Four dads talk about doting on their young kids
Armand del Rosario
Red Letter Days
He is barely in his 30s but Armand del Rosario already has what most men aim for: a tight-knit family and a thriving career.
Aside from being husband, father and athlete, Armand is also part-owner of Healthcare Advantage Institute, a training facility catering to different careers in the health industry, a position he has taken to with just as much grace and success.
At home, Armand dotes on his three daughters: Nadia, nine, Sonia, four, and Katia, two. “I like spending time with my girls. I like taking them to breakfast or going to the beach,” he says, when asked what he does during his downtime.
Early mornings are a particular treat, as it is the time he has the most energy for his daughters.
“While my wife is asleep, I have them all to myself before leaving for work. We eat, talk and play together, even if it’s just for a short time.”
Father-daughter moments are important for Armand. Aside from precious playful mornings, he also makes sure to go on weekly dates with his three daughters, and shares that Pancake House is the usual unanimous favorite hangout of choice.
His dream for his children is to aim for success, much in the same way he became the good provider that he is.
Jon Jon Rufino
Life Plus Two
These days, Jon Jon Rufino’s big smile has grown twice as big, ever since his children Lilith and Lucian were born. This athletic dad’s usual mornings of waking up to train have taken a back seat to waking up to his twins.
Like their father, the twins smile constantly and are extremely good-natured. Bonding with the children includes a lot of physical stimulation—bouncing, flying through the air, and swimming.
“I also talk to them a lot. And I sing to them, classic rock. Hopefully they’ll forgive me for that when they get older.”
Quite the hands-on father, Jon Jon’s decision to have children was made even easier by his loving and supportive network of family and friends.
“I have to thank my family and friends for their support and interest. My parents, especially my mom, have been behind me on the decision to have kids—sometimes ahead of me even! They both can’t spend enough time with the twins, and my friends also contact me weekly to know when they can visit. I’m also lucky to have good nannies. It takes a village.”
Values and Virtues
Life for Marco Rodriguez completely changed the day his son Alejandro was born. “He’s made me realize how much more of myself I am capable of giving.” Up until Alejandro was born, Marco, who is vice president of sales and marketing at Rodclay Roofing Inc., was busy working, dabbling in real estate and contributing articles about food.
It’s obvious, though, that for this doting dad, the biggest joy is his family.
“Being able to start one of my own gives me a lot to be thankful for.”
Marco hopes to hand down important lessons and values that were bestowed on him by his own parents, as well as teach Alejandro that “to be able to command respect, one should be humble enough to give it.”
Watching and Learning
Easygoing and laid-back, Santi Araneta is a devoted father to his five-year-old daughter, Tatiana. Despite an action-packed schedule—Santi wears several hats as CEO of LBC Express and chairman of the United Football League—he also wears the hat of the indulgent yet loving dad, and makes it a point to always have “downtime” with his family.
“One of my favorite things is to just relax at home with Tati,” he says, especially looking forward to the big tight hugs she gives him at the end of a long day at work.
Trying to pinpoint a favorite memory with his only child, Santi finally gives up and states that it is impossible to choose from the many precious moments. And seeing the amount of time he spends with her, this dad is building up quite the cache. “I love being with her. We swim and watch movies together, I take her on dates to the mall for lunch or merienda. Once in a while, I even bring her to work with me, where she sets up her own little corner office in my room.
“And I learn so much from her! So far, she has taught me to always just be in the moment—not always planning and looking towards the future, but to slow down and enjoy this time with her.”