When Jowable was first uploaded to the VinCentiments Facebook page in June 2018, it was an immediate hit. Created by Darryl Yap, the premise of the short film was simple: a desperate, single young woman drunkenly begs the Lord to send a boyfriend—a jowa, if you will—along her way. The raw performance coupled with witty one-liners resulted in a viral sensation, one that racked up 1 million views just five hours after it was posted.
At the heart of this hugot sensation is 19-year-old Jobelyn Manuel, whose relatable six-minute performance turned her into an instant Internet sensation.
Unlike other Internet stars, Jobelyn does not bank on perfection. She sports bleached blonde hair but doesn’t hide her black roots; nor does she hide the braces on her teeth. The actress doesn’t let it get in the way of her laughs or smiles, which come frequently and naturally as she talks about her videos.
Before she became the star of Jowable, Jobelyn was an accountancy student in her hometown of Olongapo, the same place VinCentiments director Darryl Yap hails from. “Na-enganyo lang po ako sa ate ko,” Jobelyn says. “Accountancy din po kasi sya tapos nakikita ko po kung paano sya mag-aral.” On her Facebook page, it says that she’s a “future CPA.”
But her real love, she says, is acting. “High school pa lang po ako, [mahilig na ako umarte]. Sa school po namin kasi mahilig mag-present present ng gawa through acting po.”
Believe it or not, it’s through her school that she met Darryl, who would later cast her in the irreverent and controversial short film that Jobelyn is known for today.
‘’’Yong school namin, sila po kumontak sa SaWakas na mag-judge po ng play namin.” SaWakas is the theater group that Darryl founded, the members of which, like Jobelyn, now star in the director’s viral short films.
“Hinubog nya po ako,” says Jobelyn of her director. “’Tapos naging ganito na po ako,” the 19-year-old says with a laugh.
With her wide smile and funny personality, it’s obvious that Jobelyn is miles away from the desperate young woman we see in the three Jowable films. Though she says that she has no boyfriend just like her character, the real Jobelyn doesn’t seem too bothered by the search for Mr. Right.
If there’s one thing she and her character have in common, it would have to be their belief that they are, without any doubt, kajowa-jowa.
It’s this confidence that makes her wise enough, even at 19, to give advice to the same lonely, single people who could relate to her quips in the three Jowable videos.
Says Jobelyn to her fellow jowa-less: “Magpatuloy lang kayo sa ginagawa nyo. Ano lang, wag niyong baguhin sarili nyo para makahanap kayo ng jowa. Kung ano kayo, gano’n kayo.
Laughing, she adds: “Pag nag-iisip kayo, nalulungkot kayo na wala pa kayong jowa, panoorin nyo lang ’yong Jowable sa VinCentiments.
“Hindi lang kayo nag-iisa.
“Marami tayo sa mundo na walang jowa. Makakahanap din tayo.”
Want to hear more of Jobelyn’s wise words, hugot lines, and slightly green jokes? Then watch the video below!
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