Why Ogie Alcasid had initial misgivings about daughter Leila moving in with BF
The mind says yes, but the heart says no.
It may sound “corny,” Ogie Alcasid said, but that’s how he feels about the prospect of his eldest child, Leila, getting married to her boyfriend of five years, Curtismith, in the future.
“I’ve pretty much accepted that we’re going on that road sooner or later,” Ogie said, when asked by the Inquirer about his daughter’s deepening relationship with the singer-rapper.
“When Gary (Valenciano) talks about his and his wife (Angeli Pangilinan)’s experience as empty nesters, it makes me go, ‘One day, that’s going to be me.’ But I think I’m ready,” he said over dinner with select show biz reporters to promote his upcoming concert, “Ogieoke.”
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when lockdowns were still in place, Leila and Curtismith decided to live together. They figured that the setup would make things easier for them to nurture and navigate their relationship amid the uncertainties.
Ogie had misgivings about the couple’s decision at first. As a father with a more “old-school” view of family, he would rather that his children live with him for as long as they can. His ex-wife and Leila’s mother, Michelle van Eimeren, felt similarly, he said.
But what’s done is done. Ogie wasn’t about to stop or butt heads with his daughter. After all, Leila, 25, is old enough to make her own decisions. He only had one request—that they take care of their responsibilities as adults. “I told her, ‘I didn’t like what you did. Because it’s something that I wish you talked to me about before. But that’s already done—nandyan na ‘yan. So you want to be an adult? Then, face life like an adult.’ And I’m very proud that she doesn’t even ask for money from me at all,” he related.
But of course, he will always be there to guide and support Leila and he stressed the importance of maintaining an open line of communication with his kids. “We will have a trip to Hong Kong soon and I will get the chance to talk to her … about what she plans to do. I will have time with my kids,” he said. Meanwhile, Ogie said he and his wife, Regine Velasquez, are at “the peak” of their marriage. “We’re so in love. We can’t get enough of each other. When I hear stories about couples breaking up, I get sad. One time, it had me and my wife talking, ‘Paano ba natin nagagawa ‘to? What are we doing right?’ And I think one of the reasons is we laugh together,” he said.
Misunderstandings and tampuhan are inevitable and, in some cases, instructive. “I think those things are important, too … situations that you can just laugh at after. We’re old and we have nothing to prove,” said Ogie, who also finds himself becoming “more emo” in recent months.
“I cry so easily… There was one contestant (in “Tawag ng Tanghalan,” where he’s a judge) who dedicated a song to her father. I got so emotional because I remembered my late father. And then, there was this discussion with Vice Ganda about fighting for love despite past heartbreaks,” he said.
And so much emotion came out as I talked about my first marriage and I was blessed to be given another opportunity to love and be loved again. I can’t say for sure why. But I’m very sensitive these days. I cry over Korean dramas. Maybe I’m just getting old?” he said, laughing.
Ogie has two other kids: Sarah, 21, with Michelle; and Nate, 11, with Regine.
He couldn’t be more thankful that everyone gets along in his family. Regine and Michelle are good friends and so are Ogie and Michelle’s husband Mark. What makes their blended family work?
“Mutual respect is important. The financial aspect, which is often overlooked, should also be in order. You have to be responsible. If you have commitments to your children with your previous spouse, then you should fulfill those,” he related.
As the title suggests, “Ogieoke,” which will be held on Sept. 29 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, will be videoke-themed, with Ogie curating a set list composed of songs Filipinos love singing at parties and family gatherings including those by Frank Sinatra, Air Supply, Peabo Bryson, Barry Manilow and some of his own compositions of course. For tickets, call 0917 8189847 or 0917 8079387.
“All the songs’ lyrics will be displayed, so the audience can sing along,” Ogie said. “Concerts can be formal and stiff. But I want this one to be fun and lively. I even wrote a song in which I incorporated some of my spiels.”
“Next to chismisan, karaoke is the Filipinos’ next most popular hobby,” he joked. “Because singing is fun … It’s a way of releasing a lot of our stresses in life. It’s not really a new concept, but I thought it would be fun in a concert setting.”