Luis Manzano on what he fears most while raising daughter with Jessy Mendiola
TV host Luis Manzano said that if there was one important change that he and wife Jessy Mendiola experienced when they welcomed their first-born Isabella Rose into their lives, it was that they have become more patient with each other.
“The dynamics of a relationship when you’re only boyfriend-girlfriend is very much different from when you’re already a married couple. It’s also different if the couple already has kids. It happens that there are more arguments, more conflicts. You are more likely to get irritated with each other now, especially when you try to do things your way and your partner doesn’t approve of how you do it, or vice versa,” Luis began.
“Jessy and I have learned to be more patient with each other. I also realized that it’s also during these moments when we need to show our love and respect for each other,” Luis told reporters during a media gathering to launch his latest game show, titled “Tamang Hinala,” on the PIE Channel.
After taking a break because of the pandemic lockdowns, Luis returned to work recently as game master of the new weekend show. The game show was formally presented to the press, trade partners and executives from producers Kroma Entertainment and ABS-CBN on Aug. 30.
Idealist turned realist
“I used to be an idealist, but having my own family has turned me into a realist. A man has to do what a man has to do for his family,” he said of his decision to return to work. “Yes, it’s tiring, but it’s OK. I just acknowledge that I’m tired. I take a break, breathe and go right back in. I think of everything as a blessing. For me, I’m still living the dream.”
Luis continued: “I realized that it’s true what they say about a guy being really excited to come home from work. I would feel a little sad when I arrive and find out that Peanut (his daughter’s nickname) is already asleep. The other night, I went home from taping and was so happy that I still got to play with her for 10 minutes before she was put to bed. That really made my day.”
While he considers himself a hands-on dad—occasionally changing Peanut’s diapers and making sure he is present to witness a lot of her milestones—Luis acknowledges the fact that there are things that “I’d feel more assured about knowing that it was done by Peanut’s mom,” he pointed out.
“My favorite time is when I peek into her room in the morning, and then call out her name. She would turn her head, smile at me, and ask me to carry her. Now, I appreciate small things like that. Making her put on diapers is not easy at all. They say it’s easier for baby boys. Baby girls are more delicate,” Luis explained.
Considering their 12-year age gap—Luis is 42, while Jessy is 30—the TV host said he would love to have two more kids. “I would first have to ask if Jessy is ready. Yes, we have a timetable, but we also want to enjoy Peanut first. There are other families who prefer to have at least a two-year birth interval, while for others, sunud-sunod na. I’m ready when Jessy is ready. I’m not the one who will carry the child for nine months, anyway. But if we’re just meant to have only Peanut, then we’re more than happy,” he said.
Luis reported that Jessy has already been receiving offers to shoot for product endorsements, “but they understand that Peanut is our priority. We’re thankful to these brands and to our supporters. We participated in a motorcade last month. People didn’t seem to care about us because they kept asking where Peanut was. When Jessy goes back to work, Peanut will be more exposed to the kind of work we do,” he recalled.
Understanding and supportive
Luis said he fears turning into a stage dad when this happens. “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. If, for example, Jessy and Peanut go to a scheduled shoot for an endorsement, I’d still show up to be their watchman,” he quipped. “If Peanut wants to join show biz right away, that’s OK with me, but the moment she says, ‘Papa, I want to quit’ or ‘I want to rest,’ then I’ll make her stop right away. I will never pressure her to do anything,” he said.
Luis, who is the son of actors Vilma Santos and Edu Manzano, said it is still important to “keep Peanut a few steps away from public life.” He explained: “I was already on magazine covers right after I was born, but my mom and dad tried their best to keep some details about me private. My fear is that Peanut might not immediately understand our family setup. She might find it weird that everything she does comes out in the news. For us her parents, we just want to share to our followers some of the milestones in her life. When she’s older, she would either appreciate this or tell us not to do it. Of course, we will prioritize what will make her happy,” the proud dad said.
Luis said his only fear as Peanut’s dad is to fail in his attempt to raise her as a good person. “For any parent, you would do anything to succeed in that aspect. I want her to be a blessing to others, too.”
The mystery game show “Tamang Hinala” streams every Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Also part of the show is PIE Jock Karina Bautista. Together, they report from the “scene of the crime,” allow viewers to examine evidence, and determine who among the studio players are guilty. Online KaTroPIEs can be like true detectives and get a chance to win up to P30,000 by exercising their best judgment through their mobile devices.