Albert not worried about living in an ‘empty nest’
FUNFARE - FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo (The Philippine Star) - November 8, 2019 - 12:00am

As he did when his older daughter Alyanna married Roy Macam in the States, Albert Martinez cried when his second daughter Alissa married Paulus Reyes in Canada last Oct. 16.

“I couldn’t help it,” Albert told The STAR. “Alissa is my baby, my last daughter to get married, kaya naiyak talaga ako.” 

Now the parents of a nine-month-old girl, Alyanna and Roy were married in Christian ceremony in September 2016 in Lake Tahoe, California, where they have settled down, and Alissa and Paulus in Catholic rites in Banff, Alberta. It was purely a Reyes-Martinez family affair.

“Paulus’ family is Opus Dei, very religious,” said Albert. “Mabait silang pamilya.”

Albert missed his wife Liezl Martinez (who died in March 2015) during such memorable family occasions and that’s why he cried.

“It was Liezl’s dream to see our daughters get married,” recalled Albert. “Hindi rin niya naabutan ang magkaroon ng apo.”

Alissa and Paulus left for Canada in early September. The wedding was held there since most members of the Reyes family live there. The newlyweds will be back in Manila tomorrow, Nov. 9, where they have a business. They graduated (Paulus cum laude) with a degree in Entrepreneurship from the Asia Pacific College (APC). It was Paulus who encouraged Alissa to take up an M.A. in Business Administration.

“At first,” shared Albert, “they planned to settle down in Canada. But I told them that they would have to start from scratch. Their business here is doing well at maganda ang economy ng Asia, so na-convince sila to stay.”

But Albert is advising Alyanna and Roy to move to Canada.

“It’s not safe in the States,” said Albert. “Maraming sira ulo.”

Also present at the Banff wedding was Albert’s only son Alfonso who brought along his girlfriend Miki Hahn.

“They have been going steady for 10 years already so they are old enough to settle down. Their target date is February next year. After that, I will be living in an empty nest. Our house is too big for just me, so I got a condo unit na lang.”

Told that he could have a girlfriend now that Liezl is resting in peace, Albert begged off.

“It’s not that easy,” admitted Albert who is turning 59 on April 19 next year. “Liezl is irreplaceable. It’s hard to find somebody like her. Yes, there are women sending ‘feelers’ pero walang effect. My heart refuses to beat, ayaw nang tumibok ng puso ko. Liezl took my heart with her. Besides, my daughters are very possessive and very selosa.”

But now that his daughters (and son Alfonso) are living away from him, isn’t Albert worried (afraid?) about being alone in an “empty nest”?

“That’s why as I’ve said, I am moving to a smaller place. At home, I have rearranged my and Liezl’s bedroom. We have also decided to give away some of her things, but we have kept those dear to her.”

How does he deal with lonely nights, especially during the coldness of the long holiday season?

“I never experienced any lonely nights,” assured Albert, adding in jest, “kapag lumalamig na masyado, I cover myself with a thick blanket.”

As usual since Liezl died, Albert will be spending Christmas abroad, usually with the Macams in California and this time maybe a few days with the Reyeses in Canada.

“I will be taking care of my apo. Ako ang magiging yayo (nanny) niya.”

He will be taping advanced episodes for the ABS-CBN soap Kadenang Ginto and early next year, he will start work on a movie (untitled just yet). He’s also preoccupied with the construction of a hotel on his lot in Treasure Mountain in Tanay, Rizal, so-called because it is believed to be where the fabled Yamashita Treasure is hidden or has been dug up.

“It’s a beautiful place on top of the mountain, overlooking Sierra Madre. It’s so cold year round so there’s no need for air-conditioning. Natural cool lang. The place is perfect for camping and people who love peace and quiet, ideal for soul-searching.”

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)


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