Last Thursday, May 1, the Quezon City court annulled the marriage of Lotlot de Leon and Ramon Christopher because both were underage when they got married on March 27, 1989, at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan.
Lotlot had filed for annulment one year ago. When she heard about the court's decision, mixed emotions came over her.
"Nung nakuha ko yung tawag from my lawyer, siyempre ang unang inisip ko, e, gulat," she said in a taped interview with StarTalk earlier this afternoon, May 3. "But there is a misconception that people na dumaan sa kagaya ko na situwasyon, e, iniisip na sobrang saya at sobrang ligaya... Mixed emotions talaga.
"Kasi unang-una, may mga anak kami and we're not proud... God only knows. I know Monching [Ramon Christopher's nickname] and I really tried to make the marriage work but hindi talaga, e. But what's good about this is I know that Mon and I learned so much from the relationship, na 19 years na pinagsamahan namin. I just hope na maging leksiyon sa mga kagaya ko, na desidido sila't gusto nila yung gagawin nila."
One of the good things about her current relationship with Monching, according to Lotlot, is the respect she and Monching still have for one another. As parents, they continue to guide their children. Lotlot hopes that they will eventually understand the situation and learn from it.
"Wala naman kasi kaming itinatago sa mga bata," Lotlot said. "Alam mo, hindi naman talaga madali ‘yan, e. But I have faith in my kids that someday, maiintindihan nila kung ano man naging pagkakamali ko at pagkakamali ng tatay nila, e, matuto din ang mga anak namin."
Lotlot also expressed her admiration and respect for her mother-in-law, Pilita Corales.
"I have so much respect for her," Lotlot said. "The love that she gives my children, I'm very thankful dahil mahal niya mga anak ko. Enough na ‘yon sa akin kahit na may mga nangyari na before in the past, may mga nasabi, ang dami na nasabi, marami na nasaktan... Ang sa akin, ang importante, ang focus ko kung ano mararamdaman lagi ng mga anak ko."
Lotlot also has this message to Monching: "To Mon, I would like to say thank you kasi mabuting ama si Monching sa mga anak namin at hindi naman niya pinapabayaan. Sana magpatuloy ang maganda naming relationship with regards to raising our children."
Now that Lotlot's free and single, would she entertain suitors and a real marriage?
"Hindi ko na iniisip ‘yan, e." Lotlot said. "Kung may dadating, may dadating. Sa akin lang, itong nakuha namin na decision sa korte, is a way that Mon can move on with his life, ako din ganoon."
LIVE INTERVIEW. After her taped interview, Lotlot talked more about the marriage annulment with StarTalk hosts Joey de Leon and Lolit Solis.
Joey asked Lotlot if she talked to Monching when she found out about the court's decision.
"Actually, I have filed for the nullity last year pa po," Lotlot explained. "But the decision came out last Friday. So, nagte-taping po ako and hindi ko alam how to break the news to my children and to Mon.
"Pero unang ko nakausap, e, daddy ko [Christopher de Leon]. Sabi ko, ‘Dad, hindi ko alam kung paano sasabihin sa mga bata.' Sabi ng daddy, ‘Go about it casually. Matatalino naman mga anak mo and they'll understand.' Of course, the day after, I called up Monching and I told him and I told my kids... We all knew it was going happen one of these days."
Lotlot added, "If there's one thing that's very good about my relationship with Monching is that, sabi ko nga, we may be living separately, and hindi kami magkasama sa bahay, but when it comes to raising the kids, iisa pa rin kami doon. At yun, hindi na magbabago yun."
How did the kids take it, especially the eldest, Janine?
"Matatalino sila," Lotlot answered. "Kami ni Mon, hindi kami proud with what happened. Nobody enters a marriage thinking na one day maghihiwalay din kayo. We tried our best to keep the marriage working, not only for us, but most specially for the kids. Kasi karamihan, kahit nagkakagulo na mga mag-asawa, kahit minsan buwisit na buwisit ka na sa asawa mo, e, you try so hard to stay because yung mga anak mo ang una mong iniisip.
"Dumating na din ang point na inisip din namin siguro, or ako, na mas mabuti na ma-maintain na lang namin ang relationship namin as friends, may respeto kami sa isa't isa at hindi na makita ng mga anak namin ang kung ano man ang samaan namin ng loob o hidwaan namin, or kung nagkakasakitan kami na salita. I would rather na ma-spare namin ang mga bata sa ganoon kasi mahirap na nga as it is, e, na hiwalay na nga kayo mag-asawa tapos sasabayan pa ng bangayan at insultuhan. Hindi na tama ‘yan."