Ian Veneracion is proof that love is about acceptance with no barriers

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Ian Veneracion is proof that love is about acceptance, respect

/ 09:00 AM March 05, 2023
Ian Veneracion emerged as the winner of INQUIRER.net's Valentine poll. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

Ian Veneracion emerged as the winner of INQUIRER.net’s Valentine poll. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

Editor’s note: This feature on Ian Veneracion discusses his take on love and relationships after he emerged as the most date-worthy male celebrity on Valentine’s Day after a two-week survey among readers of INQUIRER.net last February.

It is easy to say that you love someone. But putting love into practice is a challenge — especially when it’s about accepting someone with no hesitations. For Ian Veneracion, this is what it means to be fully devoted to people who matter the most.


Being a parent and a husband for over 20 years seems to be a tall order for some married individuals, especially with the rise of controversial breakups and cheating scandals in the entertainment scene. Yet the responsibility does not seem too much of a massive weight on the veteran actor’s shoulders.

When he’s away from the cameras, Ian is happily married to his wife Pam Gallardo and they have three children together: Deirdre, Duccio, and Tristan Draco. He may be seen as one of the most breathtaking heartthrobs in local showbiz even to this day — but being a devoted husband and dad comes first.


Ian Veneracion

Ian Veneracion

‘I made a promise’

“Sobrang sigurado ako (I am very sure. I made a promise to [Pam] noong kinasal kami (when we got married) and it’s like a promise to society. But more than that, I made a promise to myself, which for me, is the most important thing. I promised to take care of this person for the rest of my life,” he told Karen Davila in June 2022.

Younger fans would be shocked to discover that Ian got married at the age of 22. At an age where possibilities are abundant, many adults immediately shudder at the thought of settling down in your early twenties. Perhaps, it’s because tying the knot seems too huge of a decision that can break your life.

Ian, however, begs to differ. “It’s the best decision I’ve ever made in my life — up to this day. Maski noon, sigurado ako (Even before, I was sure).”

“At that time, I could not imagine myself waking up in the morning or going to bed every night with the same person,” he recalled. “Sabi ko (I said), ‘No way!’ Pero na-realize ko rin na (That’s when I realized that), ‘No, I can’t imagine myself without this person.’ So ‘yun, that’s when I knew she’s the one for me.”

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

In the age of social media, flaunting your relationship — even if things are not as smooth-sailing behind-the-scenes — seems to be the norm for many couples. Every anniversary, special event, or milestone guarantees a photo or a video clip for the whole world to see. Yet the veteran actor accepts Pam’s wishes, and values her desire for privacy. Even when you look on his social media platforms, it’s hard to find a flash of his wife’s face. That’s when you know how keeping certain parts away from the public eye is a must for the “Nanahimik ang Gabi” star.

“We value privacy. I value my privacy. Lalo na yung privacy [ng mga anak ko], I value [it] more. They didn’t sign up to be in the public eye. So I respect that. So kaya laging protected yung privacy nila,” he revealed to Modern Parenting magazine in June 2022.

Ian also believes that his partner’s privacy is a priority even if he’s an A-list celebrity. “I respect her privacy. She doesn’t want attention, hindi siya nagse-selfie. Hindi siya nagso-social media, hindi siya gan’oon, so that’s one thing I like about her also,” he noted to Davila.


He even added in jest, “Kahit attention ko nga, di ko alam. ‘Uy, pansinin mo naman ako! Sing and dance na ako dito. Mind me, mind me!’”

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

Family first, over career

Ian has been a familiar name and face in the local entertainment industry for quite some time since he started his acting career at the age of seven. Some child actors would easily embrace their youth and fame to the fullest. Others would unfortunately fall into the path of darkness, until they eventually emerge with a different outlook in life. While there are a certain number of celebrities who see their life in the limelight as their purpose and an end goal to their hardships.

But the veteran actor believes that showbiz is just a job. And for him, he is proud of the fact that he was able to become the father of three “compassionate, intelligent human beings,” almost to the point where he sees himself as the more “relaxed” parent.

“I’ve fulfilled my goal. I’d like to think that I was raised well by my parents. And I think the best contribution I can give to the world to make it a better place as compared to when I found it is to have three compassionate, intelligent human beings. I think I’ve been very lucky to have them and I think I raised them well,” he told Modern Parenting proudly.

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

And it seems that he definitely did. When she was just 16 years old, Ian’s daughter Deirdre came out to him as lesbian. Coming out can be life-changing and traumatic for LGBTQ+ kids in the closet, since being honest about your sexual orientation towards your parents always ends up in confusion, denial, anger, and even a desperate attempt to be changed by religion.

But he believes that love is about acceptance. And when Deirdre said she “likes girls,” he simply responded with “Ako din, I like girls. Girls are awesome, ‘no?”

His teary-eyed daughter was shocked for a moment, then laughed. After all, coming out takes complete courage after self-doubt and a million fears.

“‘Just don’t ever be apologetic about it—not even to me,’” Ian said in an interview with the morning show “Magandang Buhay” in March 2020. “‘You can be whoever you want to be and I have full support. Umatras ‘yung luha niya kasi natawa siya.’”

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

After all, life is about chasing happiness, following one’s heart, and making the most of it. Nakakapanghinayang lang. Isa lang ang buhay natin tapos kapag nabuhay ka, tapos parang apologetic ka pa na nahihiya ka sa sarili mo, hindi mo mailabas pagkatao mo, parang what a waste of life,” he further explained.

A heartwarming and emotional story for many LGBTQ+ kids, Ian hopes that he and his daughter’s close relationship would serve as a reminder to other parents that their children are their own person.

“We have our lives to live, they have their lives to live. Children don’t come from us — they come through us,” he told Davila, as he described Deirdre as his “heart.” He even noted that his wife even accepted their daughter with open arms.

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

Ian Veneracion. Image: Instagram/@ianveneracion1

“It’s the same thing as what I’d like to tell other parents,” he was quoted as saying in Modern Parenting. “The support and the respect should always be there kahit hindi natin gusto yung path na tahakin ng mga anak natin. They have their lives, we have our lives. I think it’s such a waste of life to live it apologetically as if you owe something to someone and you have to adjust.”

It is easy to view Ian as a breathtaking actor with a knack for immersing himself into every role he plays. After all, he was named as the Best Actor in the 48th Metro Manila Film Festival.

But at the end of the day, he is just a man with a lot of love to give to people that matters the most to him — especially when it comes to embracing them with open arms. With no uncertainty at all. EDV


Nadine Lustre, Ian Veneracion emerge as INQUIRER.net’s most date-worthy celebrities for Valentine’s Day

Ian Veneracion at 45: Aging not something to dread, but to embrace

How music adds color to Ian’s performing pursuits

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