Friday, July 10, 2015

The Rise and Fall of Magnifico: Jiro Manio's Story

Jiro Manio in Magnifico (left) and in NAIA (right).

If you haven't heard yet on the news, the boy better known for his Santino-esque role in the hit 90s Filipino film, "Magnifico", Jiro Katakura a.k.a. Jiro Manio, was found randomly roaming around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) around June 30, 2015.

A lot of fans' and former fans' hearts were torn to pieces to see the seemingly-innocent child actor who lived his life of prestigious Filipino cinema roles and even took the Gawad Urian award, is now a lost sheep trying to find his way back home.

Before this incident, I mostly see him on some TV series and sitcoms, and the very last films with Ai Ai (Ang Tanging Ina franchise), and I have also seen on the news that he's become a teenage father. As it turned out, he was already on the verge of substance abuse by that time, so it was a really unfortunate thing.

Stardom vs. Drugs

Substance abuse is inevitable in the lives of most famous actors, actresses, even musicians, to be honest. Since drugs are extremely expensive and it is said to "give power" to actors/actresses to keep up with their daring roles and super-duper hectic schedules, some people just give in. Unfortunately, Jiro wasn't strong enough to withstand the temptation of bad company.

There is also the tendency for most people who have been rehabilitated to go back to their own habits. That is how destructive drugs are. While alcohol and smoking are already both hard vices, substance abuse is more difficult to handle.

Common Reason Behind Substance Abuse

All of us are trying to find out ways to vent out emotions, but due to the bad influences around us, we tend to do the dangerous ways instead of the safer ones. I know it really depends on our mental and emotional capacity to take in problems. Sometimes, you just have to realize that not every person can take a problem equally as you, so all you need to do is to support them and not criticize them for being weak! This is why a lot people commit suicide or take drugs, because they believe no one understands their problems and people who are "strong" think that they are weak.

What You Can Do Against Depression and Substance Abuse

There are many ways to help out lost sheep like Jiro Manio. Even if they say that once a person's drugged, he/she's drugged for life, there are still ways to show comfort and support, and also to help out depressed people, especially showbiz people:

1. Don't underestimate their problems. By doing so, you will give more confidence to that person.

2. Talk to them often about things they like and things you are similar with, and don't talk about things you know you disagree on.

3. Let them know that drugs are bad, and that there are other ways to talk your problems out or let out emotions without using drugs, alcohol, smoking and other bad or dangerous things.

4. Don't let them be in bad company; for parents, try to hang out with your kids as often as possible so you can be closer to them.

5. Don't fear depression; it happens to everyone. Depression and suicide aren't necessarily evil when you think about WHY they did that - you can't judge a person who is depressed because you too, will get depressed some time in your life and you will be grasping for help and will find no one, and remember that not all of us are born with equal emotional strength.


Jiro Manio taught us a lot of lessons in life, that we should not just pass by people who need attention. Substance abusers aren't necessarily bad people - they were just not properly guided by the people who are closest to them. As what I've heard, Jiro wanted to go to NAIA because he wanted to see his real Japanese family...that's really sad. :'(

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