John and Camille Prats: Living in Antipolo

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


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

John was a freshman college at the Thames InternationalBusiness School taking up Business Administration in Information Technology back in 2002. "Block section ako. Three times a week ang pasok. Bale ang sacrifice doon, yungfour 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 LearningCenter. And already, she's interested in so many courses for college. "Mahilig akomag-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 AdvertisingManagement."

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

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

John seconds: "May mga barkada din kami pero mas gusto panamin 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 withtheir younger siblings, Carlo, Raffy, and Naomi, with Camille already taking onthe role of disciplinarian.

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

"Kapag ako na nagsabi, gagawin nya. Minsan lang talagang angkukulit. 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 konga, e. Titingnan lang, e."

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

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

"Nagtataka nga ang mga tao sa 'min,e, bakit daw kami ni kuya magkasundung-magkasundo. Never kamingnagka-sibling rivalry. Wala sa 'mingselosan or inggitan maski sa career. Like ngayon medyo pumi-pick up ang careernya, 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 mayselosan man, kapag may pumoporma sa 'kin. Inaamin nya sa 'kin na ayaw pa nya akongmagka-boyfriend kasi nagseselos daw sya. Sobra nga kasi kaming close na parang ‘disya sanay na may ibang guy na close din sa akin."

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

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

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

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

He adds: "Nakakahiya naman kasi sa mga bata...mga bata pa silanagtatrabaho 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 housein Cainta.

"Nakakatuwa nga," says mommy Alma. "Una, swimming pool angipinalagay dito. Tapos bahay kubo lang na rest house. Nung nagsimula na, iba naang nabuo, totoong bahay na. Pero mas um-ok na ang mga bata, mas gusto nangdito 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 aalisanyung townhouse lalo na sa pasukan, mas malapit naman 'yon."

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

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

The Prats have gone a long way since they lived in a rentedapartment 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 goodwork put in by Dondie and Alma Prats.

All these years,Alma took charge the brood and the family home while Dondie took the businessand John and Camille's careers today that means dividing his time among threecompanies they own: Ad gateway and advertising agency whose accounts includethat of a large undergarments company; Sultana, metro wide and provincialshows, and Mira Builders, a construction company that contracts andsub-contracts the design, material and actual constructions of anything fromhomes to boutiques.

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


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