It was in 2018 when Julia Montes decided to take a break from showbiz to spend time with her father Martin Schnittka in Germany.
In a rare interview, the actress revealed that she wanted to leave for Germany even before she did Asintado, her last project before she stayed away from the limelight for more than a year.
Julia, 26, opened up about her showbiz hiatus in an interview with Mega's G3 San Diego, released on Thursday, July 1.
“Before Asintado, gusto ko na (umalis). Sinasabi ko na, parang gusto kong puntahan si Papa. Parang gusto ko i-try lang ‘yung magpahinga lang du’n (sa Germany)," she said.
“Ta’s ang joke ko, gusto kong magpakaanak lang. ‘Yung ‘di ako magwo-work, ta’s anak lang ako muna. And then ‘yun nga, after Asintado, sabi ko, parang gusto kong i-fill ‘yung missing years with Papa. Kasi ang tagal, eh. Hindi ko ine-expect na magkikita kami,” she added.
She went on to recall how she met her father through a fan of hers and rumored boyfriend Coco Martin when she was just 21 years old.
"Nag-start ‘yun… Basta nagpo-post ‘yung mga fans, ganyan ganyan, na parang, ‘O, sana ma-meet mo ‘yung father mo.’ Normal, typical ano. Sabi ko, 'Ah, oo nga po, eh.' And then one day, papunta ako sa Quiapo Church—as in biyahe Quiapo Church–may isa kaming super supporter, si Ate Tinay ng CocoJul, nag-message sa akin. Sabi niya, ‘Jules, I think nakita namin ‘yung cousin mo,'" she began.
"Sabi ko, ‘Cousin?’ Akala ko cousin sa mother side. Sabi ko, ‘Cousin ko po? Saan?’ Akala ko may issue or big problem. Sabi niya, ‘Cousin mo sa father side.’ So parang ano pa ako, pero hindi pa ako naniwala at first. Parang feeling ko kasi, okay, eh wala akong kakilala so I can’t say na, ‘Ah, siya nga ‘yan, siya nga ‘yan,'" she continued.
Julia went on: "So, sabi ko, ‘Ah, talaga po? Okay po.’ Gan’on lang. And then bago ako bumaba ng Church, bigla na akong kinakabahan. ‘Yung parang, ’Ano ‘to?’ Ta’s parang, ‘Lord, medyo ano, ha, may something.’ Sabi ko, ‘Bahala na po kayo.’ So, iniwan ko ‘yung phone ko. Simba kami.
"Then pagbalik ko ng sasakyan, pagkita ko, sinabi na parang, ‘Ito ba ‘yung Papa mo?’ May photo! And then, ‘yung photo ng cousin ko daw ‘yung girl. Sabi ko, ‘Hindi ko alam kung Papa ko nga ‘yun,’ pero may feeling ka na na ‘yung sinasabi na ‘nilulukso ng dugo’. May kaba na ako, may… Kung ano-ano na ‘yung nararamdaman ko! Parang ang dami ko nang naiisip. And then after nu’n, sinend ko kay Mama. Sabi ko, ‘Mama, ito ba si Papa?” Sabi niya, ’S’an mo nakuha ‘yan?’ Sabi ko, ‘Oh, my gosh, confirmed!’ Kasi lumaki ako na hindi sa ‘kin sinabi ‘yung real story, eh."
After her showbiz hiatus, Julia made her comeback via the weekly action-drama series 24/7 in February 2020.
The show, however, was among the ABS-CBN programs that halted production due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its return was further held off with the government shutdown of ABS-CBN's broadcast operations in May last year, on account of its lapsed franchise.
Prior to the lockdown due to COVID-19, it was announced that Julia will star in a new primetime series, Burado, together with Nadine Lustre, Zanjoe Marudo, and Paulo Avelino. However, the project was also cancelled in August 2020 due to prevailing COVID-19 restrictions.
The “pre-pandemic concept” of the series, producer Dreamscape said, involves filming action-packed scenes in international locations—including Thailand, Cambodia, and India—which is “difficult to mount at this time.”
In the same interview with G3, Julia also opened up about her love life, admitting that she is in love right now.
“Actually, hindi ko kasi siya sasabihing secret. We just chose this path kasi we both believe na, ‘Ang atin, atin. Pumasok tayo sa trabahong ‘to na magulo. ‘Wag na nating paguluhin pati ‘yung atin,'" the actress said.
"There’s nobody…It’s just a personal choice. Personal choice namin ‘yun. And for us kasi talaga, naniniwala kami ‘pag ano kasing nandiyan, sisirain. ‘Pag hindi kayo, ‘pag magka-love team kayo, gustong maging kayo. ‘Pag kayo, pagsisirain kayo. So, might as well, ‘O, anong alam niyo?’ Okay, kung anong alam niyo, okay po. ‘Yun na lang,” she added.