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.