Raymart Santiago: ‘I didn’t want it to come to this’

'I married Claudine, thinking we would be together for the rest of our lives.'

DISTRESS. 'It was never my thing to talk about personal matters.' Photo from Raymart Santiago's Facebook

MANILA, Philippines – Despite his marital and legal woes, Raymart Santiago is eager to go to work.

The actor recently attented a story conference at GMA-7 for a new teleserye titled “Villa Quintana.”

“Villa Quintana” is a remake of the 1995 soap drama produced by Viva Television and starring Donna Cruz and Keempee de Leon.

In the remake, the roles of Donna and Keempee will be played by Janine Gutierrez (daughter of Lotlot de Leon and Ramon Christopher) and Elmo Magalona (son of Francis Magalona).

Raymart will take on the role of Robert Quintana, the father (originally played by Joel Torre) of Janine’s character.

“I’m very thankful to GMA-7 for giving me this new project,” said the 37-year-old actor. “Matagal-tagal din akong nagpahinga muna [I’ve taken a long break] because of some personal problems.

“Now that everything is out in the open, there’s no reason for me to hide anymore.

“I am more than ready to face anything that my estranged wife [Claudine Barretto] might have against me in court.”

Appearances, statements

For all his public appearances and statements (terse, to be sure) in relation to his legal battle with Claudine, Raymart said he is otherwise loath to talk about his personal affairs. But Claudine pushed him against the wall, he said.

“Kilala n’yo ako. [You know me.] Never ko naging ugali na pag-usapan ang mga personal na bagay sa buhay naming mag-asawa.” (It was never my thing to talk about personal matters, including my marriage.)

“I’ve kept quiet for such a long time because inaalala ko ang mga anak namin [I was concerned about my children with Claudine]. Tiniis ko ang lahat para lang maging tahimik kami [I just put up with everything so we could have some peace].

“Pero ‘yung siraan ako at ako pa ang pinalalabas na masama at nananakit at may diperensya, teka lang, hindi na ito tama.” (But to be maligned like this and made to appear as this vicious, violent lunatic – hold on, this isn’t right.)

“I need to defend myself this time. I want to set the record straight. I’ve kept my mouth shut for too long. Oras na para malaman na nila kung sino ang nagsasabi ng totoo at sino ang nagsisinungaling.” (It’s time everyone knew who’s telling the truth and who’s lying.)

“Inilabas ko lang yun sa aking affidavit para maipagtanggol ko ang sarili ko. [I came out with an affidavit to defend myself.] Ilang beses kong pinag-isipan at pinag-aralan pero pilit nila akong tinutulak, eh [I thought about this long and hard but they kept pushing me].

“Parang napilitan din kong ilabas ‘yung mga hawak ko. [I was forced to come out with what I had.] Hindi ko naman siguro ilalabas ‘yung mga ebidensya ko kung gawa-gawa ko lang ‘yun, di ba?” (I wouldn’t submit all that evidence if they were just fabricated.)


In the course of their marital/legal dispute, the estranged couple has accused each other of domestic violence, harassment, and, in Claudine’s case, as Raymart alleged, keeping a drug habit. 

“Hindi ko rin naman inisip na mangyayari ito [I never thought this would all happen],” the actor said.

“Pinakasalan ko si Claudine at iniisip ko na habambuhay kaming magsasama bilang mag-asawa, pero humantong sa ganito. ‘Yun ang nangyari.” (I married Claudine, thinking we would be together for the rest of our lives. But it came to this. That’s what happened.)

Raymart said nobody wins this fight.

“Hindi importante kung sino mali, sino tama. Pareho kaming talo dito dahil nabuwag ‘yung isang pamilya na minsan, kahit paano, tiningala.”

(It doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong. We both lose because of a broken family that used to be looked up to somehow.) 

“Malungkot, malungkot talaga. Sana lang, makasama ko pa ang mga anak ko.” (This is really sad. I just wish I could be with my children more.)

For now, Raymart said, “Ako ang tatayo bilang ama at ina nila. [I”m both father and mother to the children.] Ganu’n din naman si Claudine, siya rin ang tatayong ina at ama ng anak ko dahil magkahiwalay kami. [Same with Claudine, she’s also mother and father to our children because we’re separated].”

Raymart said he will soon file an annulment.

“Kaya kailangan natin magtrabaho. Financially, malaking gastusan ito.” (That’s why we need to work. This will be costly.)

“Ayokong umabot sana sa ganito but I feel na ito ang tama. Sakripisyo na lang muna tayo sa ibang bagay.”

(I didn’t want it come to this, but I feel this is right. We just have to sacrifice on some things.) – Rappler.com

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