What couple in love do not want a forever relationship?
Many make it through thick and thin. But just as many are those who part ways in the end.
In showbiz, where relationships seem to come and go, there are ex-couples who are better off not speaking to each other, and there are others who choose to become friends for the sake of their kids.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portals) tracks down the celebrity moms who have made peace with their children’s dads after their split.
1. Sunshine Dizon unleashed several fiery posts on social media when she exposed her estranged husband Timothy Tan’s infidelity. Their battle reached the courts, but Sunshine and Timothy have found a way to make up for their children’s sake.
Timothy was present during both their daughter Doreen and son Antonio's moving up days in school last year.
He was also present at their daughter's seventh birthday party on April 18, and Sunshine offered an explanation to curious netizens wondering whether they had gotten back together.
Part of Sunshine's April 25 Instagram post read:
“To finally set the record straight. Timothy is and will always be the father of my children.
“It is his right, duty and obligation to be there for his children no matter what the circumstances may be.
"I cannot put a label on our status but what i’m sure of is that by law and more importantly God’s law i am still his wife.
“Only time can tell and ultimately God if we are still meant to be together.”
2. Jodi Sta. Maria is a picture of peace and happiness.
She is on good terms with ex-husband Pampi Lacson, the father of her 12-year-old son, Thirdy, and happy with her boyfriend, Jolo Revilla.
They formed quite a modern family when they all went to Singapore last year—Jody and Thirdy with Jolo and his son Gab together with Pampi, his partner Iwa Moto and their daughter Eve.
Things got better for the blended family when Iwa gave birth to Eve in 2013, and Jodi went to her for support.
The Kapamilya actress has said Thirdy is having a ball with their set-up.
She told PEP.ph in January, "Siguro there’s no greater feeling na malaman mo na yung anak mo, minamahal siya.
“Natutuwa ako na parang… yun nga ang sinasabi namin kay Thirdy.
“Hindi man nag-work out yung sa amin ng daddy niya, pero yung little family namin, yung blended family namin, di ba, parang mas dumami pa yung mga taong nagmamahal sa kanya?”
3. Lotlot de Leon and ex-husband Ramon Christopher have been separated since 2004, but they've worked out their differences for the sake of their four kids—Janine, Jessica, Diego, and Maxine.
At the recent graduation of their youngest daughter Maxine, both Lotlot and Ramon were present for the momentous occasion.
On her Instagram caption, Lotlot explained their set-up:
"It wasn’t easy but we both have learned that for the sake of our children, our PRIDE should always be set aside.
"Never namin pinagkait ang mga anak namin sa isa’t isa.
"Pagdating sa mga bata, it was always a mutual decision. We are parents first. Respect.
"That is why sa mga ganitong pagkakataon, nagpapasalamat ako sa Dios na ginabayan niya kame, and I’m thankful that our children are where they’re supposed to be."
4. Jennylyn Mercado hurdled humps to mend fences with his ex-partner Patrick Garcia, but time and love for their nine-year-old son Alex Jazz helped flatten the bumps.
Now, she is friends not just with him but also with his wife Nikka, who reached out to Jen before she wed Patrick in 2015.
Jazz was the ring bearer at their wedding.
Last year, Nikka posted a group photo of their blended family: Jennylyn with Jazz and her boyfriend Dennis Trillo, Patrick and Nikka with their daughters Michelle and Patrice. Even Jen's dog Connor was in the picture.
Jennylyn is thankful for Nikka's role in helping bridge the gap.
She told PEP.ph last December, "Okey kami [ni Patrick].
"Kumbaga, ang laki ng pasasalamat ko sa asawa niya, kay Nikka, very supportive kasi, e.
"Hindi siya... ano ba? Parang silang dalawa ni Patrick yung tatay, parang gano'n.
"So, masaya ako na very open si Nikka 'tapos very understanding.
5. Vicki Belo and Atom Henares are the poster people for ex-couples making it work. The two have even become best friends after their split, and share a close relationship with their children Quark and Cristalle.
Atom and Vicki were also present at each other’s second weddings. Atom attended Vicki and Hayden Kho's wedding in Paris. Meanwhile, Vicki and Hayden were guests at Atom's wedding in Tagaytay last February.
Vicki and Hayden's daughter Scarlet even calls Atom her Papa Atom.
Both Vicki and Atom also attended Cristalle’s 35th birthday party last month at the Manila Polo Club. The two are excited to become grandparents, as Cristalle is pregnant with her first child with husband Justin Pitt.
In 2012, Cristalle explained that her parents were better off as friends than spouses.
She told PEP.ph, "Ako, sobrang saya ako. My mom and my dad, they’ve been good friends ever since.
"When they broke up, there was a few years na hindi talaga sila friends, but eventually they found their friendship again.
"Para sa akin, yung relationship nila, hindi ibig sabihin kailangan mag-husband and wife kayo to be in a relationship.
"Nahanap nila yung perfect mix ng relationship nila—to be best friends."
6. Ara Mina and Bulacan Mayor Patrick Meneses broke up weeks after their daughter Amanda Gabrielle was baptized in 2015.
While there are still differences that hinder them from getting back together, both parents set these aside for their daughter's sake.
Patrick only has good words for Ara. He told PEP.ph last February, "Siyempre, we have a daughter.
"We have Amanda and whatever happens, there will be a special love for her because she’s the mother of my daughter."
Patrick also admires Ara for being a good mother to Amanda and for pursuing her other dreams.
"She’s a very good mom to Amanda...she’s more driven now with her career, with her craft.
"Siyempre, she’s a single mom, she’s also trying to give her best and support also for her part for Amanda."
Ara and Amanda spent last Christmas Eve with the Meneses family.
7. Vilma Santos and Edu Manzano's marriage may have been short-lived, but their devotion to their son Luis Manzano is almost legendary.
Who can forget her closing line, "I love you, Lucky!" after each episode of her variety show Vilma!, which aired for almost a decade?
Edu, for his part, is not one to shy away from public displays of affection toward his son.
In 2016, Edu told PEPTalk how separations affect children.
He said, “Actually it’s sad when parents separate because children will always be the victim.
“You know, while some couples may find it as a release or heaven-sent, yung batang walang kaalam-alam is always a victim,”
Vilma and Edu worked hard to compensate for their separation. They always made sure to make Luis feel loved.
Fortunately, this did not go to waste. Luis, now ready to become a husband and a father himself, credits his mom and dad's influence for the kind of parent he wants to be.
He told PEP.ph and a group of reporters last January, “Siguro, I’d like to think na, I was raised okay.
“So, whatever my dad put in, whatever my mom put in, di ba, I’m thankful.
“Siguro that’s the perfect balance.
“I think whatever they put in, my mom and dad, that’s how exactly I would raise my child, too.”
Luis celebrated his 37th birthday on April 21, and present at the surprise party arranged by his girlfriend Jessy Mendiola were his mom Vilma, dad Edu, his stepdad Ralph Recto, and his half-brother Ryan Christian.
Luis said it was the first time both sides of his family were present in one place.