One thing that Willie Revillame and Meryll Soriano have in common: tenacity.
The daughter says she needs “moral support,” but sets aside her dad’s preference, "Sana nag-business course ka!"
The dad says, “Ayan, tinitiis ko siya,” no matter how hard the daughter tries to explain, “Ito yung gusto ko.”
But at the blessing/ thanksgiving of Wil Tower Mall yesterday, July 31, the two were civil. In fact, if not for the article published here in PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) last July 28, no one would have guessed that they’re presently settling a knotty point.
PEP and YES! magazine approached Meryll first. (Read: Meryll Soriano determined to finished studies in London...)
About an hour later, we sat down with Willie, who retorted, “Ano’ng sinabi niya?”
“TWO MORE YEARS TO GO!” The Wowowilie host made it clear that he sees nothing wrong with her daughter pursuing a college degree.
Just that, he found Meryll's Product Design course as irrelevant.
Willie explained, “Actually, what I told her, una, sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Dapat ang course na kinuha mo, related sa business ko.’
“Hindi yung related sa businesses mo— industrial, interior something, gagawa ka ng paso, kung anu-ano. Bibili ka na lang ng paso, ba’t gagawa ka pa? Gusto niya yun, e, di ba?”
He said he’s well aware of the fact that his daughter is “artistic.”
But, “… ang point ko is, if ever na may mangyari sa ‘kin, papa’no ka biglang isasalpak dito?”
To date, aside from the Wil Tower Mall, the host-comedian also has Wil Events Place, and soon, a hotel in Tagaytay.
Of the latter, he said, “Medyo mabigat, pinag-iipunan ko talaga ‘to… Ang harap niyan, yung Taal Lake, yung volcano, sobrang ganda, ang lamig kaya para kang nasa Amerika.”
He’s relying on Meryll, being the eldest, to start helping him in managing his businesses.
“Kahit nga mag-OJT [on the job training] dito, di ba,” Willie pointed out.
“Hindi mo alam lahat, e. So, wala kang alam sa buhay ko, wala kang alam sa papa’no mo ‘to gawin.”
He gave Henry Sy, the founder of SM Group, and other taipans as examples.
“Sinong mga nagma-manage ng business ngayon? Anong course na binigay sa kanila [children]?
“What I told her, mag-aral ka ng management o business, special course. Puwede naman kita pag-aralin, di ba?
“Kasi nandito na ‘to, e. Let’s say, nag-graduate ka ng two years, o, anong… dun ka magtatrabaho?”
“IT'S NOT MINE…” For Meryll's part, she admitted to feeling awkward each time people say, "It's all yours!"
She said, “I hate it because it’s not mine and I never claimed it. I’m proud of it but I never take part of it, like, ‘Yeah, it’s our mall.’
“No, I never say it’s our mall. It’s his mall because he worked hard for it and I’m very, very, proud of it.
“But I don’t want to claim it because it’s not mine.”
Willie however underscored, “Kung namatay ako, ikaw din magma-manage nito, e. At wala kang alam, what will happen? Babagsak ‘to, ibebenta ‘to.
“Pinaghirapan ko, talagang hard work ‘to!
“Hardship ito, hindi ito minana, talagang zero, e, talagang from nothing ito, so, kung anuman meron ako ngayon, hindi ‘to suwerte, pinaghirapan ko ‘to— butas ng karayom, marami akong pinagdaanan sa buhay, masasakit, pero hindi ako nagkaroon ng bitter[ness].
“Until now, wala akong isang galit kahit kanino. Kung merong may galit sa akin, well, sila yung nagdadala nun, hindi ako, until now.”
“PA, TUTULUNGAN MO BA AKO O HINDI?” This was supposedly asked by Meryll in one of their conversations.
Willie sounded unyielding when he stressed his point: “Una, dapat sa pamilya, masusunod diyan ay Tatay mo.
“Ako, sumusunod ako sa Tatay ko, e, kasi yun ang nakamulatan ko kahit na hindi ako naging close, ganun, e.
“Ako ang tatay mo, e, sa ibang tao ka makikinig?”
Likewise, Meryll was resolute when she said, “... my priority is my study right now.”
Hence, Willie said that their discussion ended with, “Sinabi ko lang sa kanya, ‘Hindi kita tutulungan.’”
“SINONG MAGMA-MANAGE?” Sounding quite exasperated, Willie asked this question.
He resumed, “You’re 30, 31 years old, Meryll, may anak ka na.
“Una, nung ako nahiwalay sa pamilya ko nang mga ilang taon pa lang, kumayod na ako on my own.
“Simple lang ‘to… Dahil lahat ng ‘to, pinagpaguran ko ‘to, mababalewala lang kung maggagawa-gawa lang siya ng mga takip ng posporo, kung anu-ano…”
Willie also found it absurd that Meryll has a career here, some business ventures she can try here, yet, she prefers to stay in London.
“Kunwari ang asset mo is acting, dun ka rin pupunta, e, pagbalik mo rito. What if binigyan ka ng isang programa, soap?
“Nandito na ito, e, anong gagawin mo sa buhay mo?
“For example, how will you manage this events place and then yung hotel na pinapagawa ko? Hindi naman ito kalalaking pera pero pinaghirapan mo ‘to, e.
If only his son with Liz Almoro, Juamee, is old enough to handle a business, Willie said, “Kung medyo may edad lang yun, tuturuan ko na yun, e— how to deal with people.”
One lesson he wants to impart to his children, “…iba yung marunong kang makitungo sa mga tao dahil itong mga taong ito ang magdadala sa iyo sa taas. Hindi yung mga sa showbiz.
“Kung papa’no ka makipag-deal sa tao, kahit hindi nakapagtapos, tutulungan ka niyan kung mahusay kang kausap, may word of honor ka, hindi ka manggagantso… aasenso ka sa buhay.”
Willie took pride in the fact that even in the absence of a college degree, he’s leading a comfortable life.
“Hindi naman ako nakatapos, e. Maraming hindi naman nakatapos, umasenso, pero, dapat, marunong kang makitungo.
“Pag kausap mo yung basurero, basurero rin ang ugali mo… kung mayayaman, kaya mo ring makipag-usap sa kanila… Basta marunong kang makibagay.”
That and a business or management course for his eldest would make him unworried.
“Alam mo, iba yung nakapagtapos ka ng pag-aaral, siyempre, iba yung may diploma ka.”
LEAVING SHOWBIZ? Now that he’s hands-on with his mall and other ventures, how will these affect his visibility on TV?
Willie replied, “That’s my bread and butter.
"Saka, and showbiz [is] not just [a] job for me, it is a commitment to people, yung commitment ko sa kanila everyday.
“You know, I have these, because of these people, so parang I have to give back to them also.
“Ibalik ko naman yung nagpapasaya ko sila araw-araw.”