By LJ Reyes
You may know him from the 4:30pm TV show, screaming “Eshmyuskeee!” You’ve probably seen him on screen with the likes of Aga Mulach, Vic Sotto and Babalu. For most of you who enjoy his funny antics, Friday nights are spent at home, watching him on his show as he makes you laugh your hearts out.
Truly, actors have many faces. You see us on screen as we portray different characters. You see our social media feed as our persona. You see us in public areas as who we really are in our simplest form.
With Paolo, you have witnessed him in every phase of his life. You have seen this man literally grow up right before your eyes. He has been in the show business industry since he was four, with his life being an open book. The public has witnessed him pick himself up from the lowest moments of his life. At the same time, they celebrated many of his triumphs and happiness as well.
Despite him, and like any celebrity, being public property, I must say that there are a lot of things you don’t know about this man. For as public as his profession may be, he prefers to stay private. I bet not all of you know that as an actor, he prefers hearing the script rather than reading it, just because this has been his practice since he started acting at the age of four. I bet you didn’t know that he writes scripts and submits concepts for Bubble Gang, too!
So I guess you are all wondering how a man with witty humor is at home. How could somebody, who always knows how to throw a punch line, take life’s most serious job of being a father. Let me share with you five things you don’t know about Paolo as a father:
1. He begins his fatherly duties at pregnancy and not postpartum.
He starts fulfilling his responsibility as a father as early as my pregnancy stage. When we learned that we were expecting, I didn’t have to worry about doctor’s appointments, schedules for taking vitamins and medicines, even tracking the baby’s development– -he takes notes of everything!
2. He is a hands-on father.
Sa super hands on niya, he would rather carry the baby than use strollers and carseats. I remember the first time he travelled with us to New York. I told him that we needed to use the stroller for Aki (who was 5 years old at the time) to go around the city, because Aki couldn’t keep up with the tons of walking yet. He said, “Don’t worry! Ako na bahala kay Aki. Bubuhatin ko nalang.” Because he wouldn’t believe me, I let him stood by his recommendation. Guess who had the last laugh? Me! Few hours out and Aki fell asleep in the subway. We still had to meet my mom at Grand Central. So, he had to carry Aki from the subway, around Grand Central and until Aki finally woke up a few hours later!
This battle was up again when we were deciding on which stroller and carseat to get before Summer arrived. But I guess he finally learned his lesson and has found his love for strollers and carseats. People close to us would attest that he truly is a hands-on papa! He likes bringing Aki to school and he doesn’t mind waking up in the middle of the night to tend to Summer.
3. He’s one clingy Papa!
We planned on buying a recliner chair for my breastfeeding journey with Summer. But, surprise! We ended up buying a two-seater recliner chair. Why? Pao would always tell me, “Saan ako pag feeding ka kay Summer?” People may always see the macho and “tunay na lalaki” image he has. But believe me, this guy has the softest macho man heart ever!
4. He’s the old school kind of guy!
We may live in a different time now where all kinds of parenting has been labeled. In spite of that, Paolo remains in the minority where he believes in the old style of discipline. He doesn’t bat an eyelash when a punishment has to be imposed. He believes that resilience starts at home when kids are given only what they need and not what they want. Because of this, I noticed how much Aki has learned to appreciate simple things. Don’t get me wrong, he spoils Aki and Summer from time to time. He still bends when his papa heart melts. Nevertheless, he makes sure that discipline is given out of love.
5. The sacrifice he does for his children is beyond what the eyes can see.
I always tell people and even my children that there is always more than what meets the eye. This stands true to Paolo. Not many know how genuine, passionate and generous his heart is. He only keeps a few people close to him because his love is too deep and special. He loves unselfishly. There is no denying that when it comes to a father who loves his kids dearly, their welfare comes first. People may argue with what I am about to say. These same people may not see through the sacrifices he makes: the heartbreaks and the pains. But let me attest that his prayers always include that, one day, God grants the desire of his heart.
Apart from those trending social media videos he makes on the spot, this is the Papa Paolo not everyone is blessed to have and be with every single day. He is not perfect, but who is? He is open to learning new things everyday! For that, we are very proud to call him papa. He never lets a special day or just a regular one pass by without making us feel special. And so, on this day when we celebrate all the fathers in the world, I want to declare with all honesty that he is…the best papa we could ever ask for!