Ricky Lee in the Eyes of His Son Kirby
National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Ricky Lee has had a decorative career as a scriptwriter and author. We get to know the father in him through his son Kirby.
Who doesn’t know Ricardo “Ricky” Lee in the entertainment industry? He has written over 100 screenplays in Philippine cinema including Himala, starring Nora Aunor, Manila by Night, Moral, Madrasta, and Culion.
Aside from screenplays, Ricky Lee, who was recently bestowed as a National Artist, is an author of several books on scriptwriting, which have become a guide for would-be scriptwriters in the movie industry. He has taught several workshops for free as well.
But beyond his career as a writer, Lee is a father and grandfather. Modern Parenting recently got to talk to his son Kirby Lapus about who Ricky Lee is beyond his works.
Kirby Lapus on watching his dad work
Kirby admits that when he was growing up, there was some pressure when people discovered he was Ricky Lee’s son.
“Sometimes people would ask me, why are you not in the same industry as your dad,” he said. “My dad and I were totally different. We were part of different worlds, in a way. Because I work in a different setting. I worked most of my career in sales, whereas my dad, of course, is in showbiz.”
“When I was younger, I think a lot of directors tried to pursue or at least ask me if I wanted to start my acting career as well. I remember correctly—back then my dad was really not a fan of me trying out to be an actor because he knows the pressure. Once you’re in the showbiz industry, there will be no more private life.”
And while he did grow up surrounded by people from the entertainment industry thanks to his dad, Kirby mentioned there were fun moments, too.
“You get to meet a lot of celebrities along the way. Here in our house, aside from writing, he also holds free workshops. So there’s a lot of [people] every Sunday because of the free scriptwriting workshops.”
Ricky Lee as a parent and grandfather
Kirby clarifies that while his dad prefers to be private, he is also an open book as revealed in the interviews, books, and screenplays he made when it comes to personal experiences.
“There’s not much of a difference when it comes to the stories when he shares it with other people and every time he shares it with me. I think it’s because he’s a writer. He considers himself an open book as well. So whatever he shares with the public is the same as whatever he’s sharing with me, too.”
When it comes to being a dad, Kirby tells us that there are so many stories about Lee. But away from showbiz, Lee is simply a loving parent and grandfather to his grandchildren.
“My dad is really a loving person talaga—especially to kids. If only I could invite people to come in and see my dad play with my kids. He’s a different person every time he plays with his grandchildren.”
When it comes to fights and arguments, his dad has taught him to be calm.
“My dad would always be the one to calm me down. He’d say that’s not the proper way to handle stuff. There’s always a peaceful way to handle things or try to talk to the person muna. My dad is really a loving person. And he is a person whom you can talk to every time you have a problem.”
Ricky Lee on helping others
Even with all the recognition and awards that his dad has gotten, Kirby shares that his father likes to keep a low profile. He is also always willing to lend a hand—based on all the free workshops he has done for many aspiring scriptwriters.
“My dad loves writing. He loves sharing his stories. Pero remove all that, I think he would still be doing the same,” Kirby states. “One good example or at least one living proof of that is the scriptwriting workshops. Believe it or not, for 30 years, the great writing workshops he has done are all for free.”
“My dad is one of the kindest, loving people I know. Because he would always help a stranger out. Hangga’t kaya niya tumulong sa tao, he’ll help that person.”