(born May 15, 1987) is a Filipina actress and singer. She became famous after winning in the first season of StarStruck, a reality-based talent search show of GMA Network in the Philippines.Personal BackgroundFamily
In the October 14, 2004 episode of TV drama series Magpakailanman of GMA Network, which featured her life story, viewers learned more about Jennylyn's childhood.
In May 4, 1991, when she was nearly four years old, Jennylyn made headlines as a battered child.
Her assailant was her stepfather. He burned Jennylyn's young's skin with cigarette butts and whacked her back with a flat iron. Her mother, who was then in Dubai working as a domestic helper, immediately came home. Sadly, though, she came not to take care of her daughter but to bail out her cruel partner, who was in detention.
Her mother migrated to London and had her own family. Because of this, Jennylyn's aunt, Lydia Mercado, legally adopted her.
In June 2004, Jennylyn's biological father, Noli Pineda, now 50 came home for a holiday. His arrival did not go unnoticed by the press. Reports came out saying that he was asking for money from his now self-sufficient daughter. This, Jennylyn strongly denied. What her father wanted, she said, was for Jennylyn to use his surname.
Still, according to Jen, she and her biological father keep in touch, even if they don't get to see each other often, since he's based in Korea.
Because of her experience as an abused child, she is now the Official Spokesperson of the Bata Foundation (Christian Mission Services), a non-government organization that operates with basic funding support from its partner organization Christlicher Missiondienst (CMD) headquartered in Germany, supplementary assistance from two Japanese organizations and a few local groups, with the help of Feed Hungry Inc. and the GMA Artist Center.School
Before joining showbizness, Jennylyn was a senior student at the Augustinian Abbey in Las Piñas where she actively took part in school programs.
Because of her hectic work schedule after winning Starstruck, she had to take a leave from school. If given the time and opportunity to pursue her studies further, the young actress has answered that she'd like to take up Mass Communications as a major.Health
On the April 3, 2004 episode of Startalk, a showbiz-oriented show in the Philippines, Jennylyn admitted that she suffers from a heart ailment which prohibits her from becoming too tired, and overly excited and angry.Debut
A day before her 18th birthday, Jennylyn decided to spend her special day with abused children from the CMSP, distributing gifts and just spending quality time with the children, instead of a grand debutante party.
But the real-life Cinderella cannot escape the life of a princess. MAQ Productions SM Megamall Cinema threw her a belated 18th birthday celebration to coincide with the premiere of her first movie as a leading lady, Say That You Love Me. This was the Philippines' first ever movie premiere with a birthday debut.
The production company went all-out with the celebration. Insiders won't give exact figures, but rumor has it that the price tag is in the seven figure region in Philippine pesos.
Jennylyn wore a beautiful gown created exclusively for her by fashion genius Rajo Laurel. Award-winning production designer Edgar Martin "Egay" Littaua also put his unmistakable stamp on the glittery, flowery affair Mark Herras, Jennylyn's real-life beau at the time and leading man in Say That You Love Me, escorted his lovely leading lady on her very special evening, together with other young men from Jennylyn's family, Starstruck, GMA Network, and Regal Films.
Her traditional 18 Roses Dance included the following: Vincent Pineda (Jennylyn's father), Rainier Castillo, Jake Cuenca, Tyron Perez, Bearwin Meily, Benj Pacia, Dion Ignacio, Christian Esteban, Anton dela Paz, Alvin Aragon, Kirby de Jesus, Kevin Santos, Ken Punzalan, Jay-R, James Blanco, John Prats, Marco Alcaraz, Dennis Trillo, and Mark Herras.
Well wishers included Say That You Love Me director Mac Alejandre and producer Roselle Monteverde-Teo, manager Becky Aguila, Jennylyn's "Mommy" Lydia Mercado and "Mother" Lily Monteverde. High-ranking executives from GMA Network, including Annette Gozon-Abrogar, Jimmy Duavit, Ida Henares, Marivin Arayata, Lilybeth Rasonable, Reggie Acuña-Magno, Bang Arespacochaga, Darling de Jesus, and Atty. Felix Gozon were also in attendance.
Three hundred guards added even more pomp to the glittery affair, which climaxed with the premiere of the movie in cinemas 3 & 4. Cinema 3 was reserved be for the stars, staff, and special invited guests, while cinema 4 hosted sneak preview ticket-holders. A sumptuous dinner was also prepared for the invited guests.
For those who were not present at the event, the giant plasma screen hanging from the EDSA face of SM Megamall allowed commuters and passersby to see the celebration. There was also a live feed to GMA's top-rating news program, 24 Oras, that allowed TV viewers to witness the revelry from the comforts of their living rooms.Relationships
She became the girlfriend of co-StarStruck survivor Mark Herras but their relationship has now ended. Although the pair may have declared that they have split up, their on-screen team-up bears no signs of breaking down.
Rumor has it that Mark Herras is now courting a newcomer actress, Marian Rivera,but now Mark has stopped courting the young lady because he cares more about his career and loveteam with Jen. Jennylyn is being wooed by numerous men (like actor Jake Cuenca who gave her a dog - Migs - while working with her in the 9th season of Love to Love entitled Miss Match. But all were just rumors.There are also hints that suggest that they are back together again but there has also been rumors that she and her former non-showbiz boyfriend, Jigs Cristobal are back together, too. Jen denied all of these saying she has not got back together with Jigs nor Mark. Some sources also said that she's been courted by Captain Barbell star, Patrick Garcia.
The young singer-actress has stated that none of the rumors are true. She claimed that, at present, she still is entertaining suitors and that her career is her utmost priority.
Now she admitted that she has been going out with actor, Patrick Garcia. Patrick also revealed that he has been visiting Jennylyn's house and have been sending flowers to the pretty singer-actress. But as of this moment, they both said that they are still on the getting to know stage. But lately she said on an interview with Startalk that she is not closing any doors to anyone or a reconciliation with Mark.
Jen has also said in a latest interview that no one has taken Mark's place in her heart at the moment and she hasn't seen one yet. Also, She said if she was to reincarnate she would still pick Mark despite the fact what happned to their relationship.CAREERBefore Starstruck fame
Jennylyn started out as a recording artist, in 1999, with Alpha Records through the recommendation of her voice coach Susanna Pichay. She was with the singing group G4 of Nonoy Tan. Unfortunately, two of co-members didn’t continue on so the group and the planned album was scrapped. But the group was able to record two songs. Though her short experience with the group dismayed her, it developed her love for singing.
After G4, another opportunity was opened to her and that was modeling. She kept herself busy with a number of VTRs from advertising agencies.
Luckily, her patience paid off as she landed an endorsing stint with Bambini cologne and a Ponds television advertisement before that. She also made it to the elite Circle of 10 modeling search along with fellow Starstruck member, Dion Ignacio. She won the Ms. Photogenic title and some cash. But according to her, she was also a contestant in the previous year’s search. She withdrew from it because the cigarette smoke from the bars they visited as part of the search’s promotions made her sick and affected her voice.
Her friend Nina Sanchez asked her to sing as her guest one night at the Café de Malate located in Madre Ignacia St., Malate, Manila. Afterwards, she was asked if she was interested to sing regularly (every Monday and Thursday night) by Bobby Velasco, the owner. This was her first lounge act since G4. This boosted her self-cofidence because some of the Filipino celebrities who started out with Café de Malate include the likes of singer-dancer Gem Ramos, singer-actress Hannah Villame, recording artists Bhem Rosas and Karen Villar, Sandra Amor and Kyla who was known then as Melanie Calumpad.
She also played a role in hit soap opera Kay tagal kang hinintay with lorna tolentino in th eother network (Abs-cbn).She also played the role of Rio Locsin’s favorite student in the GMA teledrama Ang Iibigin Ay Ikaw as well as in the weekly series Nagmamahal, Manay Gina, where she appeared three times.Starstruck
StarStruck is the first reality-based talent search on Philippine television in recent history. Its pilot episode aired on October 27, 2003. Out of thousands who auditioned for a stab at stardom, only 100 were chosen for the first cut. From 100, it was trimmed down to 60, from 60 to 30 and from 30 to the 14 finalists. Needless to say, Jennylyn made the cut.
The final fourteen underwent various workshops and training in order to develop their personalities, talents, etc. But, the twist was that every week, one of the Final 14 will have to say goodbye until only four remain.
The winner was announced on a two-hour TV special dubbed StarStruck Final Judgement held on February 1, 2004. Araneta Coliseum, the venue of the event was jampacked by thousands of StarStruck fans and supporters. Mark Herras and Jennylyn Mercado were proclaimed Ultimate Survivors and each of them received one million pesos plus exclusive contracts from GMA Network. The Final Judgment rated 42.8%, impressively high for a late Sunday night telecast.
Jennylyn may not have looked overwhelmed when her name was announced as the female ultimate survivor, but that was only because she was too dumbfounded to react. Asked – a few days later – to choose which part of her life she wanted to relive, she choses February 1, 2004, the day she won the contest.
Because of the StarStruck fever, GMA Network created a new show, Stage 1: The StarStruck Playhouse. The StarStruck test continues on this show where the Final 14 have to prove their staying power in the business. Every week from Mondays to Thursdays, the show presents a miniseries starring the starstruck 1 final 14, this time their acting prowess is put into test. The show already went off the air with high ratings.
Fridays would serve as critical day because the audience will judge their performance for the week through text messaging. An acting award is also given to the survivor who excelled in that week. Stage 1: LIVE! is also somewhat a variety show for the Survivors. If Mondays to Thursdays, they showed their acting skills, during Fridays, they are able to show their dancing, singing and hsoting prowess. The show was hosted by Chynna Ortaleza and Cogie Domingo with Raymond Gutierrez. The show already went off the air with high ratings.Movies
The Ultimate Survivor of Starstruck Batch 1 has a lot to be thankful for. She is now one of the hottest stars in Philippine television and the other half of the most bankable love team in the country today.
Her first feature film was in Happy Together, where Jennylyn played Kris Aquino's rebellious daughter. What followed was another hit film in the same year with Richard Gutierrez and Angel Locsin in the teen-flick Let the Love Begin. As a true testament to her rising stardom, she has also starred alongside real-love Mark Herras, in the blockbuster success, Say That You Love Me. In addition, her recent portrayal of the young Corazon opposite veteran actors Eddie Garcia and Christopher de Leon has received accolades from fans and critics alike. This same role has garnered her first ever acting award from Gawad Tanglaw. The other big names that Jen has worked with on the big screen includes Eric Quizon, Lorna Tolentino, Kris Aquino, Jean Garcia, Gloria Romero and Gina Alajar.
Mercado's next film is Eternity, a historical love story produced by Regal Films that also features Dingdong Dantes, Iza Calzado and Mark Herras. The movie will open around the Philippines on September 6, 2006.
"‘Eternity’ is one of the best films I’ve made so far. It’s a beautiful love story that shows how the present can affect the past, as shown in the surprise twist in its ending.” said Jennylyn Mercado .Television
Aside from a successful movie career, Jennylyn is a GMA-7 contract artist that has graced several television shows, making her a household name. But among her numerous TV projects, it is probably her princess fairy character Milagros/Lira in the fantasy soap opera Encantadia that has truly made her star shine even brighter.
On May 2006, Mercado will star on another GMA soap entitled I Luv NY. With his ex-flame and screen partner Mark Herras and New York City as its backdrop which constitutes 70% of the whole soap, this will absolutely soar high in ratings.Music
In a time when 10-track debut albums don't make much sense, Jennylyn has been lucky enough to score original compositions by master composer Vehnee Saturno and enlist Janno Gibbs for a duet cover of the classic ballad If I'm Not In Love With You on her debut album, Living the Dream. The album's carrier single titled "Kahit Sandali", another Saturno original , enjoyed major airplay and became one of the most requested songs at the time of its release. To date, the album is now certified Platinum.
With a successful album under her belt, she can now boast of being a true recording artist, a wish that she had always dreamed of. When asked what she prefers acting or singing, Jen answers, "singing, definitely singing." In fact, she is now preparing for a second album. Weekly, she is able to highlight her musical prowess in the teen variety program SOP Gigsters
On May 2006 , Jennylyn is back with her sophomore effort ironically tagged Letting Go. Astonishingly, this album signals a change in direction for Jennylyn, both musically and emotionally. This is a 10 - track album that showcases Jennylyn Mercado's versatility in singing. The first single "Sa Aking Panaginip" sees Jennylyn singing with more assurance, more purity about love and loss that offers listeners an initial glimpse of a renewed star. Created by veteran Vehnee Saturno, Jennylyn is well complemented with the orchestral backing but she never drowns in the sea of musical arrangements. In fact, during the grand climax she funnels her rich voice as if declaring her valiant comeback, proving that she is a woman on a mission.
Aside from possessing a lovely voice, Jennylyn can also play the drums and guitar.First Major Concert
Jennylyn's first major concert is on May 15, 2006, the day of her birthday. The title of the concert is "Music In Me". The concert is located at the Music Museum in Greenhills. Special guests are Mr. Janno Gibbs, Mark Herras, Aiza Seguerra, Hale and his surprise guest Christian Bautista. It was a sold-out event and rumors has it that there will be a repeat. The concert's highlights are the duet of Jennylyn and her surprise guest Christian Bautista and the sensual dirty dancing with her on-screen partner Mark Herras.Endorsements
The teen star’s charming face as well as her cool and calm personality has earned her several commercial offers and endorsements. She is currently the image model of Star Mall, Pantene, Particles, Bambini cologne and lotion, Maxipeel, Unisilver, Converse, Calayan Surgicare, WL Foods, Finds, No Curfew Watches, OHM, Fornarina and Star Choco Nut.