The August 15 episode of Vilma: A Woman for All Seasons tackled the home life of Vilma Santos. Her husband Ralph Recto, her eldest child Luis Manzano and youngest Ryan Christian Recto shared details about the Star for All Seasons.  Photo: Courtesy of ABS-CBN

Even at the age of 50+, Vilma Santos-Recto still yearning to have a baby girl. Even with her schedule full as an actress-public servant, the Star for All Seasons is still open to the possibility of .

In the August 15 episode of Vilma: A Woman for All Seasons on ABS-CBN, Vilma said that she wanted a daughter who would look like her. "If you'll ask me, sana mas marami pa. Prepared naman ako. Kung tatanungin ako sana magkaroon ako ng isang baby girl. Sana naman yung kamukha ko na. Yung dalawa kong anak, e, mga mini me ng tatay nila," she said.

It will be recalled that Maria Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos has two children already: Luis Philip borne from a previous marriage to Eduardo Manzano. Now an actor-TV host in his own right, Vilma often refers to her son "Lucky" because his arrival in her life gave more success to her movie career.  

Several years afterwards, her marriage with Edu ended with divorce. In 1992, she got married to Ralph Recto and they were blessed with a son, Ryan Christian.

VILMA THE MOTHER. The woman who started as a child actress at the age of 9 said that she showers her children with nothing but love and care. She sees to it that she attends to her family's needs, despite her busy schedule as an actress and a political figure.

"I see to it na pag uwi ko nadadatnan ko yung anak ko nagaaral gumagawa ng assignment... Pagdating ni Ralph, asawa ko naman. Tatanungin ko kung kumain na sya," she said.

Her youngest Ryan Christian describes how Vilma is like in their home. "When I come home from school, she hugs me. She says how are you, how's your day... She's like my best friend. I get to tell her secrets, things about school, about my life."

Luis adds, "She's very, very cool. And definitely a very loving mother sa pagiging makulit at malambing n'ya."

Of course a family is not just built on hugs and kisses. Vilma said that if the situation calls for, she's sometimes forced to discipline her sons in her own ways.

"Ako gusto kong manatili yung disiplina nila. Pag hindi ko nakitang nakorek nya, alam nyang galit pa rin ako... One time I got mad at lucky. Binawalan ko s'ya gumamit ng cellphone," Vilma recalled.

Luky pointed out, "Hindi naman mainitin yung ulo nya. Gusto nya lang nakakatulong ng tama." Ryan observed, "She doesn't scream naman. She just makes her voice loud. In the movies, it's very different."

Vilma also admits to being thrifty. She reasons that it's just right to manage your finances: making sure that the last penny spent is spent well.

"Kung ito ang budget natin for a month, sa lahat ng maintainance, we'll stick to this. Minsan sabon. Bibili ka ng cleanser. Pag hindi mo pinaghihirapan ang pera, wala kang pakialam. Sandali lang, kalahati ubos na. Hindi dapat ganun.

"I always tell them that once na binigyan kita ng pambili, binigyan kita 1000 tapos may sukli ng 200. Yung sukli, tapos yung resibo, ibigay mo sa ‘kin. Pero pag ako naman, may raket, lahat yan may share. binibigay ko lang yung tama kong pamamalakad, hindi naman kuripot.


HER HUSBAND, the BUNSO. Among her sons, her favorite is Ralph. Well, that is according to her husband.

"Parang nanay ko rin s'ya. Ang biro nga n'ya tatlo anak nya, si Lucky si Ryan at ako. At bilang bunso ako yung paborito," said the former senator and NEDA director general.

The couple have been married for 17 years now. Ralph said that despite her wife's shortcomings as a house keeper, Vilma remains to be the only woman he can imagine himself with. "Matagal mag ayaos mataga magbihis. Isa lang ang alam lutuin noon," he revealed.

He added: "I cannot imagine myself with any other wife. I thinks she's a partner in life. Maalaga siya, both as a wife and as a mother."

Like any other couple, the two sometimes get into an arguments. According to Vilma, the most common reason for their disagreement is their son Ryan. She said that the have their own way of raising their son, and this sometimes results into conflict.

Vilma described Ralph's way of raising Ryan: "Feeling nya buddy buddy si Ryan. Gusto nya lahat ng sport ipaaral: may taekwondo dyan, may golf d'yan. Lahat na ata judo, swimming...

"Sometimes pag galing sa sakit, sasabihin ko wag mo munang pag swimming. Kasi nagaantibiotics pa yan hay naku, makita mo sila lumalangoy pareho sa swimming pool. E, di magagalit ang nanay!"

As for Ralph, he pointed out: "Me and Ryan would go to the gym, play badminton, play golf. Run around go biking. Pag nagaaway kami parang pelikula rin yan. Parang si Vilma at si Christopher De Leon nakita mo sa sine. Madali naman palamigin ang ulo nyan. Lalambingin mo rin. Take care of her needs. Magsisipsip ka rin kasama mga bata."

As a couple, Vilma said that she and Ralph stood by each other at all times. Both are currently involved in politics.

"Siguro ako lang yung laging nasa likod ng asawa ko. Kapag maron siyang mahahabang mga speaches, yayayain nya ko ng 'dear, would you listen sa speach ko kung tama and paano ko ba 'to dedeliver.' Eh yung speech nya, siguro mg 20 pages. So ako si missis galing trabaho, uuwi ako doon, O sige, sige, listen," Vilma shared.

"I respect him kasi alam nya ang kanyang responsibilidad bilang asawa. Ako kahit I'm earning my own money, meron pa rin akong allowance bilang pagbubuhay nya sa akin at sa kanyang anak," she added.

Ralph is grateful to have Vilma as his partner in life. "She's been very helpful. I think I've been helpful to her as well. Marami rin akong natutunan sa kanya. Palagay ko marami rin syang natutunan sa akin."

Their interdependence allows the couple to share all the emotional aspects of their career: including successes and failures.

LOWEST POINT IN THEIR LIFE. When Ralph lost the in the 2007 Senatorial elections, this was their family's lowest point. "Isa yun sa pinaka-low momment ng buhay ko. Especially I won a governor," she recalled.

"Plus the fact na alam ko ang intention nya. Yung intention nya na its not even for one two three persons--it's for the country. Yet, it's an unpopular issue na itinapon sa kanya, na nakaapekto sa kanya that's why he did not win," she explained.

Vilma said that Ralph helped her throughout her campaign for the position of Batangas governor. She said that her husband insisted on taking care of her, instead of focusing on his own campaign.

"Instead of campaigning for himself, he was with me in Batangas so that he'd take care of me. Mas magiistay sya dun kasi ayaw nya kong madisgrasya. Kasi hindi biro yung paglaban ko. Kaya lalong mas masakit sa akin. Pag uwi nya, nandito kaming mag ina. Sinabi lang namin sa kanyang 'that's life'. Yun lang sinabi namin. But deep in me: and sakit...sobra."

Over time, the wounds healed. Vilma said that she and her family were able to get over the loss.

Vilma declared, "We overcame it. We're fine now. He's the secretary now of NEDA.

Overall, Vilma said that she is thankful for having the family that she has now-and given their glowing words for her, they are lucky to have her as well.

"I'm blessed and I can consider myself genuinely successful," Vilma concludes.