Gelli de Belen's Instagram feed was recently filled with posts about Joaqui and Julio, her two sons with husband Ariel Rivera.
The boys were in the Philippines for a few weeks of vacation and family time before they went back to Canada, where they are currently studying.
Gelli explained, "Kasi summer lang, pero ngayon nandoon na ulit sila, nakabalik na sila. Siguro naka-isang buwan at kalahati rin sila."
The actress shared their present set-up. She would go to Canada thrice—beginning, middle, and end of the year. During Joaqui and Julio's summer vacations, they will come home to the Philippines.
Their eldest son Joaqui is taking up aviation, while youngest Joaqui is studying Kinesiology.
Gelli and Ariel have been known as hands-on parents while raising their boys. But now that their sons are older, the Rivera couple allowed them to study college in Canada.
She told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) the positive change brought about by this decision: Joaqui and Julio became more independent and responsible.
"You know what, kung meron man akong pinagpapasalamat, ang laki ng pinagbago nilang dalawa simula nang tumira sila dun.
"Siyempre, hindi mo naman masisisi dahil nandiyan ako, may pagka-spoiled. Pero ngayon, independent na sila, may pagka-responsible. Lalo na yung panganay.”
The entertainment press interviewing Gelli ribbed the actress, is she a mom in denial by saying her sons don't have girlfriends yet?
Laughing, Gelli answered, "Wala pa, wala pa naman. Well, meron silang mga cotillion, yung mga date-date na ganun, pero girlfriend, wala pa."
She also said she has no problem in case Joaqui and Julio decide to get in a relationship.
"Oo naman, oo naman," she said. "Sinasabi ko lang naman na hindi, pero siyempre, nanggaling din naman ako riyan. Siyempre, gusto ko rin naman na maging maligaya sila in that aspect.
"Basta kailangan lang talaga, yung focus nila yung pag-aaral."
She added, "May mga girls silang gusto, ka-text. Pero gusto ko, mag-focus sila sa dapat nilang pag-focusan.
"Sabi nga ng Tatay nila, 'Alam niyo boys, yung girls, palaging nandiyan. Focus on whatever you need to focus and finish it. The girls will always be there and if you have something to stand for, meaning nakapagtapos ka ng pag-aaral, mas maraming girls.'"
Now that the boys have flown out of the nest, Gelli and Ariel are back to being alone at home. The couple also finished shooting an indie film, Ang Sikreto ng Piso.
"Ang weird! Ang weird namin na nagko-comedy kami ni Ariel," Gelli said of the movie's genre.
"Keri ko yung nagdadrama kami, pero yung comedy, nawi-weirduhan ako. Well, mostly naman, sa akin nanggagaling ang comedy. Pero si Ariel, meron yung nararamdaman ko na—okay lang ba yun? May ganun.
"Pero okay naman siya, kaya lang natatawa ko."
The actress also opened up on what she likes about working with a spouse.
"Yung comfort," she revealed. "It’s really comfortable working with your husband. So yung mga eksena na kailangang intimate, walang problema. Sabay kaming umuwi, yun lang."