite Kapuso actress Rhian Ramos in Kung Paano Ka Nawala, the feature-length commercial debut of Joel Ruiz.
“I was just very grateful. I feel blessed na mabigyan ako ng ganitong role, ng ganitong opportunity again, to be part of this movie. Excited ako at the same time, kinakabahan,”JM said.
He stressed that he’s quite grateful that despite his shortcomings, he gets a new lease in life. “Para sa akin, grace rin siya. It’s something na Siya ang nagbigay. Maraming taong puwedeng magsabing hindi naman siya ganoon kagaling. May nagawa pa nga siyang kasalanan, twice pa before. Siguro, may deeper purpose na binigay sa akin si God,” he quipped.
With the lessons he has learned from his SELF program, he admitted that he’s now dealing with his insecurities squarely. “Marami po ang nagsasabi sa akin. Actually, before may mga nagsasabi sa akin na sa kasalukuyan maraming bago, maraming mas bata, maraming mas magaling sa iyo, mas disiplinado. At first, hindi ko siya matanggap dati dahil medyo arogante pa ako na ‘hindi, mas magaling ako sa kanila, mas mabait ako sa kanila,’ but it’s something that I realized na hindi na ako bumabata, ang dami ko ring nakitang magagaling, na pa-improve nang pa-improve iyong craft nila. I just have to enjoy everything and appreciate everything and do my best,” he explained.
“ Iyong insecurities, nagma-manifest pa rin naman siya, hindi naman siya mawawala pero iniisip ko na lang na hindi siya makatutulong sa akin, kaya nalalampasan ko. Lahat naman ng tao, dumadaan sa ganoon. Kumbaga, enough confidence lang para itaas ko ang sarili ko at enough humility to keep me on the ground,” he added.
Kung Paano Siya Nawala serves as JM’s movie comeback after laying low from showbiz in 2015. “First time ko nabasa iyong script, gusto ko na talaga siyang gawin. Ang ganda ng story and character. Challenging siya for me. Gusto ko rin makatrabaho si Rhian and si direk Joel, and of course ang TBA Studios. So lahat nag-match,” JM said. “Maraming parts sa buhay ni Lio na nata-tap ko sa personal kong buhay. Napagdaanan ko rin. Naka-connect ako sa kanya.”
It also features, for the first time, the fresh pairing of ABS-CBN actor JM and GMA-7 actress Rhian Ramos. Their tandem was first revealed on Facebook last July, and fans immediately lauded their unexpected yet appealing and exciting team-up.
JM also lauded Rhian for being such a “very generous and very giving actress. Madali siyang ka-work. Sobrang passionate. Pagdating sa set, hindi ka mag-aalala kasi alam mo na kapag may mistake ka merong sasalo sa iyo. Ganoon iyong relationship namin sa work,” he declared.
Kung Paano Siya Nawala tells the story of Lio (JM De Guzman), a quiet and withdrawn young man who finds it difficult to connect with other people due to his affliction: face blindness, a cognitive disorder characterized by an inability to recognize faces. But the inhibited Lio finds himself opening up to the world when he falls in love with Shana (Rhian Ramos), a beautiful free spirit who has secrets of her own. Lio’s unique condition – and the baggage that comes along with it, brings a complicated twist to their love story.
Kung Paano Siya Nawala is helmed and co-written by Joel Ruiz. This is the feature-length commercial debut of this relatively young filmmaker, who’s well known in the advertising community for directing commercials for major brands, including one of the viral #KwentongJollibee mini-films.
Apart from the unique love story, fans of the genre should also watch for the film’s music. The movie’s main soundtrack features the song “Anino,” an unreleased and newly re-arranged version of a song by the popular indie band Up Dharma Down (UDD). Armi Millare of UDD also serves as the movie’s musical scorer. Like “I’m Drunk, I Love You,’ music fans can also expect great music from the as it features songs from some of the best indie and local music artists.
Kung Paano Siya Nawala also stars Agot Isidro, Barbara Ruaro, and Ricky Davao. Produced by TBA Studios, “Kung Paano Siya Nawala” opens in cinemas nationwide on Wednesday, November 14.