Diego truly dad’s son
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2014 - 12:00am

Everything about him is very Cesar Montano, except that at 5’10” he’s a few inches taller than his father. But the penetrating eyes and the finely-defined features are very Cesar Montano, except his fair complexion which he got from his mom, Teresa Loyzaga. You just wish that he would develop into the intensely versatile actor that his father is.

Check out Diego Loyzaga in the newly-installed huge billboards of BUM, the clothesline he’s endorsing, and you have to blink to make sure that what you are seeing is Diego and not Cesar. They are mirror images of each other.

Since it’s Father’s Day tomorrow, first thing that Funfare asked Diego when he sat down for a late-lunch interview yesterday at North Park resto (at the corner of Scout Lazcano and Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City) was, what’s your special gift for your dad?

“Wala,” smiled Diego who turned 19 last May 21. “We will just go to church. ‘Yon ang ano niya sa akin, for us to attend Mass together on Sundays, sometimes with my (half-)siblings,” referring to Cesar’s three daughters with estranged wife Sunshine Cruz whom Diego calls Tita Shine. (Cesar has two children from his first marriage, one of them died a few years ago.) Diego is a newly-baptized (last April 6) Seventh-Day Adventist, same denomination that Cesar belongs to.

Diego was born in San Juan City and, at age three, he was brought by Mom Teresa to Perth, Australia, where the Loyzagas have been residents for years. It was there where Diego had early schooling, coming back when he was 16 and graduated high school at Montessori Greenhills. He plans to take up Business Administration at De La Salle University.

Doesn’t he really have anything special to perk up his dad who is going through, uhm, trying times, coping with a marriage that has gone awry?

“What else can you give a man who has everything?” wondered Diego who isn’t shy after all and quite outspoken if he needs to be.

Maybe, something warmer than just pillows to keep his dad company at night? Diego simply smiled at the joke.

When he came back, Diego said he initially suffered from culture shock but soon got over it. Since he entered showbiz, (his contract with ABS-CBN is renewable every year) he has stayed with Cesar and Sunshine when the couple was still together and has settled with his older half-brother (from his mom’s side) at Cesar’s house in Quezon City (while Sunshine and her daughters have moved to a house of her own after she and Cesar broke up).

How is he similar to his father?

“Aside from looks, we have a lot of similarities sabi ng mom ko. The way we laugh, the way we make jokes, our interest in sports, especially boxing and basketball (Understandably because Diego’s Lolo Caloy Loyzaga is a basketball icon. — RFL).”

When it comes to women?

(Laughs) “A, magkaiba kami because, remember, I grew up in Australia. The culture is different, eh. Here, the girls are very conservative while the girls in Australia are quite liberated.”

Any fond memories about his father?

“A lot. What I love most is when we watch the games together.”

There was a 13-year gap between your early years and the years you stayed in Australia. Was there any uneasiness when you met again?

“There was a bit of that at first pero ang bilis nawala. There was always that father-son bond, you know. Even if you’ve been away from each other, the moment you meet again there’s the so-called lukso ng dugo. I was excited because idol ko ang daddy ko, eh.”

Any tips from your dad as far as girls are concerned (you know, how to be “safe”)?

“None naman. I’m sure he knows na kaya kong i-handle ang mga bagay na ‘yan.”

Are you close to your (half-)siblings?

“Yes, I’m close to all of them. On Sundays, text-text kami, ‘O, ano, church tayo ha? O, Rockwell tayo ha?’ Ganyan.”

Are you more your dad or your mom (who is in town, staying at her sister Bing’s place to help care for their ailing father)?

“Actually, nakakatuwa nga, eh. People say that looks-wise, pareho kami ni Dad; but temperament-wise, pareho kami ni Mommy. I think I’m a good mix of both.”

You are identified as Cesar Montano’s son…so far. How can you get out of your dad’s long shadow?

“I enjoy being in dad’s shadow so I don’t mind staying in it. But sooner or later, I will get out of it and have my own identity.” (So far, he has done two TV dramas, Mara Clara and Growing Up, and is in the cast of the ongoing Kapamilya show Mirabella, and some guestings on Maalaala Mo Kaya and other shows.)

Why are you using Loyzaga and not Montano as screen surname?

“It is my surname. People might think na may kinakampihan ako, pero wala po, hindi po. Both sides of my family are okay with that, so no problem.”

Any special Father’s Day message for your dad?

“Hi, Dad! Happy Father’s Day. I’m just here for you!”

Congrats, Romy!

Congratulations to election lawyer Romy Macalintal who will receive the prestigious award as “Ulirang Ama Awardee, 2014” from the National Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Foundation, Inc., tomorrow, Father’s Day, for his “significant achievement in his respective field of endeavor and/or career combining this successfully with the task of caring for the family.” The awarding ceremony will be held at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel, after the 8:30 a.m. Mass. The Father’s Day Awards Committee is led by Honorary Chairperson Justice Angelina S. Gutierrez

Also, Romy and his wife Mila celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary last June 12 in a simple ceremony at the Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Philamlife Village, Las Piñas City where they renewed our marriage vows before the Parish Priest, Monsignor Ernesto A. Joaquin and later, a lunch with the entire family in scenic Tagaytay City.

Here’s a Father’s Day poem from Romy:

 FATHER’S PRAYER

By:  James J. Metcalfe

(Lifted from his book, Garden in My Heart, 1949 Edition)

 

O God, look down upon our home, with kind and gentle eyes

And pour Your blessings great and small, upon our family ties.

 

Be good to her, my loving wife, who is so good to me

And help me honor You and her, with love and loyalty.

 

Bestow on us the guiding grace, we need from day to day

To raise our children properly, at home and church and play.

 

We trust in you with all our hearts, and offer you our prayers

Our smiles and tears, our glories, and our little daily cares.

 

We thank You, God, for everything, beneath the stars and sun

And promise we will always strive, to help Your will be done.

CESAR CESAR MONTANO DAD DAY DIEGO FATHER QUEZON CITY
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