The pressure and pleasure of being Luigi Muhlach
MANILA, Philippines – Having high profile showbiz personalities as your parents may seem like a gilded opportunity to others, but not the kids themselves. Most scions of celebrities see their parents simply as mom and dad, but never as tickets to stardom and a glitzy, promising future.
Case in point is Luigi Muhlach, son of ‘90s matinee idol and favorite leading man Aga Muhlach and actress-host Janice de Belen. Luigi said he never dreamed of entering showbiz.
“Ayokong mag-artista talaga. Alam ko na yung ganoong buhay, your privacy and all. Ang hirap talaga eh,” he said in an interview with Rappler.
(I really don't want to be an actor. I know that kind of life, the privacy and all. It's very hard.)
The public however, had other ideas, and would often compare him to his dad, to the point of belittling him for not having the same set of life choices. Luckily for him, he never felt that he was blatantly bullied by peers while growing up, given that people knew who his parents were.
Did he feel the pressure?
“Oh yeah. Sobrang pressure. Hanggang ngayon naman meron eh (There's so much pressure. Up to now, there's still a lot of pressure),” Luigi admitted during the interview.
While he does feel residual pressure from the public even now that he’s an adult, it isn’t the reason why he’s enrolled in a fitness program and is trying to lose weight. His quest for self-improvement is something he’s doing for health and fitness reasons; something he’s doing for himself and his family, but not to please other people.
Luigi is happy where he is, and what he has become. Being a real man for him has nothing to do with one’s size or appearance; but rather, one’s determination and ability to make his family feel secure even as he works hard to reach his own dreams and to provide for their needs.
He explains, “Secure not in terms of money or whatever, but secure sila that I’m there for them. Di sila nagdadalawang-isip sa akin, na they have me and never silang mapapabayaan.”
(Secure not in terms of money or whatever, but they're secure that I'm there for them. They are not having second thoughts about me, that they have me and that they will never feel abandoned.)
“Kaya ka nga head of the family, di ba? (That's why it's called the head of the family right?) You’re gonna take the lead. For me, that’s being a real man.”
Of all the blessings he has received in life, Luigi is most grateful for his family. He is passionate about his wife and 3 kids.
His eyes soften a bit. “Sila yung nagbigay ng courage para mag-survive ako and maabot ko ito. Sa sobrang dami kong pinagdaanan (They're the ones give me courage for me to survive and reach for this. With all the things I've been through), I’m okay now, because of my family. And I’m really thankful for that.”
He finally opens up, saying, “Buong buhay ko, ang dami ko talagang pinagdaanan. Yung family ko, yung teenage life ko, yung work ko and everything. Yung pressure sa akin dahil yung mga magulang ko, artista and all that. So dun pa lang, yung pressure, ang bigat talaga sa akin.”
(All my life, I went through a lot. My family, my teenage life, my work, everything. The pressure for me because of my parents because they're actorsl. So that alone, the pressure, it was already heavy.)
Luigi recalls a time when he was just starting out as a chef, and would assume basic tasks such as peeling fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. People would criticize him for engaging in manual labor and even for taking public transport – specifically a tricycle – just because his parents were famous.
He has however, gained from his unpleasant experiences, and applied a mindset that he learned from his father.
“Ginawa ko lang talaga yung kailangan kong gawin. Tinaboy ko yung mga sinasabi nila. Magtiwala lang sa Diyos. Do what you have to do, God will provide, magtiwala lang talaga,” he shared.
(I did everything I needed to do. I just brushed off what they were saying. I trust God. Do what you have to do, God will provide, I just had to have faith.)
Luigi has found his place, and is perfectly pleased where he is. “Right now I’m really happy with my life. Happy with my family. Tahimik kami (We live a quiet life). And then I get to do what I love doing, which is cooking,” he said.
The chef-turned-restaurateur is gearing up for the opening of what will be his biggest venture, a bar-resto in Makati that will serve spruced up classic Filipino classics and comfort food.
Aside from his restaurant, Luigi is also a brand ambassador for SM Men Plus Size along with culinary blogger and influencer Alexis Deocaris and basketball player Greg Slaughter, proving that being plus-sized is no barrier to being successful, influential and fashionable. – Rappler.com