Papa Jack, the new generation love guru

Janie Octia
News Log

By Thea Alberto, Yahoo! Southeast Asia

Do you need some no non-sense love advice? You might as well get it from Papa Jack.

Undoubtedly humorous but often straight to the point, Love Radio disk jockey John Gemperle a.k.a. "Papa Jack" made waves and changed the trend of local radio programming with the unusual format of his on-air love counseling program.

For almost four years now, Papa Jack has been hosting "True Love Conversations," a venue for lovesick Pinoys to vent out their relationship frustrations, confess their infidelity, or just cry on air.

Papa Jack deviates from the stereotypical radio love adviser. No, he doesn't have that usual "bedroom voice" and he won't even try to sympathize with you. If he thinks the caller is plain stupid, he will say so.

So, if somebody needs to hear what his or her friends can't bring themselves to say, then Papa Jack, a former professor at Polytechnic University of the Philippines, just might be the right person to call.

"I'm brutally honest. I give advice even if I sometimes offend people," Papa Jack tells Yahoo! Southeast Asia in an interview.

Because of this, people from almost all social classes tune in and give him a ring, despite his late-night time slot. He can accommodate at least five callers per night and each would share their story, sometimes in between sobs.

More lovesick Pinoys?

If you dread Valentine's Day, Papa Jack says you are definitely not alone. In fact, you may be part of the majority—most of his callers ask for tips on how to recover from a heart break.

Unfortunately, despite the loads of advice he gave away, Papa Jack has proven that there really is no sure-fire formula when it comes to matters of the heart. He, however, believes that crying helps a lot and it's a prerequisite for acceptance.

"For people who cry to move on, I'm happy for them," said Papa Jack, who's happily in-love with his girlfriend Mimi. They've been together for almost four years now.

"Naiiyak lang ako, nadadala sa caller kapag walang solusyon ang problema nila [I only cry when their problem appears to have no solution," adds Papa Jack, recalling of a caller who was crying so hard because she was widowed too early.

Papa Jack said he has probably heard it all—from fairy tales gone sour to love stories turning for the worse.

But isn't it hard to hear all these sad stories?

"It's a good thing I have a short-term memory. I don't have to remember all these sad stories," he says.

Papa Jack in action