Kitchen

YES! (Philippines) - - Cover Story -

The spa­cious kitchen is one of the new­est ad­di­tions to the house. It sits on what used to be an open‑air back­yard, which Aljur has fore­gone in fa­vor of ad­di­tional liv­ing space.

PEP.ph, the on­line af­fil­i­ate of YES!, in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view posted on Novem­ber 4, that they were in­deed a cou­ple again. Two months later, on Jan­uary 26, 2017, the ac­tor gave the en­ter­tain­ment web­site an­other ex­clu­sive in­ter­view, this time with Kylie by his side, to clear up ru­mors about their en­gage­ment and her preg­nancy.

But that’s get­ting ahead of the story. Kylie and Aljur now look back at that head­line-grab­bing phase in their lives with equa­nim­ity and sat­is­fac­tion.

Aljur rem­i­nisces on the three times he asked Kylie to be his wife.

“Well, nag-Ja­pan kami. Ano bang time? Novem­ber? Yeah, Novem­ber, pa-Hal­loween. Biglaan lang din ’yon. Nag-Ja­pan kami, ’pinakita niya sa akin ’yong mga lu­gar na gusto niya sa Dis­neySea. ’Ta­pos, me sce­nario do’n na Lit­tle Mer­maid [Dis­ney movie]. That time kasi, parang ’yon na ’yong nagsi-seal ng ano… Be­fore no’n, lagi kam­ing nag­mimid­night-cof­fee. Cof­fee-cof­fee kami palagi.

“’Ta­pos, that time, ta­la­gang feel kong mag-pro­pose ulit. Nag-pro­pose ako, sec­ond time. Yeah, sec­ond time. First, ’yong parang pa­pel sa restau­rant sa MOA [SM Mall of Asia]. Eto ’yong sec­ond time…”

The pa­pel he talks about is restau­rant pa­per he fash­ioned into a ring.

“After no’n, no’ng De­cem­ber na pa- Christmas, nag-pro­pose ako ulit. But this time, to­toong ring na.”

Kylie proudly wears what her fi­ancé de­scribes as “to­toong ring,” which is set in 14-carat white gold with a .75-carat cen­ter di­a­mond and a .25-carat in­fin­ity loop. “Eto ’yong to­too!” she beams. “To­too na… See, may nabuo! Ha­haha!”

When the cou­ple re­turned from Ja­pan in early Novem­ber, Kylie didn’t go home to her own place any­more. “I live alone kasi in my condo,” she says. “Alone lang talaga. I have no yaya, no ano, so la­hat, gi­na­gawa ko. Siyem­pre, I’m yearn­ing for a fam­ily. Nami-miss ko ’yong fam­ily ko, siyem­pre nasa Aus­tralia sila. So, he of­fered na ‘Para ’wag ka masyadong malungkot, you can stay with me.’ Sabi ko, ‘All right!’”

And she starts laugh­ing again. “Siyem­pre nakaka-de­press mag-isa. ’Ta’s dito may pagkain. Ayun, gano’n lang kasim­ple.”

Soon, Aljur started notic­ing a few changes in Kylie, who had be­come fond of eat­ing and sleep­ing, but who was ex­hausted all the time. He called her at­ten­tion to the changes. She also no­ticed that her pe­riod had been de­layed by four days.

“On the fifth day, ’yon na,” she says, re­call­ing how cer­tain she felt about be­ing preg­nant. “Sabi ko, ‘Ma­hal, kailan­gan na nat­ing mag-preg­nancy-test.’ Kasi ’yon na nga, I’m never late, e. I’m reg­u­lar, ’yong mens ko. So, ’yon, nag-test na kami, and it’s pos­i­tive.”

At this point in Aljur’s in­ter­view with YES!, there’s more ex­cite­ment in the soft-spo­ken ac­tor’s voice as he nar­rates how he found out that his fi­ancée was in­fan­tic­i­pat­ing.

“Gabi pa lang, sin­abi na niya sa akin. A, hapon yata ’yon. Hapon nga. Sabi niya sa akin, ‘Bun­tis yata ako.’ So, bili ako ng preg­nancy test para masig­uro na namin, kasi ilang araw na siyang de­layed. So, gabi, nagka­mali pa siya, kasi hindi siya marunong. Bukas na lang daw ulit. E, bago ako mag­is­ing, tin­ray na niya. May isa pang spare. ’Ta­pos, gin­is­ing niya ako. Sabi niya, ‘Ma­hal, bun­tis ako. Pos­i­tive ako.’”

He replied with one word: “Okay.” And he went back to sleep.

“’Yon ’yong re­ac­tion ko, e,” he tells us, grin­ning. “Ayoko pang i-ab­sorb kaa­gad, kasi gu­lat talaga ako, e. ’Ta­pos, maya­maya, ang saya-saya ko na, kasi ’yon na ’yong pros­eso na magkakaanak na ’ko. Pan­galawa, nandiyan na ’yong takot. Ready na ba ako? Pan­gatlo, pa’no ’yan, kasi me tra­baho pa siya? Kaya ko bang su­por­ta­han? Pang-apat, pan­lima… Nawala la­hat, kasi sabi ko, nagkaanak ako sa taong ma­hal ko. Sabi ko, kakayanin ko la­hat.”

Aljur’s calm and cool re­ac­tion some­how paci­fied Kylie, who ad­mits she was then in panic mode.

“I thought hindi ko na alam ang gagawin ko, na­pa­pran­ing na ako,” says the ac­tress, who at that time was play­ing Ami­han, one of the lead roles in the toprat­ing fan­tasy-ac­tion- drama se­ries En­can­ta­dia. “To see na re­laxed siya, ’ta’s siya na ang mag-aano ng checkup, hindi ko na iisipin ’yon, so­brang na-re­lax din ako. Di na­man so­brang re­laxed, pero sabi ko, ‘Oh, my God, buti na lang hindi siya nagpa-panic. Hindi siya nagsasabi ng ‘No, no, no… palaglag natin,’ what­ever. Wala siyang sin­abing gano’n. Ta­la­gang ano lang siya, ‘Okay, calm down. Papa-checkup tayo.’ That’s it. So no’ng nakita ko ’yon, na­hawa na­man ako.”

It was al­ways clear to both Kylie and Aljur that they would keep their baby.

“Buhay ’yan, e,” Aljur points out. “Ang nanaig, ang pag­mama­ha­lan namin sa isa’t isa. May nabuo.”

AS REAL AS IT GETS

Break­ing the preg­nancy news, es­pe­cially to peo­ple re­lated to and con­cerned about Kylie, was no easy task, but she had Aljur by her side.

On the same day that she found out she was con­ceiv­ing, the ac­tress called up, through the Viber phone app, her mother Liezl Si­cangco in Aus­tralia, where her

younger sib­lings Shen- Shen and Ali were also liv­ing.

Teary-eyed, Kylie re­counts how their con­ver­sa­tion went: “Sabi ko, ‘Ma, may sasabi­hin ako sa ’yo.’ Umi­iyak na ’ko no’n. Sabi niya, ‘’ Wag kang gagawa ng hindi ma­ganda.’ That’s the first thing she said. Siyem­pre, alam niya ’yong pres­sure sa show­biz. Sabi ko, ‘Okay.’ Umi­iyak na ’ko. May show ako.”

The next per­son Kylie called was her elder sis­ter Quee­nie Padilla, a for­mer ac­tress who’s now based in Dubai, the United Arab Emi­rates, with her hus­band, a Pak­istani national named Us­man Rashid Mir. Quee­nie is also known by her Mus­lim name, Mashel Khadija Mir.

When Kylie told Quee­nie that she was preg­nant, the ate replied: “Me, too!” It turned out that Quee­nie had found out three days ear­lier that she was like­wise in the fam­ily way. Kylie’s face lights up as she re­mem­bers how re­lieved she was talk­ing to her Ate Quee­nie and learn­ing that her ate was also bun­tis: “Gu­maan na na­man ’yong paki­ram­dam ko. Kasi, siyem­pre, di lang ako nag-iisa.”

Kylie and Aljur also tried to reach out to her fa­ther, Robin Padilla, who lives with his wife, TV host Mariel Ro­driguez, and their soon-to-be one-year-old daugh­ter Maria Is­abella. “Pero hindi kami bini­gyan ng pana­hon,” Aljur says in a low voice. “Sig­uro… Hindi ko alam kung ano. Nire­speto ko na lang ’yong de­sisyon niya bi­lang isang ama. Sig­uro, dahil me anak rin siya, nagfo-fo­cus siya do’n.”

Aljur makes it clear that he has noth­ing to fear about Robin, a charis­matic show­biz star who’s also known to be firm in his ad­vo­ca­cies and be­liefs, such as Is­lamic teach­ings.

“Wala na­mang ikakatakot,” Aljur main­tains. “Hindi ako natatakot sa kanya. Kasi, pin­upun­ta­han pa namin siya. Walang dahi­lan para matakot, dahil nag­mama­ha­lan kami ni Kylie. ’Tsaka no’ng nagk­a­ba­likan kami ni Kylie, sin­abi ko agad. Kahit sa so­cial me­dia, sin­abi ko kaa­gad. Nag-cel­e­brate kami. No’ng nag­bun­tis, sin­abi ko rin kaa­gad. Wala akong ’tinatago sa kanya.”

Aljur and Kylie bought a lit­tle time be­fore telling the GMA man­age­ment about her del­i­cate con­di­tion. She first talked to her tal­ent man­ager, El­iz­a­beth “Betchay” Vi­danes of Vi­danes Celebrity Mar­ket­ing, and then, early in Jan­uary 2017, Kylie and Betchay had a meet­ing with the net­work bosses. By then, Kylie was about three months into her preg­nancy.

“Pat­a­pos na sana ’yong Enca,” she re­calls, re­fer­ring to her TV show then, En­can­ta­dia. “Di pa siya nae-ex­tend no’n, e.

“I think both of us ma­tured a great deal with hav­ing a kid, kasi the things, the old things we would fight about, wala na talaga,” says Kylie of her re­la­tion­ship with Aljur.

Laugh­ing, the ac­tress adds: “Na­pagu­usapan namin if meron mang is­sue. Na­pagu­usapan na namin nang hindi nag-a-arghhh!, nag­sisi­gawan. ’Yon, nag-ma­ture lang talaga kami kasi… Kasi hindi puwe­deng ’yong baby lang ’yong fo­cus point n’yo. Kailan­gan, kam­ing dalawa talaga. So that’s what we’re work­ing on.”

The other baby of the house is Po­lar, a Pomera­nian gifted to Aljur by one of his fans. Po­lar is ac­tu­ally the sib­ling of an­other celebrity pet: Punch, owned by Ja­nine Gu­tier­rez. Aljur and Ja­nine were co‑stars in the GMA dra­mas Dangwa and Once Again.

“Life is not about wait­ing for the storm to pass / Its about learn­ing to dance in the Rain.”

This quote, adapted from au­thor and mo­ti­va­tional speaker Vi­vian Greene, adorns a wo­ven ban­ner, the first of five ban­ners that line the left side of the fam­ily kitchen. Aljur says that he pur­chased the ban­ners in Bo­hol some­time in 2009, but for­got about them un­til “nakita namin [ ni Kylie] na nasa isang tabi.” The ac­tor adds: “Su­makto siya sa buhay namin.”

On the op­po­site side of th­ese ban­ners is a red spi­ral stair­case, which leads up to Aljur’s fa­vorite part of the house—the sanc­tu­ary.

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