Ogie Alcasid as a long-distance, loving father

IMAGE Sany Chua

Ogie Alcasid is thankful that his ex-wife Michelle Van Eimeren and husband Mark Murrow, keep him involved with his children even if he lives away from them. In the photo with Ogie is his wife, Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez.


Ogie Alcasid will fly to Australia with his parents on October 13, Sunday, to visit his kids with ex-wife Michelle Van Eimeren—Leila and Sarah—and will stay there for almost two weeks.

In a recent press conference, Ogie said his visit will coincide with eldest daughter Leila's 16th birthday on October 16.

He explained that in Australia, a girl’s 16th birthday is considered special, equivalent to a debutant's 18th birthday in the Philippines.

COMING OF AGE. During his contract signing with music label Universal Records last October 2, the OPM songwriter revealed that Leila now has a boyfriend.

She broke the news to him over the phone, and Ogie could only stammer.

Ogie refuses to reveal the identity of the guy, even if some entertainment writers asked, for fear that it might upset his daughter.

“Kaswal lang sinabi sa akin, ‘Hey, did Mom tell you, Blank and I are going out?’

“Ang unang pumasok sa utak ko, ang tanda ko na,” recalls Ogie.

“But having said that, ang galing ng anak ko, kasi may edad na ‘yan, e. Sixteen… it’s time she starts falling in love—puppy love.

It will not be Ogie’s first time to meet Leila’s beau when he visits them in Australia a few days from now.

In Leila’s previous visit in the Philippines, she tagged the guy along, who was still her suitor then.

Ogie confirms, “And I met the guy. Bait."

He recalls that he had a conversation with the young man and found out that he wants to become a doctor.

Now that his daughter has entered into a relationship, Ogie says proudly of his daughter, “Maganda yung attitude niya."

He suggests that there is an advantage in discovering and learning about relationships earlier on, as opposed to finding out about it at a much later age and then not knowing how to handle it.

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“Nakakatakot ‘yon,” Ogie remarks.

Ogie is confident that his daughter knows what she’s getting into.

“I think, siyempre, alam niya ang priorities niya, which is school, family... or at least yun yung press release niya sa akin,” he jokes.

“But I’m very, very proud of my kids,” beams Ogie.

DOTING DADDY. Since he is based in the Philippines, Ogie has been living away from his daughters with Michelle, who live in Southern Highlands, Australia.

“Alam mo, ang tingin ko sa mga anak ko, baby pa rin, e, pero pagtingin ko hindi na baby,” admits the doting father, who tries his best to be a good father despite the distance.

“Tulad din pag tinitingnan ko si Nate, di ba, walang kamuwang-muwang yun, [but] that boy would be a man,” referring to his son with Regine Velasquez, Nathaniel James or Nate, who is turning two years old this November.

Ogie treats his three children equally. “I’m a spoiler, but I discipline pag mali.”

However, he relates to his daughters differently.

“Medyo iba yung approach. You have to communicate with them and listen to them because iba na sila mag-isip, but they’re good kids.”

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) asks Ogie if it’s difficult being a father to his daughters, who live far away.

“It is, but I appreciate Michelle and Mark [Murrow, Michelle’s husband] for always involving me if there’s some issue.” .

“Natutuwa ako do’n na ini-involve nila ako," Ogie exclaims.

“I’m not left out, and kami naman as parents, hindi kami nagkakaroon ng disagreement. Pare-pareho kami. Iisang kanta yung kinakanta namin.”


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