What’s Up, John?
By: Ricky Lo   From: The Philippine Star
[May 14, 2006]


    What does John Prats have in common with his former girlfriend Heart Evangelista, Kris Aquino, Rico J. Puno and Sen. Johnny Enrile?

    They are all Love Babies, born on Valentine’s Day (Aquarius).

    "That’s why I’m full of love," said John who turned 22 last Feb. 14.

    Fifteen of those 22 years have been spent under the klieg lights. John entered showbiz when he was seven years old, playing an "extra" in the Seiko Films young-romance flick Muntik Na Kitang Minahal, starring Claudine Barretto and Isko Moreno.

    "Did I miss my childhood?" John repeated the question. "No, I did not. I looked at shootings and tapings as play, not work."

    In fact, even when he was busy "at play" before the cameras, John was able to tuck up a Business Management degree from the International Business School.

    He’s the eldest of three children, one of whom, Camille, is also in showbiz. Now 21, Camille has shed her teeny-bopper image for a sexier/bolder one (having posed for the cover and a pictorial spread for FHM magazine in revealing clothes).

    "Yes," admitted John, "I used to be the over-protective kuya. Not anymore. I saw Camille’s pictorial and it wasn’t that sexy or bold. It might have been somewhat shocking to some people who still look at Camille as the girl in Princess Sarah. She’s all of 21 now, at the right age to make her image more mature. That pictorial should help erase her Princess Sarah image and help her transition to mature roles."

    Now being romantically linked to this and that actress, and tagged as a playboy, John begged to disagree by saying, "I don’t even have a girlfriend."

    His last girlfriend was Heart Evangelista with whom he went steady for one year and a half. Asked how he feels about Heart now going steady with Jericho Rosales, John said, "Echo is a nice guy." Was he affected by the rumor (unfounded, it turned out to be) that Heart was pregnant? "I didn’t believe the rumor. I don’t think Heart is capable of doing it."

    Daring in his own way, John is playing a flamboyant gay (co-starring with Polo Ravales and Jiro Manio as his equally gay brothers, with Cherry Pie Picache as their doting mother) in the Regal Films’ riotous spoof Manay Po! (loosely inspired by the company’s hit Mano Po trilogy and the recent unprecedented success of the Ang Lee landmark movie Brokeback Mountain starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as gay-cowboy lovers).

    Didn’t he have qualms about playing a gay and risking being, well, "branded" (stigmatized)?

    "It’s my second time to play a gay role," recalled John. "In Ako Legal Wife (Regal’s 2005 Metro Filmfest entry), I also played a gay, a closet queen compared to my loud-gay role in Manay Po! With Joel (Lamangan) as my director (both in Legal Wife and Manay Po!), I know I can’t go wrong. Di niya ako pababayaan. No, I’m not worried about being ‘branded’ or ‘stigmatized.’ Look at Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. They were praised for their acting in Brokeback Mountain. Their careers picked up even more after the movie’s release. If you are an actor, you should be ready and willing to play any kind of role. Otherwise, kung pa-cute ka lang, you are not a real actor."

    So you think that you now know John Prats inside-out, upside-down after his 60-day stint on Pinoy Big Brother’s Celebrity Edition? Think again. Get to know more about John in the following "Who, What, Where, When, How" fun quiz...

Who

• Who is your role model?
    "Tom Cruise. I really look up to him. He’s good at everything he does, both in his career and his private life. I’ve seen all of his movies, from Risky Business to Rain Man to Born on the Fourth of July to Mission: Impossible: III."

• Who is the John Prats that the public doesn’t know?
    "Well, I suppose many people saw me inside Big Brother’s house. I said several times that I wanted to have some private life. You know, if it’s at all possible, I want to draw a line between my professional life and my personal life."

• Who is your favorite fantasy?
    "Eva Longoria (of Desperate Housewives). She seems to be hot."

• Who is closest to your heart?
    "Toni Gonzaga, my best friend. We’ve known each other for two years. No, there’s nothing romantic between us; just pure friendship. Together, we are both kenkoy."

• Who would you rather be, if not John Prats?
    "Tom Cruise!"

What

• What is your biggest fear?
    "I realized what my biggest fear was when I was inside Big Brother’s house – you know, I was afraid that when I came out, the public might not accept me for what I am because they saw na the real me. But it turned out to be a false fear."

• What is your most precious possession in life?
    "Materially? My car, a Honda Civic. But first and foremost, my family. And Toni Gonzaga, my friend. Also, Lucky (Luis Manzano), another good friend of mine."

• What is your most memorable experience?
    "My stay inside Big Brother’s house. I learned a lot inside the house, not only about myself but also about how I should relate to different kinds of people. I’m basically patient but my patience was put to a test inside the house. I understood the meaning of camaraderie and kung ano ang totoong tao. I also experienced how it was to be independent because inside the house we had to do things ourselves."

• What do you think is your biggest achievement in life so far?
    "Having lasted 60 days inside Big Brother’s house was an achievement. So many things happened to me inside the house that I felt as if I won an award."

• What is your biggest frustration?
    "My height? No, not that. My biggest frustration is to be able to dunk. You see, my childhood dream was to be a basketball player. Bata pa lang ako gusto ko nang mag-dunk."

Where

• Where are you most comfortable?
    "At home – in my room. There, I feel secure and relaxed, even if I don’t go out for hours and hours. What do I do inside? DVD marathon talaga ako! I have all kinds of DVDs."

• Where would you rather be, aside from the Philippines?
    "Brazil. I haven’t been there; I’ve been only reading about it and it seems to be an exciting country, parang ang ganda-ganda. And the women, wow!"

• Where is your Achilles’ heel?
    "You know, no matter how angry I am, the moment nilambing ako nawawalang parang bula ang galit ko. Am I gullible? No. Am I a sucker for sob stories? No."

• Where was your first memorable vacation?
    "In Boracay last year. I was with my sister and we were so happy. Since then, I haven’t had a vacation like that."

• Where do you want to build your own house?
    "In a farm, somewhere in Tagaytay. Or on an island. Somewhere private, somewhere peaceful and quiet."

When

• When was the first time you kissed a girl?
    "I was 16 then; I was already in showbiz. She was non-showbiz. When did I lose my innocence? Also at that time."

• When are you happiest?
    "When I’m with my friends Toni and Lucky. Clean fun. Shooting the breeze at Eastwood over cups of coffee. Ganyan lang. Simple, wholesome fun."

• When was the last time you cried really hard?
    "When I was inside Big Brother’s house. I missed my family kasi, eh. Did I cry when they waxed the hair all over my body? No, I did not. I just screamed and screamed."

• When do you get angry?
    "I seldom get angry. But I get irritated when I’m not in the mood and somebody is trying to bug me. Doon ako napipikon."

• When do you feel on top of the world?
    "When I’m in love. Am I in love now? No, I’m not. Am I courting Nancy (Castiglione)? No, I’m not. Tsismis lang ’yon. I don’t have a girlfriend now."

How

• How do you cope with a heartbreak?
    "I just sleep it off and then I move on."

• How do you deal with indecent proposals?
    "Indecent proposals? None so far. Nobody has ever attempted. Maybe they know na hindi ako papatol."

• How are you as a son and a brother?
    "I’m a kenkoy son and a loving brother. I am basically malambing. At home, walang star-star."

• How did you spend your cash prize (P500,000) from Pinoy Big Brother (PBB)? (Other prizes included a laptop and appliances.)
    "I donated P100,000 for the renovation of our church in Cainta, Rizal, and the rest I deposited in the bank."

• How do you pray?
    "I read The Daily Bread, one item per day. And I talk directly to God. What do I usually pray for? The safety of my family and for guidance."