Actor and real-life nurse VJ Mendoza dedicates performance in ‘Siglo ng Kalinga’ to Filipino nightingales in the world

In 2012, fate brought him to the entertainment world through the Bedan Paskuhan. He was still a nursing student back then. Someone gave him a business card and encouraged him to try out to audition for commercials.

And the rest was history.

His first-ever TV commercial was with Cebuana Lhuillier in 2013, where he got featured with Pop Star Royalty Sarah Geronimo-Guidicelli.

There’s nowhere one can be that isn’t meant to be.

John Lenon’s famous line is that fate will always bring or present itself to anyone where a person’s destiny is.

Vicente Mendoza Jr., or VJ for short, eventually became his screen name when he entered the showbiz world.

His first mainstream film was Star Cinema‘s Just the 3 of Us with Jennylyn Mercado and John Lloyd Cruz. He played a doctor in the 2016 film. However, he had his baptism of fire in doing films via the independent film, an adaptation of Auraeus Solito‘s play Esprit de Corps (2014) of the same title in the 80s about the game of seduction and ranks in the ROTC. He portrayed Pvt. Bisoy.

In 2017 he shot Lovely Sundays, an international film shot entirely in Taiwan.

Some of his notable appearances in films were in Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2 (2014), Heneral Luna (2015), Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016), My Ex and Whys (2017), Kung Paano Siya Nawala (2018), Born Beautiful (2019), Last Fool Show (2019), Isa Pa with Feelings (2019), Culion, a MMFF 2019 entry (2019), Big Night (2021), and Ngayon Kaya (2022).

Despite pursuing nursing and getting a license, acting is something that he considers his passion.

“Dinala talaga ako dito,” he professed.

Portraying Alfred in Siglo ng Kalinga.

In the 2019 all-nurses cast film by Lemuel Lorca, Mendoza is Anna‘s childhood friend, who also has feelings for her. He is the town’s ‘habal’ driver.

Even if he’s not portraying a nurse in the film, he is grateful to have worked with fellow nurses who acted in Siglo ng Kalinga, a film inspired by the life story of PNA founder Anastacia Giron-Tupas and the heroic lives of Filipino nightingales.

Bambi Rojas and VJ Mendoza at the cast reveal of ‘Siglo ng Kalinga’

Mendoza revealed Alfred’s character taught him about being a simple folk like the people they interacted with during their shoot in Mauban, Quezon.

Thomas Gray’s famous line in a poem, Ode on a Distant Prospect at Eton College“Where ignorance is bliss, Tis folly to be wise.”

To most, it often in the shortened version: “ignorance is bliss” which has been taken as an excuse to be lazy with one’s mind and be happier. However, if the poem in its entirety–it is the contrary.

He pointed that, “It’s more about not impeding someone’s mind unnecessarily and what lies ahead is better faced without worrying about the arduous path beyond. It’s not being apathetic about knowledge.

“Napaka-simple ng buhay ng mga tao doon.”

Comparing Nurses and Being an Artist.

For him, there is a disparity between the two professions.

Mendoza described being a nurse as a ‘thankless job.’ Thus, accepting the film is his contribution to telling the world that nurses deserve an equal amount of respect given to other professions.

The pandemic has made him appreciate the sacrifices of the nurses’ profession and how they worked hard to save humanity from COVID-19.

The discipline he acquired while studying nursing has helped him in his career in the entertainment landscape.

“Whenever there’s a call time, I am prompt and ready with my lines. It’s something na nadala ko sa industry na ginagalawan ko now. Pursuing nursing has given me a sense of respect for other people’s time and professionalism.

“Dumarating ako sa set na ready sa anumang kailangan sa eksena.”

Today, he has over 80 commercials under his belt before successfully crossing over into television and film. TV credits include ABS-CBN’s 2019 Pamilya Ko as Daks and the recently concluded Mano Po Legacy: Family Fortune as Kervin this year. He also headlined the BL Series Inn Love under the direction of Rodel Mercado.

He is slated to appear in MavX Productions, Ang Pangarap Kong Oskars with Joross Gamboa, Paolo Contis, and Kate Alejandrino. Currently, he’s seen in the hit series Ang Babae sa Likod ng Facemask online. He recently wrapped a guest role on the Hollywood series Almost Paradise.

For him, the limelight may have bitten him, but he always wants to tell aspiring artists to be grounded, be kind, and learn to perfect the art of companionship (pakikisama) with the people they’d be working with.

Watch the media conference at the cast reveal of Siglo ng Kalinga below:

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