Meet Jobelyn Manuel, the larger-than-life star of hit video series “Jowable”

Meet Jobelyn Manuel, the larger-than-life star of hit video series “Jowable”

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. 

Jowable was the first big hit of VinCentiments, the Facebook page started by writer, director, and SaWakas founder Darryl Yap. The page started out as a home for Darryl’s short films and has since evolved to become a home for viral video series such as Jowable and KPL (Kung Pwede Lang) While KPL puts the spotlight on a new actress in every video, the three Jowable videos only star Jobelyn Manuel. 

 

Jobelyn says that she has loved acting since high school but could not take up theater in college because there were no theater courses in her hometown of Olongapo. She now flexes her acting muscles through her involvement with SaWakas and VinCentiments. “Buhay ko na po ’yong acting,” she says. “Minsan kahit wala po ’yong tao sa harap, umaarte na lang po ako.”
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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.” 
 

In Jowable 2, the desperate bida directs her drunken speech towards President Duterte instead of the Lord. Unlike the first video, which dwells on the character’s relationship with God, the second video is more political in nature, connecting the character’s desire for a boyfriend with issues such as drug-related killings and China’s takeover of the Spratly Islands, among others. 

 

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. 
 

In the third installment of the series, the main character returns to church just before Valentine’s Day to ask God for a date. Towards the end of her speech, she comes up with several reasons why she may be single – and concludes that despite all of that, she is still worthy of love. 

 

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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