Lessons from Ryan Agoncillo’s private haven
Ryan Agoncillo has always seemed a little detached from the attention-seeking and public-pandering excesses of his show-biz life—and his unguarded views about his multifaceted skills as a TV host, actor, model, photographer, sports enthusiast and family man affirm this.
When we visited Ryan on the set of “Ismol Family,” the sitcom he topbills with Carla Abellana on GMA 7 every Sunday, that veneer of enigmatic disinterest and indifference vanished the moment he opened his mouth.
Devoid of pretense and artifice, the 35-year-old actor’s straightforward anecdotes allowed us to take a peek into the well-guarded haven he calls home—in fact, when we asked him about what he and Judy Ann Santos (with whom he’s been married for six years) usually argue about, his “explicatory” story about a trivial tiff with Juday turned out to be unintentionally touching!
Ryan shares, “My wife has taught me not to sweat the small stuff. We argue about mundane things—like a broken aircon in our bedroom (laughs). The other day, we fought about who should have had it fixed—kasi three days na itong sira. I got home around midnight after three back-to-back tapings, and I was grumpy, kasi ang init-init sa kwarto namin.
“When I was freshening up in the bathroom, Juday started asking me about how my day went—and I was masungit (grouchy)! Lucho, our 4-year-old son, sleeps with us—so, I sometimes sleep on a mattress on the floor. Then, tinabihan n’ya ako, hugged me and said, ‘Ang sungit-sungit mo!’ So, I hugged her back. Before she became my girlfriend 11 years ago, I wouldn’t have been the type to say I’m sorry. She was perceptive enough to laugh it off.
“We lead a very private life away from the public eye—but, within our circle, we’re very open. We don’t like isolating ourselves from the rest of the world. On Sunday afternoons, two or three sets of friends spend time with us.”
Would he encourage Lucho and 10-year-old daughter, Yohan, to pursue a career in show biz? Ryan quips, “We’d like to encourage our kids to explore different things—but, sometimes, talent isn’t enough.
“Education is key. We keep telling Yohan, who’s an excellent singer, that if she wants to be like her Mama Sharon (Cuneta), whom she idolizes, she won’t get far if she isn’t smart! With Lucho, it’s too early to tell—but, he has a bright and sunny disposition.”
Ryan has been cohosting “Eat Bulaga” for six years now. What is the secret to the noontime program’s success? He answers, “The show is fun and free-flowing. Initially, what struck me about it was how structured everything is. No matter how funny Tito, Vic and Joey come across on TV, they’re serious about what they do. —That’s 35 years of experience!
“I’ve done a lot of hosting on my own—but, from them, I’ve learned how to make it look loose and relaxed na hindi nagwawala. Also, if you want to be an engaging host, you have to experience life, so you can bring something to the table.”
Some time ago, he and Juday were pitted against each other when GMA 7’s “Picture! Picture!” and ABS-CBN’s “Bet On Your Baby” shared the same time slot. Didn’t that present a problem at home?
Ryan admits, “We didn’t have a choice. It was a contentious situation that was ‘very real’ to us, so we talked about it—basta klaro sa aming dalawa na hindi kami ang magkalaban!
“What we did was—bawal ang TV sa bahay every Saturday night. We would eat out, take the kids to the park or go for a walk around the neighborhood. We didn’t want our children to make that difficult choice—because, in reality, we needed to make a living!”
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