TAGS: chesca kramer, doug kramer, team kramer

Photography: Stephen Capuchino

 

A lot of us can’t seem to get enough of the Kramers!

Power couple Doug and Chesca, along with their children Kendra, Scarlett and Gavin, continue to inspire as they make it a point to uphold their values as a family. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and remember how this all began.

DOUG, HARDCOURT HERO

For the past 17 years, Doug Kramer has shown that he has a natural talent for sports. We’ve seen him play hard on the court where his impressive skills and strength don’t go unnoticed. 

Photo from Facebook (@dougkramer)


But before making it big as an athlete, Doug lived a simple and laid-back life in Baguio City. He was raised in a tight-knit family, and was brought up by parents who made sure his values were intact. “I knew when to say no and I knew when to say yes to certain things,” he said. 

His original plan was to join the Navy Seals and leave the country. However, as Doug grew 3 inches taller every year (until he was 17), some took notice and thought that he would be a perfect athlete. “A few universities started to recruit me, and I eventually I chose to go to Ateneo in 2002,” he said.

Exclusive Photo From Starstudio.ph

 

Moving to Manila was quite a shock for the teen, and the further he pursued his career in basketball, the more some people began to question his abilities. “A lot of people said that I wouldn’t make it to the PBA, hanggang UAAP lang ako. And it was nice to prove every doubter wrong,” he said, grinning. 

Since then, he set his priorities straight and graduated from college, playing well during the last remaining years. After that, he played in the Philippine Basketball League, and nabbed the ‘Mythical Power Forward Award’, which propelled his status in the sport. After having achieved so much, he continues playing professionally in The Philippine Basketball Association for 12 years and counting.

 

CHESCA, NOT YOUR ORDINARY PRETTY FACE


Audiences have followed her journey from being a pretty face on the silver screen, a promising actress, and to being a loving mother of three. Despite being preoccupied nowadays with her family life, things have not slowed down for Chesca, as she is able to balance it out by being a successful working mom.

Before Chesca made a name for herself in showbiz and became a momshie, she was just a happy-go-lucky child who loved to play with her siblings and cousins. “I really enjoyed my childhood. We had a lot of time to talk and be outdoors. Those simple pleasures really stuck to me,” she said. 

 Exclusive Photo From Starstudio.ph

 

However, Chesca had to deal with her parents’ separation growing up, something that she didn’t take lightly. “I would have to say it was also difficult growing up in a family that was breaking up. Kasi my parents separated when I was around 9 or 10 years old.” In spite of what happened, Chesca remained close to both of her parents, and even learned from the experience. “It inspired me to have a functioning and solid family. And it gave me a concept of how I want things to be,” she said positively.  

 

 Photo from Instagram (@chekakramer)               

At a young age Chesca and her brother Patrick were already doing commercials, until they were urged by their cousin, who was an intern for top TV exec, the director Johnny Manahan, and their mother, Bing Garcia, to try out for a youth-oriented variety show to eventually be called Ang TV.

Eventually, they passed the auditions. Chesca, along with her brother Patrick, were then able to establish their careers in the entertainment industry and become promising talents.

THE LOVE STORY 

Doug and Chesca’s love story happened way back in 2003, when they met at a party in Boracay. The basketball player was with his Australian friends, while Chesca was accompanied by her barkada. It was hard not to notice Doug being the gentle giant that he was and he definitely caught Chesca’s eye. “You can’t miss out on Doug, but I don’t think I was looking for anyone to be with. I was just hanging out with my friends,” she stated. 

 

Photo from Instagram (@dougkramer)

 As for Doug, he thought that Chesca was unquestionably a sight for sore eyes, although he admitted that he had his reservations before he actually got to know her. “I would always tell people it wasn’t love at first sight. More of love at second sight. The interest was there, but when I saw her the first time, my reaction was, ‘this girl looks so young’. She was 23 at that time, but I thought she was 15,” he said.

They were introduced by their friends and they eventually hit it off. But when the party started to get noisy and the venue got too crowded, Chesca decided to leave. Just when she was about to, Doug asked her if he could accompany her to wherever she was going.  “He ran and asked me where I was going, and then I told him that I was going to the beach to hang out there. And then he asked if he could come with me, and I said sure,” she recounted.

 

Exclusive Photo From Starstudio.ph

 While he admitted that there was a certain attraction, Doug felt that it wasn’t the right time to ask for her number. So after they parted ways, he chose not to do so. Soon enough, he changed his mind and decided to take matters in his own hands.

“When I got back to Manila I couldn’t stop thinking about her. And I just couldn’t take it so I messaged my Australian friend,” he said. His friend knew Anne Curtis, who is close friends with Chesca. Anne told her BFF that Doug was asking for her number, and Chesca allowed her to give it to him.

Doug contacted Chesca and mustered up the courage to ask her out. They went on a few dates, but they were never alone. “I met up with him with all of my friends for the next eight months of us being friends. I was always with my barkada,” Chesca said. Doug understood Chesca’s stance all throughout that time, saying, “I did not show any of those bad intentions and she did not show any of that, too. So, I was also very reserved. I wanted to respect her boundaries,” he elaborated.

  Exclusive Photo From Starstudio.ph

After getting to know each other for a couple of weeks, everything came to a halt. At that time Chesca had a lot to think of, and admitted that she wanted time on her own to figure things out. “I didn’t talk to him for a couple of months. I wanted to have time to really think, to just be free and do what I wanna do,” she explained.  

She told him how she felt so she cut her ties with the basketball player, and would hardly reply to his messages. They didn’t see each other for a couple of months, so Doug figured that she was no longer interested.

 Exclusive Photo From Starstudio.ph

A few months later when the basketball season started, Chesca accidently saw Doug on TV while she was playing badminton with her friends. When the actress decided to take a break and have merienda, she channel-surfed and came across Doug on TV playing basketball. “He did a dunk. And after that, they replayed it pa and they were talking about him. So, I was like ‘Oh my Gosh!’. I got so excited and I watched the entire game and I didn’t play badminton anymore,” she said, laughing. 

After the game, the athlete received a text from her, saying that she misses him. “Sobrang kinilig ako dun!” he said, blushing. Doug didn’t think twice and replied right away to Chesca. The pair went out for dinner, reconnected—and eventually became an official couple. 


 Photo from Facebook (@Doug Kramer)

On their 4th year together, Doug finally popped the question, and on October 9, 2008 they tied the knot. Doug further described Chesca and said proudly, “She’s very prim and proper. Masarap siyang kausap. She was that one girl that I would always call my dream girl.”

ON BEING FAITHFUL, AND MAKING A MARRIAGE WORK

In spite of being married for 16 years, Chesca and her hubby have remained faithful and loyal to one another, and Doug attributes part of that by having a close relationship with God. “You make it work. You don’t have a choice. If you’re gonna get married for the mere fact of emotion and kilig then you’re wrong, because it’s not gonna be like that. I can easily cheat on Chesca if I wanted to, and I’m sure she could do the same. But me, I submit to God more than her. So, I have that kind of love and respect for her because I love God,” he said firmly. 

  Exclusive Photo From Starstudio.ph

 As for Chesca, she shared the same thoughts on how to keep their relationship going with Doug. “We choose to love each other everyday, because love is more than an emotion, it’s a choice. And it’s not everyday that you’ll be excited or you’ll have a kilig moment. Even if I get inis with him at times, at the end of the day I still remind myself that I am blessed that I have somebody that I can talk to, who I can be with, and who’s very loyal. I respect him enough that I married him. So, his opinion matters.”

Exclusive Photo From Starstudio.ph

Doug and Chesca may have their squabbles and they may not see eye-to-eye when it comes to certain things, but at the end of the day, it’s all about meeting halfway. “Being in a marriage is a choice to work things out. It’s a choice to fix things ‘today’. It’s not a choice to fix things tomorrow,” Doug emphasized.


PARENTHOOD

Transitioning to fatherhood came naturally to Doug. He was never one to party that much, and sporadically meeting other women was not his cup of tea. As for Chesca, she never really thought much about motherhood and she never talked about it that often with anyone. “I wanted to get married one day, but to have children, I don’t know if I ever ‘really’ thought of it. I think I wanted to get married more than have children. It just really fell on my lap when I had my kids,” she recalled.


Notwithstanding her lack of enthusiasm when it came to having children back then, Chesca was able to adjust quite well and even Doug lauded his wife for being such a hands-on mother. “Team Kramer wouldn’t be complete without Chesca. Our house wouldn’t be complete without her. A mother’s touch is very different. That’s something that I could never give to the kids, which is motherly love,” he said sincerely. 


Chesca had nothing but kind words for Doug as well. “He’s patient and he’s a good example to the children. He talks to them well and takes them on-one-on one dates. We don’t ever try to make the other one look better in the eyes of the kids, so that the kids will favor one more.” 

 Exclusive Photo From Starstudio.ph

When asked if teaching their children to be as God-fearing as they are is a top priority, Doug responded, “Absolutely. I believe if you’re a God-fearing person everything follows.” Chesca reiterated, “In our family it works that we have Christ in the center of our relationship. Because we’re not just accountable to each other, but we’re also accountable to the Lord.”

STRUGGLES

But in spite of being deemed as a happy family, Doug and Chesca have had their fair share of trying times just like any other couple. “So, here’s the message for every netizen and fan, if you think that you see every detail of our lives just because you see photos and videos, you’re greatly mistaken. Our life goes far beyond photos and videos,” Doug said assertively.  

The father of three disclosed that times were not always as everyone thought they were, and he confirmed that their financial constraints became a hindrance. “I went through monetary problems and I had to borrow money from friends—and to think that this was just a few years ago, it’s mind boggling! Even Chesca didn’t know anything. I sheltered her from all of that. I told her lang when everything was settled na.”

Doug paused for a moment, then added, “There were times that I didn’t even know how to pay for certain things. Kasi I married her after I graduated from college. So what money did I have the opportunity to save...” 

Photo from Instagram (@dougkramer)

Doug carried on by saying, “They think we’re not going through any problems, no. We’ve had the worst of them! I had a health scare, I had a stroke! But did I say it at the moment. The only time I announced it was when I was OK na.”

Being the resilient and spiritual man he is, Doug didn’t question God, and he turned that incident into a blessing.  He reached out to the Philippine Heart Center, met up with people who suffered from heart issues as well, and encouraged them to be strong.

Life wasn’t always a bed of roses for Chesca either, as she recently experienced 2 failed IVF (or in-vitro fertilization) attempts. But the celebrity mom refused to mope or sulk. “I’m OK. The first IVF fail was a bit disappointing because I never had a hard time having kids. I really thought that my first try would lead to another pregnancy. But it failed, and that hurt me,” she said.


The actress took a deep breath and continued, “But then I realized after my second failed attempt that God does not give us what we want, but He gives us what is good for us. I really want to obey, so if this is not the right time, then it’s not. And if it fails until the last, then it’s time for me to stop.”

 

Photo from Instagram (@dougkramer)

The couple stayed strong all throughout such ordeals, and didn’t let the stumbling blocks of life get the better of them. They continued to have faith in the Lord and believed that they will be able to surpass anything by trusting God. “Why would I ever question problems that will happen today? God has already proven in my life that we may not see why we are going through certain problems at this point. God has gotten me through so much: my health, financial problems, staying faithful, all of those. You don’t see it in the moment. It’s always hindsight,” Doug shared, smiling.

 BEING GRATEFUL

Doug and Chesca have certainly been through a lot as husband and wife. Nevertheless, they were able to surpass all the hurdles and consider themselves blessed to have such a close and loving family. “I just love my family the best way I can and I appreciate them because it was one thing that I never had. I never had a complete family. And now this is my second chance of having one,” Chesca said.

 Photo from Instagram (@chekakramer)

On top of that, Doug added, “I could do a lot of stupid stuff. I can get into gambling and these other stuff, but I choose not to, because I know that God blessed me with my wife, three beautiful children and a beautiful home; as fast as God can bless, but it will even be faster if He wants to take it all away. So why will I veer away?”

Doug also pointed out, “At every point in our life we’re all blessed, no matter what. And we chose to show the blessings because we wanted to be a blessing to other people,” he said with a smile.

 Hardships, when they do come about, often arise out of the blue and can plague us for what might sometime seem like forever. But when you are up to your ears in troubles and challenges, it’s worth remembering that, apart from family, we have a God that will always stand with us, and will serve as a true pillar of strength.

 

Art Director:Alfred Amado

Makeup Artist: Justine Navato

Stylist: Em Milan

Assistant Stylists: Steven Coralde and Rioliza Camantigue

Hair: Raymond Ko