A person can do all things if they will it. Combine that with pure dedication and you get someone like Jake Cuenca.
A triple threat in his own right, he has titles of actor, model, and most recently triathlete tucked earnestly under his belt, but he wouldn’t say he’s aced it all just yet. Jake lets us pick his brain, from honing his craft, choosing progress over perfection, and sharing his future endeavors.
Upon coming in, you mentioned you just came from a duathlon. You also joined the Ironman Triathlon a few months ago. How and why did you get into these competitions?
I started joining these multisport races because of the show I’m doing now called Ikaw Lang Ang Iibigin where I play a triathlete. When we started it, I had a hard time acting it out because I didn’t feel like it was natural. I told myself I couldn’t fool myself and I needed to get the confidence to do the scenes.
What was it like preparing for your first or any race?
It actually took a while to prepare for my first race. I didn’t know how to swim at the time so I had to learn from scratch. That was the first thing I wanted to figure out. Once I was comfortable with that, I did biking and got addicted to it. Running was my least favorite part about training but I’ve greatly improved on it thanks to my injury. I would tape my arm to my chest and, to a certain extent, have gotten better because of it. I even got a treadmill so I can run every day.
How has engaging in this type of activity changed you?
I’ve fallen in love with it to be honest. I’ve caught the bug and it’s gotten me to make major lifestyle changes. I used to stay out and socialize a lot—which doesn’t go hand-in-hand with triathlons and training—but I’m happy. I’ve never felt better in my life, and I feel like I look my best. Acting wise, it’s been amazing to be able to get on the level of the real triathletes we get to work with on the show.
Going back to acting, what sparked your interest in it?
I guess I had a taste of the camera when I started modeling and doing commercials, but it just wasn’t cutting it for me. What I liked about acting is it’s essentially all about telling a multidimensional person’s story and being able to dig deeper to find that character’s drive and reasons that trigger their actions.
How do you pick projects and characters?
I always look for something different. I kind of analyzed myself and realized I choose roles where audiences love a character and once they do, my next role is its total opposite. I also try to challenge myself to do things I’ve never done before especially with indie films. I go for extreme changes to keep things interesting.
Have you ever wanted to go behind the camera? What kind of projects are you looking to direct?
I totally see myself going in that direction. I mean, acting is my number one passion but I don’t want to get burnt out so directing is on the table. I would like to adapt certain stories from my life. My first film would probably be something youth-oriented. I had a very fun and interesting time in high school so I’d like to convey that in a cult classic type of way. Think Dazed and Confused or The Breakfast Club.
How has your interest in the late 80s-early 90s helped define what your style is today?
With this hairstyle, it’s just “rock star” or inspiration by the past era’s rock icons. My whole look is a bit more classic compared to when I used to just wear whatever’s in. It’s matured the same way I have as a person where it all historically stems from something.
How do you choose a look with that in mind?
The music I listen to dictates my style. Usually when I’m choosing an outfit, I have to play music first then I kind of just get lost in my walk-in closet and it all just starts from that.
How would you incorporate today’s pieces into your personal style and wardrobe?
As an everyday look, I go for Chelsea boots, super skinny black jeans, then I play around with the tops. I really liked the floral button down and linen bomber jacket. All of those together would make a great look, no matter what happens.
How do you make an outfit your own?
It’s about the attitude and the confidence someone carries with them that makes an outfit your own. Anyone can rock an outfit but knowing what clothes you love, what style works for you and what makes you feel cool is what makes a look impeccable.
Lastly, do you have any end-of-summer plans?
I have another duathlon later in the month and a triathlon in early June. Once I’m not too busy, I’ll surely travel and continue to study acting. During my last trip to New York, I took a month-long intensive course and I really just want to keep working on my craft.
Words: Charley Ty | Art: Deiniel Cuvin | Photographer: Jerrick Sanchez | Creative Direction: Rain Dagala Assisted By: Mina Aglipay | Styling: RJ Roque and Patricia Melliza | Grooming: Byron Velasquez | Hair: Janice Vacarizas of Maquillage Professionnel | Location and Special Thanks to Hotel Celeste