JERICHO Rosales is as laidback as can be.
He’s candid and unself-conscious, uncharacteristic for a celebrity. You’d think that this was something that always came natural. However, he reveals that taking up a particular sport provided a seismic shift in his demeanor.
“Surfing has really changed me,” the 32-year-old actor says. “It’s the lifestyle and culture [of surfing] na relaxed lang talaga lahat [ng bagay].” Even his group of friends, who’ve all taken to riding waves, are as laidback as he is — to a fault. “Ang bagal naming gumalaw, tagal kumilos, tas daming stopover,” he says, describing the usual snags of their surfing trips.
While this sort of easygoing disposition is associated with that of a slacker, Rosales’ work ethic belies the initial impressions we’ve had of him. You just need to look at his body of work, which spans 16 years of acting, and you’ll see plenty of reasons why he’s a household name today. With numerous acting awards under his belt, this man is touted as one of the finest dramatic actors of his generation. Though for someone who commands intense emotions at will, Rosales just happens to be one laidback dude at the core. Well, sometimes, a little too much so — even when it comes to his timing.
Six years ago, Rosales took a sudden leave of absence from the limelight. At the time, he also decided to change managers, and everybody thought that his wayward path to obscurity had begun. But he refused to be swayed by what others said or thought about his decision.
“I was burned out, and my heart was crying out, ‘Pursue music, pursue music!’” says Rosales. “I just needed to write. I just wanted to be in a band.” He would then spend a year exploring a different avenue of his artistic side, playing on numerous stages with his band, Jeans; cutting an album; and ultimately getting what he wanted, nay, he needed.
But once he felt ready to return to show business, Rosales found it wasn’t simply a matter of picking up where he’d left off.
“I had confidence in myself [that I could return],” he admits. “Pero pagbalik ko, ang dami ko hindi kilala, and it was harder to get projects.” Demoted within the ranks and perceived as an industry cautionary tale, Rosales had to prove to his peers and the public that he was an artist serious about his craft and a man who had found direction in life. Even as his career started gaining momentum, he still needed to convince himself that he was where he was supposed to be.
In 2009, he landed one of the lead roles in the primetime drama series Dahil May Isang Ikaw. The soap opera earned top ratings, positive reception, and even a nomination for Best Drama Series at the 2010 International Emmy Awards. And despite some misgivings about the story arcs and character development, Rosales buckled down and did his job. But the role challenged not only his method, but also his character.
“In the middle of the show, may part na nabaril ‘yung character ko, and he was paralyzed,” Rosales recalls. “He can hear and understand things, but he couldn’t move. I got really frustrated [with the role], to the point [where] I asked myself, ‘Why am I doing this?’”
More than satisfying his appetite for artful self-expression, he was in search of greater purpose. “And then one day, our [former] assistant director came up to me,” Rosales continues; his mood lightens up, and a sense of accomplishment replaces annoyance in his tone. “Kasi nagkaroon siya dati ng brain complication, he suffered the same [as my character did]. Sabi niya, ‘Bro, you were my inspiration when I was first taking those few steps when I was recovering.’”
Rosales knew from then on that there was always a bigger picture to see and value. He found new meaning in what he was doing, something that pushed him to perform better, and before he knew it, multiple job offers were coming his way.
Fast-forward to 2012. Rosales recently starred in another evening soap, Dahil sa Pag-ibig, and he used his skills in music production to help with the show’s soundtrack. Rosales is rejuvenated, even producing and starring in his first-ever indie flick, Alagwa. Currently, he’s hosting the second season of the reality show I Dare You, and he’s also a regular on musical variety show ASAP 2012. He’s as hardworking as ever, and behind it is a simple rationale. “The reason why I want to stay in the business is for the people who watch,” he says.
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“Work hard, surf hard” is Rosales’ principle when it comes to juggling commitments and finding some time for rest and relaxation. Admittedly, though, he says there are instances when the waves call to him and it becomes too difficult to ignore. “Dati, hindi naiintindihan ng mga manager ko bakit ako nag-tu-turn down ng project kapag may alon,” Rosales says.
It may seem a tad irresponsible, but again, he has his reasons. “When you’re there sitting and waiting for a wave, you’re close to nature and you get to appreciate what has been created for you. And when you get to ride a wave, [even if] you keep doing the same thing over and over again for the whole day, you never get tired of it.” At least, he never does.
Rosales and his surfer buddies have even started a movement to celebrate the 1960s, which is considered the sport’s golden age. “It’s called Coast Thru Life,” he says. “We’re slowly building it pa lang.” Armed with a “sariling galaw” spirit, they tweet and upload pictures of the destinations they visit and spark online discussions about why being environmental conscious is necessary. With a vision toward putting together a multi-dimensional brand, Coast Thru Life will also feature throwback fashion pieces and vintage-designed surfboards. Rosales is looking to invest much of his life into something that began as a casual hobby.
From his point of view, this beloved activity is simply part of who he is, and nothing’s ever going to change that. So much so that, when the time to bid farewell to the biz comes, he knows exactly how and where he’ll spend his retirement. “So isa sa mga pangarap ko ngayon is to be able to afford living by the beach,” he says. “Kasi hanggang sa pagtanda ko na ‘yan eh.” It won’t come as a surprise, then, if we even see him competing in the surf circuit.
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Despite the always-chill lifestyle it’s associated with, surfing is indeed a dangerous sport. There are hazards that can happen in an instant when you thread the pipeline, and Rosales knows this all to well. “I tore this,” he says, pointing to the area of his left rotator cuff, which was injured in a bad wipeout. But that’s only one of the many injuries he’s suffered over the years. Rosales also re-injured his already messed-up knee (read: torn ACL, MCL, and meniscus ligaments) in a pickup basketball game last year, and he had to quit the sport altogether. But while an active life may have had some drawbacks, Rosales managed to overcome them.
“Kasi ang dami kong injuries, sobrang na-frustrate ako,” Rosales says. “Kaya this year, I wanted to make myself healthier and stronger.” Despite the restraints he’s accrued, he’s become more committed to rebuilding his body, taking on new sports like baseball and, most recently, football. “I tried it and liked it. Sobrang sarap na cardio.” To polish his physique, he focuses on “more bands, more on core strengthening, not so much lifting weights.”
His drive toward self-improvement also covers not just his fitness goals, but his career as well. “I want to be able to constantly evolve and do different things,” he says. Those things include finding projects to produce and direct internationally as well as locally. He also sees reviving his band as a possibility while his latest album comes out this month, and he plans to take his acting talents to the action genre some time in the future. There’s plenty on his plate for sure, but there’s no stopping Jericho Rosales — as the man himself will attest.
“I definitely don’t see a burnout in the future,” he says. “Ayoko kasi na nakababad ako sa kung ano lang ako dati.” Whatever challenge or crossroads he may come across this time around, you can expect him to exercise the right amount of composure.
BALANCE THE BOARD
There are two things that surfing demands from you: stability and a core of steel. To attain these, freelance professional trainer and Jericho Rosales’ personal coach Ace Duque gives you four exercises for your core. For a strong and solid midsection, “do a minimum of 15 reps to as high as 50 reps with minimal rest intervals,” says Duque. He also recommends including this in your regular workouts and keeping the whole thing under 30 minutes for maximum gains.
Lie down on the floor with your thighs and stomach aligned and your feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head, engage your core and lift up your midsection until your lower back isn’t touching the ground. Then go back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Hanging Leg Raises
With an overhand grip that’s slightly wider than your shoulder width, hang from a high bar. Bring your knees up past your hips as you contract your core. Then, slowly bring your legs down to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Lie on the floor with your arms extended and palms on the ground. Place a medicine ball between your legs, with your knees slightly bent. Raise and swing your legs, bringing the medicine ball to your left then your right side. That’s one rep.
Lie facedown on the floor. Put your hands behind your neck, raise your upper body, and contract your abs until your chest is off the ground. That’s one rep.
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