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In the new Kapamilya primetime teleserye, The General’s Daughter, lead star Angel Locsin plays Rhian Bonifacio, an undercover assassin disguised as a military nurse tasked to eliminate a high-ranking general, who, unknown to her, is her real father.

In the case of Riva Quenery, a former member of It’s Showtime’s resident girl group, Girltrends, being a real-life general’s daughter is devoid of the teleserye drama but bursting with domestic bliss.   



Photo from Instagram (@riva)
Riva Quenery is a real-life general’s daughter.

Riva is the youngest and only girl among the three children of retired Chief Superintendent Robert Quenery of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7). The equivalent rank of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Chief Superintendent in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is Brigadier General—thus, he’s also called General Quenery.

Riva tells StarStudio.ph what it’s like to be a general’s daughter.

“Siguro po the way na i-treat kami ni Dad, hindi naman siya super nakaka-pressure,” she says. “Pero at the same time, may mga parts din nakakatakot siyempre when it comes to safety. Nakakapressure, pero si Dad nadadala naman niya.”

 


Photo from Instagram (@riva)
Riva wrote in the caption for this Instagram post: “Hi Daddy! Congratulations on your promotion!! I know that your road was tough but you never lost faith and courage that's why I'm so proud of you. I love you so much, fat boy!!!


The 18-year-old vlogger and host of World of Dance Philippines online adds: “Siyempre proud ako sa mga achievement na narating ni Dad kasi siyempre pinaghirapan niya naman ’yun bago siya napunta sa position niya ngayon. Siguro kasi masyadong pinaghirapan ni Dad ’yung name niya, and we don’t want to ruin it. Parang sa lahat ng bagay na ginagawa namin, iniisip muna namin kung makakasira ba sa Dad.”

General Robert, however, talks about how he, as a parent, instills discipline in his children.

“If you want your kids to wake up early, show them that you wake up early yourself,” he begins. “We should impart upon them the value of time and how important this is for them.”

He then goes on sharing his family life. “When I come home, I make sure that I leave behind in my camp the military and regimented way of living,” explains the graduate of Philippine Military Academy (PMA, Sandiwa Class of 1985).

“I come home as a father to my kids and cherish the few moments we have together. That ‘Lagi ka ngang wala, magagalit ka pa pag dumating ka’ phrase is always stuck in my mind before heading home.”


Photo from Instagram (@bobquenery)
General Quenery and his unica hija Riva having fun during a trip to Japan.


Riva appreciates her dad for being reasonably strict and knowing how to separate work from home. “Si Daddy, pag sa family, may pagka-jologs din siya. Pero at work, sobrang strict niya talaga para siyang nag-ta-transform. Dalawa talaga ’yung personalities niya. Pag dating naman sa pagiging strict, hindi naman siya super, super strict, pero strikto siya in a way na naiintindihan namin.”


Photo from Instagram (@bobquenery)
Bonding time with the Quenery siblings and their pets.


General Quenery agrees with his daughter. He points out that his family’s security and safety are of “paramount concern” for him.

“Strict in a manner that I keep on checking their whereabouts when they go out and who they are with,” he says of his strictness. “My job will describe why this is a major family concern. Although, this concern sometimes triggers misunderstanding in the family especially with Riva. We can more than always settle the issues.” 

When their dad turns silent, Riva says she and her two older brothers know what it means: “Siguro pag may nagawa ka lang na sobrang mali. Pag nagalit—kasi hindi siya laging nagagalit—tahimik lang siya.”

As for handing out punishment, she remarks that her dad imposes a few usual ones, like “grounded ka for ilang days” and telling them “You can’t do this,” “You can’t go out.” She points out, “Wala naman serious punishment. Once na nagalit siya, at nasigawan ka niya’t lahat, ’yun na ’yung punishment talaga. Kasi hindi kami sanay na nagagalit siya.”


Photo from Star Magic

Riva on the 18th birthday celebration

For Riva, having General Quenery as a father poses a challenge in having male friends. “Almost all of my guy friends, takot talaga sila sa Daddy ko,” she admits. “’Tapos si Daddy, pagdating sa ligaw-ligaw, super strict niya no’ng bata pa ako, no’ng mga 16, 17. Kahit nga noong 18 na ako, strict pa rin siya.”

She recalls an incident involving a former suitor. “May time kasi na nangyari na sabi niya open na daw siya sa ligaw,” she says. “’Tapos no’ng may nanligaw sa akin, hindi niya hinaharap. So parang hindi pa rin niya na-a-accept pero hindi naman siya, like ’yung sa movies na sobrang strict na Daddy na talagang papahirapan niya. Hindi naman umaabot sa gano’n. Hindi lang ine-entertain.”

For General Quenery, such matters mean a lot to him. “It’s just like defending my motherland from forces that intend to destroy it,” he firmly says.


Photo from Instagram (@bobquenery)
The Quenery family had a photo op at the Edinburgh Castle during a vacation in Scotland.


Working to keep the peace and order in the country takes General Quenery to different provinces, and this proves to be very difficult on his part as a family man.

“Being away from the family for long periods of time sometimes take its toll on how well I would know my children’s individual and unique self as they grew up more in my absence than when I could have seen them 24/7,” he says. “It is ironic, that I have been in charge of protecting the people in faraway areas but there I am, anxious about the safety and security of my family from the very same threats I have been tasked to negate. Every day, a military father is fearful, if, after the smoke clears in the battlefield, he can still come home alive to see his family. But the best lessons learned in these difficult times is for the children to value the sacrifices of their father not only for themselves but for the country.”


Photo from Instagram (@riva)
Riva wrote on the caption: “Hard and good work always pays out. You have just proven it, Daddy!!  Congratulations, I love you! ”


Riva has only admiration for her father, whom she describes as “hardworking, sobrang committed niya sa work niya, sobrang loving, and parang ginagawa niya talaga lahat paano siya makakabawi sa ’min.”

She also shares how they bond when there’s no work for her dad. “Si Dad kasi no’ng General siya, parang sobrang expensive ng time niya, e. Like weekend lang siya sa amin. Ina-assign siya sa Central Visayas. Once a month, gano’n lang namin siya nakakasama. So pag nagkikita kami, we make sure na nagka-catch-up kami, kumakain kami sa labas. Pero more on sa bahay talaga, manonood kaming movies.”

Her dad proved he could be cool, too, when he agreed to appear in Riva’s YouTube videos through “konting lambing lang” and “paawa.”

“Si Daddy po kasi, hindi siya mahilig sumama talaga sa mga videos ko,” she points out. “May mga challenge na kasi sa YouTube na ginagawa talaga. Sabi ko, ‘Daddy, i-try natin!’ Daddy’s girl talaga ako, parang hindi naman sa sino-spoil niya ako, pero, ano, ’yung gusto ko, gagawin talaga niya. ’Tapos nagulat kami no’ng nag-hit ’yun.”



Photo from Instagram (@riva)
Father and daughter goofing around in Riva’s Instagram post.

Riva’s vlogging career has her dad’s full support, so much so that General Quenery tells her every day how proud he is of her. “As in every day siya nagcha-chat sa ’kin,” she happily reports. “Kahit nag-upload lang ako ng single video, may feedback na siya. So hindi siya talagang nakakalimot na magsabing proud siya sa ’kin, which is sobrang grateful ako do’n.”


Photo from Instagram (@bobquenery)
A 2015 photo from General Quenery’s Instagram was posted with this caption: “Lunch date with The Pwinchess.”


Aside from instilling discipline, General Quenery teaches his children these important lessons in life: “Live your life as a team. Look out for your siblings. Keep each other’s back, raise them when they are down and comfort them when they are weak. Courage. Standing up for what is right even when seemingly, everyone is doing the wrong things. Integrity-Doing the right thing even if no one’s looking. And more importantly, believing in yourself despite the challenges and obstacles in life.”


Photo from Instagram (@bobquenery)
General Quenery captioned this photo with this hashtag: “#fatherduties”


General Quenery says he can relate to the teleserye, The General’s Daughter: “I can visualize Riva in the character. Being tough, obey first before complaining attitude and remains focused on the job at hand. Personally, as a father I can say that if there is any soft spot in my heart, or a weakness inside of me, she would be my one and only daughter.”