The love story of Troy Montero and Aubrey Miles is very low-key compared to other celebrity couplings that one might be surprised to know that they've been together for the last 14 years, a feat by showbiz standards.
The couple has remained unmarried, but they're not any less committed than most married people. In fact, they are in it for the long haul as they raise two children, 9-year-old Hunter and 16-year-old Maurie from Aubrey's previous relationship.
Though the beginnings were quite complicated (Aubrey had to initially keep Maurie away from the public eye to protect her sexy image), things have now fallen into place, especially the bond between Troy and Maurie.
“Now that I look back on it, I guess I never really considered myself as his stepdad just because, you know, we started when he was so young. So I never had to explain myself,” Troy told Pep.ph.
He reveals that Maurie was barely 2 years old when he and Aubrey started dating. "I never had to come in and say, ‘Hello, by the way, I’m dating your mom.' So, I guess, for me, it was very easy."
Now that he is a teen, Maurie recognizes how precious his relationship with Troy is and considers him his "real dad."
“We are really close," the teenager said when he and his mom guested on ABS-CBN's Magandang Buhay. "He knows how to take care of me, [he's] always there for me, supportive.... he treats me really well, which I really appreciate.”
Troy's younger brother KC used to be in the same boat when he married singer Geneva Cruz, a single mom, in 2004.
Growing up, Geneva's son with musician Paco Arespacochaga, Heaven looked up to KC as a father figure. Even when the couple separated after six years of marriage, KC said of Heaven in a 2010 interview, "As long as he will accept me as his dad, I will be there."
On the same occasion, KC also said, "Heaven is the most important person in my life, so it hurts that he is not now in my house. I miss Heaven a lot. We were like best friends, and we play games together, we talk.
"Before, I would come home and nandoon si Heaven, and he would make gulo. I just miss the small stuff he does and he helped me sometimes, and the bonding we had."
Now engaged to Fil-Kiwi model and beauty queen Stephanie Dods, KC still maintains communication lines open with Heaven. He told Pep.ph, "I saw him in Los Angeles when I was there just this last break. We had dinner, hung out a little bit."
KC adds, “We all have our own lives now. But you know, If ever he needs me, he just messages me, and I give him advice on what bitcoins to buy, and he shows me pictures of him doing jiu-jitsu, and I tell him some moves to do when he’s wrestling people, like you know, sports advice, etc.”
In 2015, his close relations with Heaven became more apparent when he posted a birthday greeting, saying, "Through all the drama, you've managed to become a well-rounded, grounded, smart, and loving person (candy bar incident not included).
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"You've come a long way and I couldn't be more proud of you."