The actress published a heart-to-heart talk with Dennis on her YouTube channel on May 1, Saturday, entitled, "Questions I've Never Asked My Dad."
In the upload, Julia shone the spotlight on her father's career, plans, fatherhood, as well as his biggest life lessons. Dennis opened up about the possibility of retiring from showbiz in a year's time, especially after his experience battling COVID-19. In a radio interview, Dennis shared that he stayed in a hospital for 12 days and prayed to be given another chance to still be with his children again. He believes the constant prayers of his kids helped him stay strong and survive.
When asked about fatherhood, Dennis couldn't help but reminisce about some of his fondest memories of Julia, Claudia, and Leon, his kids with his ex-wife Marjorie Barretto. Their marriage was declared null and void in 2009. He also has two kids with his partner Linda Gorton, namely Gavin and Maddie.
Dennis couldn't help but get teary-eyed when he recalled his life flashing before his eyes when he still had COVID. He admitted that it was because of his temper and his attitude that his marriage to Marjorie took a rocky turn.
"I thought I was going to die. Nag-flashback lahat sa akin yung buhay ko mula noong elementary ako. And I saw my mistakes. I saw it. It was like a dream. Isa-isang pumapasok, ang dami! Actually, I'm the one to be blamed. Walang kasalanan ang nanay mo. Kasalanan ko 'yon."
Julia then asked Dennis about his favorite memory of the two of them. Dennis said it was when he would take little Julia out for a spin in his car and how she wouldn't want to go home until he buys her junk food and soft drinks.
Julia shared her fave childhood memory with her dad, too.
"Every time I'm asked, ‘What’s your favorite memory with your dad?,' I always make kuwento before nung Prep—Prep pa lang yata kami noon or Grade 1, something like that—it was a habit, it was like you would always take me and Claui to school every single morning, but before going to school, you would get us Pan De Manila with Chocolait and before going to school, parati tayong titingin ng love birds kasi obsessed ka sa love birds." Aww.
The father and daughter also talked about their lessons from their past misunderstandings, like the time Julia was petitioning to drop Dennis' surname Baldivia and use "Barretto" instead.
"Remember that issue na tinatanggal niyo yung family name ko? 'Di ba, you went to court, you want to take off my family name? That was a dagger. Hindi lang dahil sa pangalan 'yon, a. It's not the pangalan itself. That's my blood. Kaya masakit 'yon. Kasi parang, 'Ano pa ba gusto niyo? Barretto na nga dala mo sa screen, e, you are already well-known sa Barretto, bakit tatanggalin mo pa yung apelyido ko? Masakit sa akin 'yon."
Julia said it was at the time when they felt it was to "correct Dennis's mistake" and that his decision to have his marriage to Marjorie annulled ultimately made Julia, Claudia, and Leon his illegitimate children.
"You have to understand, there was so much pain. There was so much fear. I mean, all is well and forgiven now, and I’m so glad that you have a good relationship with me, with Claui, with Leon, and with your kids now. So proud of you. I am so proud of you because I saw the change after your journey with COVID and I appreciate all our conversations now. Like everybody’s so much more humble, forgiving, understanding. I’m really proud of you. I want you to know that, that I’m proud of you. Because I saw the change of heart."
The talk eventually took a lighter note when Dennis shared just how proud he is of Julia as an actress and for her beauty. He even joked about how her mix of genes is half-imported and half-local, half-sosyal and half-jologs. LOL.
What else is missing Dennis's life? Dennis told Julia he is "praying for restoration."
"I know siguro kaya ako binigyan ng chance mabuhay, para makabawi sa kanya, makabawi sa inyong lahat, sa mga anak ko, and gusto ko ng total peace, total peace. Humingi na ako ng tawad sa lahat ng mga pagkukulang ko."
Watch Julia's Q&A with Dennis here: