Moms and Dads
Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzalez on Being Empty Nesters
In an interview with Karen Davila, Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzalez talk about sending their twins Atasha and Andres abroad for college and teaching them independence.
Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzalez recently sat down with Karen Davila for an interview about their life as a couple and as parents. The two, who have kept much of their family life out of the spotlight, shared what it feels like to be empty nesters after sending their twins abroad for school, and why independence for them was important.
Now that they are by themselves after sending their twins to school abroad, Charlene and Aga said that they’re enjoying their time together even more. Aga joked that when Atasha and Andres are around, it’s chaotic.
“Because we just got over the pandemic, when the kids graduated, they graduated online,” Charlene explained. “It was a different experience, not what all parents expect it to be. When the kids went away to school, it was very difficult because we couldn’t travel.”
Charlene added it was only last year that she and Aga were able to formally travel and see for themselves the life of their kids abroad. “It was nice but it was a scary time for us as parents sending them off, bringing them to the airport and just letting them go.”
“It was painful,” Aga chimed in. “And yung mga anak namin, sila yung pumili [to go study abroad]. Hindi kami nakialam.”
Aga Muhlach: It was all about family
Asked to describe how he is as a dad, Charlene said of her husband: “Aga started being independent at a young age. At 13 he was on his own. He allows the kids to become very independent. He doesn’t make pakialam with their decisions.”
Aga however admits that he’s a strict dad. “Growing up, alam na nila iyon. They already had that experience growing up – palo, talaga yung galit. Alam na nila yung dapat hindi gawin.”
For five years, Aga temporarily stopped working just to make sure he and Charlene were present in the crucial years of their twins.
Being parents also taught them selflessness, according to Aga. “Before, the world revolved around me. it was just me, whatever I wanted, what I like. Nawala iyon. It became all about our children.”
“It became about my family. So I can just go to work now and know in my heart that my kids are okay, my wife is happy, and I’m okay.”
Teaching Andres and Atasha to be independent
Asked if they will ever allow Andres and Atasha to join showbiz, Aga and Charlene said it’s really up to them. However, Aga pointed out that they need to finish school and that they need to be independent with their choices.
“Finish it to experience independency. Maintinidhan nila yung buhay na walang pera. Pag nasa ibang bansa kayo, wala kayong driver, wala kayong kasambahay, kayo gumagawa lahat,” he said. “Kasi kung dito sila lalaki, spoiled sila sa bahay. Doon, yung baon nila maramdaman nila, maubos iyon.”
“Pag naubos iyon, nakita nila yung halaga ng 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 10 dollars.”
Aside from the twins, Karen also asked about the couple’s relationship with Luigi, Aga’s son with Janice de Belen.
“We’re good. We were together Christmas and he’s very close to his dad,” Charlene said. “Luigi has his own family now and he has a wonderful wife, si Patty. And they have beautiful children.”
“Si Luigi, like Andres and Atasha, ganun din ako sa kanya, hindi ako nakikialam,” Aga shared. “Lumaki akong mag-isa. Ako nag-alaga sa sarili ko. So ang gusto ko sa mga anak ko, alagaan ang sarili ninyo.”