Aljur Kylie Alas
In the Quezon City home where new parents Aljur Abrenica and Kylie Padilla live with their baby boy Alas Joaquin, the red gate stands out in the row of neighboring entryways painted in the usual dark and neutral hues. The color red and its various tones likewise dominate the entire ground floor of the young family’s three-story residence, starting from the living area and all the way to the back-kitchen.
Red is such a strong color that not many homeowners choose it for an interior color scheme. Less than 10 of the numerous dwellings that the home magazine Real Living ( RL) has featured in its 14 years of existence, first in print and then online, had red on its color palette. But those who did considered their shade of choice as lucky, RL editor in chief Rachelle Medina tells YES! ( RL and YES! are both owned by the Summit Media publishing company.)
On the other hand, various websites dealing with the topic of colors associate red with energy, passion, action, desire, love, anger, aggression, and joy. According to www.empower-yourself- Rich, deep wood is the dominant material in the living room, which is furnished with a bench, a sofa, two armchairs, wall-towall bookshelves (opposite page), and an entertainment center (above).
These furniture pieces were also designed and made by Direk Richard and his team. But the director’s style influence on the living room doesn’t end there. Hanging on the walls are three of Direk Richard’s paintings, which were given as gifts to Aljur. Two paintings flank the TV set, while the third painting is displayed next to the bookcase (previous spread).
“Mahal na mahal niya ’yang mga ’yan,” Aljur says of the paintings. “So, thankful ako. Kasi ang sabi sa akin no’ng isa kong kaibigan, pag may ginawa si Richard, he treats it like his own. Parang iniisip niya, bahay niya rin, kaya pinersonalize niya. ’Binigay niya sa akin.” with-color-psychology.com, the color red is a warm and positive color associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive, and it exudes a strong and powerful masculine energy.
In the course of the YES! afternoon photo shoot, Aljur looks around the living area, his basic outfit of white tee and blue jeans breaking the intense color scheme. He gives an enigmatic smile as he admits that opting for red was a “strong, difficult decision.” But he doesn’t elaborate.
Instead, the 27-year-old actor recalls buying the townhouse in 2013 for himself and his family. Three years later, his father and mother had gone their separate ways, and his three younger siblings—brothers Vin and Allen (who would both eventually follow in Aljur’s footsteps and join him in showbiz) and sister Alleah—had lives of their own.
Aljur then decided to turn the family home into his own bachelor pad. Sometime in July or August 2016, construction work began with the help of his friend Richard Somes, who is a movieTV director and production designer.
At that time, Aljur and Kylie, then an ex-couple, were going through a process of reconciliation. They got back together sometime in September or October 2016—also the same period when Aljur’s New York loft-style man cave was completed. The 24-year-old actress then moved in with her boyfriend, and not long afterwards, she found out she was heavy with their child. Kylie gave birth to Baby Alas on August 4, 2017.
Now that he has his own family, Aljur concedes that he needs to make some changes in the house interiors. “Kailangan mabago talaga,” he says, noting specifically the heavy furniture with sharp edges in the sala.
But Kylie has another idea. “Sobra ’yong effort niya sa baba, so ’wag na lang baguhin,” she points out to YES! in a separate interview, also during our photo shoot.
The interview with Kylie is held in Baby Alas’s soon-to-be domain on the second floor. “Eto ’yong gagawing playroom,” she says. “Minsan ko na lang siya ibababa. Pero ipapatanggal ko ’yong carpet dito.”
The couple are hands-on in caring for their child.
Kylie—who has temporarily stopped accepting acting assignments from her mother network, GMA—devotes her time to looking after Baby Alas. There’s no fulltime yaya for Alas, but there’s a lone allaround house helper who carries the baby when Kylie has to do other tasks.
Aljur is often at work the whole day and late into the night. A recent inclusion in ABS- CBN’s roster of actors, he initially had a guest stint on the Coco Martin TV starrer, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano, and then he was cast in the weekly fantasy series Wansapanataym. He comes home from tapings at about three in the morning. And that’s often the bonding time for father and son.
“Natitiyempo na kagigising niya lang,” he says of Baby Alas. “So laro, laro kami. ’Tapos, pagtulog ko, gising na si Kylie nang seven. Papaarawan na niya.”
Kylie concurs: “Yes, gano’n nga ’yong nangyayari. So pag-alis niya, tulog kami ni Alas. ’Tapos, the whole day will pass. Whole day ko siyang inaalagaan. Pag-uwi ni Aljur, papakainin ko lang si Alas, and then hahayaan ko na silang mag-bonding. Matutulog na ako.”
The first-time mom has observed that Baby Alas’s sleeping pattern is improving. “He sleeps for a longer period of time now, hindi kagaya no’ng first two weeks. He would wake up at seven and even before that. He’d wake up two times every night. So talagang wala akong tulog, ’cause he’s hungry all the time. Pero sa ngayon, okey na.”
FLASHBACK TO DAY ONE
When the interview moves to the love story of Kylie and Aljur, the new mom’s chinita eyes disappear in slits and her full lips part to form a wide grin on her flawless face.
“Ayan, gusto kong pag-usapan ’yan!” she announces. She gets even more excited upon learning that Aljur has been asked about the same subject in his earlier interview. “Baka iba ’yong ’kinuwento niya,” she says, giggling.
Kylie Padilla, the second child of actor Robin Padilla and his ex-wife Liezl Sicangco, takes us back to the time when she returned to the Philippines after years of living with her mother and siblings in Australia. She was then starting out in showbiz, and she caught sight of Aljur Abrenica early on.
“Ang story kasi niyan, we had a workshop, wushu workshop,” she recalls, referring to the Chinese martial arts. “Naalala ko pa ’yon. ’Ta’s ando’n siya. Nagdya-jog siya. Nagtitinginan na kami no’n. Ako, hindi ko pa siya kilala. Actually, sa totoo lang, di ko kilala kung sino si Aljur Abrenica no’n.”
Aljur, a native of Pampanga, had emerged as the male grand winner in Season 4 of GMA-7’s reality-TV competition StarStruck (2006-2007). He was given the title “Ultimate Hunk,” in recognition of his chiseled physique and macho magnetism. He would later take
With two voracious readers in the house (that’s Aljur and Kylie, of course), it’s no wonder that the bookcases in the living room are nearly filled two-thirds of the way. The man of the house has racked up quite an impressive collection, especially since he got into reading only two years ago. “Pero marami pang books si Kylie sa second floor,” he points out. “Mas marami siya sa aking libro.”
So what does an actor, musician, and now father-of-one like to read about? “Mahilig ako sa history, the rise of Rome. ’Yong The Prince, ’yong dinampot ko kanina— Machiavelli. Hirap niyang intindihin,” he says with a laugh. “May Buddhism din. Curious din ako sa mga religions, e.”
The Prince is “a 16th-century political treatise by the Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli,” according to Wikipedia, which adds that the book “contributed to the modern negative connotations of the words ‘politics’ and ‘politician’ in western countries.” on roles in the TV series Boys Nxt Door, Zaido: Pulis Pangkalawakan, Mars Ravelo’s Dyesebel, and Luna Mystika before he was paired up with fellow StarStruck discovery Kris Bernal. The two newbies then starred in four teledramas ( Sine Nobela: Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin?, All My Life, The Last Prince, Pablo S. Gomez’s Machete) and one movie ( Nandito Ako... Nagmamahal Sa ’ Yo).
Kylie continues her recollection of the first time she laid eyes on Aljur:
“Di ko alam na gano’n siya kagaling, gano’n kaganda ’yong katawan niya. Di ko talaga alam. Ang alam ko lang, ang ganda ng mata niya… ’ Yong nagtitinginan kami, ‘Sino ’to? Ba’t ang cute niya?’
“’Ta’s ang nangyari, after no’ng workshop— e, di, kinikilig na ako, crush ko na siya—nag-research ako sa Internet kay Aljur Abrenica. ’Ta’s may interview do’n. May one question do’n sa kanya: ‘Sino ’yong mga crush mo sa showbiz?’ Wala pa ako, ha, di pa ako nagsa-start sa industry. Sabi niya: ‘Marian Rivera, Cristine Reyes, and Kylie Padilla.’”
Kylie’s giggles and shrieks become louder.
“E, di, talon ako ngayon. Talagang nagwala ako sa condo ko. Kasi, ‘Oh, my God, binanggit niya ’ko! Ibig sabihin, gusto niya rin ako.’ So ’yon. And then fast forward to next year na, birthday ko na. Sabi ng manager ko, ‘Sino’ng gusto mo i-invite, mga artista?’ Sabi ko [in a little girl voice], ‘Puwede bang si Aljur?’ E, di, pumunta siya. Ayun na!”
Aljur confirms that he got an invitation and attended Kylie’s 18th birthday celebration, held in a shelter for abandoned children in Quezon City in January 2011. “’Tapos, sabi niya sa akin, ‘Punta ka mamayang gabi, kasi me pa-birthday sa akin si Papa,’” he says, referring to Kylie’s father, Robin Padilla. “Do’n ko nakilala si Robin. After no’n, naging kami na [ ni Kylie]. After a week, naging kami na.”
Kylie agrees that things happened real fast, although her high-spirited narration of their love story greatly contrasts with Aljur’s matter-of-fact telling.
“Oo,” she says. “Oh, my God! Argggh!” And she starts laughing. “Medyo nahihiya pa ’ko no’n. Wala bang pakipot mode?”
She takes a deep breath. “It was love at first sight,” she confesses. “So, bam! We’re in love! Gano’n lang kaano, it was very… Sobrang taas, e. Ang taas!” She shakes her head. “Hindi nabuo ’yong friendship. Sobrang lovers lang kami. So, whenever we’d fight, talagang we would never talk. Yes, it was intense.”
Kylie owns up to being childish and selosa— traits that largely contributed to their unstable relationship. Aljur mentions immaturity, which caused them to argue over and disagree on many things, including “maliliit na bagay.” They finally called it quits in 2014.
“It was both our fault,” Kylie says. “I mean, siguro no’ng time na ’yon, I made it look like it was just his fault. But I had a fault din. ’ Yon nga, e. I was a rebel, so I was contributing to the fact that we weren’t working out.”
Kylie flew back to Australia to heal her broken heart and mull over the direction she would like to take in her life. But she realized that she wanted to pursue her passion for acting, so she returned to the Philippines and picked up from where she had left off in showbiz.
She had earlier played the lead star in such drama series as Elena M. Patron’s Blusang Itim (2011), The Good Daughter (2012), Unforgettable (2013), and Adarna (2013). Back in her home country, she started anew by playing Leonor Rivera in the miniseries on the life of national hero Jose Rizal, Ilustrado (2014), and by taking on guest roles in the drama anthologies Wagas and Maynila, before taking on starring roles again in the teledramas Buena Familia (2015-2016) and Encantadia (2016-2017).
Aljur also continued working as leading man in the soap operas Kambal Sirena (2014), Dangwa (2015), and Once Again (2016), and as guest star in Maynila and similar shows such as Karelasyon and Magpakailanman.
BACK IN EACH OTHER’S ARMS
Even after they had split up, Aljur and Kylie kept in touch.
“Meron kaming connection na nag‑jive kami,” he says, his soft voice revealing his tender nature. “Tumindi lang ’yong connection namin no’ng naghiwalay kami. Si Kylie, kapag me mga tanong siya na importante, kung tungkol sa buhay, kami rin ’yong nag‑uusap, e.”
She agrees: “Nag‑uusap lang kami about life. Pag may ibang mga problema, magtatanong ako sa kanya, kasi walang ibang nakakakilala sa ’kin, e. I’m a loner kasi. So siya lang ’yong nakakausap ko.”
After the breakup, the exes became friends.
“Me nabuo kaming friendship ni Kylie no’ng naghiwalay kami na hindi namin nabuo no’ng kami pa,” he points out. “Masasabi ko na mas nakilala namin ’yong isa’t isa talaga no’ng nagkahiwalay kami. Kasi, usap lang, e. Na totoo. Tungkol sa kanya, tungkol sa akin, tungkol sa pamilya niya, tungkol sa mga nakakasama niya.”
She shares his sentiments: “’Yon lang pala ’yong hinahanap ko—’yong friendship. Nagtataka nga kaming dalawa na ‘’Yon lang pala ’yong kulang sa ’tin.’ Kasi mahal naman talaga namin ’yong isa’t isa. Talagang hinahanap‑hanap namin ’yong isa’t isa. There would be a call, there had to
Has Kylie discovered anything new about herself since becoming a mother?
“Meron pala akong maternal instinct, akala ko wala,” the actress says in a joyous voice. She tells YES! that while she always wanted to be a mom, she never thought she could take on the responsibilities of being one. “It was a dream, but I would never think na kaya ko, kasi nakakatakot ’yong gano’ng commitment.”
But all that has changed, now that she has her Baby Alas. For one, Kylie says that she has become less “egoistic.”
“No’ng nabuntis ako kasi, I can’t think about my diet, I can’t think about ‘Am I pretty?’ I stopped working, e, and I’m not thinking about what anybody else is thinking. I’m just focused on keeping him healthy… So, sobrang it’s not for me na. Sobrang for him, sobrang selflessness.” be a call, like, every three months, or six months, or kumustahan, or ganito-ganyan.”
That breakup period made Aljur realize that Kylie was really the one for him. “Kasi, kahit nagkahiwalay kami, never siya nawala sa isip ko, e,” he says. “Hinahanap ko siya, e. After no’ng kami, me nakasama din naman akong iba. Pero hindi ko ma-explain… Hinahanap ko siya, e.”
Kylie has a better grasp of what draws her to Aljur.
“He’s not like me na na-expose sa showbiz,” she explains, taking note of her experiences as a child growing up with a famous father like Robin Padilla. “Probinsiyano siya, which is what I love about him. Before, wala siyang interes sa social media. Wala siyang interes sa iniisip ng tao. Sobrang totoo lang niya sa sarili niya.
“’Ta’s ako, siyempre I grew up in showbiz. Alam ko kung paano ’yong laro niyan. I know how, and I know how to play it din. No’ng nakilala ko siya, nakita ko kung pa’no ‘magpapakatotoo ka, ’wag kang matakot kung sino ka talaga.’ Sobrang na-appreciate ko ’yon, na parang gusto kong mahawa. ‘Ang galing mo naman.’
“Minsan nga, pag nagsasalita siya, ang dami niyang wisdom na napapa-wow na lang ako na ‘Ay, ang galing!’ Kasi hindi ko nakita ’yon. Mas grounded ’yong tingin niya sa mundo kesa sa ’kin na always raised in the spotlight… Ibang-iba, which is why I think na nag-match din kami. In some way, nabuo din ako bilang tao kasi ’binigay niya sa ’kin ’yong gano’ng perspective.”
The newfound friendship between Kylie and Aljur brought them together again. From making occasional phone calls, they started talking more frequently and even meeting up on a whim. They would have coffee or hot chocolate in the middle of the night, and these meetups sometimes ended with the two of them walking together in the street.
“’Tapos, nag-araw-araw na,” he says, showing a bit of kilig. “’Tapos, sabi ko sa sarili ko that time, mahal ko talaga ’to— on my own lang. And then eventually, hindi na namin napapansin, nagkabalikan na kami. Smooth lang, nangyari lang siya. So, ’yon ’yong makakapagsabi na she’s the one.”
Aljur says they officially reconciled either in September or October 2016—or two years after they broke up. From October 29 to November 1, 2016, the couple had a vacation in Japan, visiting tourist spots such as the Tokyo DisneySea theme park and having their photos taken in those places. Their subsequent Instagram posts made public their rekindled love affair.
Three days after returning from the Land of the Rising Sun, Aljur admitted to