B orn to Joey Marquez and Alma Moreno, two names that figured prominently in sports and showbiz in the 1980s and in politics in the early 2000s, Teresita Ssen “Winwyn” Marquez knew what living in the public eye meant early on.
“Our life was an open book, siyempre,” Teresita begins. “My parents are really known. My dad was a politician, and si Mama was the same. So we were really exposed to a lot of different situations, and kailangan talaga namin magsalita in front of people.”
The namin that Teresita is referring to here are her siblings—her Kuya Charles Yeoj, her younger brother Vitto Joey or VJ, and her younger sister Maria Maal Venesa, or MM.
“Our house was really open to a lot of people, since my dad was the mayor. And we’re really helping a lot of people. Wala talaga kaming privacy.”
Having no privacy was a necessary trade- off, especially for a family with important political positions and big political aspirations. Her dad was mayor of Parañaque City from 1995 to 2004, while her mom was councilor of the same city from 2007 to 2016, became the first female national president of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) in 2012, and even had plans of running for senator.
Teresita, who confesses to being a shy girl when she was growing up, learned to take the good with the bad. Being exposed to people from all walks of life taught her to be more understanding and less judgmental.
“I grew up with that, na parang natuto akong maging open sa mga tao, makipaghalubilo, makinig sa mga problema ng iba-ibang tao. Like, do not judge talaga, kasi nalaman ko na there are different life stories no’ng lumalaki ako.
“So wala kaming paki, wala kaming kiyeme. Parang we learned not to take for granted what we have. Gano’n kasi ’yong parents namin, parang ilalagay kami sa isang place na kailangang matuto ka kung ano ang gagawin mo. ’ Wag kang spoiled. So, it was like that. It was a normal life but different because it was open to the public.”
Part of having an “open book” family life was having “no secrets.” Teresita— who was born on May 4, 1992, in the town of Santa Fe, on Bantayan Island, Cebu—knew early on that she also has half-siblings. From her mother, she has Mark Anthony Fernandez, Alma’s son with the late action star Rudy Fernandez, and Vandolph Quizon, Alma’s son with the late Comedy King Dolphy. From her father, she has Atty. Jowee Ann Marquez, Joey’s daughter with former actress Brenda del Rio, and Jeremy and Jerica Marquez, Joey’s kids with his ex-wife Francesca Siron.
“What’s nice is, my dad really told us everything, kasi I have halfbrothers and half-sisters. Pero I don’t consider them half. Kapatid ko pa din naman talaga sila. Kapatid na buo pa rin sila, kasi lumaki kaming magkakasama.
“Nagkakaintindihan kami. Nagkakausap kami ng mga kapatid ko. Pag may problema naman, sasabihin namin sa mga parents namin. ’ Yon din kasi ang turo sa amin. You know, ang galing kasing magpalaki ng parents namin, e. Kasi we don’t keep secrets. We tell