Jhong, British ex-wife had 'too many differences'
MANILA -- Unknown to many, "It's Showtime" co-host Jhong Hilario was married to a British woman he met while doing "Miss Saigon" in London's West End in 2001. As differences piled up over the seven-year relationship, they eventually parted ways.
Hilario and Michelle Westgate had already been a couple for two years when they got married in October 2005. The TV actor first confirmed their separation in June 2011.
Recalling his failed relationship, the 37-year-old dancer said they couldn't agree on where to build their life together.
Admittedly, he initially considered starting a new career in the United Kingdom, following his stint as an ensemble cast member in "Miss Saigon." At the time, he was still part of the popular dance group Streetboys in the Philippines.
"Pagbalik ko dito from 'Miss Saigon,' parang wala na akong trabaho. Kasi 'di ba pag hindi ka visible masyado sa TV, nakakalimutan ka minsan ng tao?
"Binalak ko na mag-ibang bansa nalang. Kasi sabi ko, 'Walang trabaho, anong papakain ko dito? Foreigner pa naman 'to,'" he said.
He ultimately settled on living in Manila, a matter of conflict with Westgate which he recalled to have triggered their split.
"Nagkahiwalay din kami... matagal din [kami], for seven years. Ayaw niya kasi rito, ayaw ko rin naman do'n," he said.
Asked what he considers to be a "lesson" from his relationship with Westgate, Hilario said, "Para maging matatag 'yung pagsasama, kailangan ano eh... kailangan pareho kayo ng iniisip, kung ano 'yung mabuti sa inyo."
This, he added, is what he is bringing to his current relationship.
Refusing to identify his "source of inspiration," Hilario said, "Okay naman kami, masaya naman kami, and going strong. Hopefully, sana, ito na."