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  • Chuckie and Yen DreyfusA guy gets a girl pregnant after dating on and off for two years, she calls him five months later to inform him of her pregnancy. She gives birth. They work it out and later decide to marry. They have another baby. They live happily ever after.

    No, this isn’t the plot to the next biggest serye on television; it’s the real-life love story of actor Chuckie Dreyfus and his wife Aileen, or Yen.

    Fifteen years after Chuckie became a dad, we’re at the living room of the Dreyfuses’ modest townhouse for an interview and photo shoot. Chuckie, who looks fantastic after dropping almost 50 lbs to his current weight of 138 lbs after appearing on GMA-7’s reality show Survivor, indulges us with a retelling of their story and imparts to us tidbits of parenting wisdom.

    “Sometimes the best things happen when you have kids, and sometimes mas natutuwid ang buhay mo pag may iniisip ka nang ibang tao,” he begins. “I was a happy-go-lucky guy until that happened. It was a blessing kasi naituwid priorities ko.” Chuckie was happily enjoying singlehood when Yen dropped the bomb on him, not to demand for anything, but to accord him the courtesy of knowing he has fathered her child. 


    “After ng binyag, we decided to give the relationship a try again – partly because of our child, but also because we thought we might eventually realize that it could work. And it did. Think of it as a 4-year engagement.” They got married 3 days after Yen graduated from college.

    The little boy grows up

    Still possessing those boyish features after all these years, it’s hard to believe that Chuckie already has a 14-year old son and a 10-year old daughter. But when he begins to speak, you’d realize how much this former child actor has grown.

    “My kids, they play outside. Hindi sila masyado nakatutok sa iPad or PSP. They appreciate patintero or tumbang preso or taguan.” Quite impressive, especially in this day and age when child’s play involves more gadgets than toys. “While they’re kids, I’d like them to experience this kind of stuff”. A solo child, Chuckie tries to apply the same principles he was brought up in in raising his own kids. “During my time there was no 24-hour cartoon channel, it was just on weekends, and there were only a few - Saturday Fun Machine, Sesame Street, Voltes V. Everything else in between, siesta ako or I play outside.”   

    “Maganda yung nababanat mga buto nila, get some sunlight. Yang mga iPad, PSP, video games, nandyan lang yan. When they’re grown up they will have all the time in the world to enjoy video games, but you can’t play outside anymore when you’re older. That’s why we tell them to do it while they can, kasi when you’re grown and you weren’t able to do that, pagsisisihan mo.”

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    “Nung una si Yen ayaw nyang palaruin yung mga bata kasi baka madapa, masaktan. They were too pampered. I told her, let them run outside, let them play. Hayaan mo sila. If they don’t get hurt now, they won’t know how to cope later in life. They’ll look like sissies. Let them get hurt, let them fall down. Eventually she learned to let go.”


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