By Pauline Faye V. Tria
Image by Noel Pabalate
Everyone tells you that change is inevitable. They say it’s something you cannot resist from happening. You cannot fight it. You can only accept it. And people change over time as they grow older. But Jake Zyrus didn’t change; he became what he truly was.
Unearthed in his new book I Am Jake are never-been-told stories about his life, family, and career, from his turbulent childhood to his journey under the spotlight as an international singing sensation to his transition as a man.
When asked about what inspired him to write this book, Jake said he wanted to let those struggling like him know that they are not alone.
“Yung mga tao na alam kong pareho or merong mga pinagdadaan din na mabibigat kasi most of us are feeling alone about it and parang sinasabi nila na walang nakakaintindi, walang nakaka-feel ng mga sinasabi nila (This is for the people who I know are going through the same heavy burden, because most of us are feeling alone and they say that no one understands),” Jake tells Manila Bulletin.
He details his challenges and lessons in his “survival book” as he continues to keep going, inspiring others to do the same.
Each chapter of his book tackles different hardships in his life, but he says that every end of the chapter ends with him surviving these hardships.
“Hindi ko sasabihing I’ve already made it because hindi ko pa alam kung anong mangyayari sa future but so far, nakayanan ko naman, ‘yun yung parang gusto kong i-send din na message sa kanila (I can’t say that I’ve already made it because I still don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but so far, I’m coping, and that’s the message I want to send to them),” Jake says.
His biggest music inspiration is Kurt Cobain, whose life story resonated with Jake, who was prompted to write a whole chapter of it in his book.
“Ang dami ko na palang nalagpasan, kumbaga parang survivor pala talaga kasi (I realize I’ve been through so much, I’m really a survivor) because these people [went] through almost the same shit but most of them are gone, ” Jake says.
He shares that he has tried to end his life three times, but when the third time didn’t work, he realized it wasn’t the end of the road for him.
“Maybe everything will be better ganyan-ganyan (something like that), that’s always been my motto for how many years, but sometimes it just doesn’t work but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world,” he says.
He admits he’s still not sure what the future holds for him.
“(To this day), I don’t even know if I am going to survive, I cannot tell the future, but so far everything in this book details everything I’ve been through and all of those I’ve overcome,” Jake says.
His readers should expect a rollercoaster of emotions, as he puts it, while reading the book, as it deals with every aspect of his life.
“Kung maiintindihan nila ako, maiintindihan din nila yung ibang tao (If they will understand me, they will understand other people),” he says.
Jake assures everyone going through the same path as he does that things will eventually get better, and while the dust has yet to settle, to just let things be.
“Just let it be. It’s okay not to be okay,” Jake says.
I Am Jake is published by Pride Press, an imprint of Anvil Publishing, Inc. The book is available at National Book Store and Powerbook branches for Php