MANILA — If Jeremiah Lisbo had his way, he would have a fixed “love team” with whom he can navigate his early years in showbiz, before seizing his goal of becoming a universal leading man.
While that hasn’t happened so far, Lisbo is happy — “kilig,” to be precise — that his potential pairings, with the likes of Kaori Oinuma (“Four Bad Boys and Me”) and Belle Mariano (“Four Sisters Before the Wedding” and “He’s Into Her”) have nonetheless drawn vocal followers.
“Masaya ako. Nabubuo ‘yun dahil sinusuportahan nila ‘yung proyekto,” he said of those “shipping,” or supporting his screen tandems. “Nakakakilig na rin, kasi minsan hindi mo naman siya ka-pair talaga, pero may nag-si-ship sa inyo.”
More recently, fans have been pushing for a team-up between Lisbo and showbiz newcomer Dalia Verde, following the success of “He’s Into Her.” In the series, they portrayed the characters who ended up not being chosen by Maxpein and Debi, played by lead stars Mariano and Donny Pangilinan.
Lisbo isn’t certain yet whether he will be launched with an official “love team” soon, he told ABS-CBN News.
“Sa pinag-usapan ng management at ako, ‘yung career path naman is open to possibilities. Hindi naman ako stick sa ganitong isang pair lang,” he said.
“Pero, hindi natin masasabi, kasi minsan, ‘di ba, along the way, ‘yung mga sikat na love team, biglaan lang nabubuo,” Lisbo surmised.
Lisbo, who is a talent of ABS-CBN’s Rise Artists Studio and Star Magic, said he trusts in the decision of his management as to where his career should be reared towards.
Asked whether he would want to have an official pairing, similar to Mariano and Pangilinan’s “DonBelle,” Lisbo answered, “Actually, hindi ko masasabi kung ano’ng dapat at tama para sa akin.”
“Pero kung may choice ako, mas gusto ko magkaroon ng love team lalo na’t bata pa ako. Tapos, along the way, 'pag nagkaka-edad na, doon ako mag-so-solo. Hindi rin natin masasabing tama ‘yun, na sundin ang gusto ko, dahil collaboration ito with the management,” he explained.
Lisbo hesitated, and let out a laugh, when asked what his ultimate goal is. “Parang ang hirap sabihin, tapos hindi ko napanindigan!” he quipped.
Turning serious, he declared, “Ang goal is to become a leading man.”
Beyond this pursuit onscreen, Lisbo said he has become more aware of the responsibility that’s attached with being a public figure, given his growing popularity due to “He’s Into Her.”
“Ngayon, mas maging sensitive [na ako], bilang nagiging modelo na rin tayo, lalo sa mga kabataan. [I learned to] be careful sa mga words na sasabihin mo,” he said.
Lisbo is not one to shy away from speaking up on national issues, from the forced shutdown of his home network ABS-CBN to the recent commemoration of the 48th anniversary of Martial Law.
Lisbo, 22, encouraged his fellow youth to be more vocal about their stand and advocacies, but with the careful reminder to be fully informed and discerning.
“Magandang bago tayo magsalita, mag-opinyon, mag-express, alamin muna natin ‘yung storya. At dapat, hindi one-sided story lang, para mas matimbang mo at maunawaan mo kung ano ng aba ang ipaglalaban mo at kung kanino ka nga ba panig,” he said.
For Lisbo, that has also meant aligning what he publicly supports with his values, he explained.
“Sure ka sa dapat mong panindigan, kung tugma ba ‘to sa values mo, sa principles. Ako, ganoon ako bilang tao, tinutugma ko sa paniniwala ko,” he said.
The path to becoming a leading man, for Lisbo, goes beyond improving his craft and reaching a wider audience. Most important for this newcomer, is using his platform for a purpose bigger than himself.
Asked to manifest, in words, the milestones he hopes to mark in showbiz, Lisbo opted not to enumerate projects or describe a stature.
Instead, he said: “I claim na magiging purposeful ang buhay ko, na makaka-inspire ako sa mga kabataan na tumulong na mas mahalin natin ang Pilipinas.”