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Jane Oineza: Her Time Is Now

Jane Oineza can say that 2023, for her, is a year of highlights and milestones.

Before she came to the FreebieMNL Spotlight shoot, she listed down all the blessings and projects she did, ensuring that she would be able to mention everything in the interview.

After all, she’s had a good number of projects this year.

She was able to shoot three movies, two of which were shown this year: Mavx Productions’ “Swing” and Regal Entertainment’s “Shake, Rattle, and Roll Extreme.” She was even paired with her real-life beau, RK Bagatsing, in both.

She also finished shooting “Fruitcake,” which reunites her with her former “Pinoy Big Brother: All-In” housemate, Joshua Garcia.

Jane was also part of the Prime Video series “Cattleya Killer” with Arjo Atayde and Jake Cuenca, which received the national award for Best Drama Series at the Asian Academy Creative Awards 2023. Jane also had a role in another straight-to-streaming series, “Simula sa Gitna,” produced by ANIMA Studios.

But the biggest blessing that Jane received this year was the lead role in the afternoon series “Nag-aapoy na Damdamin,” her biggest role yet after being in the business for 22 years.

For Jane, getting the lead role was a testament to her hard work.

She says, “Nakakakilig and nakaka-proud din sa sarili ko kasi alam ko na I’ve put in the work. 

Ibinigay ko rin lahat and may hard work yun and alam ko na pinaghirapan ko kung nasaan man ako ngayon.”

What also fills Jane’s heart are the comments from fans and viewers saying that her time has finally come, and she deserves to be noticed for her talent. She continues, “Ngayon na dumarating yung opportunities, and yung compliments na ganun ng tao, nakakatuwa na napapansin nila yung hard work na binibigay mo.”

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UNIQLO Turtleneck, Custom Embroidered panties, Falke Gray Tights

22 years in showbiz

This year, Jane was also recognized by ABS-CBN and Star Magic for her loyalty during the talent agency’s recent Christmas event.

Kaya nga 2023 talaga is full of highlights in my life, milestones in my life, and isa na doon yung award na yun. Kasi, again, I’ve been putting in the hard work, and [with] it being recognized, nakaka-proud, nakakakilig,” she says of the award.

The awarding ceremony during the Christmas ball was special for Jane because, she says, “Chance din yun for me to thank the people I’ve been working with the past 22 years. People who trusted me with projects and yung mga nakasama ko sa journey.

Ang saya rin kasi that night, you’re in front of your friends, kasama ang boss mo sa ABS.”

It was in 2001 when Jane started her showbiz career in ABS-CBN as a child star. She was known for playing younger versions of lead stars, such as Claudine Barretto and Kristine Hermosa. She also became a part of the kids gag show “Goin’ Bulilit.”

When she transitioned to becoming a teen actress, Jane played supporting roles in TV shows. She was also the third big placer in “Pinoy Big Brother: All-In” in 2014.

But just like any artist, there were times when Jane couldn’t think of what’s next for her, especially during the pandemic when everything was put to a halt.

She admits, “May mga araw na may doubts ka sa sarili mo. May, ‘Ano pa bang pwede kong gawin? Ano pa ba pwede kong i-improve?’ May mga rejections na pagdadaanan.

Maraming thoughts lalo na kapag wala kang ginagawa, doon pumapasok yung thoughts. Lalo na din noong pandemic na lahat tayo, walang trabaho, e. Lahat may uncertainties na ‘Kailan ba babalik? Ano bang mangyayari sa ating lahat?’ 

Siguro, doon rin nagkaroon ng moment of realization na, ‘Okay, we have to make the most out of every day and make the most out of everything that we do.’”

Even then, Jane did not entertain the idea of leaving showbiz because it continues to be what she loves.

May mga araw na marami kang doubts or questions or negative thoughts, pero never kong naisip to quit kasi ito talaga yung gusto kong gawin ever since at ito pa rin yung gusto kong gawin. 

May mga araw lang, di ba, parang na nada-down mo yung sarili mo, or nago-overthink ka, or ang daming nangyayari. Pero hindi ko naisip to quit on my dreams. Mas more on ‘How can I achieve it?’ Yung mina-manifest ko, ano pang pwede kong gawin to achieve it?”

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Mikee Andrei bow cape, Hosbjerg silver trousers

Room for love

They say that when you’re lucky in your career, there’s no room for love in your life.

But it is an entirely different story for Jane as her relationship with boyfriend RK Bagatsing continues to bloom, with movie producers taking notice of their chemistry as a couple.

They headlined two movies this year: the adult drama “Swing” and the “Mukbang” episode of the horror movie “Shake, Rattle, and Roll Extreme.”

So how does Jane feel about her and RK becoming an in-demand on-screen love team?

Sobrang nakaka-happy kasi parang sobrang proud kami sa isa’t isa when we get projects individually and we support each other. So, kapag meron kami together, yung talagang we get to work together.”

“It’s different din to work with your partner kasi nandoon na yung comfortable kayo sa isa’t isa. Kasi, acting naman, it’s about, di ba, taking a risk? So, if you’re comfortable with your partner, you’re less scared or less conscious doon sa choices mo or sa risk that you’re taking.”

“Wala, ang saya lang din. Kasi doon pumapasok yung work-life balance, literal. Literal na work-life balance!”

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Despite their busy schedules, Jane and RK make sure they have personal time together.

In fact, during Jane’s FreebieMNL Spotlight shoot, RK came to fetch and support her. At the time, Jane had a day before she was going to fly to Singapore for the Asian Academy Creative Awards ceremony.

When the two spend time together, they like to keep it simple.

Jane shares, “Napakasimple lang kasi namin, e, so, kapag walang work, as Cancer and Taurus kami, very home buddy. Mahilig kami yung mga quiet days, anything peaceful, anything serene.”

“Even if we’re watching a movie, cuddle, relax, binge-watch or kung lalabas man, it’s really the beach or a hike, kung may time.”

Pero ngayon, kasi nga it’s really really busy, kapag nakakasingit kami ng araw, we just want to make our time together and bond lang talaga. So, less out, more in. Home buddy talaga. ‘Tapos we love to eat din, so it’s really good food, good mood!”

Being home buddies is something that Jane and RK both prefer, so they understand when they need to be respectful of each other’s spaces.

But Jane clarifies, “Alone time namin, together, e!”

She then explains, “Kung may times man na tatahimik, tahimik together. Pwede kami magkasama, pero kung may kailangan siyang gawin, kung may kailangan na i-post, kailangan i-schedule, bibigyan ko siya ng space to do that, pero space together. 

“Basta nandito siya sa akin, basta magkasama pa rin kami.”

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AJ JAVIER silver sequined gown, custom velvet gloves

Best Gift For Jane

Being a year of milestones for Jane, she says that she received the best birthday gift last July when “Nag-aapoy na Damdamin” aired.

Aside from it being her big break in showbiz, she enjoys her role as Olivia and working with her co-stars JC De Vera, Tony Labrusca, and her best friend Ria Atayde. 

Jane narrates, “Super intense nga kami since the start, but ako kasi when I act, super binibigay ko yung lahat-lahat ko in the character or in the scene that I’m doing, as in dive deep talaga.”

“So, kapag nagka-cut din or on the rest days, parang I’m so excited to be back to me, back to myself, and it really helps din na sa set that I’m working with friends, I’m working with people I’m comfortable with.”

“Fun but, at the same time, responsible environment na kapag work na, work din talaga, as in focus kaming lahat.”

So when asked about what she wants to receive this Christmas, Jane says, “Book six,” referring to a longer run for “Nag-aapoy na Damdamin.”

But turning serious, Jane hopes that blessings continue to pour in the coming years. “Sana yung streak doesn’t end this year, I hope it continues pa.”

Meanwhile, if she can grant one wish to her fans, she wishes to celebrate more milestones with them.

She says, “[Sana] marami pa kaming years together, na marami pa kaming pagdadaanan na mga block screenings, na mga meet and greet, mga mall shows, marami pang ganaps together and na ma-happy rin sila.”

Siyempre, kasi I want to make them proud, kasi wala din naman ako dito kung wala sila. So, yung mga dreams din nila for me, mga ganaps din namin together, sana ma-achieve pa namin together in next, next, next, few years.”

For now, Jane is just enjoying the success and the milestones she long dreamed of and has finally accomplished. Indeed, her time is now.

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Photography Jerick Sanchez
Art and Art Direction Alexandra Lara
Interview and Cover Story Jimpy Anarcon
Transcription Rod Hagen
Fashion Direction Sarah Santiago
Styling Geno Espidol of Qurator Studio
Makeup Japeth Purog
Hair Jonas Lucas
Production FreebieMNL
Special Thanks PJ Calingo and Ronan Sioson of JRB Creative Production
and Dayan Nebres of Star Magic

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