MANILA, Philippines – Ogie Diaz is known to many as an actor, an entertainment talk show host, and the former manager of comedian Vice Ganda.
He openly displays his attraction to men such as Zoren Legaspi, who happens to be the husband of his friend, host and actress Carmina Villaroel.
“Napapatingin ako kay Zoren kanina. Zoren, alam mo ‘yan,” Diaz said in an interview on the ABS-CBN morning talk show “Kris TV” on Thursday, where Legaspi is also one of the guests.
Diaz and Villaroel, along with Joey Marquez and Janice de Belen, host the weekly entertainment program “Showbiz Inside Report”. On top of this, Diaz also takes on different roles in a number of “teleseryes” or local TV dramas.
But when the cameras stop rolling, he is a diligent and loving father to his four daughters and a caring partner to his girlfriend of 12 years, Georgette.
It is, as “Kris TV” host Kris Aquino would call it, a “modern family.” Despite his gender, Diaz remains genuinely loyal to his five girls and does his best to provide for their needs.
“Natutuwa ako ‘pag marami akong nae-encounter, sinasabi nila sa akin, ‘alam mo kahit bading ka, mas lalaki ka pa kaysa sa ibang lalaki. ‘Yung iba tunay na barako nga pero takot sa obligasyon, sa responsibilidad.’ ‘Dun, medyo medalya na sa akin ‘yun,” Diaz shared.
But along with the praises are the negative comments, and questions on how he will tell his children about his sexual preference.
Instead of exerting effort to explain himself to the public, Diaz said he would rather focus on caring for his family.
“Ang tanong lagi sa akin, ‘paano mo ipaliliwanag sa mga anak mo na ganoon ka?’ Sabi ko, ‘buti ka pa pinoproblema mo, ako ‘di ko pinoproblema.’ Pero maraming salamat sa mga tao na nagmamalasakit at sinasabi nila, ‘paano ko ipapaliwanag sa mga anak ko?’ Problema ko na po ‘yun, balang araw [sasabihin ko rin sa kanila]. Ninanamnam ko pa ang ugali ng mga anak ko,” he said.
Before realizing that he was gay, Diaz used to date women.
In the “Kris TV” interview, he shared that he had a girlfriend when he met Georgette, who openly expressed her feelings to the “Showbiz Inside Report” host.
And it was during a game of billiards when things started to get serious.
“Talagang pinursige niya eh, at meron pa kaming bilyaran moment noon, na sabi ko sa kanya, ‘hoy, meron akong girlfriend. Kasi nakakahiya naman sa kanya kung ie-entertain kita.’
“Sabi niya, ‘bakit, kasal na ba kayo? Kung gusto mo, e magbilyar tayo.’ ‘Bakit,’ sabi ko. Sabi niya, ‘pag natalo mo ako sa bilyar, lulubayan na kita. Pero ‘pag natalo kita sa bilyar, ‘di na kita lulubayan.’
“So may alam ako sa bilyar so akala ko matatalo ko ang lola mo. Five-one ang score. Kaya bumigay ako,” he shared.
And the rest, he said, is history.
Even if he is gay and is attracted to men, Diaz said he loves Georgette and is open to the idea of getting married to her.
This even if his children are not bringing up the idea whenever they are together.
“Hindi naman sila nagtatanong. The mere fact na nandoon kaming dalawa palagi [ayos na sa kanila ‘yon],” he said.
“Ako naman, naghihintay ako ng ano, basta may sign akong hinihintay. Kailangan kong maramdaman na ito na ‘yon. Kahit madaling araw ‘pag maramdaman ko ‘yan gigisingin ko siya (Georgette) sasabihin ko ‘maghanap tao ng judge’ [at magpakasal tayo],” he added.
Asked how he manages to stay faithful to Georgette, Diaz said: “Sabi ko, desisyon sa buhay ‘yun eh. Hindi naman sa nagmamalinis ako, siyempre nagkakaroon din ako ng crushes. Kasi kailangan ko pa ring maramdaman ‘yun, ayoko namang magpaka-ipokrita. Pero iba pa rin kasi [si Georgette].”
While he admits that he cannot give his daughters everything that they want, Diaz believes that he has been a good father to them.
“Mahirap magsabi sa akin kung anong tatay ako. Siyempre ang magsasabi niyan mga anak kung anong klase, kung gaano kabuti o gaano masama. Pero para makita ko sa kanila ‘yung respeto nila sa akin at saka ‘yung takot nila, feeling ko nagagawa ko naman ang role ko bilang tatay sa kanila,” he said.
When it comes to their children, some fathers want to prioritize education while others focus on financial stability. Diaz, however, said he is happy if their children grow up to be good and respectful adults.
“Ako, importante mabuting pakikisama at pakikipagkapwa,” he ended.