Aga Muhlach has no qualms about being paired with anyone.
Yes, a reunion movie with Lea Salonga would be cool; a project with Marian Rivera would be “maganda sana”; and a romantic comedy film with Ai-Ai delas would be a “good idea!”
But if there’s a kissing scene with Marian, would his wife Charlene Gonzalez mind?
“No,” was his quick answer during the press conference for his two shows—Pinoy Explorer and Let’s Ask Pilipinas—on TV5 last September 30.
How about a kissing scene with Ai-Ai?
With his dimples showing, he quipped, “'Yan, baka magselos pa si Charlene."
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asked, “Does jealousy still exist in your marriage?”
Aga asked back, “Charlene and I?”
He resumed, “We are very secured. We’re married for 12 years now… Not once, not once really.
“Sabi nila, ang hirap paniwalaan daw, pero totoo yun, ba’t naman kami mag-aaway kung wala naman pag-aawayan talaga?”
We teased, “Wala talaga?”
In a resolute tone, he replied, “Wala, wala, wala.”
The 44-year-old actor explained: “Before we became together, we were really, really friends. Si Charlene, parang hindi ako nanligaw sa kanya. I just proposed to her.
“She was never my girlfriend, I just proposed to her. And 13 years down the line, the kids are just happy…”
His former manager Ethel Ramos threw in, “Alam mo, yung kasabihang, ‘Behind the success of a man is a woman?’ Ganu'n sa kanya… ”
The Kapatid star agreed, relating the one thing he has always admired about his wife.
“Alam mo si Charlene, right now, I left the house today… Kuwentuhan kami… Kuwentuhan kami no’n pagtulog, paggising, [sasabihin niya], ‘What’s your schedule today?’
“I go like this… because aayusin niya yung schedule niya. Kailangan when I’m home, she’s there. Always like that.”
HAPPY HOME. Aga has obviously found his Zen—wife Charlene and kids, Andres and Atasha.
“Home,” he said is “where I draw my energy.”
And there’s nothing more important to him right now than his family. He said, “Parang if my home is sira, then, wala ako dito, hindi mo ako makikitang ganito.”
Describing the Muhlach household, he said, “It’s a happy home. Right now, after this, I’m just ready to go home, to go back, the kids are there, my wife, 'di ba.
“Kuwento-kuwento. We will play badminton later, then tonight, we will watch movies. It’s always like that.”
From the looks of it, Aga is a let-me-work-for-the-family type of husband.
“May nag-o-offer sa kanya ng soap, ng ganyan, sabi ko, ‘Iwan mo na sa ‘kin ‘yan. Iwan mo na sa akin ‘yang pag-aartista, yung pagtrabaho nang ganito.
“‘Ikaw, you are a celebrity; I respect your job so you do it…’ That’s why she [does] hosting… that’s fine, but parang let’s draw the line.
“It was very clear naman from day one naman, 'yun talaga, 'yun ang sitwasyon talaga namin.”
How about the kids? Would he allow them to enter showbiz?
“I don’t mind also,” he said.
But, “I would love for them to be part of this industry pag nasa tamang pag-iisip na sila. Pag nakatapos na sila.
“Kaya ko sinasabing pag nakatapos na, hindi ko naman sinasabing… kasi magandang hanapbuhay ang pag-aartista kung seseryosohin mo.
“Mahirap siyang trabaho pero maganda ang kita niya... But it can be cruel also.
“So I want them to be ready also when they enter it para alam nila yung consequences na haharapin nila.”
He wears his protective-dad hat as far as his 11-year-old daughter is concerned.
“Parang yung anak kong babae, parang kung nag-artista siya, dahil wala pa siyang boyfriend, aabot sa point na hahalikan ‘yan…”
He paused, grimacing at the thought.
Aga continued, “Sana kung hahalik sa kanya yung pareho ko—mapa-alaga sa leading lady.”
The press cut in, “Ows?”
Smiling, he reacted, “Hindi ako nanamantala, kumbaga, ganun lang…”
Again, the press, “Na-i-in love ka.”
HAPPINESS. After the general Q & A, a few entertainment writers lingered, and chatted with Aga.
His financial status was brought up.
“Sakto lang ako,” he said.
“Na-experience ko na yung humawak ng pera. Naramdaman ko na rin na ang pera [sa ‘yo], kaliwa’t kanan, parang gano’n, gano’n, gano’n.
“Pag may gusto ako, bibilhin ko iyan. Why? Because I want to experience it. Kaya ako nagtrabaho, hindi naman para mag-ipon. Kaya tayo nagtrabaho, para mag-enjoy.”
Money, he said, is meant to be spent. But it does not and should not be the cause of one’s happiness.
“Ilabas mo. Gamitin mo para maramdaman mo. And that’s where I learned na material talaga would make you happy for that moment.
“But it’s not happiness talaga. It will make life comfortable for you if you have money, but you don’t need materials. What you need talaga is relationships.
“Sa bahay mo, kung saan ka nakatira, sa mga kaibigan mo—the relationships with these people—trabaho mo, 'yun ang saya, 'yun ang happiness, 'yun ang good memories.”
Alluding to the means of corrupt officials, he added, “Hindi nila ninakaw yun.”
Happy with what he has, he shared his simple formula to success: “Makisama ka lang nang tama, paghusayan mo yung trabaho mo, hindi ka mawawala.”