MANILA – Dennis Padilla became emotional when asked about reports that his daughter, rising star Julia Barretto, has filed a petition to drop his surname and just use her mother's family name instead.
Julia's real name, as per her birth certificate, is Julia Francesca Barretto Baldivia. Baldivia is the legal surname of Padilla.
In an interview with entertainment columnist Ricky Lo as published on the website of The Philippine Star Monday, Padilla said he first learned about the rumor through a blind item which he thought was referring to him and Julia.
“Okay lang sa akin na Barretto ang gamiting screen surname ni Julia and not Padilla because my real surname naman is Baldivia,” he said. “At first, I didn’t believe those items were referring to us. Sabi ko, ‘I don’t think Julia will do that to me, kasi wala naman akong malaking kasalanan sa kanya.’”
It was not until last month that he was finally able to confirm that he and Julia were indeed the subjects of the blind item.
“Last June, somebody told me that somebody did file that petition. So I checked with the Family Court. That’s when I learned that the petition was filed last year pa pala,” he said.
According to Padilla, he was in denial for month that her daughter would do such a thing.
“I thought about it for one month. Sometimes, I would console myself, ‘Pabayaan mo na lang. Kung ayaw nilang gamitin ni Julia ang apelyido ko, okay lang.’ Then, I told myself, ‘Fight for your right; dugo mo ‘yan, anak mo siya.’ So I hired the services of a lawyer,” he said.
Despite his move to consult a lawyer, Padilla said: “At first, I told myself that Marjorie and Julia have the right na alisin ang surname because, I must admit, marami naman akong pagkukulang.”
“Ever since Marjorie and I separated, my career, political and showbiz, became unstable. Nag-lie low ang career ko which was not my choice. But showbiz is like that; sometimes, you earn a lot; sometimes, you don’t; sometimes, medya lang. Even when Marjorie and I were newly separated, I still had to work so I could support them financially. Then, these past three years, talagang hindi na ako nakapagbigay because I have no more projects,” he continued.
Stressing that he explained these things to Julia, Padilla said: “I was never remiss in taking care of them when they were kids in the more than 10 years that we were still a family. I consider Marjorie’s daughter (from a previous relationship) as my own. There was a time when she used my surname in school. I even wanted to adopt her. When Marjorie and I broke up, she (the daughter) stopped using my surname. Okay lang because she’s my stepdaughter. Pero si Julia, she should retain my surname. Kadugo ko siya, eh.”
Padilla’s marriage to Marjorie was declared null and void in 2008. Because of their separation, Padilla said he no longer sees Julia regularly as compared to before.
“The last time we saw each other was last Feb. 7, two days before my birthday. She would text me, ‘Papa, how are you?’ Last June on the night of Father’s Day, she texted me, ‘Happy Father’s Day, Papa.’ Short messages, bitin ako,” he said.
When asked if he exerts effort to see his daughter, Padilla said: “I wanted to visit her sa kanyang Sunday show because it was her birthday, but she told me, ‘Huwag na, Papa, kasi nandoon si Mommy; I don’t feel comfortable.’ Sabi niya, ‘Magkita na lang tayo sa ibang araw para-i-celebrate ang birthday ko.’ That was March 10. But after that, she got busy with the taping for her show Mirabella, so I told her, ‘Sige, kung kailan ka na lang libre.’”
Padilla said he even sent Julia a message regarding the success of her show “Mirabella,” wherein he also brought up the topic about the petition to drop his surname.
“I was happy with the success of her show Mirabella. I texted her, ‘Anak, job well done. I love you. See you soon.’ She called, ‘Pa, thank you sa message.’ In passing, I told her that I already have a copy of the petition. She just said, ‘I shall talk to you some other time…’ That’s how the call ended,” he said.
Aside from Julia, Marjorie and Padilla also has two other children, Claudia and Leon.