On the Spot: Love Radio’s Papa Jack + His Advice for 10 Love Problems

FM radio’s late night king on his trademark tough love, <em>Wild Confessions’</em> most controversial caller, and more.

The face behind the voice: Papa Jack ranked 10th in SPOT.ph’s "Top 10 Cutest Male DJs"

 

He admits he’s no Joe D’ Mango, but he’s undeniably become a pop culture fixture like the iconic Love Notes DJ. John Gemperle a.k.a. Papa Jack of Love Radio’s True Love Conversations and Wild Confessions is the voice you’ve been hearing practically everywhere-on a bus, in a cab, at a waiting shed-on weekday nights for almost four years now.

This Tough Love ambassador is brutally frank, to say the least. If he thinks you’re being stupid, unreasonable or (insert adjective here), he’ll have no qualms about calling you out. He claims he isn’t a particularly brilliant adviser but he definitely has a knack for stripping down a love conundrum to its bare essentials, pointing shell-shocked callers toward the proverbial light. His no-nonsense attitude (and maybe that high-pitched laughing SFX played every five seconds) has put him in the negative light for some but there’s no doubt that he has a strong following.

The DJ, who moonlights as a singer on weekends and who used to be a professor at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, talked to SPOT.ph about life behind and beyond the booth and takes a stab at 10 hypothetical love problems we cooked up with inspiration from some very familiar scenarios you’ve probably heard about.

 

Papa Jack’s Wild Confessions

 

Do you have pre-show rituals?

How do I get into the mood? Wala naman. Kasi sa program ko, I sell my personality so kung bad mood ako that night, you will really know na bad mood ako. Kasi I say it on air. Kung naasar ako sa pulis na dinaanan ko, I say it on air... I update people with what I did (that day). If (there’s) nothing special, I do my usual "How do you do today?"

How do you pick your callers?

Random lang lahat but before I put them on air, I ask for their names and numbers. I have caller ID, (I just want to verify the number). I want to send the message to the caller na don’t mess with me because I know your number. But for no reason at all, I have all the numbers and names of the callers from Day 1 of TLC. May mga gabi lang siguro na nag-hang ’yong computer, nawala.

Among the thousands of callers who’ve phoned you, what’s one that stood out?

Sa Wild Confessions, ’yong magkapatid na mmmm. The guy was nine and the girl was 15... ’Yong girl ang nag-initiate. Up until mag-turn 15 ’yong lalaki, they were doing it almost every day. Nung tumawag sa akin ’yong lalaki, he was already 21. At ’yong ate niya nasa US na so they don’t talk anymore kasi ando’n na ’yong barrier. Siguro nag-sink na sa kanila na kumbaga bastos ’yong ginagawa, kumbaga nakakahiya na mag-usap pa sila... Pero it became their way of living na kasi magkatabi silang natutulog... For Wild Confessions, I don’t give advice. I listen.

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Papa Jack on Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho

 

What do you think is the most common love problem of Filipinos based on your callers?

Moving on. Kasi it's something that nobody can answer. Kanya-kanya tayo diyan eh. It’s like our immune system. You cannot borrow my immune system para gumaling ka. That’s your own. Gano’n pag-move on. Kahit anong payo mo diyan, ’pag mag-isa na ’yan, may sarili kang diskarte. So you can never teach moving on. Feeling ko naman kahit hindi Pinoy ’yan ang problem talaga.

Assuming you’ve had your heart broken at least once, how did you deal with it?

I don’t remember if Mimi (his long-time girlfriend) already broke my heart. Let me answer your question (in a different light). People think that mostly when you give advice, maayos ang love life mo... ’Pag may problema ka, you don't advise yourself. Para kang tanga ’pag ginawa mo ’yon kasi hindi mo pakikinggan sarili mo. When you have problems, you ask around. Kasi you cannot look at yourself from a bigger perspective. Only other people can so you ask advice. People would tell you ang galing mo magpayo; I always say hindi ako magaling magpayo. Hindi. ’Yon ang common misconception. Kasi ’yong tinanong sa akin na problem, ’pag sayo tinanong, you will say the same thing. Naiisip mo ’yong naiisip ko. Sinabi ko lang ’yong obvious na dapat sabihin. Prangka lang.

If there’s something good that I do, I think really fast. Gano’n ako eh. ’Pag ginising mo ako sa umaga, I can make a decision right away. Pagbukas ng mata ko, active agad ako. Pero giving advice, I think everyone can give advice. Baliw lang siguro ako magpayo pero hindi ako magaling magpayo, average lang. I cannot be Joe D’ Mango, iba ’yon eh, idol ko ’yon.

Has a fan ever asked you out? What did you say?

I always get invitations to go out. Binibiro ko na lang kasi you know I’m with Mimi. It’s very impolite ’di ba that I date someone else other than Mimi. Mimi and I have been together for a long time, almost four years na kami next next month. Mimi’s been with me no’ng panahon na bente pesos pa lang ang pera ko sa bulsa... I always decline pero politely naman. ’Tsaka I don't think I’m a good bet to go out with kasi wala kang mapapala sa akin. Wala akong naiisip na bagay, puro kalokohan... Sobrang joker talaga ako.

In your spare time, what do you like to do?

I play guitar and I sing-out of tune (laughs). Padi’s Point pays me to sing. I do acoustic nights. I do photography. I watch National Geographic Channel and Discovery Channel... When I was a teacher, ’pag tapos na ang syllabus ko, I teach science sa mga Mass Comm students kasi it’s my favorite subject... Watching TV, playing (the) guitar, Photoshop, among others. Dating Mimi, kwentuhan.

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SPOT.ph asked Papa Jack to advise 10 hypothetical callers. As movie credits go, "Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."

 

1. Finally, naging kami na ng matagal kong ka-MU. Kaso hindi pa rin mamatay-matay ang tsismis na bading siya kahit may anak na siya. Parati niyang sinasabing mahal niya ako pero minsan parang gusto ko nang maniwala sa tsismis, lalo na ’pag may nagsasabing nakita siya kasama ni ganito. I don’t want to give up on us, Papa Jack. Anong dapat kong gawin?

Ang question do’n, mahal mo ba talaga ’yong partner mo? Kasi kung talagang love mo siya, it doesn’t matter at all, ’di ba? It’s a part of his pagkatao. You take him as he is... Kung may nakikita siyang iba, that’s a different thing kasi that’s actually cheating, ’di ba? Ke babae o lalake ang kasama niya, that’s cheating... So what kung bakla siya at pinili ka niya (over) a guy? Eh di okay lang.

 

2. Pagkatapos akong iwan ng boyfriend kong parating busy, parang nililigawan ako ngayon ng officemate ko. Ang sweet-sweet niya at kinakantahan pa niya ako kahit sintunado siya. Guwapo? Hmmm, mabait naman pero makulay ang nakaraan. Matinik daw sa mga babae. Ubod ng yaman, pero hindi naman iyon ang pakay ko...Gusto ko na siyang sagutin kahit hindi pa siya nagtatanong pero baka maging biktima lang niya ako.

Wala namang kinalaman do’n ’yong ex mo eh... Playboy? Nakakatakot kasi ’yan. Sana lang you’ll be the person, dahilan para magbago siya. Kung may nanliligaw sa’yo, the mere fact that you still ask a lot of questions means you still don’t love the guy. You need time to get to know the guy. Kasi kung love mo na ’yong guy, you don’t consider the factors na playboy siya noon, mawawala ’yan, magdi-dissolve sa utak mo ’yan. It gets blurry.

Kahit playboy yan dati, kahit may 10 anak na magkakaiba ang nanay, you don’t really care. Ganun ’yan eh. The mere fact na you still consider na playboy siya, nakikinig ka pa sa mga rumors, (means) you’re not ready for this guy. Baka gusto mo lang ng boyfriend. I always say ’di ba, ang relasyon is not a requirement. You will not die not having a partner. But it’s wonderful. So magandang antayin mo siyang dumating sa buhay mo.

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An episode of Wild Confessions shot in 2008


3. Wala kang mapipintas sa girlfriend ko-maganda, matalino, may talent, disente. Mas bata sa akin ng five years, pero we make it work. Sanay rin naman ako na may age gap kasi mas matanda sa akin yung huling ex ko. Speaking of her, hindi ko malimutan ang ex ko kahit sobrang okay kami ng girlfriend ko ngayon. May very special place siya sa puso ko. Ewan ko kung ganoon lang talaga katigas ang ulo ko pero gusto ko siyang balikan. Kaso nagi-guilty ako at saka may iba nang nanliligaw sa kanya na mas ka-edad niya. I feel stuck, Papa Jack. Sinong dapat kong piliin sa kanila?

Well ’yong ex parati nating maaalala ’yan kahit may mahal ka ng bago. There will be a time when you’d wonder kung anong ginagawa niya... Nilalambing ba niya ’yong bago niya gaya ng paglalambing niya sa’yo? Gano’n ’yon eh. Pero if you said goodbye to a friend or a partner and if you think it’s the right reason, well it’s time to move on because sometimes, goodbyes are necessary.

Now, if you’re with someone, you have to make it work, ’di ba? Every possible angle na pupuwedeng i-save ’yong relationship... You can never give your full potential in loving your girlfriend habang nakikibalita ka sa ex mo. It’s okay to be a friend to exes but maybe not immediately after a breakup kasi may inhibition pa ’yan eh. Di ba? Hindi pupuwedeng sabihin mong wala na kasi andiyan pa rin yan. So mas maganda stop trying to be associated pa sa ex mo if you have a new girlfriend kasi you are being unfair sa bago mong girlfriend... Pero kung hindi ka talaga makawala sa ex mo, sa alaala, and you’re not comfortable with the idea na nililigawan na ng iba ’yong ex mo, malamang mahal mo pa. Balikan mo na lang.

 

4. Binalikan ko na naman siya, Papa Jack. Ang boyfriend ko na walang ginawa kundi paiyakin ako at ipagpalit sa iba. Hindi ko lang siya matiis kapag nagmamakaawang bumalik. Kasi ang guwapo niya, charming, bata (more than 10 years) at ang bango-bango. Amoy fresh fruit, parang pineapple. Sinasabihan ako ng friends at family ko na tama na pero hindi ko kaya.

Love mo ’yong guy di ba? Be the reason para magbago siya. Gano’n lang kasimple ’yon. Kasi the very reason why you’re sticking with this person is you see something special sa kanya na hindi nakikita ng iba. So mayro’n ’yan. Kumbaga kung sa’yo niya in-open ’yong shell niya, transparent siya sa’yo. May nakikita ka na hindi siguro na-appreciate ng iba.

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5. Nahuli ng security guard sa high school namin ang boyfriend ko na may dalang "mood enhancers." Una, tinanggi niyang sa kanya ’yon. Tapos maya-maya dinahilan niya na nag-away kami. Gusto ko siyang tulungan pero nagagalit ako sa kanya dahil ginamit pa niya akong rason. Na-depress daw siya dahil sa akin kaya siya naudyok gumamit ng bawal na gamot.

Siguro ’yong paggamit niya sa’yo bilang rason, that should never be a question kasi siguro kailangan niya talaga niya ng excuse to save himself during that time. That should not be an issue pa... unless nakulong ka rin. Paano mo siya matutulungan? Hayaan mo siyang magdusa. That’s the best help you can give your boyfriend. Kailangan niyang madala. It’s not just a concern of a relasyon but of society itself. Kumbaga that’s illegal. Hayaan mo siyang makulong kung kailangan niyang makulong. Hayaan mo siyang ma-penalize kung kailangang mangyari ’yon.

 

An episode of True Love Conversations shot in 2009


6. Lola na ako pero, kumbaga, may asim pa. Maraming nanliligaw sa akin, mga bata pa. Hindi ko alam kung anong nakita nila sa akin, gandang-ganda siguro sa sayaw ko at sa mga designer bag ko. Pero ayaw ng mga anak ko sa kanila, malilintikan daw sila.

Normal ’yan. ’Pag biyuda, hindi mo aasahang ’yong mga anak (sasabihing) mag-asawa ka ulit. Laging against ’yan eh. Ngayon kung kayo ’yong nagliligawan at alam niyong maraming tutol, tanungin niyo sarili niyo. Worth it bang ipaglaban? Kasi mamaya nagtitrip-trip lang kayo. You have to be sure na seryoso kayo. Kasi kung hindi, kung half-hearted, you have to consider delicadeza. Pero if you can withstand ’yong mga sinasabi ng ibang tao because totoo ’yong nararamdaman niyo, I guess it doesn’t matter na mapagdaanan niyo ’yong trials na ’yan. Pero kung trip lang, summer romance kumbaga, ’wag na lang.

 

7. Pagkatapos ng ilang buwang walang contact, makakatrabaho ko na naman ang dating ka-MU ko. Saglit lang, para sa isang company project. Pero nakaka-tense pa rin kasi may pinagsamahan kami at hindi naman bastang nawala ang feelings ko para sa kanya. Sana maulit muli, kumbaga. Pero ang alam ko wala na siyang gusto sa akin. Ayokong mahulog ulit sa kanya pero hindi naman ako maka-hindi sa boss ko. Paano ko siya didistansiyahan habang nagtatrabaho kami?

Walang paraan do’n. Honestly, wala kasi hindi puwedeng "I’m working right now. I have to be comfortable with you. I have to tell myself na trabaho lang ’to." Kaplastikan ’yon eh. Specially MU? I always consider MU as malisya eh... ’Wag mo na lang i-aim na distansyahan ang sarili mo kasi you might not finish and do your job very well. Kasi you are under a team, you have to get results sa isang gawain tapos pinaplastik mo sarili mo. Pakatotoo ka na lang na nagfi-flirt talaga kayo noon.

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Papa Jack was named Top Brand’s Most Outstanding Male Radio Announcer and DJ last year

 

8. Maloko ’tong boyfriend ko, Papa Jack. Gumawa sila ng friends niya ng prank video daw, kunwari may mga kasama silang babae. Inexplain na niya sa lahat na loko lang ’yon pero ngayon, hinahabol siya ng mga babae sa department namin kasi feeling nila single na ulit siya. Paano ko ba sila mapapalayo ’yong girls once and for all?

If your boyfriend loves you, bakit siya gagawa ng video that might hurt you? Let’s say that (it was) really a prank video. Hindi naman problem kung paano papalayuin ’yong girls kasi they’d really (go) after your boyfriend kung talagang good looking siya. It’s your boyfriend that’s the main concern here. If your boyfriend is telling you na this is just a prank then... he would know how to take care of you... Actually dapat i-reassure ka ng boyfriend mo. After (he does) that kind of video, kailangang bigyan ka niya ng reassurance (na) he will be faithful and honest to you kasi hindi maganda ’yong ginawa niya.

 

9. Buong mundo ata galit sa amin, Papa Jack. Parang it’s me and her against the world. Nagtanan kami kaya medyo galit ang friends and family namin. Halos wala kasing nakaalam. Okay kaming mag-asawa pero alam kong naaapektuhan pa rin siya ng silent treatment nila.

Mag-sorry kayo. Wala sigurong pamilya o partido na matutuwa na nagtanan kayo, ’di ba? The mere fact na nagtanan kayo means people are not willing to accept the fact that you’re going to live together... Kung kaya niyong pangatawanan ang pagtatanan niyo, okay lang ’yon. Happy na kayo, sige go ahead. Pero expectedly may mga taong galit sa inyo kasi you’ve cheated and fooled people. Pangdadaya ’yon eh. Kung gano’n, you have to do your part to apologize.

 

10. There’s this guy na hindi ko ka-close pero Facebook friends kami. Nag-popost siya sa wall ko ng sweet messages and then one day pinost niya, "Can we go out some time?" Sabi ko saka na lang. I’m scared na gawin niya ulit ’yon.

Simple lang ’yan, eh di tanggalin mo siya sa Facebook mo. Kasi you’re giving the guy access. I-block mo siya. Problem solved. But if you like the guy at takot ka lang lumabas, hindi tama ’yon. Go out with the guy; that’s the only way to know him.

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Catch Papa Jack on Love Radio 90.7 on weekdays, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.  Screencap from Youtube.

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