If his dad could see Diego now...

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

From where he is, Angelo Castro II must be looking down with an approving smile especially when he’s “tuned in” to Why News?, UNTV’s two-week-old first English news program (airing Mondays thru Fridays, 7:30 to 8 p.m.) which his son, Angelo “Diego” Castro III, co-anchors with Gerry Alcantara.

You see, Angelo somewhat frowned on Diego’s concentrating on acting if he could very well follow in his footsteps in newscasting, never mind if Angelo himself was moonlighting as an actor while anchoring The World Tonight with Tina Monzon-Palma. Angelo was a good friend of former Pres./Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada with whom he starred in several movies that Erap himself produced. He also did movies, including the Peque Gallaga classic Scorpio Nights, for other companies.

Angelo passed away three years ago, a year before Diego’s mom, June Keithley did (in 2013). Both were diagnosed with cancer (he of the lungs and she of the breast) in 2008 but they outlived the doctors’ prognosis (Angelo given three months to live and June three years).

“I had a love-hate relationship with my dad,” Diego told Funfare. “We didn’t see eye-to-eye on so many things. But we did spend good years together from the time he was diagnosed with cancer until he died. Pero bitin.” Diego has a brother and some half-siblings from his dad’s two other relationships. “When he was bedridden, slipping away,” recalled Diego, “my mom asked my dad’s (third) girlfriend to see him. Mom put her hand in Dad’s hand, but my dad turned his back and faced my mom. I’ll never forget that scene; it was very moving.”

Diego doesn’t hide the fact that, besides his dad’s love for showbiz, he also inherited his passion for women. Diego is divorced from his first wife, actress Raven Villanueva (an American citizen by whom he has a 16-year-old son), while his marriage to his second wife (non-showbiz) was annulled. He’s engaged to Angela Lagunzad who is also with UNTV as co-anchor of the late-afternoon news program Ito Ang Balita, co-hosts the morning program Good Morning Kuya and hosts several episodes on the documentary show Istorya.

A ramp/TV commercial model once also known the Trapik Angel delivering traffic reports for various FM stations, Angela was a fashion ramp campaigner for Violence Against Women and Children. She and Diego have a seven-year-old child. She was mentored by Diego’s dad.

On Why News?, so titled because it’s the only news program that starts with the question “why?”, Diego and co-anchor Gerry dissect relevant issues affecting the country. Their fresh ideas and views complement the UNTV News & Public Affairs team in digging deeper into current events. Gerry used to be with Good Morning, Kuya and Hataw Balita newsbreaks, an in-house reporter covering the public-affairs programs Get It Straight and Polwatch and other special events, a courtside reporter for the UNTV Cup (a basketball league involving government agencies), and a co-host on Rise & Shine.





Meanwhile, lawyer Regie Tongol, co-anchors UNTV’s Filipino newscasts Hataw Balita and Ito Ang Balita. An Ateneo graduate, he is a public litigator and corporate lawyer who was an Assistant Cabinet Secretary and Bids & Awards Committee chairman in the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office until 2011. He began his media career as a legal resource person in the Legally Yours segment of Good Morning, Kuya and in Kaagapay program in which he answered legal questions from viewers.

With Regie in Ito Ang Balita is Thalia Javier, a segment host who delivers help and entertainment news. She also delivers news in Hataw Balita newsbreak and one of the hosts of Good Morning, Kuya.

Discovered by ABS-CBN as member of Star Circle Batch 4, Diego started acting in theater at age 11 in Fr. James Reuter productions. A Culinary Arts Management graduate, he worked as executive chef for two food brands and currently runs his own restaurant, Lord of the Wings. He started in UNTV as resident host and cook of Good Morning, Kuya. He appears in shows by the Kapuso Network with which he’s under contract.

It was UNTV chairman/CEO Daniel Razon who encouraged Diego to venture into newscasting. Known as Mr. Public Service (who harnesses the network’s resources in putting up social-welfare-enhancing programs), Razon is Angelo’s good friend.

Asked what he learned about newscasting from his dad, Diego said none.

“He didn’t teach me anything kasi wala raw akong kuwenta, walang hilig sa newscasting,” said Diego with a good-natured smile. “Ang wife ko ang tinuruan niya because she was the one interested in newscasting. My dad said puro pag-aartista daw ang gusto ko. It was only after he died did I realize na love ko rin pala ang newscasting, that it runs in our blood.”

Up There, Angelo must be flashing the thumb-up sign, resting assured that his son is taking up where the father has left off.

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)









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