Hello, Alas Joaquin!

YES! (Philippines) - - Cover Story -

A not-so-lit­tle “Lit­tle Prince,” Baby Alas has cer­tainly got his good looks from his artista par­ents. But who does he look more like, Mommy Kylie or Daddy Aljur? “Akin ’yong mata, kasi singkit siya,” Kylie points out. “The hair, kay AJ [Aljur’s nick­name]. ’Yong dim­ples, Abrenica ’yon. Skin color, parang halo namin. So halo-halo siya talaga.” Aljur doesn’t see things quite the same way. “Hindi ko na makita,” he laughs. “Ang nakikita ko, si Alas na. Siya na.”

No mat­ter who Alas takes after, one thing’s for sure: the adorable baby boy is now as much of an Instagram star as his par­ents, who have taken to so­cial me­dia to share how proud they are of their Lit­tle Prince.

So, sabi ko, parang eto na ’yong right tim­ing. Kailan­gan ko nang sabi­hin.”

Due to its high rat­ings, En­can­ta­dia’s run, which be­gan in July 2016, had been ex­tended to May 2017. It was a re­quel—a term coined by En­can­ta­dia cre­ator Suzette Doc­tolero and di­rec­tor Mark Reyes, blend­ing the words re­make and se­quel— of the orig­i­nal 2005 show of the same ti­tle. Its story chiefly re­volves around the four royal sis­ters Pirena, Ami­han, Alena, and Danaya. They are all born to lead and be­come great war­riors, but Ami­han is the one cho­sen to rule.

As Ami­han, Kylie had many ac­tion­filled and dra­matic scenes that could jeop­ar­dize her preg­nancy. What then?

“Ac­tu­ally, ang dami ngang nang­yari, e,” she says, ad­mit­ting that her sit­u­a­tion put the pro­duc­tion in a quandary. “But the Enca set was so ano, so flex­i­ble. They’re re­ally nice. They han­dled it re­ally nicely. I mean, I’m re­ally thank­ful for them, lalo na si Di­rek ’tsaka ’yong pro­ducer namin. They talked to me and told me na ‘If you want to do this, we can ad­just to you or what­ever.’

“But ’yong fi­nal de­ci­sion was to take me out na. Kasi, siyem­pre, kailan­gang nag-a-ac­tion si Ami­han. Siya ’yong pinaka­m­a­gal­ing na mandirigma, so im­posi­bleng nakaano lang siya [ hindi nag-a-ac­tion].”

When the show’s fans, who called them­selves En­can­tadiks, got wind of the new de­vel­op­ment in the story, they went berserk on so­cial me­dia. After all, Ami­han ( played by Iza Calzado in the orig­i­nal show) is a well-loved char­ac­ter, and she’s not meant to die in the story. En­can­tadiks put the blame on Kylie’s boyfriend Aljur, ac­cus­ing him of pulling the pop­u­lar ac­tress down.

Aljur re­mains un­per­turbed by the on­line bash­ing.

“Kasi, for me, what’s the big deal?” he coolly says. “Sabi­hin na natin na big deal for you, guys, dahil maram­ing nag­mama­hal kay Kylie. But for me kasi, tao lang kami, e, di ba? Para sa akin, nor­mal ’yon, di ba? Me taong nag­mama­ha­lan, pare­has n’yong gi­nawa, me nabuo dahil sa pag­mama­ha­lan.

“So nag-pri­or­i­tize ako sa kala­gayan ni Kylie. Pan­galawa, ’yong maibibi­gay ko la­hat ng gusto niyang kainin, ’tsaka ’yong mag­ing kom­portable siya kasama ’ko. Sin­abi ko sa sar­ili ko na sa buong nine months ng pag­bubun­tis niya, hindi da­pat lili­pas ’yong isang araw na hindi ko siya nakakasama at naibibi­gay ’yong gusto niya. Do’n ako nag-fo­cus.

“Nag­bi­gay din ako ng pana­hon sa fam­ily ko, la­long-lalo na sa tatay ko, kasi ang pagig­ing tatay, do’n din ang punta ko, e. Apat kam­ing magkaka­p­atid na na­palaki niya nang maayos. So, ’yong lessons na ’binibi­gay niya sa amin, do’n ako nag-fo­cus. Hindi ko masyadong bini­gyan ng pana­hon ’yong mga bash­ers.”

Kylie be­lieves that Aljur is “very mis­un­der­stood” by a lot of peo­ple.

“The thing that peo­ple don’t un­der­stand about him is that, ’yon nga, so­brang to­too siya sa sar­ili niya na he doesn’t like edit­ing,” she ex­plains. “Be­fore, I didn’t un­der­stand it ei­ther. Kasi, ’yon nga, e, alam ko ’yong laro ng show­biz. Min­san talaga, kailan­gan mong tim­plahin.

“But then, siya, sabi niya, ‘No, eto ang panini­wala ko. Kailan­gan kong panindi­gan ’yong panini­wala ko. And then, after a while, sabi ko, ‘Oo nga, ’no, kailan­gan mong mag­paka­to­too.’ Sabi niya nga, kailan­gan ding masaya ’ko sa per­sonal life ko. Hindi puro work ako. So kailan­gang ’pakita ko kung sino ako. Nire­speto ko na rin ’yon. Natu­tuto na din ako. Ang saya din na­man talaga.

“So­brang ano lang ng tao, may ex­pec­ta­tion na kailan­gang perfect ’yong artista. Kailan­gan, perfect. Kailan­gan, gan­ito. Min­san, nakakalimu­tan nila na may sar­il­ing pinag­dadaanan. Not ev­ery­thing is what you see on TV, or what­ever.”

When Kylie’s Ami­han char­ac­ter died in the Jan­uary 26 episode of En­can­ta­dia, the ac­tress con­tin­ued to ap­pear in the se­ries, but with lim­ited par­tic­i­pa­tion as the spirit of Ami­han. En­can­ta­dia wrapped up on May 19, 2017, and Kylie took an in­def­i­nite leave from show­biz.

Aljur, on the other hand, got a new lease on life, ca­reer-wise. After his con­tract with GMA Net­work ex­pired, the home­grown Ka­puso ac­tor found a new tal­ent man­ager in Jon Ila­gan, a

“She’s a great mother from the very start,” Aljur says of Kylie. “All praise ako sa kanya dahil tin­u­tukan niya talaga. Binitawan niya la­hat. Nag-fo­cus siya sa pagig­ing nanay even be­fore du­mat­ing si Alas… I’m proud of her bi­lang part­ner ko sa buhay.”

for­mer ac­tor and TV di­rec­tor, who put up his own tal­ent agency, Eleven Eleven En­ter­tain­ment.

“I’m grate­ful na nanini­wala sila sa akin, sa kakaya­han ko,” he says glow­ingly of his new man­age­ment team. “Kin­ausap nila ’yong mga net­work, even GMA, kung saan ako ma­ganda, ’yong best place for me. Ang pinili nila is ABS. Grate­ful din ako to ABS-CBN, kasi nanini­wala pa rin sila sa akin. Nakali­pat ako.”

Aljur clar­i­fies that there’s no bad blood be­tween him and GMA, the net­work that dis­cov­ered him and built him up as a lead­ing man.

“Well, me kanya-kanya kasi tay­ong lakad. Me kanya-kanya tay­ong dahi­lan pag­dat­ing sa as­peto ng paglili­pat ng net­work. Grate­ful ako sa kanila. Sila rin na­man ang nag­pak­i­lala sa akin, e. Sa kanila ako nagsim­ula. Isang dekada ako sa kanila. Sila rin ang nag­bi­gay ng bread and

Plenty of nat­u­ral light makes Aljur’s sec­ond­floor sanc­tu­ary the ideal place to laze the af­ter­noons away with a good book or with deep con­ver­sa­tion. The “ex­posed brick” walls add to the charm of the min­i­mally fur­nished space, which also serves as a gym and a study area.

This room is bare of dec­o­ra­tion, save for the far-left wall, which is adorned with an un­fin­ished mu­ral painted by Kylie her­self. Aljur says that he gave Kylie free rein on the sub­ject of the paint­ing, and she came up with the nude forms.

“Sin­abi ko sa kanya na ‘Gusto kong magka­roon ka ng touch sa ba­hay. Basta mag‑paint ka.’ Artist si Kylie, e. Si Kylie, yes, mahilig mag‑draw­ing ’yan ng im­ages, de­pends on how she feels.”

but­ter ko. Sila ’yong dahi­lan kung bakit ako nakat­u­long sa pam­ilya ko, kung bakit ako an­dito sa Maynila.

“So, I’m thank­ful sa la­hat ng gi­nawa nila para sa akin. It’s just that lu­mili­pas ’yong pana­hon at maram­ing nangya­yari. At ka­pag maram­ing nangya­yari, natu­tuto tayo sa buhay…

“Marami tay­ong pagkaka­mali sa buhay, e. ’ Yong pagkaka­mali, tina­trato ko ’yan na les­son in life. Para pag­dat­ing ng pani­bagong pag­subok, mas alam ko nang hawakan, o mas matal­ino ka na, mas alam mo na. So, kino-con­sider ko ’yon na parte siya ng pag-grow ko. Pero for me, wala akong ano [ prob­lema] sa GMA. For a time, yes. Di ba, nagka­roon tayo ng galit or tampo? Pero ngayon, wala na. Grate­ful na ’ko, kasi to­too na­man, e, ang laki ng nait­u­long nila sa akin.”

Aljur has his big­gest sup­porter in Kylie. “I’m happy for him, very, very happy,” she says. “Siyem­pre, nakita ko, na­sub­ay­bayan ko ’yon no’ng wala siyang work… Masaya na siya na he has an­other chance. No, not re­ally an­other chance, but a chance to start anew, di ba? ’Tsaka ngayon, ano na, mas fo­cused na siya sa act­ing niya.”

Last Au­gust 8, Aljur ap­peared on ABS- CBN for the first time via the hit

ac­tion- drama se­ries FPJ’s Ang Probin­syano. But that act­ing gig wasn’t part of the projects of­fered by the Ka­pam­ilya net­work. It was lead star Coco Martin who made things pos­si­ble.

“Grate­ful din ako kay Coco,” Aljur says. “Kasi no’ng nala­man ni Coco na lili­pat ako, pinakiusapan niya daw na sa Probin­syano muna ako.”

BABY ALAS AR­RIVES

Aljur’s first tap­ing day for FPJ’s Ang Probin­syano be­came even more mem­o­rable and special be­cause it co­in­cided with Kylie’s date with the stork. He re­calls that in the early hours of the morn­ing of Au­gust 1, his fi­ancée started hav­ing con­trac­tions. But they de­cided that he would go to his tap­ing and she, to the hos­pi­tal. He called up his mother so that a fam­ily mem­ber would be with the mom-to-be while he was work­ing.

When Kylie got to St. Luke’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter–Global City in Taguig City, she was brought to the wa­ter-birthing suite, since she had long de­cided that she would go for nat­u­ral child­birth, which means giv­ing birth in a tub of wa­ter. Then she went into la­bor, but the baby wouldn’t come out.

When Aljur fin­ished tap­ing his scenes for FPJ’s Ang Probin­syano, he got a call from his mother that Kylie was still in la­bor. Tired from work, he fell asleep, but upon wak­ing up at dawn, he went to the hos­pi­tal. There, he saw his younger brother Vin, also an ABS- CBN ac­tor, with some of their friends. Aljur took over in look­ing after Kylie.

Later that day, in the af­ter­noon, he was set to at­tend a press con­fer­ence for FPJ’s Ang Probin­syano. He was hes­i­tant to leave his la­dylove’s side. But Kylie told him, “Ma­hal, pun­ta­han mo na, para kay Alas.”

So the ac­tor went to the press­con. When he came back, she was still in la­bor. Her cervix wouldn’t di­late enough to ac­com­mo­date child­birth. Kylie and Aljur did some walk­ing ex­er­cises to in­duce fur­ther la­bor, and then she sat in the tub of wa­ter.

At around three a.m. on Au­gust 4, he left for an­other tap­ing, this time on lo­ca­tion in Po­rac town, Pam­panga. Seven hours later, at 10:31 p.m., Kylie and Aljur’s pan­ganay ar­rived via med­i­cated vagi­nal birth. After four days of earnest try­ing, she had re­al­ized that wa­ter nat­u­ral birth wasn’t hap­pen­ing for her.

Kylie looks back on her birthing ex­pe­ri­ence with mixed emo­tions.

“Masaya na­man ako, al­though no’ng nando’n ako, it was hell. Kasi nga, con­trac­tions be­came… Wala kang con­trol. You can’t tell your con­trac­tions to stop. Ta­la­gang ’yong katawan ko lang ’yong nagpu-push-out ng baby. So kahit gusto mong mag­pahinga or mat­u­log, wala.

“On the fourth day, nanginginig na ako, ’cause I can’t con­trol my blad­der. Kasi nag-crack na ’yong wa­ter ko. And the con­trac­tions get harder pag gano’n, e. Ayaw niyang bum­aba. So I was just hav­ing con­trac­tions with no progress. Pagod na pagod na ako, wala pa akong tu­log, nanginginig na ako.

“Ayaw kong mag- CS [ce­sarean sec­tion]. If I lose con­scious­ness, isi- CS ako, so kailan­gan ko nang magde­sisyon kung ano. Ayaw ko kas­ing magg­amot sana, e. Ayaw kong mag-epidu­ral. I have noth­ing against epidu­ral, but as much as I can, sana nat­u­ral, para pati siya [the baby], hindi siya nakatikim ng gamot bago siya lum­abas. But things don’t re­ally hap­pen the way you planned.”

When the baby fi­nally came out, the first-time mom ex­claimed: “Thank God, nakal­abas ka na!”

The feel­ing of re­lief was more for the baby than the mother. “Kasi sinasabi nila na bum­ababa ’yong heart rate,” Kylie ex­plains. “Siyem­pre, I was just re­ally scared na baka may mang­yari sa kanya. So, no’ng paglabas niya, ‘Oh, my God, I’m so happy, you’re here!’”

Look­ing at her new­born, she told him: “Ka­mukha mo ’yong tatay mo.”

At that time, the baby’s fa­ther was still tap­ing in Po­rac, Pam­panga. Aljur got a phone call from his mother, who was with Kylie. He re­calls: “Sabi niya, ‘Anak, lum­abas na. Ang gan­dang bata.’ Sabi ko, ‘Lap­i­tan mo, lap­i­tan mo.’ ‘’Nak, hindi puwede, dahil in­aayos ng duk­tor. Bawal na kami.’ Sabi ko, ‘Lap­i­tan mo, lap­i­tan mo.’ ‘Sige, sige.’ Paglapit niya, umiyak [’ yong baby]. Wala na, umiyak na ’ko. ‘O, sige, Ma.’ ‘O, sige, ’nak, okey na, ha? Kailan­gan nang ibaba.’”

As he was putting down his phone, some­body from the pro­duc­tion team mo­tioned to the ac­tor, say­ing “Aljur, take na tayo.” And Aljur’s quiet ju­bi­la­tion was com­i­cally cut.

Aljur lets out a hearty laugh when he re­mem­bers that mo­ment. He then shares the story of his first meet­ing with his new­born.

“Nakakatawa, kasi pag­ba­lik ko [ sa Metro Manila] from tap­ing, kaya ko na­man magsasakyan papunta do’n. Pero from ho­tel to St. Luke’s, ni­lakad ko siya. Hindi ko alam, naano ako. Hindi ko ma­ex­plain, basta.

“Pag­pa­sok ko sa kuwarto, ang sabi sa akin ni Kylie, ‘Ma­hal, ’yong anak mo.’ Hindi

What does be­ing a fa­ther mean to Aljur? The ac­tor doesn’t re­ply im­me­di­ately, giv­ing the ques­tion deep thought. Then he says: “Be­fore, ang daming nag-a-ad­vice at nagsasabi, ‘Ano’ng paki­ram­dam ng pagig­ing tatay?’ Ngayon, na-dis­cover ko na kung pa’no mag­ing tatay talaga… Ang ibig sabi­hin ng pagig­ing tatay, you should put an ef­fort sa pag-grow as a per­son. Kasi ’yong bata, kahit ano’ng sabi­hin mo sa kanya, he will look up to you. Kung ano ang gi­na­gawa mo, ’yon ang tu­tu­laran niya.”

ko tinit­ing­nan. Na-over­whelm ako. ’Ta­pos, pumunta ako sa may bin­tana. Me­dyo madrama nga, isip-isip lang. ’Ta­pos, in­ulit ni Kylie. ‘Ma­hal, ’yong anak mo.’ Hi­nawakan ko lang siya.”

Aljur didn’t cry any­more be­cause, he says, “naiyak ko na” when he first heard the baby cry on the phone. But he felt peace.

To this day, Aljur feels peace when­ever he sees his child.

“Ang laki ng ’pinag­bago,” he says of his life now. “Dati, pag me gi­na­gawa ako, pagka nag­ta­tra­baho ako, bawat galaw ko, para sa akin, e. Para sa akin, para kay Kylie, pam­ilya ko. Ngayon, ev­ery de­ci­sion I make, lag­ing nasa likod si Alas. Ano ba’ng pak­in­a­bang nito kay Alas? Gano’n nabago ang buhay ko. Ev­ery small de­ci­sion, kahit lum­abas lang ako ng ba­hay, ano ba’ng pak­in­a­bang nito kay Alas? Kung hindi na­man gano’n kaano [ kaim­por­tante], dito na lang ako sa ba­hay. Gano’n niya nabago.”

HOPE­FUL FOR THE FU­TURE

Be­fore their first child was born on Au­gust 4, Aljur and Kylie were al­ready set on nam­ing their baby boy Alas Joaquin. The name Alas had been on Aljur’s mind since his high school years. He was on a bus go­ing from Pam­panga to Manila, and was think­ing of a name he would give to his fu­ture son.

“No’ng time na ’yon, nan­gan­garap na ako para sa pam­ilya, e,” he says. “Sa pam­ilya ko. La­hat kasi kami sa pam­ilya, A ang sim­ula ng pan­galan. ‘Ano pa kayang A ang wala? Alas.’ Naisip ko ’yong deck of cards, ace.”

Ace— alas in Span­ish and Filipino—is ranked as the high­est card in each set: ace of spades, ace of hearts, ace of di­a­monds, ace of clubs. So the Span­ish- de­rived Filipino word alas is iden­ti­fied in card games with luck.

Fast-for­ward to a few weeks be­fore the baby’s ar­rival. Aljur was in the part of his house that he calls a sanc­tu­ary when the name Alas came to him again. He said the name to Kylie, but she didn’t warm up to his choice. And he thought, “Parang hindi nga ma­ganda.” As days passed, though, he could hear her say­ing Alas.

Kylie con­fesses to find­ing the name Alas weird at first. That’s prob­a­bly be­cause in the English lan­guage, it’s an ex­pres­sion of grief, pity, or con­cern, as in the ex­cla­ma­tion “Alas and alack!” In Span­ish-de­rived Filipino, it also con­notes time, as in alas dos, alas tres, alas kuwa­tro. She tried ut­ter­ing Alas as if her son was al­ready in her arms, and she even­tu­ally liked the sound of that name.

Then an idea hit her: add a sec­ond name start­ing with the letter J, so that the baby’s ini­tials would be the same as his fa­ther’s. Aljur, whose real name is Al­fonso Abrenica Jr., is nick­named AJ.

She chose Joaquin for Baby Alas’s sec­ond name as a nod to Hol­ly­wood ac­tor Joaquin Phoenix, who starred in Walk the Line, the 2005 biopic of leg­endary coun­try mu­sic singer-song­writer-mu­si­cian Johnny Cash. Joaquin also won the award for best ac­tor at the 70th Cannes Film Fes­ti­val in France just last May 2017, for his role in the thriller film You Were Never Re­ally Here.

If Aljur could have his way, he’d want Baby Alas to be chris­tened on his first birth­day. But his el­ders talked him out of his plan, ex­plain­ing that bap­tism should be done “very soon.” No spe­cific date has been set at press time.

Kylie, for her part, would like Baby Alas to be bap­tized in both Chris­tian and Is­lamic rites. (When Robin Padilla con­verted from Chris­tian­ity to Is­lam in the late 1990s, he did so to­gether with his then-wife Liezl Si­cangco and their chil­dren, in­clud­ing Kylie.) If and when that hap­pens, she’s con­fi­dent that her fa­ther Robin will turn up and fi­nally see Baby Alas. Hope­fully, too, Robin and Aljur will fi­nally see eye to eye.

“Ac­tu­ally, sa to­too lang,” she points out, “sabi na­man ni Papa na okey na­man daw siya [ kay Aljur]. Gusto lang niya, of­fi­cial na, kasal na kami [ ni Aljur] bago kami pumunta sa kanya. ’ Yon lang ’yong sa kanya. As a fa­ther, siyem­pre, ini­isip niya ’yong ini­isip ng ibang tao na hindi kami kasal. And I un­der­stand that. I’m a girl, e. Tin­gin niya sa ’kin, lit­tle girl pa din. Gusto niya, kasal ’yong anak niya. And I un­der­stand that fully.”

But there’s the rub: “Ayoko din, on our side, na madaliin. Kasi mar­riage is not a joke. It’s a life­time com­mit­ment. So we’re not rush­ing it din.”

She re­it­er­ates that her fa­ther has no prob­lem with her fi­ancé: “He told me na he’s okey na with AJ, and he’s happy he [Aljur] has work.”

Baby Alas will be turn­ing only three months old on Novem­ber 4, but this early, the new par­ents look for­ward to hav­ing more ba­bies. “I want a girl,” Kylie says, gig­gling. Aljur rea­sons that he’s only a year older than his brother Vin, which is why they prac­ti­cally grew up to­gether. “Me ka-tan­dem ka sa kaloko­han, la­hat!” he laughs.

Then again, Kylie has an act­ing ca­reer that she’s in­tent on go­ing back to. In fact, there are projects wait­ing for her to work on, in­clud­ing an­other se­quel to En­can­ta­dia.

“I re­ally love act­ing,” she as­serts. “Makikita no’ng anak ko na hi­na­hanap ko ’yon. Mararam­daman niya na parang may ku­lang kay Mommy, or ganyan. So nai­intindi­han ko na moms pala are… There are so many facets in one per­son. So­brang gal­ing. Kaya pala ang dami kong na­pa­panood na mga babaeng ang daming jina-jug­gle [ na re­spon­si­bil­i­ties]. I have more re­spect for them now talaga.”

It may take sev­eral months more for Kylie’s show­biz come­back to take place. First, she needs to pre­pare both her­self and her baby. “I wanna give him, you know, the right amount of time for breast­feed­ing, brain de­vel­op­ment, and ev­ery­thing,” she points out. “’Tsaka gusto ko na may bond na talaga kami. Maalala niya ako. Nakakapran­ing, kasi min­san parang feel­ing ko, makakalimu­tan niya ako pag ev­ery other day I’m gone. ’Ta’s may show din si AJ, ayokong sabayan. Ayokong pare­has kam­ing wala [ sa ba­hay].”

While Kylie is hav­ing her in­ter­view with YES!, Baby Alas cries from the ad­ja­cent room. “Gutom na ’yon,” the mother an­nounces, as she rises from her seat and walks to­wards the door. She sees the house helper hold­ing her son. Baby Alas stops cry­ing.

The ac­tress used to think that her preg­nancy hap­pened at the wrong time. Not any­more, not since he was born. “Feel­ing ko, right tim­ing siya,” she ex­plains. “Since I found pur­pose and one fam­ily na kami, I have more rea­son to work now. I have more fo­cus now. I know what I’m work­ing for now, I know what I’m gonna spend my money for. Hindi lang puro sa ’kin, sa ’kin, sa ’kin.”

Kylie gets Baby Alas from the house helper and car­ries him while lead­ing us down­stairs, where Aljur is talk­ing to the rest of the YES! team. “Uy, may spaghetti pa?” she asks him. “Wala na, ubos na,” he replies, teas­ing. “Inu­bos ko na.”

They dis­cuss what’s avail­able for her to eat. We say our good­byes. As we’re get­ting out of their red gate, we hear their chirpy voices waft­ing through the air.

Aljur says that his re­la­tion­ship with Kylie has im­proved since the ar­rival of Baby Alas: “Part­ners na kami. ’ Ta­pos, no’ng du­mat­ing pa ’yong baby, nabi­gyan kami ng tasks. Nag-im­prove ’yong re­la­tion­ship namin, ’yong part­ner­ship namin.”

On Kylie: Lace In­ner Dress, SATUR­DAY DRESS; Shirt, STYLIST’S OWN

“Mabait na bata” is how Aljur de­scribes Alas, who is now the fre­quent star of his daddy’s Instagram posts. “Hindi siya mase­lan na bata. Iiyak lang ’yan pag gutom na or hindi na siya kumportable sa di­a­per.”

Ex­actly a month after giv­ing birth, Kylie posted, on her Instagram ac­count, this photo of Alas with his name spelled out in al­pha­bet blocks laid out on his back. The new mommy ad­dressed her new­born in her cap­tion: “Our lives are so much more col­or­ful with you in it. We love you baby boy. Song of our souls ap­ple of our eyes .”

The proud fa­ther an­nounced the birth of his baby boy on Instagram with this sim­ple photo. The Span­ish words “ALAS Diez Treinta Y Uno” refers to 10:31 p.m., the ex­act time Alas was born.

From afar, it looks like the framed piece on the left side of the cor­ri­dor is a com­mis­sioned paint­ing of the Abrenica sib­lings—Aljur, Allen, Al­leah, and Avin, aka Vin. But it’s ac­tu­ally a crossstitched work by Aljur’s mom Amor. “Bata pa lang kami, nagko-cross-stitch na siya,” says the ac­tor.

Hang­ing on the op­po­site side of the cor­ri­dor are two posters—one of The Bea­tles, and the other, of the band’s lead vo­cal­ist John Len­non. “Idol na idol siya ng tatay ko,” Aljur says of Len­non. “Gusto ko lang kung pa’no niya [Len­non] makita ’yong mundo.”

This is Aljur’s for­mer bed­room, which has been left un­oc­cu­pied since the ar­rival of Baby Alas. It opens to a com­pact ter­race that faces the west, mak­ing the space par­tic­u­larly pleas­ant just be­fore sun­set.

Aljur says this room won’t stay un­oc­cu­pied for long: “Even­tu­ally, the plan is magig­ing baby room na ’to.”

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