The Modern Valentino
By: Chanchan Torres
From: S Magazine   [February 2003]
Issue: Vol.2 No.17

    When most of us see Valentine's Day as something romantic, heartthrob and up-coming matinee idol JOHN PRATS sees things beyond dating and giving expensive gifts. For him, it's time to celebrate life because the Love Day happens to be his birthday, too. He claims that this year has been a good one for him as far as his career is concerned. John is also one of the few guys in showbiz who doesn't take his studies for granted. And yes, he is inspired by his family, friends and by someone close to his heart. Let's get to know how John's been doing these days, and what's really inside John's heart...

What keeps him busy these days?
    "I'm now a mainstay in ASAP, that's every Sunday and I have Berks every Saturday," he informs us. "Last year, has been a good year for me, and I'm looking forward for better things to come my way. It excites me because new things come my way, and hopefully, this year I'll be doing a movie again. I just wish things would push through. The last movie I had was Jologs under Star Cinema."

    He says that as an actor he always wants to try at least something new especially in the movies he'd appear in.
    "The reason why I get excited is because every time I get the chance to make a movie, I get to experiment on the role that I want to portray," he reveals. "I like Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, 'yung mga tipo ng character nila ang gusto kong gawin. If you watch their movies, you'll notice in every film they make, iba-iba ang character nila. That's what I like to do, I'd like to offer something different to the viewers in every movie that I make."

    To some people, Valentine's Day means dating and having someone with you. Does he believe in that?
    "No," he disagrees. "You can celebrate Valentine's Day naman whether you are alone, with your friends or your family, 'di ba? I think celebrating the day or any special occasion in your life should not depend on another person. Suwerte na lang if you have someone with you."

    Blessed with good looks, John, a smart young man at eighteen, admits he has crushes especially now that he is in school. He is taking up Business Management at Thames International Business School.
    "I have crushes, especially in school, hindi nawawala 'yon. But as of now, I really don't have a girlfriend. I meet a lot of girls, but there's no formal boy-girl relationship," he says.

    John is the optimistic type, he knows what he wants nad he's also hoping that there'll be someone who will come his way soon.
    "Sana. Right now I just go and meet friends, tingin-tingin. Who knows, I might get it right."

    A typical teen he is, sure he loves to go out but he admits he doesn't love crowded places especially if it's gonna be for a date. Does he go out on dates?
    "Yeah, I go out on group dates," he admits. "I find it mas enjoy. 'Tsaka there's nothing wrong if you go out with someone, whether you are in a group or just the two of you as long as you enjoy each other's company and you are both unattached. Ang masama lang is when you go out but then you are commited naman pala. It won't be nice because you would just end up hurting each other."

    At eighteen, what is his idea of dating? Describe to us the picture of an ideal date...
    "My ideal date would be in Paris (in France) talaga," he reveals. "For me, Paris is such a romantic place. We'll just sit in the park, the bench. Simple lang. O 'di kaya, stroll lang while looking at the beautiful scenery. Paris is so beautiful. Then, we'll just eat sandwiches or have coffee somewhere. Very simple date yet romantic because it's just the two of you and you are able to talk.
    "If you ask me, a place where I want to go here in Manila for a date, then it would be the southern part. Mga tipong probinsiya na. Like Tagaytay, I love to go places na talagang kaming dalawa lang, eh. I also love Boracay, o kaya you just sit down in a corner of the house and talk. Para walang masyadong magulo."

    If other dates prefer bars and movies as venue for their first date, this good-looking young man suggests that it's best to have it done over a quiet dinner or in a a cozy place for you guys to talk and be comfortable with each other.
    "Well, on the first date, I suggest that it should be more of the talking experience that the usual disco, bar-hopping and the likes. Dapat siguro sa first date, magkaalaman muna kayo, kuwentuhan. That way, you'll know if you complement each other or not. I don't like the idea na first date pa lang dico na. I find it nice if you have time for each other, you have moments together. On the second date maybe you guys can already see a movie and on the third, there goes the movie and bar-hopping."

    Of course, we won't miss the chance to ask him about the girl who is close to his heart and who gives John reason to smile. How is he and Heart Evangelista?
    "Heart has always been my crush. Ever since I saw her and until the time we worked together in G-mik," says John with that twinkle in his eyes and a smile he can't hide.
    "But nu'ng nagtagal na, naging hate ko siya kasi sabi ko ang arte naman ng babaeng ito! Lahat na lang. Then, nu'ng patapos na ang G-mik, that was the time we became close. I realized she is such a good person, at saka friendly pa. To this day, we never hide secrets from each other, she doesn't hide anything from me. We're sobrang best friends."
    "We've reached a certain point in our friendship wherein we don't need to hide anything anymore. We're secured with each other, iba na 'yung level of friendship. I can say, it's sobrang close na."
    "Ako kasi, I don't close my doors and say na wala na because everything seems to be perfect. I guess, it's just a matter of time. If it's gonna happen now, if it's gonna happen to soon...Hopefully, when I turn nineteen. Kasi sobrang okay na, we get along very well, and we have the same birthday (Feb. 14). And if ever we end up in a relationship, sana huwag masayang," John says seriously.

    As the cliche goes, friendship is one of the best foundations in making a relationship work, making it strong. Does he feel blessed that he doesn't have to worry in this department?
    "Yeah, I believe in that. I believe that in a boy-girl relationship, in a commitment, there should be 70% friendship and the rest goes to love and respect. Because once you're friends, you already know each other's strengths and weaknesses, each other's personalities. The simple things that pleases you, lahat ng 'yan you guys already know.

    "I believe that once you get into a relationship and you didn't have the chance to become friends at first, either one of you will find it it difficult to adjust. Unlike when you're friends, you already know there's already an acceptance level, because you've already come to love the person for what he or she is. Alam mo na agad kung ano ang pangit sa kanya, but because you are friends, the acceptance is there," he says.

What is in Heart that he has come to accept?
    "Yung pagka-maarte niya. Simply because I realize she is not afraid to show it, she doesn't have any pretentions. 'Tsaka cute ang dating. She has no inhibitions and wala siya nu'ng attitude na 'ay 'wag mong gawin 'to kasi pangit.' What you see is what you get when it comes to Heart," he says.

And what is in Heart that you appreciate the most?
    "Her thoughtfulness. Even in simple things, she'd always remember me. Like whenever we have tapings or out-of-town shows, she'd ask me what I like to eat. If I'm doing okay. At hindi lang ako ang inaasikaso niya, even the people involved in the show, then 'yung iba naming friends. She's such a sweet person," he says.

    While John does not deny that he meets other girls, whether in school or in the glittering world of showbiz, he seems to be sure about the state of his heart.
    "I can say that my friendship with Heart is already a big edge kumpara sa mga babaeng ngayon ko pa lang nakikilala. There are some who are nice in the first or second meeting but, eventually, they show their true colors. With Heart, I don't have that fear anymore, she's very transparent. I know her too well," he assures.

    We've talked about his ideal date set in romantic Paris, with all the pigeons and falling leaves providing the dream-like scenery. He is sitting on a bench eating sandwiches with someone. Does he ever picture that moment with Heart?
    "Yes. If there is one person I would love to be with in that place, it's Heart. Then again, let's just wait for the time to come, if that happens, I'll be proud to tell hte world about it," he says.

    We hope God hears the wishes of John's heart.

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