MANILA, Philippines – Angelica Panganiban, who recently met her American father in the United States, has revealed that she is an adopted child.
In her tell-all interview with “The Buzz” aired Sunday, Panganiban also divulged that her biological mom died 2 years ago. The actress’s mom was buried in Singapore where she paid her respects during All Souls’ Day last month.
Panganiban only learned about her adoption on January 5 this year after taping her gag show “Banana Split.” She, however, confessed that, even before that, she already had doubts about her identity.
“Noong high school ako may nagsasabi na sa akin na kilala ‘yong tunay kong nanay… Nag-start na akong mag-doubt [kasi] bakit may lumalabas na ganoon,” she said.
According to the actress, when she finally found the courage, she told her cousin, “Alam mo feeling ko ampon ako.”
Her relative, she said, suddenly broke down and it was only then that she learned the truth.
“Wala akong naramdamang galit. ‘Yong una kong naramdam nainggit ako kasi hindi pala ako part ng family na kinalakihan ko na parang sa akin ang perfect na ng lahat,” she said.
She explained that her adoptive mom might have been forced to keep it a secret after she entered show business. The actress said her adoptive family was only protecting her from possible negative reactions once the truth came out.
She added that they treated her well. “Never nilang pinaramdam na iba ako.”
Meeting her dad
Panganiban also did everything to find her biological dad, Mark Charlson. She said her father did not try to find her because he thought that she and her mother had perished in a car accident.
This was how Panganiban recounted her journey toward finding Charlson:
“After kong kausapin ‘yong mama ko hindi siya sure kung ano talaga ang name ng daddy ko. So, ‘yong binigay niya sa akin walang first name. last name lang.
“Una kong pinuntahan ‘yong website ng Navy and then nakita ko doon ang pangalan niya, walang phone number, walang kahit na ano.
“And ‘yong mga panahon po na iyon wala akong plano na tawagan siya, makausap siya, gusto ko lang makita ang picture niya. Para lang mabuo ang imagination ko.
“Siguro mga 2 weeks din then nahanap ko ‘yong isang fan page noong ship na sinakyan nila. Then may isang tao doon na nag-post na never daw niyang makakalimutan ‘yong experience niya noong martial law sa Philippines from 1984 to 1986. Ipinanganak po ako noong 1986. So, nagbakasakali ako na baka nga kilala niya ‘yong Mr. Charlson na ‘yon.
“Nagpadala ako ng message sa kanya sumagot naman siya. Tinanong ko kung may kilala siyang Mr Charlson din. Then sumagot naman siya. Sabi niya, ‘Yes, why?’
“Noong nabasa ko palang yong ‘yes’ niya para akong nabunutan ng tinik. Hanggang after ng I think wala pang 2 weeks, nagkausap kami ng daddy ko… Nagcha-chat lang kami noon. Noong nakita ko pa lang yong picture niya nanginginig na ako.
“Para siyang lulubog, lilitaw…. hindi ko maintindihan ‘yong dahilan niya bakit ngayon makikipag-usap then para akong pinagtataguan. Dumating na sa point na nagpadala ako ng message sa kanya na wala naman akong gusto, hindi ko kailangan ng kahit anong support.”
She first talked to her father over the phone on her birthday. She said he finally agreed to meet her last month.
Seeing her father and talking to him was like “magic.” The actress and her American dad spent five days together, and it was the “happiest five days” of her life.
She said: “Tinatanong po niya kung ano ang mga projects na nagawa ko na… Nagbigay ako ng mga DVDs para mapanood niya ako, para makilala niya ako.”
She also gave him her first acting trophy as a gift. “Bilang siya ‘yong tatay ko, gusto ko na nasa kanya dahil sa kanya ako galling, sa kanya galing ang lahat ng ito.”