Fourteen years ago, when Troy Montero and Aubrey Miles began dating, one of the first people Troy met in Aubrey’s life was her son, Maurie.
Maurie is the actress’ son with her ex-boyfriend JP Obligacion, and he was barely two years old when Troy entered their lives.
“Now that I look back on it, I guess I never really considered myself as his stepdad just because, you know, we started when he was so young.
"So I never had to explain myself,” Troy told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during a one-on-one interview last January 23.
Troy and his brother, KC, were doing media rounds for their new travel show, The Worst Vacation Ever, when PEP.ph caught up with the 40-year-old actor/host.
He continued, “You know, I never had to come in and say, ‘Hello, by the way, I’m dating your mom. Blah blah…’
“Nothing like that. So, I guess, for me, it was very easy.”
When Aubrey formally introduced Maurie to the public via the ABS-CBN morning show Magandang Buhay last January 18, 2017, the 16-year-old boy considered Troy as “a real dad.”
He said, “We are really close… He knows how to take care of me, [he's] always there for me, supportive.
“Of course, I have my real dad, but he treats me really well which I really appreciate.”
Even though Troy and Aubrey eventually had their now nine-year-old son, Hunter, Troy has always counted Maurie as part of their modern family.
He told PEP.ph, “He’s a really good kid… I treat them just [the same].
“I praise them the same; they get into trouble, the same.
“[Maurie] respects me.”
TROY AS A DAD. Troy admitted that as much as he and Aubrey try to keep their "bad cop-good cop" roles equal, Aubrey often wears the “bad cop” hat whenever they lecture their sons.
“It’s kinda like you don’t wanna serve it up twice, you know what I mean?” Troy said.
But that doesn't spare him from Aubrey's disappointed looks, “She’ll be dishing it out and I’ll say, ‘Yeah, what your mom said.’
“And she’ll look at me like, ‘That’s it?’
“And I’m like, ‘Well, you said it already. You did it already.’”
But Troy does his best to take the “bad cop” hat once in a while.
“I make sure sometimes we switch hats and we take turns, just so they cannot run to me because mom’s mad.
“Not, like, [our sons would say,] ‘I know mom’s going to say no, so I’ll ask dad.’ I don’t like that to happen.”
Troy admitted that as a kid, he would secretly ask permission from his dad because he knew his mom wouldn’t allow him.
“I’m guilty. I used to do that as a kid… I would be running up the door, my mom says, ‘Where you going?’
“[I would say,] ‘Dad said I can go out!’
“She’ll [give him] a look and dad’s like, ‘I didn’t know!'"
It was only later on when he became a parent himself that he realized how horrible his tactic was.
“It's a dirty trick! I always tell my kids, ‘Don’t do that to us!’
“Now that I’m a parent, it’s really a bad thing to do.”