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Janice De Belen On Past Meeting With The Other Woman In Her Marriage: 'Nanginginig Siya'
PHOTO BY Instagram/super_janice
  • For Janice de Belen, children should be told the truth about the state of the parents' marriage.

    The actress explains, "People always say pag naghihiwalay, ‘Hindi kasama ang mga bata, huwag n’yo nang sabihin ang mga bata, hindi importanteng malaman nila.' It’s not true.

    "This is their life, too. So, yes, they have to be part of it. They have to know why, so that maaga pa lang naiintindihan na nila that it is not right."

    Janice drew from her own experience while discussing with her sister Gelli de Belen and their friends Carmina Villarroel and Candy Pangilinan. The discussion is for "Episode 6: The Third Party" of their podcast, Wala Pa Kaming Title. Its video format is uploaded on the Super Janice de Belen YouTube Channel.

    Janice (rightmost) talked about her past marital problems, as (L-R) Carmina Villarroel, Gelli de Belen, and Candy Pangilinan listened intently. They're on Episode 6 of their podcast, Wala Pa Kaming Title.
    PHOTO BY YouTube/Super Janice de Belen

    Breakup of marriage

    Janice recalls her and her now ex-husband John Estrada's children were very young when their marriage hit the rocks. Their eldest Inah was 10 years old; then Moira, 8, while Kaila and Yuan were about 6 and 3. Meanwhile, Janice's first child Luigi Muhlach (his father is Aga Muhlach) was around 15.

    Janice says she left their marriage when the cycle of wrongdoing (on John's part) and forgiving (on her part) was becoming unhealthy for them all.

    "Because that’s not right," she points out. "I don’t want my children thinking that it is right and acceptable...’Yung mga alam ko [na sorry] mga dalawa o tatlo. ’Yung mga hindi ko alam, hindi ko talaga alam hanggang ngayon.

    "But I think the last part, ’yung pinakahuli, because it was parang, ano, alam na ng lahat. Siyempre artista ka, they do it in public. It’s the loss of respect na talaga.

    "’Yung una siguro mapapatawad mo pa kasi…feeling mo may discretion pa. Nahuli mo lang. Nitong huli, lack of respect. Ginawa mo sa publiko, natural gusto mong ipubliko."

    In 2002, Janice and John officially separated because, according to reports, the actor-TV host had an affair with his Magandang Tanghali, Bayan cohost Vanessa del Bianco.

    (John and Vanessa, then a talent of ABS-CBN's artist management agency, Star Magic, eventually went public with their relationship. But after a few years, they broke up. Vanessa returned to her home base in Canada. John is now married to Brazilian beauty queen Priscilla Meirelles, and they have a 10-year-old daughter.)

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    Janice looks back on the events leading to her separation from John and to the eventual annulment of their almost 10-year marriage in 2004: "Ang daling magpatawad, eh. Pero working things out, it’s a two-way street.

    "Kahit sabihin mong, ‘I’m sorry, hindi na mauulit uli.’ Kung ako ang magpapatawad at ako lang ang magchu-choose na kalimutan ang nangyari and put it all behind. Pero, eto ka ulit the next day…"

    Janice says the separation took a toll on her financially and the burden of explaining to their children. She explains, "Kasi ikaw lang ang nage-explain nang tama. It’s understandable that explaining to them is going to be hard. How do you explain to a 5-year-old that you changed their parent, ayaw mo na sa other parent?"

    She adds, "Kinausap ko naman sila...Sinabi ko na eventually, there’ll be a new person in my life, and you may not like. That is fine, but you need to respect. Maybe your dad may have somebody else, you need not like but respect is needed."

    As for her well-being, Janice says, "I think the actual change, the actual transition cured all the insecurity. Kasi mababa na ang self-esteem mo. When you decide, and you are in charge, parang all of the sudden, ‘I’m in charge of my life, I did it for myself,’ mawawala ang insecurity.

    "And then when you survive the first month, the first two months, the first year...Di naman ako umalis, bahay ko ’yun. The emancipation is really hard."


    Read also According to the Law: Legal Separation

    Face-to-face with the other woman

    Janice recounts the time she came face-to-face with the third party in her and John's marriage: "Because she’s involved in a big management company, the head of the management company called me and asked me kung puwede kaming mag-usap. Kasi magso-sorry daw sa akin."

    She remembers telling the the head of the management company: "Eh kayo pala ang may gusto. Pero ang gusto ko, dapat and’yan kayo sa kuwarto para pag sinabing sinampal ko s’ya, sinampal ko talaga s’ya. Ayoko ng gawa-gawa."

    Nope, she didn't slap the other woman "because I’m bigger than that," Janice reasons. They just talked. The other woman supposedly told Janice: "I’m sorry, I did not know."

    Janice now tells the rest of the story: "Sabi ko, ‘You did not know what? You did not know he’s married? You did not know artista ang asawa n’ya? Or you did not know anything?’" There was dead silence, she now remembers.

    "Sabi ko, wala ka bang nanay, lola, kapatid, best friend? Ang lalaki sasabihin sa ’yo kahit ano just to get in your pants. Siyempre nag-monologue na ’ko."

    This is how Janice's monologue went: "Pasalamat ka, ako ang asawa. Dahil kung hindi:

    "'1. Patay ka na.' Diretso, di ba? Hindi siya tiga-rito. Working visa lang s’ya.

    "'2. Deported ka na.' Inuna ko na ang pinakamasaklap, eh.

    “Or '3, wala ka ng trabaho.' Puwede mo s’yang hiyain to the point na ma-pressure na tanggalin s’ya sa trabaho.


    "But none of three I chose to not do. So masuwerte ka pa.’"

    Janice goes on with the story: "Tinapos ko na ang usapan. Sabi ni’ya, ‘It’s not going to happen.’ [Sabi ko], ‘Ang alin? Magbi-break na kayo? Tapos na kayo?’ Siyempre silence again.

    "I stood up. Because there’s no point…Make it short. So pagtayo ko, ando’n s’ya sa may pintuan, palabas. Nararamdaman ko, nanginginig s’ya. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Relax! Kung gusto kitang saktan, kanina pa kita sinipa.’ ’Tapos she left."

    Janice says in reflection during the podcast: "We can talk a million things. You can say, ‘Naku, pag nakita ko ’yan, tatakdyakan ko ’yan, sasampalin ko ’yan. But when you’re there in the situation, you will not know exactly what to do. You will not know."

    Ang mga anak ni Janice! They are all grown up (L-R): Kaila, Inah, Yuan, and Moira.
    PHOTO BY Instagram/super_janice

    Read here on what it's like to be a mistress.

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