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Family before showbiz
‘I am in a different world now,’ she says. ‘I don’t even use the name Iwa Moto anymore. I am now Aileen,’ adding that she’d rather be with partner Pampi Lacson and the kids.
Photos courtesy of APRICA

Family before showbiz

CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2021 - 12:00am

Live and let live. Love and let love.

Besides honesty, that to Iwa Moto is the best policy.

“Accept what you can’t change and move on,” says...oops!...the former Iwa Moto.

“I am now Aileen,” she clarifies. “I’m in a different world now. I’m happy with the woman that I have become.”

Going back to this Conversation’s intro, yes, Aileen is living happily ever after with Pampi Lacson (Panfilo Lacson Jr.), the ex-husband of Jodi Sta. Maria who is now dating Raymart Santiago, the estranged husband of Claudine Barretto.

“Jodi and I are okay,” assures Aileen whose second child by Pampi is due at the end of this month. The first, Mimi, turned seven years old on Sept. 23 last year and is in Grade One.

Thirdy (Panfilo Lacson III), Pampi’s son with Jodi, turned 15 on Dec. 23 also last year. Aileen treats him as her own son.

How are you and Pampi so far?

“We’re good. We’re excited to welcome the new member of the family, a boy, due at the end of this month. Pampi wants a girl kasi girls daw ay sobrang malambing. Mimi is not yet so malambing and once she does, Pampi said baka malusaw siya. But he also wants me to experience having a boy. Sabi niya, he’s happy that it’s a boy.” (Known during a gender-reveal hosted by Aprica.)

How are you as parents?

“Since I had Mimi, I stopped working na. I became a full-time mom. My movements are limited because my tummy is so heavy na. Actually, I am overdue. Usually, other moms sinusundan kaagad but it’s okay because we want to give Mimi all our time as she grows up.

“Not to brag, ha. Mimi is amazing and that’s because of how we raise her. This early, I can see what a nurturing girl she is. She loves kids and all my friends’ younger kids love her. They call just to talk to Mimi. I think she sees how I take care of the other kids in her school. I play with them; I’m friends with the teachers. I read to the kids and play with them. The kids think na teacher din ako. Mimi is learning how to be independent. In her online classes, I just let her do her thing.”

Between you and Pampi, who is the spoiler and the disciplinarian?

“Medyo strict akong mom. Pampi is a spoiler. Sobra-sobra. The last time na napagalitan niya si Mimi, siya ‘yung nag-apologize sa daughter niya. Pampi is a very gentle person. Feeling ko when he sees his child crying, natataranta na siya. Wala, ang ending mamaya may toy na si Mimi.

“I am always the kontrabida. Often, moms ang strict. If the kids can’t get what they want from mom, they run to the dad and get it.”

How do you sort things out?

“When Mimi is asleep na, Pampi and I would talk. I would tell him, ‘I don’t want what happened kanina.’ We try to follow the same set of rules but sometimes, sumasablay. I am tough. Si Pampi, kapag umiyak ang bata, nag-papaawa sa kanya, okey na.”

You and Jodi are so okay with each other. How do you make it work (since not many women can do it, especially in showbiz)?

“We’re okay. We realized that whether we like it or not, we will be part of each other’s life. Thirdy is part of Jodi’s family and also part of Pampi’s family. It’s bound to happen. It’s better that we are nice to each other, that we co-exist with each other. Ang lagi lang namin iniisip, ‘yung mga bata. We just have to be mature enough. Instead of thinking about yourself and your insecurities, think about the kids. Thirdy spends equal time between Pampi and Jodi. Thirdy was so stressed noong bago pa lang. Nalilito din ‘yung bata. It’s not the kid’s fault. Besides, it’s in the past. Accept and move on. Now, Thirdy is okay.”

Don’t you miss showbiz?

“Si Pampi talaga ang nag-push sa akin na mag-stop sa showbiz. He’s family-oriented, medyo old-fashioned. He believes that he should be the breadwinner of the family. At the same time, what made me think was when he said that kids grow up fast. He said that he winked and when he looked again, ang laki na ni Thirdy, binata na.

“Sabi niya, he doesn’t want me to miss a single milestone in Mimi’s life. So we agreed that I should be a hands-on mom. I take care of the family and he should be the one to work. We both decided na tututukan ko si Mimi, especially since she’s a girl.”

Aileen (formerly Iwa Moto) and Pampi with children Thirdy (15, Pampi’s son with ex-wife Jodi Sta. Maria) and Mimi, seven years old, their own daughter together.

So showbiz never crosses your mind?

“I will be a hypocrite if I say that I don’t miss my job before, but living a simple and quiet life, for me, is rejuvenating. I loved working. The money was great. I miss my showbiz friends but not the gulo and the stress. Maybe I can do guestings but not full-time.

“Now, I feel complete. I may not have everything that I want but I think I have everything that I need. I’m in a different world now. I don’t even use the name Iwa Moto anymore; I’m now Aileen. Ibang iba na ‘yung Iwa Moto noon sa ngayon. I’m happy with how I grew and blossomed into this woman that my daughter looks up to.”

Doesn’t Mimi know that you are, er, you were an actress?

“Hindi pa nga alam ng anak ko ‘yung mga pinaggagawa ko before. Actually, she’s asking. Sometimes, may nagpapa-picture pa rin. Sometimes, someone will recognize me when we are outside. She would ask, ‘Is she your friend?’ She wants to be an artist. She knows that I used to work but she has no idea what kind of work I was doing.

“Eventually, she will know. In the meantime, when she sees her lolo (Sen. Ping Lacson), she would ask, ‘Mama, why is Papa always on TV?’ Sagot ko lang, ‘That’s his job.’ And she would nod.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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