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  • middleofalovestory


Let’s give this a shot. You know? I don’t wanna live a, “What if?” later on.

Love for women, friends, and family

Most of my best friends are women because I just feel that I can trust them more, you know? Having my three sisters and my mom, I just was surrounded by more women than men. My dad and I are best friends, my mom’s my protector. I guess also that’s how I got my “playboy” status because I’m always with women, like I just seem to trust women more. If I’m friends with a girl, it means they're more than that, you know? I’m so used to that already. My best friend in the whole world is Meli, she’s from Bacolod, and like, we can sleep in the same bed together. It’s just we love each other as friends. People can’t seem to wrap their heads around that, and it’s funny.

They would really beat me up, so I would spit on them. Or I’d spit on the door handle of their room so when they open it there’s spit on their hands

But yeah, growing up, I had to take a lot of crap from my sisters because when we would get into fights, they could physically hit me, and I couldn’t. So, my only way to get back at them was just through teasing. Like with Camilla, I call her, “Camilla the Gorilla.” Camilla the gorilla, went to Manila, to buy some vanilla. Then, my sister, Rojinie, the older one, I used to tease her because I used to read her letters that she would write to her boyfriend, “I just shaved my legs.” They would really beat me up, so I would spit on them. Or I’d spit on the door handle of their room so when they open it there’s spit on their hands because my parents would kill me if I laid a finger on my sisters. Well, spitting only lasted for so long. Can’t do any spitting now during the coronavirus.

Love in the time of corona

That was tough, really tough. The 14 days was OK, because in my mindset I thought after 14 days everything would be OK. And then after the 14th day I realized, “Oh my gosh, this might go on ‘til June.” I realized that this is no joke and I started with a routine. When I wake up in the morning, I’d check my helpers if they’re OK, no symptoms. Check if everybody’s well. Give Andrea a call, say hi to Andrea, workout, do my own thing, and then work out again in the afternoon together with Andrea, talk to my parents every now and then.

But I noticed during the quarantine the conversations we would have, it's more quality conversations rather than just the, you know, when you're so tied up before with your normal life, your focus is not really on them. Yes, you call them, you think of them and say, “Hi, how are you?” But you don't really have a quality conversation with them because you're just so busy with work. So the conversations that we have during quarantine are really deep, quality conversations. And the same thing with Andrea, we got even closer, we got to know each other more, over the quarantine period. But it was tough, man. I went back to my boarding school days in the U.K. where I had my own diary and I would write a countdown to when I was gonna go back to see my family. I went to college in the U.K., and then I went to college again in the States. That was tough. That was my first time to be away from family so those were some trying times for me. I don’t regret it. It helped tremendously to build my character, my present day. It gave me discipline, it gave me some sort of independence. But again, it was tough. I just can’t be away from family.

Lucky in love, etc.

You know what--my mom, my sisters all say that--that I'm just so lucky. And I know I'm lucky. I'm lucky, I'm blessed. And I guess it was what my mom taught me to share my blessings. I've been screwed over many times for trusting too much. Many, many times, but with that said I will never stop trusting. Business-wise, friendship-wise, you know. I will never stop trusting. I trust easily. If you stop trusting in people or believing in people--it’s the end of the world, man. Why should we live? Yeah, it’s no way to live--just survive? Survival of the fittest, think of yourself? I was one of the popular kids in school. I was on the basketball team, the football team. You know if you're an athlete, you're one of the popular kids. But the friends that I would bring home were the ones that people didn’t really mind in school. My mom was like, “Ok, this is a concern. Maybe my son is also one of those hermits in school.” But from what she sees, I was not a hermit. I feel bad for people who aren't as lucky as I am. I try to help them out. And I've been doing that ever since I was a young boy. So my mom always said, “You know, that’s why you’re so lucky.” But with that said, there is also hardwork, because I believe that luck is also created by hardwork. If you work harder, you become luckier.

Love for sports

I love sports, and I just recently let go of that passion of mine because I’m feeling the aches and pains. Not just frisbee, but with all the physical activities. I’ll play recreational, but no more representing the Philippines at the highest level. It’s something that I have to let go of, or my quality of life later on is going to be very low, because I’m already feeling the aches and pains from my injuries, even though I look fit. Inflammation, my joints. No arthritis, no gout, but the injuries--my broken arm, my back--I’m beginning to feel it.

Love for health

I’ve had to change my lifestyle. No more of the thinking you’re 18 and just running onto the pitch, and playing or training at 200%. But with that said, I still live an active lifestyle, but it’s more of keeping healthy--15 minutes per workout, that’s all you need. If you’re gonna become a professional athlete and you wanna have something over your competition, then you go and you kill yourself at the gym, you know?

But to keep yourself healthy, you only need 15 minutes at the gym. If I started a young age 15 minutes at the gym, didn’t play sports but I just worked out 15 minutes, I’d still feel like I was 18 because I wouldn’t have wear-and-tear on my knees, my arms. Human beings aren’t designed to do those crazy things, like marathons and stuff like that. That’s why I admire those athletes because they have the mental strength to actually destroy their body. It’s not healthy, it really isn’t. Even with the proper nutrition, there’s wear-and-tear there. With that said, no regrets. I joined the competitions that I’ve joined growing up. Yeah, and I really feel it.

Love for balance

Going back to my parents, it’s really tough, you have to find the perfect balance. You can’t just say all work, all sport, all family. You have to find that perfect balance so what I did was when I commit to my work, that’s my priority. Of course, I give Mom and Dad a call everyday, but I don’t get to see them as much. But come Christmas, I won’t accept work, and that’s my bawi (make-up) time with my family, and that’s why it’s my favorite time of the year. My birthday, Christmas, we always go somewhere and we’re all complete. We just enjoy the time that we have together. So that’s the magic formula that I was able to come up with for now. But you know my parents are both--my dad’s 77, my mom’s 74--I wanna spend as much time as I can with them now, so they’re actually my priority now over anything else.

Love for acting...eventually

No one believes me. I was telling people, “Guys, I would freeze!” I never thought I’d be an actor. It’s the last thing I thought I would be. More of an athlete, but nowadays, it’s easy because of social media, and everybody’s an influencer. They can gain confidence because they have so many platforms to just practice all of that stuff, but with us back then, you have to be born with it. Especially for me, I never had any experience, it was just my competitive drive that got me to you know, “Okay, I accepted this, I have to do this. I have to do this right.” I found some way to pull it off and learn. You know, I just opened my eyes, my ears, my heart to anyone. I just watched them and soaked it all in so that I could bring my best--I don’t wanna say talent--but my A-game to the table, because I’m an athlete. I have to bring my a-game all the time.

It gave me discipline, it gave me some sort of independence. But again, it was tough. I just can’t be away from family.

I was asked so many times to be an actor, and I always said, “No” because it’s not me, and my mom wouldn’t allow it also because she said, “No, you finish school before anything else.” And I was like, “Don’t worry Mom, there’s no way I’m going to be an actor.” So, I got approached by this guy named Ayo Gunting to be a model for a brand, a clothing brand, and I just came back from the UK visiting my family and I was in my college suit because I wanted to show my Dad I was proud. I had the tie of the rugby team. If you’re on the rugby team, they give you a special tie that you can wear around school so they’d know that you’re on the rugby team. So I was wearing that, and he saw me and he’s like, “You know, pwede ka maging model. (You can be a model)” and I was like, “Hahahaha, buh-bye, I’m not interested.” And he was really persistent, then he asked my dad. When he saw my dad he said, “You know your son can become a model.” My dad was like, “Yeah, you should do it Derek,” and I was like “No.” “No, you should do it,” so he pushed me to do it, and I was really embarrassed.

I just opened my eyes, my ears, my heart to anyone. I just watched them and soaked it all in so that I could bring my best

Also, my mom purchased John Robert Powers at the time, and Rojinie and my mom were the ones running it, and there was a commercial for Close-Up and that was the biggest commercial back in the days. If you become a Closeup model, you’re like a celebrity overnight. So, they asked me to do a quick VTR, so I did, and then I left for the U.K., and then they said that I got the part. They flew me back, and I shot the commercial. So my first commercial ever was Close-Up. I was really, really lucky, and that was my first paycheck and I was like, “Wooh, wow! This is a lot of money!” But I had to go finish my school. But I’d fly in and out, and everytime I’d fly into the country I’d do a commercial or two. And then I’d leave. And then I’d get asked to go into showbiz. And then I’m like, “No I’m leaving, I’m going back to Europe to finish my school.” This went on for maybe 6 to 8 years.

Then finally I got asked to go to a talk show called “Entertainment Connect.” Marvin Agustin was the host, and I was with Borgy Manotoc and another model. I think it was Victor Basa. But we were all “English speaking.” They were like, “Sabihin mo nga yung (say) ‘nakakapagpapagapag’.” I picked it up really quick. They were amused by that. So they kept on inviting just me to come back, until I was part of the show already. But I couldn’t say anything because I didn’t know anyone in showbiz. It’s like a chismis (gossip), talk show.

It gave me discipline, it gave me some sort of independence. But again, it was tough. I just can’t be away from family.

The only person I knew in showbiz was Vina Morales. And then one day there was an issue about Vina, I don’t remember what the issue was, but I kept on defending her. And they’re like, “You should always be like that.” And I said, “I’m just defending my friend. That’s how I am.” And one day, I got asked if I would be interested to act on TV. Oh, no way. They’re like, it’s “Panday.” And I’m like, “No, no, no. I don’t think I can do any acting.” And they said, “Too bad because we’ll be shooting in Bicol, for like a month or two.” And I was like, “Ooh, Bicol? I’ve never been there.” And I said, “You know what? Let’s give this a shot. You know? I don’t wanna live a, “What if?” later on. So I took off to Bicol, tried to act. I was like this Wolverine character and Tita Malou Santos saw one of my scenes and said, “You know, you have a future [in acting.]” And she took me under her wing, and the rest is history. I kept working, nonstop.

No regrets

I’m very proud of who I am today. So if I had regrets, there is no way you can be proud of who you are at the present day. So, all of those things made me who I am. I had my low times. I’ve been at the top, I’ve been at the bottom. It’s a big rollercoaster ride, but that’s life. If you’re always at the top, it’s boring. You hit rock bottom, it’s exciting to get all the way back to the top. So that’s how my life has been, and I’m very, you know, at peace right now. I’m really enjoying my life, I’m enjoying where I’m at, and I’m very, very happy. So I really have no regrets.

Story of actor, Derek Ramsay @ramsayderek07 (PART 1 of 2)

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