The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Though Leila Alcasid, 20, had grown up with her mother Michelle van Eimeren-Morrow and sister Sarah, the similarities between her and her father Ogie Alcasid are just getting more apparent.
Both father and daughter love music—both listening to it, making it, and singing it—and both also have great work ethic. “I’m very self- critical, but I feel I’ve done a good job as a father whenever people comment on how well-behaved my kids are,” Ogie reflects. As his eldest is now part of Star Music’s roster of talents, with a debut single (“Completely in Love”) available on Spotify, he enjoys hearing of her professionalism. “Everyone in the production staff loves her: ‘Leila is so respectful, so approachable.’ It makes me happy to hear that.” It’s the same with his two other children, Sarah, 15, and Nate, 6. “They’re all kind kids.”
Leila, on her part, credits her work ethic to her dad’s own professionalism. “I’ve been exposed to the industry for the past year and a half, and it amazes me how he treats people. For someone who has done so much and is respected by so many, he doesn’t let it get to his head; he still treats everyone equally, which resonates with me.”
Making the effort
Though the two are now very close, it wasn’t always that way due to geographical distance. But when Leila moved to live with her dad, she saw how he put in the work for the two of them to really get to know each other. “He made an active effort to do that,” she says. “We get along very well. We make sure to spend time together and we also know when to give each other space.”
“With Leila, I’m learning how to listen more,” Ogie says. “That involves trusting her a lot, but as a parent, I know she needs to learn how to get through difficult things. A lot of parents tend to babysit their children through everything, and I can’t blame them, given how hard the times are, but I know I must trust her to be able to learn on her own.”
Part of that is Leila’s growth as an artist. Now working on becoming a songwriter—again, in the footsteps of her father—she tries to emulate the emotional honesty that
Ogie applies to his songs. “Before, I’d rely on him to write songs with me, but I’ve become more confident in my skills. He encourages me to be an individual artist who knows how to do work on my own. He’s still involved whenever I’m writing songs, but in a really supportive way.”
With both father and daughter pretty busy nowadays with work, they relish every opportunity to spend time together. The recent Labor Day was pretty memorable to the whole family, as they all got to have dinner together for the first time in a long while. “I’ve never laughed as much as I did that evening,” Leila shares.
K-pop is also a bonding point for their blended family. “Leila likes BTS,” Ogie reveals. “Nate is obsessed with K-pop too,” Leila adds. “Like, next level obsessed.” And while Ogie’s taste for Korean music skewers more to older hits, they all appreciate the genre’s sounds and the sentiments, playing their favorite songs whenever they’re on a beach trip.
There’s a particular non-K-pop song, though, that has stuck with Leila and inevitably makes her think of her dad. “When I was 12, Sarah and I flew here for our dad’s 20th anniversary concert. He wanted to bring us onstage, but my sister was too shy, so I was the only one who went up. He sang [Steven Curtis Chapman’s] ‘I Will Be Here.’”
It’s quite the song that perfectly encapsulates Ogie’s aspirations as a dad. “As a father, you can buy them the best gifts, but in the end, your children will cherish the memories you make and the time spent with them.”