Ryan won't let sad past ruin his future

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Ryan Eigenmann is the classic example of someone who refuses to let a sad past rule his life. It would surprise no one if he became cynical about marriage and happy-ever-after after seeing his parents, Michael de Mesa and Gina Alajar part ways for good.

But the couple’s eldest son would have none of the jaded outlook expected from products of dysfunctional families.

“My parents were fighting and reconciling so often it became routine for me,” he recalls. So when the final blow came, Ryan didn’t grovel on his knees and beg his parents to stay.

“I (and his two younger brothers) were already grown up by the time my parents split up for the last time,” he explains.

Ryan was ready to face the music. More importantly, he knew that history need not repeat itself.

“We make our own future,” he declares. “I won’t ruin myself just because my parents are separated. As it is, we already live and breathe movies. Why should I make my real life look like a movie as well?”

Ryan admits this resolve to live a different, happier life partly drew him to commercial model Cathy Bordalba, whom he recently married in a brief ceremony at the Coconut Palace.

“Life is too short to be wasted lonely,” he states. “Life is meant to be happy.”

The future father (Cathy is scheduled to give birth in August) has every reason to feel on top of the world.

He just added the title “host” to his list of job descriptions. Q-11 tapped him to host the reality TV show Misteryo (Sundays, 10 to 10:30 p.m.). The show captures spine-tingling encounters as it tries to find out the truth about the paranormal.

Ryan, his handycam and two cameramen go where the faint-hearted fear to tread. His first assignment took Ryan to Diplomat Hotel, Baguio, believed to be a hang-out of restless spirits.

He volunteered to spend the night alone in the hotel to check the rooms one by one.

“I’m neither a skeptic or a believer,” he says. “I keep an open mind.”

It is this open-mindedness, among others, that got him the hosting job.

Ryan himself thought he was dreaming when the network called him for a VTR as requirement for the job. He had to ask them if they were sure about themselves, since Ryan admits he has yet to host a show and that he is not identified at all with a news and public affairs program the way Misteryo is.

QTV News and Public Affairs program manager Karen Lumbo has as ready answer.

“Ryan’s advantage is that he’s very open to experiences like these. Other public affairs persons need hard evidence. Not Ryan. He’s neither a total believer nor a skeptic. He’s in the middle.”

Besides, she added, they were looking for someone serious enough for people to believe in, but not too serious to the point that he doubts any experience he stumbles upon.

Ryan won’t raise his eyebrow before a local guy who believes in the nuno sa punso (ant hill) mystique even though he knows deep inside no dire events happen should someone accidentally step on it.

“I may not believe in them, but I still respect people’s traditions. Show respect and people will respect you in return,” he intones.

Ryan is especially curious about Capiz, his mom’s home province. Ryan has high expectations about the mysterious place in Western Visayas. After all, some of his relatives may still live there, and guide him in the ins and outs of the area. And while he’s at it, Ryan could even get a clearer picture of his roots.

Gina doesn’t hide how proud she feels at how Ryan is running his life.

“My mom is happy I and my brothers didn’t follow in her footsteps by marrying at a young age. My mom got married at 18. I’m at the right age to get married and start a family,” relates Ryan.

As the eldest son, he witnessed how his parents struggled to raise three children at an age when they should be enjoying their youth. And Ryan vowed he won’t fall into the same trap. He made sure he’s ready to start a family when he finds the right girl.

He has decided well.

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