Edu Manzano sits down with son Luis, talks fatherhood, granddaughter Isabella Rose
The father-and-son duo of Edu and Luis Manzano reminisced about their memorable moments together and opened up about their feelings on being a first-time grandfather and father, respectively, to 5-month-old Isabella Rose.
For the Father’s Day episode of “Luis Listens”—a segment on Luis’ YouTube channel—instead of just Luis asking the questions, Edu got to ask his son about how he and his wife, actress Jessy Mendiola would raise their firstborn.
Luis admitted that he was scared to hold his daughter for the first time, explaining how she was “super fragile” so that he didn’t want to hold her the wrong way or squeeze her too tight. But on a deeper level, he shared his fear of whether he’d be capable of being the best father to his daughter.
“[R]eality sets in, nakakatakot (it’s scary) in the sense na there’s always that aspect na ‘Will I be able to provide the life that I want? Will I be able to be the best father I can be for my daughter?’,” said Luis, who shared that with a family and, now, a child, “you’re thinking lifetimes ahead.”
Edu also shared his reluctance in holding babies—not just his first grandchild—saying he can’t wait for her to “become bigger and stronger” so he’ll feel more at ease around her. The veteran actor-TV host likewise said that a first glance at Isabella Rose is enough to draw a smile from him even if she isn’t smiling.
“I can’t wait to see how much of you will be in her because I realized part of her is me,” shared Edu, who told Luis that he can’t be prouder of him as his father.
When asked about the qualities he hopes Isabella Rose will inherit from Luis, Edu wished his granddaughter would be God-fearing and “treat everybody with dignity and respect,” saying that he sees this in Luis.
The former “Myx” VJ said that he wants his parents to enjoy their granddaughter. He wants them to be able to “simply carry your apo (granddaughter),” which he thinks is one of the most priceless moments in life. He also wants them to be able to do with her the activities they did with him as a child.
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When asked about re-creating a memory with young Luis with Isabella, Edu shared that one of his greatest moments as a father was being able to take Luis to his class.
“Before, every day, ibababa kami ng driver, hawak-hawak ko si Luis, (our driver would drop us off, with me holding Luis’ hand) and I would take you always to your class,” adding how that routine would always include a kiss.
The “Separada” actor would later share that when Luis reached the fourth grade, he started to feel shy giving his father a kiss in front of his classmates, which Luis called a “mini phase” that he thinks boys have to go through. But the father and son continue to be affectionate to this day.
On the prospect of being a strict parent, Luis shared a perspective that he got from a movie, of how children will have to experience the world, both the good and the bad. But he thinks that what parents can fall back on is how they raised their children.
“Kahit ‘yung anak mo ma-expose sa pinaka-evil na meron sa mundo, if naka-ingrain ka ng goodness sa anak mo, do’n at do’n siya babalik,” explained the 42-year-old first-time dad.
(Even if your child gets exposed to the most evil thing there is, if you were able to ingrain goodness in them, your child will always go back to it.)
Luis admits that while it seems Mendiola is “mas praning” (more paranoid) than he, he thinks he really is more paranoid than she. He added that it’s one aspect of their parenting that’s similar.
“There’s a bit of paranoia, a bit of anxiety sa aming dalawa (in both of us), so I would like to think we’re quite similar when it comes to raising Peanut,” explained Luis, who also shared that there’s no good cop and bad cop between him and his wife. Peanut is their nickname for their daughter.
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The couple also has a rule regarding the use of gadgets when Isabella Rose is around. “Ang rule namin is ‘pag nanonood ng TV, ‘pag pumasok [sa room] or dala si Peanut, automatic gadgets are [turned] off,” Luis shared.
(Our rule is that when we’re watching TV, then Peanut enters the room or is brought in, automatic gadgets are turned off.)
Edu shared how he would get upset whenever he sees families, both children and their parents, on their phones and not interacting.
“I am grateful that when you were growing up, we did not have the luxury of cellphones. So talagang kahit ayaw mo ‘kong kausapin, kailangan mo ‘ko kausapin,” expressed the former Makati vice mayor. (So you have to talk to me even if you really don’t want to.)
Luis and Mendiola also plan to enforce a rule that prohibits the bringing of phones in the table when their daughter is old enough to join them for meals.
When Luis asked Edu about the best advice he could give him as a father, Edu said that it’s one thing he won’t do. He explained how there’s no two people alike, adding that what worked for Luis might not work for Isabella Rose. “You have to find it out on your own.”
The “Puso ng Pasko” actor, however, told Luis that it’s important to be present in his kid’s life. “I just have learned that it’s important to always be there and to surround them [with] lots of love and affection and support,” said Edu, who would later on share how he realized that parenting “takes a lot more than just being able to provide.”
Luis is Edu’s son with the “Star for All Seasons” Vilma Santos. He also has two other children, Addie and Enzo, from his relationship with Rina Samson.