Why Derek Ramsay has to keep going, and how he does it | Inquirer Entertainment

Why Derek Ramsay has to keep going, and how he does it

By: - Reporter
, / 12:20 AM October 24, 2014

He’s always carrying, or wearing, a rosary; he even has a symbol of it tattooed behind his ear.

He’s always carrying, or wearing, a rosary; he even has a symbol of it tattooed behind his ear.

Derek Ramsay appeared listless at the beginning of this interview. Turned out, the matinee idol had barely slept after a taping that ended in the wee hours earlier that day.

His hectic schedule wasn’t the only thing depriving Ramsay of sleep, however. The actor-TV host-athlete admitted that the spate of controversies hounding him— specifically a legal tussle with estranged wife Mary Christine Jolly—had been particularly aggravating.


Ramsay’s show biz career hasn’t been running smoothly, either. His name and photo was omitted from Star Cinema’s version of posters for director Mike Tuviera’s award-winning movie, “The Janitor,” which the film outfit picked up for theatrical distribution. (Ramsay was an ABS-CBN talent prior to his transfer to TV5 in 2012.)


“Everything’s happening at the same time,” the 37-year-old quipped. Every so often, his emotions get the better of him, he said. He couldn’t help shedding tears at a recent press conference for the second season of TV5’s “The Amazing Race Philippines” (Mondays to Sundays, 9 p.m.), which he hosts.

Coworkers praised him during the event. “So those were tears of joy,” insisted Ramsay. He expressed gratitude for the support of his family, close friends and mother network. “They make things a little easier,” he said.

Do the intrigues affect your work?

I got through it. Life is full of trials; you just have to continue to grind on.

How do you tune out personal stuff?

That’s how I was brought up. My dad always told me, “If you’re given a job, you’d better do it right.


How would you like the conflict with your wife resolved?

I just want my son Austin to be with me— or at least I want the opportunity to be a father to him.

Does your son get to watch your shows?

I don’t know—that’s the sad thing. I don’t get the opportunity to see him. In the last three years I’ve seen him only four times. The last time we were together, he said it was the best day of his life. All of a sudden he wants to see me in jail. It hurts.

How’s your family taking this?

My family is always there for me.

How do you feel about your former girlfriend Angelica Panganiban being dragged into the fray (Jolly filed another case involving her)?

I’ve reached out and apologized. I don’t know why her (Jolly’s) camp is doing all these things.


Despite the personal problems, your career is going well.

I’ve received a lot of blessings from ABS-CBN, which helped me reach where I am now. Not a lot of people remember that I started with GMA 7 as a segment host for “Eat Bulaga!” Of course, TV5 has given me more than I expected. My show biz career has been great.

What are your thoughts on ABS-CBN omitting your name and photo from the poster for “The Janitor”?

I’m used to it. They didn’t mention my name or show my face, either, when “Trophy Wife” and “A Secret Affair” were being promoted in their programs.


Does it bother you?

From a business point of view, it doesn’t bother me. But it hurts to see that what I’ve given the network is being overlooked. Not a lot of people know that in the six years I was with them, only the last two were bound by a contract. I refused offers from other networks despite not being tied up with them.

The good thing was that Direk Mike Tuviera had his own promotion blast.

Yes, he told me that, rest assured, the promotion from his end will include me. I’ve apologized to him for all the drama.

Derek got this tattoo after losing two rosaries given to him by a nun.

Derek got this tattoo after losing two rosaries given to him by a nun.

Where do you think ABS-CBN is coming from?

I don’t know the story behind this. I’m not mad or angry, but that doesn’t stop me from wondering why. I’m open to sitting down with them and ironing this issue out.

How was the role different?

I chose to do “The Janitor” because Mike is a dear friend. I saw it as an opportunity to show versatility, despite people telling me not to do it, because it would affect my image as a matinee idol. I played a drug-using, corrupt police officer… I had to lose about 20 pounds to look the part.

How do you feel about showing your vulnerable side?

I can count the number of times I’ve cried. When I cried at the press conference for “The Amazing Race,” those were tears of joy. And the important thing is that I’ve shed more tears of joy than of hurt or pain.

How are you coping?

Quite well, I think. But I can’t say I’m in perfect health—I hardly sleep, I can’t shut down my brain and body, and I can’t gain back the weight I lost. I just make sure these don’t affect my responsibilities.

What’s the story about that rosary you always wear?

I always carry it with me. If I’m not wearing it, it’s in my pocket. Years ago, I visited the Our Lady of Mediatrix convent in Lipa City. A Carmelite sister gave me the rosary, which I feel has blessed me. During the first season of “The Amazing Race,” the audio man asked me to take it off. I did, much to my annoyance, and I lost it. I felt bad.

The sister somehow heard about it and gave me another one. I lost that one again in an event in Boracay and I woke up the next morning feeling terrible. I thought, the nun would be disappointed. Then someone knocked on my door and gave the rosary back to me. I had the rosary tattooed on my neck.

Would you join “The Amazing Race” if you weren’t the host?

Yes, most definitely. I planned to audition for the first season of “The Amazing Race: Asia.” A friend from the United States and I were set to submit an audition tape, but we ended up not sending it because of our schedules. I’d love to be a contestant, but being a host isn’t so bad.

Do you think you’d do well?

I may have the perfect partner to win the contest, a lawyer friend from South Africa.

Do you travel a lot within the country?

I travel across the Philippines extensively. I love this country. I think Palawan is the most beautiful place on Earth.

Who would you like to run the race with, among past and present contestants?

From the first season, I’ll probably choose CJ Jaravata (who won the race with LJ Reyes), because she was such a big fan of the show. From the current season, I think I’ll go with one of the nerds (Vincent Yu and Ed Manguan), for some sort of a balance.

In what types of challenges do you think you will excel?

Definitely in physical challenges. I’m not saying that I’m not smart—I think I’ll do well in things that involve problem-solving. But yeah, if you ask me to jump off a plane, I won’t even think twice. That’s my personality. I’m an adrenaline junkie.

How do you find being a host?

Hosting the show is easy because it’s not about me. Sometimes, it’s tough when you have to let the losing teams go, but you have to be firm.

The show was one of the things that attracted you to TV5.

If there’s a show that can describe who I am and what I’m all about, this is it. I’m very competitive.

What about “Fear Factor”?

I would never join that, even if you paid me. They have challenges that involve rodents, and I can’t deal with that. I can get over my fear of heights, but rats? No thanks!

The actor-TV host has had very little sleep during this visit to the Inquirer.

The actor-TV host has had very little sleep during this visit to the Inquirer.

What else intimidates you?

Being in the water and not seeing the bottom. I always imagine a shark lurking, ready to pounce on me. I guess I watch too many movies!

What else are you working on?

We’re trying to find a shooting schedule for Arlyn de la Cruz’s movie about the Philippine Marines. “Bok” is the working title.

You’re also doing “English Only, Please,” with Jennylyn Mercado. She said you’re like twins.

We’re both sporty, but I don’t think I can do the type of training Jennylyn does for triathlon. Physically, I can handle it, but I’m not so sure about the mental aspect. I’m more into contact sports, I need to chase a Frisbee… I have to compete against someone.

Do you see yourself falling for her?

She’s a good friend. I don’t want to commit the same mistake I did with Cristine Reyes.

Do you plan to settle down soon?

I want a big family because I’m from a big one. So I want to start already. For some reason, people have this notion that I hate commitments, but I’ve been in long relationships—six years with Angelica Panganiban, four with Solenn Heussaff… I just have to find the right one.

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Photos by Alexis Corpuz

TAGS: Angelica Panganiban, Derek Ramsay, Entertainment, Mary Christine Jolly

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