As an actor, John Lloyd Cruz is compelling as can be. Off camera, he is passionate in making a difference in the lives of others. And when these two aspects of his personality are combined, the results are outstanding.
In 2013 for example, Cruz went all the way to Suyac Island in Sagay, Negros Occidental to personally hand out blankets, medicine and clothing to children whom he learned had to swim a good two-kilometers of sea to go to school everyday. He was able to do so by enjoining the support of a pharmaceutical company, whose paracetamol brand he helped catapult to the top of the market via his endorsement, thus making something great out of something good.
Today, the blockbuster star is bent on making a difference in the lives of Filipinos anew, particularly the millions who are working and living abroad, as global ambassador of money transfer company Western Union in the Philippines.
“I wholeheartedly accept the leading man role of the overseas Filipino workers—the real life heroes, the unsung heroes of our country,” Cruz declared just before he signed his latest endorsement deal at the Marriott Ballroom in Pasay City.
He explained that overseas Filipinos have always been close to his heart what with their overwhelming support in watching his films wherever they may be. Whenever he travels too, whether for work or vacation, Cruz said he will always come across a “kababayan” who will go out of his or her way to make him feel appreciated for his most popular roles on the silver screen, such as Popoy in the two-part box office hit One More Chance (2007) and A Second Chance (2015), with perennial leading lady Bea Alonzo.
On a more personal note, the actor is also very much in tune with how overseas Filipinos live having had immediate family members residing abroad who yearned for home.
“In representing Western Union, a company that has grown with Filipinos here and abroad, I am challenged to get to know my kababayans more so that I can effectively do my part in motivating and helping them to uplift their lives, and that of their families,” Cruz said, adding that he will surely find ways of using this endorsement as an opportunity to reach out to the country’s modern-day heroes.
Moreover, he related how he has personally experienced the services of Western Union during a trip to Europe some years back.
Cruz recalled, “It was eight years ago, and I think it was in Venice, France. I ran out of cash and all my credits cards were maxed out. Basically, lumalakad po ako sa Europe na walang pera.”
While walking aimlessly, he saw a small Western Union window inside a bus terminal. An idea suddenly came to him to ask money from his family, and in no time, help was on its way.
“I’ve been grateful to Western Union ever since—how it can easily get a kababayan out of trouble like it did for me. So whether here or abroad, it’s all in the service of Filipinos, and I’m eager to do my share for them.”