Try, don’t give up, says standout actor Cedrick Juan

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Cedrick Juan
Cedrick Juan for SCOUTMAG.PH | Photo by JT Fernandez

The MMFF 2023 Best Actor has been acting since 2013 but only recently landed his first lead role



Success stories aren’t always inspiring. 

In fact, it’s sickening at times—all the gloating and self-praise often conveniently glosses over important factors and events that were instrumental to their success. It’s not that we’re miserable (at least in this case) and that we frown upon anyone who celebrates their victories, but when the likes of Kylie Jenner ascend to self-made billionaire status, there’s something wrong with that. Let’s call a spade a spade.

It’s like being told by Elon Musk that money isn’t all that matters in life. It’s true (to an extent), but of course that would be the case for him and several other figures.


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A post shared by Cedrick Juan (@cedrickgjuan)


MMFF 2023 Best Actor Cedrick Juan also has his own success story. 

Regarded for his outstanding portrayal of Padre Burgos in Pepe Diokno’s “GomBurZa,” the breakout star dipped his toes into acting at Dulaang UP. There, he took part in a number of productions such as Adarna, Teatro Porvenir, and Hakbang sa Hakbang. 

Outside theater, he also made his way into television—with roles in “Till I Met You” and “Ipaglaban Mo”—and film, making appearances in “Die Beautiful” and “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral.”

READ: This is how Cedrick Juan gets the work done

Cedrick Juan
Photo from @cedrickgjuan/Instagram

At 33 years-old, it’s taken Juan 10 years before finally landing his first lead role. And he even auditioned for a different part initially, as Cavite Mutiny leader Fernando La Madrid, before being offered to play Burgos by director Diokno.


“Nagsimula kasi kami sa theater talaga na, there [are] no ‘small roles.’”


In an industry marked by strong starts, Juan’s road to stardom was one that others—perhaps him included—never expected to come. And yet it did, through hard work and dedication. The previous year’s surprise star joins us to share some of what he learned on his path to “GomBurZa.”

Having been acting for over a decade and only now receiving the opportunity to play a lead role, did you ever doubt the career you pursued?

Yeah, nung una, dahil nga sa pandemic. Hindi ko nakikita ‘yung role ng artist nung una, nung nagsimula ‘yung pandemic. Feeling ko ‘yun ‘yung paranoia na binigay sa akin ng pandemic. Hanggang sa eventually naintindihan ko na, ‘Okay, ito ‘yung purpose namin.’ Emotions and all, giving and telling stories. Tapos ‘yun nga, buti hindi ako nag-give up kasi biglang pumasok si Padre Burgos.

(Yeah, at first, because of the pandemic. I didn’t see my role as an artist when the pandemic first started. I feel it was due to the paranoia that it gave me. That was the case until I eventually understood our purpose. Emotions and all, giving and telling stories. It’s good I didn’t give up because Padre Burgos suddenly arrived.)

READ: Charissa Soriano explores unexamined aspects of the Filipino diaspora


“Just try. Parang lahat naman deserve ng chances na sumubok.”


But it was never because of the roles he received. He shares in an interview with SCOUT, “Nagsimula kasi kami sa theater talaga na, there [are] no ‘small roles.’”

(It’s because I started in theater where there was no such thing as small roles.)


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When does passion have to submit to reality? When is it okay to give up on your dreams?

Feeling ko if there’s something na non-negotiable sa situation. Not ‘to stop’ but to somehow rest—or if you can [just] continue it after.

What is your advice for those who do not necessarily know what to do with their lives?

Be true to yourself. Basta magtiwala ka lang na mahahanap mo ‘yung bagay na gusto mo gawin sa buhay mo. Baka nandiyan na siya pero iniiwasan mo lang kasi naiisip mo na mahihirapan ka. 

(Be true to yourself. Just trust that you will find that thing that you want to do in your life. It might already be there, but you might just be avoiding it because you’re thinking you’ll have a hard time.)

Cedrick Juan
Cedrick Juan for SCOUTMAG.PH | Photo by JT Fernandez

Just try. Parang lahat naman deserve ng chances na sumubok. Then after, hindi man mag-prosper ‘yun, pero at least meron kang natutunan about it. So that’s another equipment for the next chapter.

(Just try. Everyone deserves the chance to try. Then after, if it doesn’t prosper, then at least you learned something. It’s another piece of equipment for your next chapter.)

In short, Juan tells us to (1) Understand the purpose of what we’re doing, (2) Don’t give up too quickly, the next big opportunity might come knocking soon, (3) If it can’t be helped, it’s okay to step away from what you love doing—but go back when you can, and (4) Try. If it doesn’t work out, at least you gave it a shot. 

And for all the success stories out there that are full of shit, this is one you can actually be inspired by.


The following conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

Read the full story on SCOUTMAG.PH 

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