Wednesday, July 16, 2014

JM de Guzman: The Tom Cruise of the Philippines?

"Actor JM de Guzman, who is considered one of the most talented actors of his generation, is set to make his much-awaited comeback." - Reyma Buan-Deveza, (07/14/2014 11:47 AM)

(Here's video of the singer-actor, singing "Don't Give Up on Us, Baby," because he's not! ;) )

Come-backing young Filipino actor JM de Guzman and Hollywood living legend Tom Cruise may not exactly look alike, but they are no doubt both good-looking, and they eerily share these two similar backgrounds: 

  1. Wrestling, not pro wrestling but its amateur real sport variants. For Cruise, it's American high school, folkstyle wrestling when he was part of the Glen Ridge High School wrestling team in New Jersey, USA. On de Guzman's part, he took to the sport a little later, in college, where he joined the UP Wrestling Club of the University of the Philippines- Diliman Campus which practiced in the Olympic freestyle rules. He also placed second in the sport in a Metro Manila-wide competition and became president of the club.
  2. Theater. De Guzman majored in theater in college, and was already active acting in plays for Dulaang UP when he began wrestling. (In fact, he already had an acting stint on TV as part of the children's comedy show Ang TV.) On the other hand, Cruise ventured into high school theater after suffering a knee injury while wrestling. Hear the amusing exchange between the actor and talk show host Merv Griffin from the video below: Cruise says, "In high school, when I injured myself in wrestling, I decided to go out for a play, a musical..." And Griffin responds, "That's what happens to old wrestlers: They go to a musical!"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

And, most importantly, as far as their current acting careers are concerned, they are two damn very fine actors! (And I'm sure their background in theater contributed significantly to their acting prowess. And, the discipline instilled through the sport of wrestling must serve them in good stead -- in all their endeavors.)

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Yours truly was JM de Guzman's wrestling coach in our UP Diliman Wrestling Club, and he's also the godfather of my son Mikael. I'll check if my wife still has the memory card which stores a short video of JM wrestling in my gym, SPRAWL-MMA in Cubao, QC. I'll post it tonight if she still has it.

UPDATE!: She still has it! So here's JM doing a staple freestyle wrestling move: the double-leg shoot (when a wrestler grabs the opponent's legs to take him/her down to the ground). And he seems to have suffered an injury, too, just like...never mind. :p

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Lastly, as JM has a cameo appearance in the teen flick She's Dating the Gangster, I'm gonna watch it with my family this weekend. But it's really more for my support for JM's comeback in showbiz -- more than anything else. ;) )

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In the Philippines, the Olympic sport of wrestling (largely due to the leadership of the FILA-recognized WAP officers) is now part of the Palarong Pambansa; the Philippine Sports Commission's Batang Pinoy, Philippine National Games, and Women Martial Arts Festival; INC Unity Games; and Ultimate Challenge multi-combat sport and fitness event. The Wrestling Association of the Philippines also holds its own national championships and other events.

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