MANILA, Philippines—The Twitterverse on Saturday night was filled with messages of support for singer and songwriter Jake Zyrus after his life story aired on ABS-CBN’s Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK).
Jake, who came out in July as a trangender man, gave MMK the privilege to share the ‘true’ story of his life and the challenges he encountered as he struggled to reveal his true self.
Jake’s role was played by himself and actress Sharlene San Pedro.
Tweets encouraging support to Jake and the LGBT+ community started pouring in during the middle of the show.
One Twitter user said, “Being a gay/lesbian is not a disease, it is not a mental disability, it is not a choice, and definitely not a disgrace. #MMKJakeZyrus”
“Being caged and pretending to be someone you’re not is difficult so I really am proud of him, being who he really is,” @eprelbiebs tweeted.
Being a gay/lesbian is not a disease, it is not a mental disability, it is not a choice, and definitely not a disgrace. #MMKJakeZyrus
— Takehiko Sato (@officialtakesa) August 26, 2017
Being caged and pretending to be someone you’re not is difficult so I really am proud of him, being who he really is. 💕 #MMKJakeZyrus
— 🌹 (@eprelbiebs) August 26, 2017
#MMKJakeZyrus teaches us that living life without pretensions is way happier than anything, as long as we don’t hurt other people.
— Ivan (@kokongbalinan) August 26, 2017
I remember Charice’s first MMK story. Watching this one now, the first was def sugar-coated. This time, it’s all just… her. #MMKJakeZyrus
— Khayedots (@kbv_MK) August 26, 2017
Tonight’s MMK episode revealed the never-before-told story of mental abuse Jake experienced in the hands of his mother, Raquel. Played by actress Dina Bonnevie, Raquel was portrayed as a cruel momanager who prevented her son from revealing his true identity in fear of Jake losing his singing career. Raquel was also shown as a mother who admonished Jake for being a ‘lesbian’. The issue of money between Jake and his mother was also bared.
The portrayal of Raquel drew mixed reactions from netizens. Some criticized her while others asked that she be given the benefit of the doubt.
Radio jock Lloyd Cafe Cadena tweeted, “VERY WRONG ang mother ni Jake #MMKJakeZyrus.”
VERY WRONG ang mother ni Jake #MMKJakeZyrus
— DJ Lloyd Cafe Cadena (@LloydCadena) August 26, 2017
Meanwhile, some Twitter users called out the discrimination Jake experienced from his family.
this is the reason why oppression exists, the lack of support and love causes emotional trauma #MMKJakeZyrus
— Teenage Wasteland (@frigidfirefox) August 26, 2017
Discrimination is everywhere. Mostly, starts at home. | #MMKJakeZyrus
— Boy Next Door 👨 (@DeeLigent) August 26, 2017
#MMKJakeZyrus shows us that discrimination against LGBT by family is real and should be stopped.They deserve respect for who they are.
— James Dayagbil II (@jaymsjags06) August 26, 2017
Acceptance should start from the family because they should be your first line of defense when other people judge you. #MMKJakeZyrus
— 💛🌟 (@KDwarrior00) August 26, 2017
On the other hand, a number of tweets that showed sympathy towards Raquel were also sent out.
Im watching #MMKJakeZyrus rn.. but i dont know what to believe. 1 thing is for sure, they are trying to portray the bad side of the mother.
— Tanner Hemmings (@TannersOreos) August 26, 2017
I wonder how her mother feels while watching this. #MMKJakeZyrus
— 🔥Keith (@_eieomalinao) August 26, 2017
Poor mommy Racquel, she should turn off her TV now, This episode is overwritten. #MMKJakeZyrus
— Mic John Paul (@Micjohnpaul) August 26, 2017
This is an overscripted story. Too much oppression on the side of Jake. Hows the part of her mother right now watching that?#MMKJakeZyrus
— Russell Kurt Sangil (@rkls4227) August 26, 2017
Despite receiving mixed reactions, Jake thanked everyone, including those who couldn’t understand him.
“Gusto kong magpasalamat. Galing sa puso ko. Sa mga nakaintindi at sa mga na-inspire. Maiintindihan ko din ang mga taong hindi nakakaintindi dahil hindi perpekto ang buhay natin [I want to say thank you, from my heart, to those who understood and were inspired. I would also understand the people who couldn’t comprehend because our lives are not perfect],” Jake wrote in his Instagram post on Saturday.
He stressed that the purpose of his story was to tell the truth, not to smear other’s reputation.
“Alam ko. Alam ko ang iniisip ng ibang tao. Hindi ko ito ginawa upang manira, manakit ng tao. Ginawa ko ito dahil gusto kong magsabi ng totoo [I know. I know what people were thinking. I didn’t do this to destroy, hurt people. I did this because I want to tell the truth],” Jake said.
“Sa ilang taon na sinubukan kong linisin lagi ang pangalan, pagkatao ko, laging sa huli, ako ang talo Ngayong gabi na ito, pinipili ko ang sarili ko. Ang totoo. [In the years that I tried to clear my name, my identity, in the end, I was always the loser. Tonight, I am choosing myself. The truth],” he added.
The singer also asked the public to not resent his family as it was not the message he was sending out.
“Gusto ko pong sabihin sa inyo na wag po kayong magtanim ng sama ng loob sa aking pamilya. Hindi ito ang mensahe na pinapadala ko po. Sana ay ang makuha po ninyo ay ang maintindihan ang lahat, mahalin ang kapwa, irespeto at tanggapin natin sila kahit hindi natin sila maintindihan [I want to tell you to not bear ill-feelings against my family. It is not the message I was sending out. I hope that what you would pick is to understand everyone, love your fellow, let’s respect and accept them even if we can’t understand them],” he said.