By Kiko Escuadro

“I really don’t know ano ang nangyari, kasi before the separation okay naman ang lahat sa amin. Siguro yan ang naging disadvantage pag walang masyadong pera ang tatay.”

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Dennis Padilla
Dennis Padilla

At the press conference of his latest horror movie, Maria Labo, produced by Viva Films and directed by versatile actor Roi Vinzon, veteran comedian-actor Dennis Padilla admitted that it is the first time that he appeared in a drama-horror film. But in spite of his excitement, we can feel that there’s something bugging his mind and sad. When we asked him his relationship with his children with ex-wife Marjorie, he gave us an update regarding his right with his daughters, especially Julia.

“Honestly, ang feeling ko wala na akong karapatan sa aking mga anak,” he said. “Wala na akong connection sa kanila. Hindi ko na sila nahihiram kasi hindi ko alam kug paano mag reach-out. Hindi ko alam kung paano ko sila tatawagan, hindi ko alam kung paano ko sila ite-text. Actually I tried to text before at tumawag din ako, pero walang reply, at hanggang napagod na rin ako.”

In the course of the conversation, Dennis openly admitted that he already withdrew his petition to his daughter Julia Barretto last September 18.

“I withdrew my petition to the opposition regarding dun sa petition ko kay Julia. Before kasi ng debut n’ya, sabi ni Julia sa akin na i-withdraw niya yung petition niya na tanggalin yung family name ko and that was March, so after six months, wala naman na withdrawal na naganap, kaya I decided na ako nalang ang mag withdraw.”

Dennis also explained his reasons for the withdrawal of his petition, “Kasi number one kahit manalo ako na dapat niya gamitin ang family name ko, e, she’s already 18 and she can still remove it any time she wants kasi karapatan na ng 18-year old kasi adult na siya. May karapatan na siya na mamili ng family name.”
The actor emotionally told to us that, “Ang sabi ko sa judge, Your honor I’m giving my daughter a freehand to choose her family name she wants to use kasi adult na siya. When I filed that petition she was only sixteen. Kaya ang ongoing case ko na lang ngayon ay ang petition ko dun sa 16-year old ko, kay Claudia.”
Dennis added, “May nakarating na din sa akin na balita na na-dismissed na din ng judge yung kay Claudia, so ang hahabulin ko nalang makakuha ako ng kopya ng dismissal para maipakita ko dun sa school ni Claudia (Everest International School) na ibalik sa Baldivia (Dennis family name),  kasi right now they changed the family name to Barretto. Kaya nung graduation ni Claudia, which I was not invited, pero I was able to know na mayroong graduation kaya naka attend ako by surprise.

“Kasi yung isang magulang nung kaklase kakilala ko, so nag magandang loob at sinabi sa akin. Ang sabi ko hindi ko alam kasi ang alam ko nag graduate na iyan sa Miriam College. Yun pala pag lipat sa international school mayroon pa palang graduation ulit. So nagpunta ako at binigyan ako ng teacher ng program flow kasi may award si Claudia. At dun ko nakita na Claudia Barretto. So nagtaka ako bakit ganun, pero yung teacher nung i-approach ako tinawag n’ya akong Mr. Baldivia. I was just wondering how come yung teacher alam na Baldivia si Dennis Padilla, pero yung dun sa invitation ay Barretto.

“Actually, sumama na loob ko roon, kaya hindi ko na tinapos yung ceremony. I attended the mass and after that sinabitan ng medal si Claudia at umalis na ako kaya dun sa graduation proper bago matapos, lumabas na ako kasi alam ko na tatawagin na s’ya as Claudia Barretto.”

Dennis were also asked if there was a chance for him to have photo with his daughter that time, “Nakita ako ni Claudia and I called her para magka pag picture kami,” he recalled. “Pero nung umpisa may apprehension na siyang lumapit sa akin kasi nagulat siya na paano ko nalaman na may graduation ceremony. Kaya hindi na ako nagpumilit.”

In relation to his being a father, Dennis said that he also asked himself if it is really worth it to fight for his rights. ” Tinanong ko ang sarili ko, tinanong ko ang mga nakakatanda sa akin, including my mom kung tama paba na ipaglaban ko. But my mom said na hayaan ko na kasi 18 na din naman si Julia, at kung gusto niya gamitin okay, pero kung ayaw niya, wag ko ng ipilit kasi baka lalo pa sumama ang loob sa akin kung ipipilit ko. Since then, natanggap ko na ang lahat.”

For now, Dennis is busy with his shows under the Kapamliya network, like the Deal or No Deal, Ang Probinsyano, and every Saturday for the portion Celebrity Playtime on Showtime.

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