John and Camille Prats: Living in Antipolo

Nov 12, 2007
John Prats: The huge glass panel behind John frames the Antipolo mountainscape from the third floor. Of their house, John says: "Mas gusto naming magkakapatid dito kasi dun sa townhouse namin, vertical lang ang kilos namin, taas-baba...Dito p'wedeng lumiko, kumanan, kumaliwa, labas, loob." Camille Prats: The house furniture, save for the dining set in the patio, are all brand new, including this sofa where Camille sits. (YES! June 2002

Unlike other young stars who set their studies aside when showbiz picking grew richer and daily schedules became tougher, Camille and John never lost their zest for education.

John was a freshman college at the Thames International Business School taking up Business Administration in Information Technology back in 2002. "Block section ako. Three times a week ang pasok. Bale ang sacrifice doon, yung four year course, matatapos ko in six years kasi nga iba ang schedule ko."

Camille, at the time of the YES! magazine interview is all set to graduate from high school in March of 2003. She was on the home-study program of ABS-CBN's Distance Learning Center. And already, she's interested in so many courses for college. "Mahilig ako mag-interior design," she says dreamily. "Pero hindi ko pa sure if ‘yun nga. Siguro something na naka-linya talaga sa Art. Pero gusto ko din ng Advertising Management."

What the two don't show as much enthusiasm for is the busy social scene.

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"Hindi kami masyadong mahilig mag-mall," says Camille. "Mas gusto ko pa dito sa bahay, sa kwarto ko."

John seconds: "May mga barkada din kami pero mas gusto pa namin na ini-invite sila dito sa house, dito na lang kami gumi-gimmick. Paminsan-minsan, ayan si Camille nagyayaya manood ng sine."

"Pag sobrang ganda lang ng palabas," Camille finishes.

Being Ate and Kuya, the two are naturally concerned with their younger siblings, Carlo, Raffy, and Naomi, with Camille already taking on the role of disciplinarian.

"Si Naomi sumusunod talaga sa'kin kasi idol nya ‘ko," says Camille with a smile.

"Kapag ako na nagsabi, gagawin nya. Minsan lang talagang ang kukulit. I-tetest muna ang patience mo, lalo na yung pinaka-maliit, si Raffy! Nako, kaliit pero pag sinita mo, laging may rason."

Halimbawa: "Wag mong galawin yan!" sasagot, "binabalik ko nga, e. Titingnan lang, e."

John adds: "Ah, ako naman ang idol nun, pati damit ko ginagaya. Itong sumunod kay Camille, medyo nabawasan ang kulit, binata na kasi, e... Pero kung sa tiyaga, matiyaga naman kami sa bata."

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Of course, Camille and John have their differences. Still and all, the two are the best of friends!

"Nagtataka nga ang mga tao sa 'min, e, bakit daw kami ni kuya magkasundung-magkasundo. Never kaming nagka-sibling rivalry. Wala sa 'ming selosan or inggitan maski sa career. Like ngayon medyo pumi-pick up ang career nya, kung ano meron sya, proud pa nga ako kasi kapatid ko yata yan! Pareho kaming happy persons."

The only time jealousy enters the picture is when John spots guys courting her. Says she: "kung may selosan man, kapag may pumoporma sa 'kin. Inaamin nya sa 'kin na ayaw pa nya akong magka-boyfriend kasi nagseselos daw sya. Sobra nga kasi kaming close na parang ‘di sya sanay na may ibang guy na close din sa akin."

The two are so close that John consults his girl problems with Camille even if she's two years younger. "Ang daya nga, e, s'ya pwede ako ayaw nya. Pero seriously, si kuya nakikinig yan sa 'kin. Like pag may comment ako sa isang girl, pag-aaralan nya o io-observe nya. Tapos pag na-prove nyang tama ako, parang nawawalan na rin sya ng gana. Kapag magge-girlfriend yan, isa sa traits ng girl dapat approve sa 'kin. Sa 'kin naman okey lang na mag-girlfriend na sya, kaya lang sana friend ko yung girl kasi nga close kami ni kuya.''

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With children like this, what more can parents want? Their father nods: swerte kami sa mga anak namin. Mababait, hindi malalakwatsa, marunong magpasaway.''

But John and Camille give the credit right back to their father Dondie and mother Alma. "Swerte kami sa kanila," John says for all five Prats kids. "Maayos nila kami pinalaki. Saka ano sila, e, kumbaga cool, pero yung cool na hindi mo pwedeng abusuhin. Ikaw din mismo mahihiya.''

Add to that, their parents have wisely invested John and Camille's hard-earned showbiz money. "Kapag nakakaipon, ini-invest namin sa properties talaga," their father says. "Madali namang ibenta kung ayaw na nila."

He adds: "Nakakahiya naman kasi sa mga bata...mga bata pa sila nagtatrabaho na. At least pagtanda nila, may makikita sila sa pinagpaguran nila, me mga kabuhayan na sila."

The family's most recent investment is a newly built house in Cainta.

"Nakakatuwa nga," says mommy Alma. "Una, swimming pool ang ipinalagay dito. Tapos bahay kubo lang na rest house. Nung nagsimula na, iba na ang nabuo, totoong bahay na. Pero mas um-ok na ang mga bata, mas gusto nang dito tumira kesa sa townhouse sa Cubao. Mas nakakakilos daw kasi sila dito.' Tsaka mas presko dito kumpara sa Quezon City. Pero hindi pa rin namin aalisan yung townhouse lalo na sa pasukan, mas malapit naman 'yon."

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Next in line with the Prats is a farm house or a beach house. "Me kaibigan kasi kami, may manggahan sa Bulacan," says daddy Dondie. "Dinala kami minsan para mag-harvest. Nag-enjoy talaga ang mga bata. Gusto daw nila ng ganoon. Sabi ko, subukan natin kahit maliit. Pero gusto rin daw nila ng beach house."

He recalls laughing, "Teka muna, mahina kalaban."

The Prats have gone a long way since they lived in a rented apartment in Sta. Mesa. and while John and Camille have brought in good money, the family improved circumstances have clearly been due as well to the good work put in by Dondie and Alma Prats.

All these years, Alma took charge the brood and the family home while Dondie took the business and John and Camille's careers today that means dividing his time among three companies they own: Ad gateway and advertising agency whose accounts include that of a large undergarments company; Sultana, metro wide and provincial shows, and Mira Builders, a construction company that contracts and sub-contracts the design, material and actual constructions of anything from homes to boutiques.

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"Nakatutok pa sa 'min yan , ah!" the young John says ever so proudly.

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John Prats: The huge glass panel behind John frames the Antipolo mountainscape from the third floor. Of their house, John says: "Mas gusto naming magkakapatid dito kasi dun sa townhouse namin, vertical lang ang kilos namin, taas-baba...Dito p'wedeng lumiko, kumanan, kumaliwa, labas, loob." Camille Prats: The house furniture, save for the dining set in the patio, are all brand new, including this sofa where Camille sits. (YES! June 2002
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