Jennylyn Mercado arrives at the venue with a drink. She is stunning in person, even without any makeup on. We invite her to step into the play area (we shot the October cover in Imagine That! in Makati) and she politely declines because drinks are not allowed beyond the reception area. Despite her fabulous Balenciaga bag, the actress-single mom exuded no diva tendencies and gamely began the preparations for the photo shoot. I think to myself, she really has gone a long way since her StarStruck days.
As we wait for make-up artist Denise Go to finish Jennylyn’s make-up, senior staff writer Rachel Perez, managing editor Nikki Constantino and art director Jenny Inumerable doodle on a notebook like high school girls. We practice our lettering skills and our cursive.
Meanwhile, editor-in-chief Mia Fausto-Cruz’s son Bastin exclaims, “How can I have hair like Justin Bieber!,” which makes the entire SP team burst into laughter.
When Jennylyn’s son Alex Jazz arrives, we practically gasp at the startling resemblance to his father, Patrick Garcia. Jennylyn's mom, Mommy Lydia, fills us in on how the celebrity dad has been reconnecting with his son and supporting his education.
The shoot commences, and yaya bystanders along with their cute alagas gaze on as if watching a TV show taping. To get Jazz to smile and look into the camera, we use a variety of funny hats, musical toys, vocal sounds and even a school bell to get his attention. With his furrowed brow and his look of deep concentration, he has a charming way about him that we figure will make girls swoon once he becomes a teenager.
Click here to read Jennylyn Mercado's firsthand parenting tips and click through the image gallery below for a behind-the-scenes look.