Lessons Drew Arellano learned from his father
For Drew Arellano, his father, lawyer Antonio “Aga” Arellano, was the most thoughtful, giving man he ever knew. They had a very close relationship, so much so that Drew chose to share a room with him until he was 20. They were more than father and son; they were best friends.
So, when his dad passed away in 2013 due to colon cancer, the feeling, Drew said, could only be described as “crazy—like it was the end of the world.”
“He was the best. He was hardworking and had an unwaveringly positive mindset. He was the type of person who saw a glass half-full,” he told the Inquirer at the press launch of the coming fourth season of “San Miguel Purefoods Home Foodie,” a cooking show he hosts with his wife, Iya Villania, on GMA 7.
“We had the same type of humor—makulit, magulo,” Drew added. “I yearn to be as thoughtful as he was. To say that we all miss him is an understatement.”
The 38-year-old television host likewise described his father as a “people person.” And it was only apt, Drew pointed out, that his late dad used to anchor a radio show that offered free legal advice.
“He had that special gift of making people feel like they have already known him for a long time,” he said. “He shared his knowledge of the law with his listeners, and he cherished that.”
As a young man, Drew took his failures “too hard.” But without fail, his father would cheer him up with only five words: “There will be better days.” And it’s a mantra he continues to live by. “A lot of times, you will feel that the world is treating you badly, like it’s the worst day of your life. But I just remember that simple line,” he said.
“You stand up and continue living,” he added.
Another thing that Drew admired about his father was his affinity for children. In the afternoon, the shouts and laughter of kids lulled him to sleep; they weren’t noise, but music to his father’s ears. He never got to hear the cries of Drew’s firstborn, Primo Antonio, who was named in honor of his grandfather.
Drew is expecting a second child with Iya soon. “When my own children are grown-up, I hope they would see me the way I see my father. That’s the goal.”
He knows very well that fatherhood is a difficult task. But so far, everything about the experience has been joyful, mostly because Primo, who turns 2 in August, is such a happy baby.
“I know things are going to be tough, but I also know that there will be a lot of happy and fun moments, too,” he said. “In fact, I don’t think my son sees me as his father. I’m more of a mascot to him (laughs)!”
In “Home Foodie,” which returned on air on June 11, Drew and Iya join professional chefs in whipping up easy recipes, and giving various food hacks and cooking tips. “Cooking for me and Iya is a form of bonding,” Drew said.
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