Is all finally well between Dennis Padilla and daughter Julia Barretto?

Nathalie Tomada - The Philippine Star
Is all finally well between Dennis Padilla and daughter Julia Barretto?
Dennis Padilla is pictured with his daughter Julia Barretto as a young girl. The veteran actor-comedian has revealed that his daughter reached out to him on his birthday last Feb. 9.
Photo from Dennis padilla’s Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Getting a surprise birthday greeting from his daughter, Julia Barretto, naturally left Dennis Padilla feeling all kinds of emotions. He was admittedly shocked but profusely grateful and very happy that Julia reached out to him, which he took as a positive sign in their relationship despite past issues.

“Masarap sa pakiramdam and I hope tuloy-tuloy na yung aming communication,” a beaming Dennis told The STAR when asked about how he felt about Julia’s message on the sidelines of last Saturday’s presscon for his upcoming movie “When Magic Hurts” starring Beaver Magtalas and Mutya Orquia.

“I’m really thankful that she greeted me on my birthday and I hope mabati niya na ako every special occasion.”

The veteran actor-comedian obviously wore his heart on his sleeve when he shared more about this development in his reportedly strained relationship with his kids with ex-wife Marjorie Barretto.

“I hope in the coming months (it will continue) because it already started on my birthday. Nagulat din ako, dahil gabi na nung ma-receive ko yung text. At first, I didn’t know it was still her number,” he said.

“She had a short message, and then I answered. Tapos meron din akong short message, tapos isinagot niya sa akin icon ng heart. Isinagot ko heart din.

“Actually, ‘di ko alam, bigla nalang tumulo yung luha ko.”

Given that the believed cause of their falling-out for several years now was due to his public comments on Julia’s relationship with Gerald Anderson, he was asked if it was okay for him to talk about this text exchange with the press.

“I don’t know. I’m not sure,” he admitted.

“Earlier this morning, two or three reporters texted me, asking, ‘Dennis, is it okay for you to react because we heard that Julia greeted you on your birthday?

Dennis with Claudine Barretto, Aryanna Barretto and director-writer Gabby Ramos on the set of 'When Magic Hurts.'
Photo from Claudine's Instagram

“I was asking myself if it’s okay to tell the press... I’m not sure if it’s right, but I feel it’s okay for people to know that she texted me. Proud ako (I’m proud).”

What’s sure that he will do differently from hereon is to talk more, in private, to Julia. “Because I didn’t know if their numbers were still active, and someone told me that on social platforms, you wouldn’t know if you’re blocked... but actually, you are blocked. So there was a time when I didn’t reach out anymore because I thought I was blocked.

“I’m always told, ‘Why don’t you call, why don’t you text?’ because I tried before, but when I didn’t receive any reply, I thought maybe I’m blocked or they’re not receiving it. That’s why I always greet them on special occasions — Christmas, New Year, birthday, Valentine’s — usually on Instagram, and I’m already used to not getting a reply, that’s why I was surprised.”

Meanwhile, Dennis was asked what his reaction would be if Julia were to tie the knot with Gerald. He said that he’s not even sure if he will score an invite, but if you ask him, he’d rather that his daughter doesn’t get married yet because times have changed. He observed that women nowadays, even if they’re already in their 30s, are prioritizing their careers.

But if ever Julia decides to wed, he’s hoping for a chance to walk her down the altar.

“Isa yun sa pinakamahalagang bahagi ng pagiging tatay na ihahatid mo ang daughter mo sa altar. Isang beses lang mangyayari yun sa buhay mo. Pero kung hindi man mangyayari, gusto ko pa ring ma-witness ‘yung kasal na ‘yon. (That’s one of the most important parts of being a father, escorting your daughter to the altar. It only happens once in your life. But if it doesn’t happen, I still want to witness that wedding.)”

He also wants to have a man-to-man talk with Gerald in the future. But he stressed that he’s “happy” with Gerald for Julia.

Dennis explained, “Yes, because after all these years, napatunayan niya na mahal niya yung anak ko eh. Saka nakikita ko talaga na mahal niya yung anak ko, kaya OK siya sa akin. (He has proven that he loves my child. And I really see that he loves my child, so he’s okay with me.)”

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