‘We loved each other so much’: Derek Ramsay recalls 6-year relationship with Angelica Panganiban

Derek and Angelica (middle) pose with other celebrity couples during the 2009 Star Magic Ball. FILE/ABS-CBN.com

MANILA — Nearly a decade after their bitter breakup, Derek Ramsay can now recall with fondness — and deeper understanding — his 6-year relationship with Angelica Panganiban.

Ramsay, 44, and Panganiban, 34, started dating in 2006 and shared a home for most of their time as a couple, until they broke up in 2012.

Save for Panganiban’s tell-all in April 2013 (details below), she and Ramsay have rarely, if at all, discussed their romance in interviews since their separation.

Now, Ramsay can speak candidly about his time with Panganiban, in an interview with MEGA about his relationships, including his newest one.

“We were introduced and we’re from totally different worlds,” Ramsay said of Panganiban. “And I guess that was what drew me to her. I was like, ‘Wow, this is something new! And this is something I’ve never experienced!’ And we had a lot of great memories. We traveled the world together.”

When they met, Ramsay had just started his acting career in 2005. Prior, he was known as a TV host and MTV VJ. Panganiban, meanwhile, had long been a household name, owing to her successful transition from child star to dramatic actress and comedienne.

In the second year of their relationship, Ramsay and Panganiban agreed to live together.

“Did we ever really, really get serious about talking about marriage? We brought it up,” Ramsay said. “But we never reached that point. But yes, we loved each other.”

In early 2012, the first rumors of their separation surfaced. What Ramsay had initially termed as a “cool-off” was then confirmed to be an actual breakup by May that year.

“With Angelica, I guess we loved each other so much that when the breakup happened, and you’re hurt or you’re angry… You should be able to control that anger,” Ramsay said.

“Because a lot of things that maybe you don’t mean were said, that can really hurt your partner. And the stuff that was said about me really, really hurt me. But again, I guess what I learned is you just have to be understanding that you’re two different people. And you handle things differently.”

Angelica and Derek attend the 2011 Star Magic Ball, just a few months before their breakup. FILE/ABS-CBN News

Panganiban, in a StarStudio interview a year after the breakup, narrated that Ramsay ended their relationship over the phone in February 2012, after numerous unresolved conflicts.

The three major conflicts in their relationship, according to Panganiban at the time, were Ramsay’s supposed tendency to be a controlling partner, his alleged lack of support for the actress’ mission to find her biological father, and his prior marriage to Mary Christine Jolly in 2002.

(Panganiban met her American father in 2010. Ramsay’s marriage with Jolly was first reported in 2011. Jolly would surface in 2014, well after Ramsay’s separation from Panganiban, to seek financial support for her child with the actor.)

Referring to Panganiban going public with details of their breakup, Ramsay said: “You know, minahal mo siya so intindihin mo na lang. So understanding is what I really learned from that relationship.”

“Angelica taught me so much,” he added. “She’s a very strong woman. She went through a lot in her life. Being in showbiz at such a young age, being the breadwinner. I admired that about her, bata pa lang she supported na her family. So that was something that really attracted me to her.”

Following his split with Panganiban, Ramsay was in a relationship with actress Cristine Reyes for a month, model Joanne Villablanca for six years, and actress Andrea Torres for a year.

In February, three months after his breakup with Torres, Ramsay confirmed being in a relationship anew — with actress Ellen Adarna.

Panganiban, meanwhile, was with actor John Lloyd Cruz for nearly four years until 2016. At the start of 2021, she introduced her new flame, businessman Gregg Homan.

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