All eyes on Julia, Barretto family for grand debut

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All eyes on Julia, Barretto family for grand debut
Claudine is going to Julia's big party, but Gretchen won't be attending. This, and other details on Julia's grand debut.
TURNING 18. Julia Barretto is celebrating her birthday on March 10 with a grand debut. File photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines –  Everything is set for the grand debut of actress Julia Barretto at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on Tuesday, March 10.

It’s a big day for Julia, who, as a Barretto, is part of a famous family that’s also showbiz royalty in the Philippines, known for their complicated family dynamics as well as for their various TV and movie projects. 

All eyes will also be on whether Julia’s debut will help mend some of these relationships within her family. Let’s take a look at what’s been going on: 

1. Julia and the issue of her surname 

Julia has confirmed that her father Dennis Padilla will attend the debut. The two previously had a misunderstanding, when Dennis found out that she was planning to change her family name to Barretto. Julia’s full name is Julia Francesca Barretto Baldivia.

Last February, the two reconciled. In an interview aired on Aquino & Abunda Tonight on March 2, Dennis talked about how he and Julia were able to fix their relationship.

Sinasabi ko sa kanya na, ‘Julia, you are a legitimate child, that’s why I am fighting for my family name.’ Sabi ko, ‘Alam mo, anak, kung sinabi mo sa akin earlier na gusto mo ipatanggal ‘yung family name, kung anuman ‘yung reason mo, mas matatanggap ko. Sige, Julia, if you will be happy with it, sige, papayag ako,‘” he said.

(I told her ‘Julia you are a legitimate child, that’s why I am fighting for my family name.’ I told her, ‘If you had told me earlier that you wanted to remove the family name for any reason, I would have accepted it. Okay Julia, if you will be happy, I will allow it.)

When asked why he would have allowed Julia to change her family name, Dennis said: Siyempre pag mahal mo ‘yung anak mo, ang una mong iisipin… Pag ang sinabi niya sa akin, ‘Yeah, Pa, it will give me peace’ o ‘magiging maligaya ako,’ papayag ako.” (Of course if you love the person, your daughter, the first thing you will think…if she said, ‘Pa, it will give me peace’ or ‘I’ll be happy,’ I will allow it.)

According to a report from ABS-CBN, during the press conference for her debut last March 5, Julia said she decided to retain her father’s name.

“It’s the first time I will be speaking about it. I feel that right now there’s really no need to change my last name,” she said.

2. Claudine, Gretchen, and Marjorie

TALKING AGAIN? Are sisters Marjorie and Claudine Barretto speaking to each other again? Photo from Instagram/@marjbarretto/claubarretto

In an interview on The Buzz Sunday, March 9, Julia said that she’s still in communication with her aunt Claudine Barretto, despite the feud in their family. Claudine has been estranged from Julia’s mom Marjorie and aunt Gretchen for a few years now.

In the same interview, Julia confirmed that Claudine would be attending her big party. 

“The last time we talked, she [Claudine] called me yesterday or the other day. We talk. Never naman kami nag-away (We never fought),” she said.

“The public, they are making these stuff na ‘Julia making up with like this, like this or like this.’ The truth is I never really got involved in any of the drama. Wala akong nakaaway. (I have no enemies) That’s how they are putting it kasi out there,” she added.

On Instagram, many of Claudine and Marjorie’s followers were wondering if the two are no longer fighting, after Claudine posted  photos of her son Santino with Claudine’s nephew Leon, Marjorie’s son.

Both Santino and Leon go to the same school.

“My 2 blue eagles. Leon & Santi.i missed u soo much Leon!” Claudine wrote.

3. Gretchen and Marjorie?

But it’s not just the big fights that touch on the estrangement involving Claudine versus Gretchen and Marjorie. Recently, social media users also speculated on whether there was a misunderstanding between Marjorie and Gretchen, with people saying that Marjorie was not pleased that Gretchen is supporting Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil’s team-up on the teleserye Forevermore. Enrique was previously paired with Julia in the show Mirabella.

In an interview with ABS-CBN, Gretchen did not confirm or deny details behind the rift, but said she saw no reason not to admire another person.

“I’m from the business. Hindi lang ako isang taga-hanga, I’m also from the industry. At this stage, I’m turning 45, lahat ng tao I admire. Kapag gumawa ka ng magandang trabaho, dapat pinupuna, dapat itinataas. ‘Yun lang naman ang gusto natin,” Gretchen said.

(I’m from the business. I am not just a fan, I’m also from the industry. At this stage, I’m turning 45, I admire all sorts of people. If you do a great job, it has to be praised and noticed. That’s all I want.)

“Hindi naman [kailangan ikatampo ‘yun]. We just admire everybody. Lahat maganda, lahat magaling. Ganoon ang buhay,”she added.

(It should not be an issue. We just admire everybody. Everyone is great, everyone is good. That’s life.)

While Claudine will attend Julia’s debut, Gretchen left for London on Monday, March 9, to be with her daughter Dominique, who is studying abroad. 

According to another report from Pep, Gretchen said she would rather not talk about her missing Julia’s party. 

“Yes, but I don’t wanna talk about it. I demand respect.”

“Tonight is my night and it’s the birthday of Julia. It will be her night, so let’s give it to her,” Gretchen said at the recently concluded Star Awards, where she won the Movie Supporting Actress of the Year award for her role in The Trial.


According to a report from ABS-CBN, at the press conference for her debut party last March 5, Julia was asked about the possibility of her aunts reconciling. She said she was optimistic, but didn’t want to force anything. 

“I can’t force anything to happen. Parang hindi naman tama na magpilit ng tao. It’s my special day, I want everybody to be there. If that’s the reason kung bakit magkakaayos ang lahat, then good,” she said. 

(It’s not right to force people. It’s my special day, I want everybody to be there. If that’s the reason why some things will be ironed out, then good.)

A-list guests 

Her debut is set to be a grand affair fit for a princess, with A-list stars and Star Magic friends set to be part of her group of 18 candles and roses. At a lady’s debut, friends traditionally present the celebrant with candles and roses, accompanied with a message. 

Julia also confirmed that Piolo Pascual’s son Iñigo Pascual will be her escort, as they are good friends. Others mentioned as part of her 18 roses are Robi Domingo, Matteo Guidicelli, Rayver Cruz, Cholo Barretto, Enchong Dee, and Sam Concepcion.

Among those mentioned to be part of the 18 candles are her sisters Dani and Claudia Barretto, Janella Salvador, Liza Soberano, Erich Gonzales, and Maja Salvador.

According to a report from Pep, Julia chose the horse as a symbol for debut, while the colors would be white, gray and silver.

Modern day princess?

For her debut as a daughter of a prominent showbiz family, everyone’s gone all out for Julia. On her Instagram account, Julia posted a garment bag from Dubai-based designer Michael Cinco, who made her gown. 


Look what just arrived today! #JustJulia,” the caption read.

She has also posted photos taken by Pat Dy and Mark Nicdao for her birthday special entitled Just Julia, Beautiful @18 which will be aired on March 29.


“#JustJulia with @markednicdao


 “#JustJulia with @patdy11

Julia turned 18 on Tuesday, March 10, and will also graduate from high school this March. –


More of Julia Barretto’s debut on Rappler:






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