The reinvention of John Prats
By: Walden Sadiri
From: Manila Bulletin [June 08, 2005]

Working in a show for another network was a surreal experience of sort for 20-something actor John Prats

The actor, a homegrown talent of ABS-CBN, had a one month stint in Vic Sottoís sitcom "Daddy Di Do Du" which is aired on GMA-7. He played an avid suitor of Maxene Magalona, one of the daugters of Vic Sotto in the sitcom.

"It felt a little bit weird. It was a different feeling because Iíve been with ABS-CBN since I was a kid. Nasa Broadway Centrum kami so iba yung working environment. Our call time is usually at 7 p.m. then we finish before midnight. Iba yung mga tao at iba yung director na nakatrabaho ko so nakakapanibago. But I enjoyed working with them every minute," described John.

Working at the other side of the fence was a "legal" thing to do for the actor. Johnny "Mr. M" Manahan of Talent Center, now called Star Magic, who manages him knew of his guest appearances in "Daddy Di Do Du." He said that it was a good experience for him as an actor to have worked in "Daddy Di Do Du." This was his reaction to speculations written about his stint in the sitcom. He was said to have received offers to make him move permanently to GMA-7.

"I never had talks with any representative of GMA-7 nor did I receive any offer from the network," he said. "Iíve been with ABS-CBN for 13 years at pangit naman yata if Iíll transfer just like that to GMA-7."

Johnís contract with Talent Center is valid until December of this year, while the renewal of his contract with Star Cinema is still being negotiated. The last movie he did for Star Cinema is "Dí Anothers," which is yet to be shown.

John Pratsí appearance in the Vic Sottoís sitcom also paid him handsome dividends in terms of a movie project. Because he had a very noticeably good on-screen chemistry with Maxene Magalona, this prompted Mother Lily Monteverde of Regal Films to cast them both "Happily Ever After."

In "Happily Ever After," a magical love story trilogy directed by Maryo J. De Los Reyes, John Prats and Maxene Magalona headline their own episode which is entitled "Playboy Kuba."

In the episode, John plays Vince, a handsome teenager whom his girlfriend left for someone else. Because of this, he exacts revenge on all the girls he gets involved with by being deceitful to them. Then he flees to the province to run away from one of his girlfriends who wants him to marry her.

"Mayabang ako dito sa role ko na ito. Ginagantihan ko kasi yung mga babae. Then I met Maxene na isang probinsyana who was naive and very nice. Tapos niloko ko siya. But I didnít know that her mom was a witch pala so I was turned into a hunchback. I became very ugly," explained John.

In "Playboy Kuba," Maxene as Laura is also in a predicament as she is being forced to marry Eugene which is played by actor Dion Ignacio. The cure to Vinceís curse is the kiss from a true love.

John described that the prosthetics used on him were very realistic that he had a hard time recognizing himself. It was an ordeal putting it on and removing it but he said that his transformation was still an enjoyable process!

Doing "Playboy Kuba" also paved the way for him to get to know his lead actress better.

"Maxene is really easy to work with. Once we were in Tanay, Rizal for a shooting at walang celphone signal so wala kaming choice kundi mag-usap na lang. Nag-bonding kami with the director and the cinematographer," he shared.

The two other episodes in "Happily Ever After" are "Multong Bakla"which stars Keempee De Leon as a gay ghost and "I Love You Babe" with Ranier Castillo and Yasmien Kurdi.

Aside from promoting his soon-to-be released movie, John Prats is also busy with his latest sitcom "My Juan And Only" with Ai Ai delas Alas and Randy Santiago. In the sitcom, he plays the Kapampangan cousin of Ai Ai who falls for their neighborís daughter played by Paw Diaz. He is also busy with his hosting and dancing commitments in "ASAP Fanatic" every Sunday. And this coming September, he will have his first-ever dance concert at the Music Museum. To mention a few, his guests will include Gary V. and the Streeboys.

With all the new faces coming in from various quarters like "Star Circle Quest" or "Search for the Star in a Million," he said that showbiz is all about reinventing oneís self.

"Now focused ako sa isang facet ng career ko which is dancing. For me, itís sometimes better to watch dancers than singers because of the energy you get from them. My show will be all about energy. Ever since bata ako Iíve loved dancing, pero ngayon lang ako nabigyan ng break. And dancing is really hot now like sa ĎASAP Fanatic Classroomí where dancing is a very hot segment!"

So how does he feel about his busy career?

"Iím very happy even if it is very tiring. Iíd prefer this because Iím keeping myself busy!"

For his fans, in the works for John Prats is another soap opera with Heart Evangelista, Geoff Eigenman and Maja Salvador.