“The winner is Mr. Jake Jacob from the Philippines,” the host of the 2019 Mister United World announced in Thailand. Tears of joy welled up in Jake’s eyes as he received the prize of 3rd runner-up on this international stage. While being emotional, he still remembered to share his glory with his family and the home country - the Philippines. In fact, there is a close relationship established between Jake and Taiwan.
Jake Jacob shares his amazing journey of "From Migrant Worker to Mister United World" to readers. (Photo / Provided by Jake Jacob)
Besides Jake’s participation in a male beauty pageant as a fitness enthusiast, he is also working as a migrant worker in Taiwan. Since 2013, he decided to work abroad to have a better future for himself, as well as financially support his family.
Grew up in Escalante City, Negros Occidental – a small fishing village, his family was not very well off and even needed to rely on government grants to cover school fees and living expenses. A model scout discovered Jake when he was studying at the university, and this offered him an opportunity to participate in catwalk shows and commercial photoshoots. However, as the pillar of the home, the income was insufficient to support his younger siblings and grandparents. This is therefore he chose to work in Taiwan for higher income.
As the eldest son of the family, Jake Jacob chose to work in Taiwan and be the pillar of the home. (Photo / Provided by Jake Jacob)
Leaving his hometown to work overseas never diminishes his passion for modeling and acting. In 2018, Jake starred in an indie film “Lovely Sundays” of PTS, Innovative Story. The film describes that “Taichung ASEAN Square” is stereotyped as a shabby place where migrant workers gather, but indeed, it is the second home to many migrant workers striving hard to make a living alone in Taiwan. And Jake cast as a migrant worker living in Taiwan, which marked his first film participation and motivated him to follow his dreams of entering the entertainment industry.
Jake Jacob praised Taiwanese for being "friendly, warm, and easy to get along with." (Photo / Provided by Jake Jacob)
In 2019, Jake went to Thailand for the 2019 Mister United World. Being well-prepared, he strode across the stage confidently and enjoyed being in the spotlight on this international stage. The 3rd runner-up is presented to Jake, and he says, “This award is not only about myself, but it also represents the pride of the Philippines and most importantly, my family.”
Jake Jacob participated in an indie film during his spare time. (Photo / Provided by Jake Jacob)
Jake’s career path in the film industry builds up gradually and he got the Indie Film Actor Of The Year 2021, At Fashion Art. Media Award from the United Kingdom on October 30, 2021. “I wish to become a celebrity in Taiwan or the Philippines one day,” he says with a warm but yet firm tone of voice. “Besides career achievements, I am looking forward to forming a lovely family in the future too.”
Jake Jacob competes for 2019 Mister United World and won the 3rd runner-up. (Photo / Provided by Jake Jacob)
Jake also shared with the editor of 【Taiwan Immigrants' Global News Network】that besides language barriers, he did not face many difficulties when he first came to Taiwan as the people here are approachable and friendly. “I really love the people here and I wish to stay here for as long as possible,” he says. Living in the food paradise - Taiwan, he loves fried chicken cutlet the most. He would visit a Filipino restaurant - Lechon Deli in Taoyuan city with his friends whenever he misses the hometown taste.
Jake Jacob hopes that one day he can enter the Taiwanese entertainment industry. (Photo / Provided by Jake Jacob)
As a migrant worker in Taiwan, his life is not limited to working in a food factory only. His burning ambition to be a professional model & actor enables him to aim higher and shine brighter in the future.