Practical Phytos plans his future | Inquirer Entertainment

Practical Phytos plans his future

/ 12:15 AM April 24, 2014


At the height of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” in 2009, all roads to his home were lined with the bodies of those who had drowned in the floods, recounted GMA 7 actor Phytos Ramirez.


Luckily, his house in a quiet subdivision in San Mateo, Rizal, stands on higher ground. “But just outside our village,” Phytos recalled, “the water was more than 6 feet deep.”

His father, a Greek national, was so spooked, he moved back to his home in Cyprus, where Phytos and sister Skevie spent their childhood. Mom Myrna chose to stay behind with the kids. “My children were born in Cyprus,” his mom related. “We moved back here when Phytos was 5.”


With her husband away, the construction of the family home was stalled, said Myrna, an engineer-turned-pharmacist. They moved into this house in 2005.

Drugstore chain

PHYTOS bakes Greek breads, like psomi, in this outdoor oven.

The family owns a small chain of drugstores named after Phytos. Because his surname, Kyriacou, is quite the tongue-twister, his manager Becky Aguila and handlers at GMA Artist

HE ENJOYS watching movies in the living room.

Center changed it to Ramirez.

Myrna envisioned the home as a duplex in a contemporary design. Phytos elaborated: “Two buildings connected by a bridge. On the ground level would be a swimming pool. We would have big glass windows.”

Phytos started in the biz as a child star. At 5, he did several TV commercials for kiddie snacks and a fast-food chain, and acted in a few movies. Now 18, he’s being groomed as the next Kapuso hunk. He plans to finish the family home with his show biz earnings.

The laid-back, leisurely pace in San Mateo appeals to him. Plus, he said, “It’s cool here. In December, it’s like being in Baguio or Tagaytay. The air is fresh.”


Far from work

He described the mood inside their home: “Soothing, peaceful. It feels far from work.”

Although the house is “a work in progress,” Phytos said, “It is here that I feel most content, because I’m with my mother and my sister.”

STUFFED toy, trophies, and mini-sports cars

His favorite area is the living room, where he watches a lot of movies on television “to get acting tips.”

Among Hollywood stars, John Travolta is his all-time idol. “I like his style—very versatile. He’s very spontaneous.” Among Filipino actors, he idolizes Christopher de Leon. “My goal is to win best actor awards, like he has.”

Phytos recently bought his first car, a 2013 Hyundai Accent. “I didn’t want to spend too much,” he said. I’d rather invest in real estate.” After finishing the family home, practical Phytos hopes to buy condo units to rent out.

He started college last year, taking up tourism in Centro Escolar University Manila. This school year, he plans to move to the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

Myrna took a hands-on approach in building and furnishing the home. She got the narra door, carved with dragons for good luck, from her hometown, Tuguegarao in Cagayan, just like the dining table and gallinera. The sala set was bought from a mall.

In the living room is a collection of German porcelain ware.

‘THREE’S COMPANY With sister Skevie and mom Myrna (center)

Another favorite nook for Phytos is his blue bedroom. “For warmth and a country vibe, I specified wooden beams,” he said. “Next, I’d like to paint clouds and stars on the ceiling.”

A few more details would make his hideaway perfect. “I have space for a flat-screen TV. Hopefully, I can buy one soon,” he said.

In the corner where the current TV set stands, stuffed toys—gifts from fans and friends—are displayed, along with sports trophies and a miniature car collection. “I got the mini-Porsches here. Most of my toy cars are in Cyprus,” Phytos said.

He keeps a collection of sashes that he won from campus pageants.

Three more incentives to hurry home every day are his pet dogs Robin, a 7-year-old Pomeranian; Hugo, a year-old Lhasa Apso Shih Tzu; and Cheska, a five-month-old Aspin. “We love dogs in this family,” he said. “They’re our babies.”

In one corner of the garden stands a stone oven. “It’s a traditional pugon,” Phytos said. “My dad taught me how to make Greek breads, like psomi.”

Dream business

HIS FIRST car is a 2013 Hyundai Accent.

A confessed foodie, he dreams of opening his own authentic Greek restaurant. His favorite Greek dishes are moussaka and keftedes.

The family loves to entertain, often on the roof deck, which offers a panoramic view of the Sierra Madre mountain range.

The deck also serves as an exercise area for Phytos, who dropped 45 pounds (from 220 to 175) in less than six months.

He jogs around the village or the UP campus in his spare time. That’s on top of almost-daily workouts at the CrossFit Insurrecto gym.

Since moving to GMA 7 from ABS-CBN, Phytos has stuck to the regimen. He recently wrapped up work on the soap opera “Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw” and now appears regularly in “Sunday All Stars.”

“Since losing weight,” he admitted, “I’ve landed good projects.” The health benefits are not lost on him, either. “I’m less sickly than before.” And he has become more confident. “I used to

ROOF deck offers a view of the Sierra Madre mountains.

hate having my photos taken. Not anymore.”

Photos by Rodel Rotoni

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