MOVIEGOER: Jomari Yllana: I quit to focus

Published October 13, 2021, 2:53 PM

by Nestor Cuartero

Councilor Jomari Yllana of Paranaque City

It is unfortunate that some of our actors who have seen better days in show business would then turn to politics as their next destination.

The common mindset is that they can channel their popularity or name recall to what was previously considered a noble profession, public service.

Such a move by certain personalities has not improved the public’s perception of actors as politicians. It doesn’t help that some of those elected continue to moonlight in TV and movies to the detriment of their responsibility as public servants.


Others, like Jomari Yllana, focus.

During a recent conversation with the 45-year-old, whom we have known since his teen years as a serious young man, he gave us an earful of mature insights.

‘’Working for the government has been a learning curve for me, the reason why I purposely left showbiz, so I could focus,’’ Jomari Yllana describes the two three-year terms that he has devoted to being councilor of Paranaque City. Unlike other actors who continue to act in both TV and movies during breaks or their free time, the former Guwapings actor totally shunned showbiz work since getting elected, first in 2016, and again in 2019. When he assumed office in his first year as councilor, he was named minority floor leader. He was also the first independent candidate who won in the city of Paranaque.


Jomari is currently seeking reelection for the same council post in the May 2022 national election.

Jomari, who rose to become a top matinée idol in the 90s, turned down quite a handful of offers to act again
since he got elected. He politely turned all of them down to embrace his new advocacy, public service. His last
acting assignment was on GMA Network’s Half-Sisters, a long-running 2014 drama series.

‘’From the very start, I had been a hands-on public official. I run my own office. I don’t have a chief-of-staff, everything is coursed through me,’’ he said in an interview.

To strengthen his foundation in government service, Jomari attended all the classes offered at the University of the Philippines’ National College of Public Administration and Governance between 2016 and 2019.