Dingdong Dantes on what it takes to be a dad | Inquirer Entertainment

Dingdong Dantes on what it takes to be a dad

By: - Reporter
/ 12:20 AM June 18, 2023

Dingdong Dantes (second from left) and Marian Rivera with kids Zia and Sixto

Dingdong Dantes (second from left) and Marian Rivera with kids Zia and Sixto

Fatherhood was something that intrigued Dingdong Dantes, or at least what he saw and knew of it growing up. It wasn’t until he became a father that he realized what it actually meant and entailed.

“I was very much mesmerized by children, that’s for sure. And growing up, that’s just the part you see and focus on—playing with the kids, all the fun things. You don’t realize what it takes to become a real father. But that was before,” he told the Inquirer at a recent press conference for his comeback primetime series “Royal Blood,” which starts airing on June 19.


Dingdong Dantes and his wife, fellow GMA 7 star Marian Rivera, have two children, Zia, 7 and Sixto IV, 4.


“Now that I have experienced becoming a father, I can say that it’s fulfilling. Fatherhood was something I aspired to before. Now I embrace it more having experienced all the things that come with it—the hardships and the day-to-day responsibilities, the good times and the bad times,” he said.

Needless to say, the kind of man and father Dingdong is today was largely shaped by his experience with his own father, Sixto Dantes Jr., fondly called Daddy Jigg.

Dingdong (left) with Daddy Jigg

Dingdong (left) with Daddy Jigg

Parenting style

One of the things he admires most about his father’s parenting style is his clarity and integrity. “What I learned from him is that you have to be clear with your values and principles. When we were young, he made sure to communicate those not only through words, but by example and repetition,” he said.

“And those lessons, that kind of approach I will carry with me forever,” the 42-year-old actor said of his now 75-year-old father, who was a civilian volunteer for the Philippine coast guard. “Maybe some of the decisions I’ve made in life were because of his guidance, values and principles.”

Despite his busy schedule—taping “Royal Blood” on top of hosting “Family Feud”—Dingdong sees to it that he always has time for his children. He and Marian make sure their projects don’t overlap, so one of them can stay home when the other is away.

Dingdong Dantes

Dingdong Dantes

Raising the children together

“Marian is also starting a new series soon after I’m done with this. So we take turns,” said Dingdong, who’s also set to host the talent search, “The Voice: Generations.” “The good thing, though, is that our kids are older now, so we have more freedom to work. If these [projects] happened last year, we probably wouldn’t have been able to do them.”


And while the kids say they’re fine with both of their parents working, Dingdong and Marian would rather not push it. “They say they’re OK, but we don’t really know until it happens. Marian and I being away at the same time would be a first for them, if ever. Baka isipin nila, ‘Anong nangyayari sa inyo? Saan kayo pumupunta?’” he said.

It’s a sacrifice. So it’s important, Dingdong pointed out, that he and Marian try to explain to their children why they do what they do. While he has already brought Zia to the “Family Feud” set, he said that what he and Marian do in front of the cameras is still rather vague to their children.

“We always tell them that what we do is something we’re very proud of. I hope that when they see our work in the future, they see how passionate we are about our craft. But I know that they will understand later on that we do all of these for them,” he related.

While some fans think that Zia and Sixto have the makings of future actors, Dingdong said that, for now, it’s all about introducing them to a variety of activities from arts to sports.

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“We will support them where they enjoy themselves most. Their interests will evolve. The important thing is to present them with options worth their while,” he said.


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TAGS: Dingdong Dantes, Father's Day

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