‘Just be there. You can’t be a dad if you don’t show up!’ | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

PATRICK Paez with daughters on vacation in Toronto
PATRICK Paez with daughters on vacation in Toronto
Patrick Paez with daughters on vacation in Toronto Lilly, Stella and Sophia



We used to tread carefully when telling the kids that mom (Daphne Oseña-Paez) and dad will be going to a movie or dinner without them—until we noticed that this put twinkles in their eyes. You could

Alby Xerez-Burgos and Maricar with children Cara, Juancho, Mariana and Andrea
Alby Xerez-Burgos and Maricar with children Cara, Juancho, Mariana and Andrea

say these date nights are their first kilig moments. Kids love seeing their parents being sweet to each other. (I guess, until they become teenagers and go out on those dates themselves.) So, it’s good parenting to go out every so often without the kids.

We have three daughters. The best lesson for them is to see how their mom and father are to each other—that women should be treated well and loved and cared for. That they should not expect anything less for themselves in the future.—Patrick Paez, veteran newsman and head of news production, ABC 5

What I do

Just a few months ago, at the peak of summer, I took my family on a three-day weekend R&R at one of Landco’s projects. We had so much fun bonding that the next day (Monday), I received a heartwarming surprise from my family. My wife cooked two new dishes for me and said, “Thanks for a wonderful weekend free of household chores.”

My youngest daughter, six years old, then presented me a colored drawing of our family swimming on the beach, showing the different corals and fish she came across. After dinner, my son also pulled me aside and said, “Thanks for spending time and playing football with me by the beach.” I then asked my kids, “Remember, you asked me what I do for a living?” I showed them the drawing of our youngest and said, “That’s what we do!”—Alby Xerez-Burgos, president and CEO, Landco Pacific Corp.

Take a shower

JEROEN van Straten with sons
Jeroen van Straten with sons Ben, Markus and Christian

When you’re a parent, it’s not about you anymore. I’m not only their dad, I’m also their personal chef. I love cooking for the kids! Sometimes I’ll wake up at 5:30 a.m. to cook their baon. It doesn’t take long, maybe 15 minutes. When I cook at home, I take a shower afterward.

Sometimes Ben will ask me to cook, and then I’ll shower. Then Markus will ask for something, so I cook and just shower again. Sometimes I have to shower three or four times a day.—Jeroen van Straten, chef and master franchise owner of Pepper Lunch Philippines

A caring Keli

My Aha! moments started with the birth of my third child and only daughter. I grew up with a brother, and my first two kids are active, bouncy boys.

Dr. Z Teo and children KenZ, Kenzo and Keli
Dr. Z Teo and children KenZ, Kenzo and Keli

I knew what to expect from my boys, but when Keli was born, every day was an Aha! moment for me. The saying that men are from Mars and girls are from Venus has never been more true for me.

Keli is emotional, sensitive and extremely caring. She always wants to be with me. However, if I raise my voice at her, she will cry as if her whole world is crushed. Every day is a standout moment for me with her, but I am enjoying and learning from every single moment of it.—Dr. Z Teo, dermatologist and, with doctor-wife Aivee Aguilar-Teo, owner of Aivee Group of Clinics

A winner

CHITO and Anna Sobrepeña with children Gabriel, Rafael andMichaela
Chito and Anna Sobrepeña with children Gabriel, Rafael and Michaela

Gabriel, 29, Rafael, 25, and Michaela, 24, are friends—and coincidentally, my sons and daughter. Being with them, especially now that they are grown up and have busy lives, makes for amazing times, even if we’re just sitting around the dinner table.

I cannot get over the fact that I have three amazing persons who are part of Anna’s and my life. Even though they’re so totally different from us, they love us and like to be with us. Aha! moments are constantly happening when we’re with them, and how our lives are enriched because of them! Hard times and good times all add up, and, as their dad, I always end up a winner.—Aniceto “Chito” Sobrepeña, president, Metrobank Foundation Inc., and executive vice president, Metrobank


OneE Aha! moment was when I asked my son to try out for his school’s soccer team, not knowing whether he could actually kick well. Just because I played well didn’t automatically mean that he could, too. It was an embarrassing moment for him, which I regret up to now. Eventually he grew up good in other areas, which made him stand out from the rest of his schoolmates.—Johnlu Koa, chef and owner, The French Baker, Lartizan and Chatime


PACO Magsaysay
Paco Magsaysay

The Aha! moment would be the fact that I am a role model to my kids. What I say is not as important as what I do in terms of them using me as a basis for dealing with relationships, how to work and how to help those in need. I want my daughter to be with a man who has the same value system I have. And I want my boys to have those same values.—Paco Magsaysay, owner, Carmen’s Best Ice Cream


I am amazed at the wonderful feeling fatherhood gives—from the moment you see your son ride his bike without training wheels, to staying up late doing research on how to fight my daughter Luccia’s skin allergies and meticulously address her severe rashes.

Or, the moment I caught Rocio when she came into the world and witnessed her first breath of air in my bare hands. These are priceless moments with unexplainable feelings. No matter how much I want to say no, I just can’t when my kids show me their glum faces, and when I am able to see them grow up safe and happy, it brings great joy to my soul.—Chef Robby Goco, owner, Cyma and Green Pastures

It was at that point in their young lives when I realized that my kids will be better persons than I’ll ever be in my lifetime.—GJ Jimenez, owner, Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes

I have to admit, most of the time my children make me realize how outdated I am.—Romy Mercado, owner, The First Gourmet Academy and Kos Greek Restaurant


Learning that a parent has an unlimited capacity to love, making one wish he had an auto-sensor to tell him the degree and amount needed by each child on a day-to-day basis. Loving your children is the natural thing to do. Stepping back and restraining one’s self from being overprotective and loving to the point of suffocation is the harder thing to do.

My Aha! moment was realizing that as a parent, I cannot expect my children to grow up into what I expect or want them to be. Each has his or her own disposition, preferences and

JOJO Salomon with kids
Jojo Salomon with kids

ambitions which I need to respect, understand and accept.—Jojo Salomon, lawyer, restaurateur, MTRCB member

Be there

It’s too early to say what my biggest lesson is! Thinking about it, though, I have come to realize that when it comes to parenting, I, like Jon Snow, know nothing! So I need to be always present, to be in the moment, and to pay attention so I don’t miss a thing—and perhaps in the process, learn a thing or two from my kids. I am forced to keep up with them so I know what’s going on and so I can stay relevant. I need to be consistent but open to their quirks. Just be there. You can’t be a dad if you don’t show up!—Mon Guinto, banker

My two boys, Noah and Moses, are the two most precious blessings I have in my life. Once upon a time, fatherhood seemed like such a complex, weighty responsibility, and I was freaking out about every little thing, doubting every decision I made. I learned it can be simple after I realized my purpose: to make sure they grow up knowing that they are loved. Everything else will follow.—Mark Parlade, public relations director, Stratworks; blogger

Very special

Being a dad to a very special little girl, I have learned a lot of things. I learned the meaning of helplessness when she was born not breathing. I learned the meaning of strength by watching her fight for her life during the weeks she was in the ICU. I learned the meaning of faith when, one by one, the tubes attached to her body were being removed. I learned the meaning of helplessness when I heard the news that she had cerebral palsy. I learned the meaning of hope when I first saw her taking steps in her walker. But of all the things I’ve learned, this one thing is sure: I learned the meaning of love when she came into this world.—BJ Collado, businessman

Father of twins

Donnie and Crickette Tantoco with children Nicole, Camille and Christian
Donnie and Crickette Tantoco with children Nicole, Camille and Christian

My first “aha” moment was when I found out I was going to be a father of twins. Crickette and I, who were newly married in 1989, had planned to postpone having kids until after I had taken and finished a masters program in business. Not only did we find out she was pregnant with one but two! My other “aha” moment was when I saw and first laid eyes on each of my children for the very first time. I have 3 children: Nicole and Camille who are now 25 years old, and Christian who is 20 years old.–Bienvenido “Donnie” Tantoco III, president, Rustan’s

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