Martin Camara, chiropractic specialist
“Daddy time” is when I put everything away to be completely with the kids (Raphael, 15; Santi, 14; and Elle, 9). It’s being in the moment and looking at what they want to do or seeing if they need help. It’s not about me, it’s about them.
There are three-and-a-half days in the week when I don’t work. I pick the kids up from school and help them with their homework. The teens are looking for independence and making their own plans. For them, I’m around but not around. I help them or buy for them, but I also give their space to evolve.
My nine-year-old needs more attention and is more time-consuming.
I’m physically active and it’s something I share with them.
One way to instill discipline is doing martial arts together. It’s the best foundation for a strong mind and healthy body. Elle and I share a love for cycling. I taught her and ran next to her bike. In two weeks, she did the Tour of the Fireflies’ 40-km bike ride in Metro Manila that advocates clean air and bicycle riding. She was proud she did it while I made sure I was behind her. I helped her uphill by pushing along.
If friends ask me about my kids, I’d say they are respectful and haven’t given me much problems. They do their homework on their own, they are self-motivated and gifted in their own ways.
Rafael is the pianist who plays with a school band. When he hears a piece of music and looks at how people play, he goes to the piano and plays it. My dad, who’s 91, also plays the piano. As a child growing up, I knew he’d be there when I heard the music. I get the same feeling with my son.
Elle is the artist. She does ballet, acts in school plays, and raps.
Santi is good with accounting. I opened a bank account for them so they could manage their funds.
I’ve always looked at different ways of doing things like chiropractic (when it was still non-mainstream.) I like idea of alternative education. It shouldn’t stress children because it takes away creative development. They spent their early years at Waldorf; after a while, they need structure. They go to German school, which cultivates both creativity and structure. They speak German, French and English.
Manny Padilla, businessman and advisory board member of Bantay Bata
My wife Mia and I have been married six years. We prayed hard to have children. God answered our prayers. Having these infants, Monica and Carmela, is the most joyful thing that ever happened.
Daddy time begins as soon as you wake up, be with them and spend as much time as you can to be with them. They bring so much joy, especially when they smile at you in the morning. We go to Gymboree and I’m there when my wife reads to them.
Quantity time is just as important. Instead of going to a movie, time is better spent with the children.
As they grow, I will impart total respect and love for the parents and obedience. Those are tantamount. If not, life will be a mess. If everybody did that, the world would be a better place and children would be taken care of properly.
[Beyond that] I’ve got a bigger family with Bantay Bata. My advocacy is to find ways to help underprivileged children who need heart surgeries. Bantay Bata has saved lives of blue babies. As a heart surgery survivor, I know a lot about the heart and I can help their families understand what is going on.
Andy Bautista, chair of the Presidential Commission on Good Government
“Daddy time” means to focus more on quality rather than quantity. I do things my children enjoy. My four sons—Xavier, 10; Matteo, 8; Alvaro, 7; and Jacobo—like more daddy activities like baseball and basketball. But they are closer to their mom (Tisha). We swim together, hang out in the mall and do things most families do.
We wake up at 5:30 a.m. because they leave for school early. They say goodbye and we have dinner together. If Tisha has something to do, I come home early and have dinner with the kids.
What I endeavor (to impart) are the values of hard work, discipline, integrity and honesty. Live by example. Hopefully, they see that their dad works hard. They know I wear many hats. We help in their assignments.
In the end, it’s more than the results. It’s more important that they do their best. A little pressure won’t hurt. I told them that when I was in grade school, I did these, and hopefully, they’d try to emulate.
On honesty, we call attention to small things, like if they hide the fact that they broke something and didn’t report it, or took something and haven’t asked. Correct them early on. We hear the Mass together, pray the rosary together every Sunday, go to seven churches and do novenas.
My most memorable time with the kids was in our first out-of-town trip to Hong Kong Disneyland three years ago. There was magic lighting up in their faces when they saw Mickey Mouse and these characters. Traveling with the kids was challenging but ultimately fulfilling. One wanted to go there and the other wanted to go over there. When they got tired, you had to carry them. In the end, they can’t complain that we didn’t spend quality time with them. We made sure they were documented in pictures.
When they grow up, we can show evidence that they had a happy childhood.
Bernido Liu, president, Golden ABC Inc.
I don’t have the luxury of quantity. When my kids were growing up, I’d give up socials just to be with them. Bryan, 20; Brandon, 19; and Mandy, 17, are studying in Sydney. We visit them or when they come home to Cebu, I’m selfish with my weekends so I can be with them.
They usually round up in our room and we watch movies together. They love to shop and we take walks.
The best time to bond is when we travel together for two weeks every year. Alice and I are with them 24/7 and there are no distractions of work.
I brought them up to be good Catholics. They’ve got to live a principled life by walking their talk. The best way to teach values is to show, not to preach. They’re taught to be the best that they can be because life is a journey. They can pursue their dreams. I don’t pressure them to be a businessman like myself because every individual is unique and talents are God-given.
My most unforgettable moments with them are the togetherness, pleasant or not. Two years ago, Bryan had undergone surgery caused by an aneurysm. He had anterior brain malformation. A vein in the brain could burst. It results in internal bleeding. Many don’t survive. We flew from Cebu to Sydney just to be with him.
While he was in the hospital a friend advised: “Remember, God loves Bryan more than you love him.”
With that I surrendered everything to Him. I travel a lot. I never stay longer than two weeks in one place, including Cebu. I was with Bryan for five weeks.
When I let go of everything including the business, Bryan survived, and he’s in good health. The business flourished. God knows our priorities and takes care of it. It was a defining moment for us.
No amount of success can make up for the love for family.
George Yang, founder and chair of McDonald’s Philippines, and tenor
When my parents were alive, we had this tradition of going out together on Sunday. We keep that with my children (Kenneth, Richie, Christopher and Karen) who are grown up now and my nine grandchildren.
Every Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, they come to the house for dinner. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we go to their house for dinner.
In the past few years, we’ve been traveling together abroad, like Bangkok. Last year, all 20 of us took a cruise to Alaska. This year we are all going to the Mediterranean. Last Holy Week, we went up to Baguio, and we’ve spent many occasions like Christmas and New Year in Boracay.
All my sons are married and are family men. They share the same values of family unity. I learned from my father and grandfather the importance of hard work, a trustworthy reputation and fairness in our dealings.
We run our business in a straightforward manner. My children have ambition, they know what they want and they believe in their abilities. They saw that in me and these matters are often discussed.
We have two advocacies: the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which addresses the need for children to have proper education, and the Klassikal Musik Foundation, my personal endeavor, which has provided scholarships to 33 scholars.
Through it all, my children are all good at heart and are very principled. They see in me what I saw in my father and grandparents.
Joseph Cecala, businessman
“Daddy time” has to be divided into making sure they have a smile on their face and they also learn values. I can’t make them laugh all the time or they’ll become maniacs.
My son, Patrick, 6, plays basketball and soccer. My daughter Anna, 4, swims and loves art. The newborn daughter, Joey (two months old), does poopy on me. I clean her up and change diapers. As a hands-on father, I wish I had more hands.
I enjoy spending time with my kids. Dinner with the family can be a hassle when the kids are not hungry and would rather watch TV but we insist on having dinner together.
The values we impart is mainly to be good people, to be respectful, to listen, to care for others. We instill that there’s a time for jokes, play, homework and chores.
Early on, we teach them to be responsible. When they borrow a book from the library, they make sure they return it on the due date. When there’s a late fee, mommy or daddy won’t pay for it. That’s why they have piggy banks. They have lots of titos and titas and that’s how the banks get full.
We teach them how to value money. For instance, with our son, if he wants to buy a new toy, my wife Alexandra would design a chart which has a list of chores—clean up after dinner, bring the plates to the sink after every meal, putting toys back where they belong. If he did those by the end of the week, he would get what he asked for.
He must understand that he has to work for what he wants. It shouldn’t come too easy for him. It helps that the children are not far apart in age. When my daughter sees what he has to go through, then she understands.
Mikee Romero, CEO, Harbour Centre Holdings; chairman, Manila North Harbor; president, Philippine National Shooting Association
My wife Sheila and I make our weekends with the kids special. On Friday nights, we have dinner out, either we just hang out or watch a movie. Sometimes we go on short trips over the weekend, either to the beach or nearby countries. I also do polo with the two older kids or just play computer with the two younger ones.
We enjoy being with our children. We always make ourselves available for them. Quality time is what I can only give them unfortunately, but that is why my wife fills in all the time I cannot be with them.
I am proud that we are able to raise them with very good disposition. They realize that prayer, love of God and family values are important. Sunday Mass is sacred wherever we are.
Miguel Zubiri, senator
I try to set all appointments between lunch time and 7 p.m. That includes sessions and hearings at the Senate. In the morning, I’m with my kids and I have dinner with them.
We watch Barney together, run after each other, play hide and seek. We joke with each other and mimic a lot. My daughter Maria Adriana, 3, talks a lot. She’s a ham. She likes to perform. Juan Miguel Jr. (Juanmi) is 14 months old. He’s very active—running and climbing. I play ball with him and he kicks it back to me. He’s quieter and has a more serious disposition.
With their opposite personalities, it’s hard to spend quality time with them. When my daughter is around, she gets very jealous when I’m with the boy. I spend quality time with Juanmi when she’s not looking or when she’s with my wife, Audrey.
When children are in their terrible twos and threes, they tend to be spoiled. We put our foot down. If we don’t instill discipline, they will turn out to be “Bratinellas.” “Adriana, stop crying or no Barney for the day.” She frowns but eventually she stops.
We don’t act unless they say the magic word, “please.” These are simple things that are very important.
Ronald Pineda, retail entrepreneur (Folded & Hung)
My daughter is and always will be my first priority despite a busy schedule. I would wake up early just so that I myself could drop her off and pick her up from school. Besides that, I also make sure my weekends are for her.
For me, “daddy time” is simply doing anything together, whether it be watching cartoons, biking, swimming, eating, sleeping, playing, etc. It’s just about watching her grow up and savoring every moment of her childhood.
I want my daughter to be a God-fearing person. I want to pass on to her the values my parents had taught me—to be a good person and a good example. Also, I always assure her how much I love her. That’s my formula.
Joey Yupangco, design consultant and dean of College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts
Luckily, Gina and I had our kids (Arianne, 23 and Martha, 15) when our work involved many trips. We both wanted to have a kind of lifestyle that did not set us apart.
Up to this day, we are each other’s friends, social clique and all. The downside, I don’t think I have a purely daddy’s time because we’re simply just that connected.
When they were growing up, I used to pick them up from school religiously. I could be with them only one-on-one during these times.
The bigger times were those that were spent during travel, weekend, night-outs and the Sunday lunches.
We value respect for our neighbors, rich and poor. There is a God, and we need some time in a day to talk with Him. Good life, good lifestyle, it is having a good taste. The basic stuff is important. The rest cannot be taught because we are born in this world to be different and unique. By the way I live life, it is not perfect but it is real.
We want them to be real; you cannot please all, but decency is a must.
Angelo Mañosa, architect
“Daddy time” is fun time spent with my daughter Andi. Weekends is family time. No work or any other kind of interruptions. It’s my fun time.
We watch TV/movies, read books, do art work, have picnics at playground, play horsey, swim. On values, we emphasize unconditional love for parents; play time can include learning; always saying “please” and “thank yous,” treating everyone equally, and love for God and family.
‘No amount of success can make up for the love for family’—Bernido Liu