Rayver Cruz admits to feeling sepanx (separation anxiety) when his older brothers Omar and Rodjun found each other a wife several years ago. That’s because they all grew up really close and they’ve maintained that tight bond till today.
“Medyo spoiled din ako no’ng makakasama pa kami sa bahay,” says Rayver, the youngest in the brood of three of Rodolfo Ilustre and Beth Cruz-Ilustre (now both deceased). “Hindi naman nila ako madalas utusan. Kapag may gusto nga ako, binibigay nila kaagad. Very loving ang dalawa kong kuya.”
He adds, “Hirap nga kami noong maghihiwalay na. Nami-miss ko ’yong magkakasama pa kami. Lahat pa kami Mama’s boys.”
But when it comes to love and relationships, one of Philippine showbiz’s most eligible bachelors says he rarely asks for advice from his older brothers and he doesn’t get unsolicited advice from them either. They have, as he puts it, “kanya-kanyang diskarte.”
While Rayver is in a long-term relationship with actress-model Janine Gutierrez, he doesn’t feel pressured to settle down yet, just like his brothers. “Nage-enjoy naman ako with my pamangkins,” he beams. In fact, he’s also a ninong of Rodjun’s first-born child Joaquin.
“To be honest,” Rayver points out about getting married, “hindi naman pina-plano. Ayoko ng gano’n. Gusto ko kapag ma-feel mo na the right time or God’s time. Pero right now, wala namang pressure. Marami pang plans na gusto kong ma-fulfill. When the right time comes, ’yun na ’yun.
Meantime, the GMA-7 contract artist stars in the network’s newest afternoon soap, Nagbabagang Luha. It is a TV adaptation of the 1988 movie of the same title, which tells the story of two sisters Maita and Cielo, and the one man they love, Alex.
Rayver takes on the role of Alex (played in the movie by Gabby Concepcion). He acts opposite the remarkable Glaiza de Castro as Maita (played in the movie by Lorna Tolentino) and promising newcomer Claire Castro as Cielo (played in the movie by Alice Dixson).
Before the production started, Rayver relates that he avoided watching the original movie, so his characterization of Alex won’t be influenced by Gabby’s interpretation. “Gusto ko maging raw ang attack ko sa role,” he explains. “Pinanood ko ang movie after na naming mag-taping.”
Rayver is “very happy” that working on the project concluded without hitches following the guidelines set for TV productions this pandemic. That means the cast, staff, and crew went on “lock-in tapings” for several weeks without going home. But before that, they stayed in different hotels for the mandatory quarantine to make sure everybody’s free from infection before working together for an extended period of time.
The leading man is proud to be part of Nagbabagang Luha, which began airing last August 2, 2021. He says it offers a different touch and flavor from the movie, but retains the iconic scenes and lines.
Aside from acting in a daytime drama series, Rayver gets to showcase his dancing skills in GMA-7’s weekly musical program, All-Out Sundays. He’s also involved in running the sportswear brand CruzFit, which he, his brothers, and one of their cousins put up early this year.