Edu Listens: Luis on fatherhood

There are only a few father-child tandems who made it into the local entertainment scene, and among them is the well-loved pair of Luis and Edu Manzano. Aside from being both esteemed hosts and actors, the two now also share the title of being doting dads, as the I Can See Your Voice host and his wife Jessy Mendiola welcomed their firstborn Isabella Rose in December 2022.

And in light of the upcoming Father’s Day celebration this coming June 18, which is actually Luis’ first, he guested his beloved Daddyo in the latest episode of his YouTube channel.

Luis shared how his dad and mom never asserted to him to do the same benevolent things they did as they chose to live by example instead, and made their children realize that those are important to them. As he’s able to see how his children grew up to become the persons he wanted them to be, Edu couldn’t be any prouder. 

When asked how he feels now that he’s also a grandfather himself, Edu jestingly told his son that he actually doesn’t completely know yet since he has not spent a lot of time with Baby Peanut. However, he knows how a fragile and beautiful baby she is, which makes him reluctant to hold her in his arms, just like how he is with the other babies he encountered. Thus, he couldn’t wait for her to get bigger and stronger, so that he won’t be too worried about her.

“Me, as a grandfather, I can’t wait to see how much of you will be in her. Because I realized, part of her is me. At the same time, I'm thinking now that it would add on to me to see that, ‘yeah, I raised him well,’ because she will always be a reflection of you and you’re a reflection of me,” Edu stated.

As Luis quizzed him about the best advice that he could relay to him, Edu said that it’s one of the things that he wouldn’t do to him for he wants Luis to figure out fatherhood on his own. This is prompted by his belief that no two people are alike, that whatever worked out for one might not work for the other – that whatever worked for him might not work with Luis. Thus, instead of giving him advice, Edu simply imparted what he just learned recently, which is the importance of being there for your kid and surrounding him/her with love, affection, and support.

With regards to the most challenging part of being a father, Edu confessed that it’s “failure,” since he doesn’t like to fail in anything that he does, much more when it’s about parenting. He firmly believes that if you’re a good parent, all your failures in other aspects of your life will be diminished. On the other hand, the best thing about being a parent for him is to see your children being able to stand on their own two feet, successful, and positive contributors to society. 

The father-and-son pair then recounted a few of their fondest memories together, as Luis asked Edu about the certain thing that they used to do together that he’s likely to recreate with Peanut. For Luis, it was those instances when they would ride on Edu’s motorcycle every time he fetched him from school and when they drove around their place in Edu’s old car and on the mini ATV that he bought for them. 

Meanwhile, for Edu, it was those times when he would send him to school since he got to hold his hand and receive a kiss from him on the cheek as soon as they arrived at his classroom and bade each other goodbye. Although Luis had asked him to stop doing it when he turned Grade 4, Edu is thankful and delighted that Luis continues to do it up to the present, even though he’s already a grown-up man and has a kid of his own. 

When it comes to the qualities of Luis that he wants Rosie to emulate, Edu said that it’s highly important that she will grow up into someone who is God-fearing and treats other people with respect and dignity, which he both sees in him. 

“Kung ano man ang kanyang mga passions in life, sana she has the opportunity to experience it. I would like her to be able to see other cultures and see the world if she can. I would like her to realize gaano ka-important ang edukasyon sa buhay ng isang tao,” the loving lolo conveyed.

He might be criticized many times before for not allowing him to enter showbiz when he was just a kid despite the slew of offers, but Edu didn’t have any regrets about it since being able to give him education is one of his greatest achievements in life, especially as a parent.

When asked for his message to his first-ever apo, who he always wants to call by her full name Isabella Rose, Edu reiterated, “I just want her to know that I will always be here to support her, and I’m sure, she will grow up to be a fine, young lady who will be like you (Luis), who will always be able to treat people with dignity and respect, and make a positive contribution to the society.”

Luis then shifted the program to “Edu Listens,” in which Luis talked about his own fatherhood journey with his dad as the interviewer this time. The older Manzano commenced their conversation by asking his son how he felt when he held Rosie in his hands for the first time.

The Kapamilya host recalled how “nakakatakot” it was, in the sense that she was fragile and he didn’t want to hold her the wrong way, along with other bigger fears that set in. “There’s always that aspect that I will be able to provide the life that I want. Will I be able to be the best father I can be for my daughter? At the same time, it’s really a different ball game sa inyo ng asawa mo if there’s a child involved already. So, that’s when reality actually sets in, na parang this is Day 1 of the new Luis Manzano. The anxiety is there, the happiness, at the same time the contentment. The whole gamut na pwede n’yong maramdaman, nando’n,” he expounded.

With the arrival of his daughter, Luis imparted that he has learned to cherish everyday with his family and to think about more of the future. He confessed that it has been part of his thoughts and prayers to live to what his family expects from him, and, most importantly, to what he expects from himself. He then went on to describe fatherhood, or parenthood in general, as something that couldn’t be simply brushed aside because it could be a constant source of fear and anxiety on whether he’s going to be a good provider.

When asked if he’s going to be a strict dad, Luis simply imparted one of the quotes uttered by the character of Hollywood actor Steve Martin in the 1991 romantic comedy film “Father of the Bride”. According to him, this world has both good and bad sides that every person will surely experience or be exposed to whatever age they’re in, and the only thing that parents can hold on to is the goodness that they ingrained in their child to which they could go back over and over again. Besides, he’s also expecting Peanut to make mistakes. And whatever mistakes she will commit, that doesn’t make him love her any less and he will still do his best to raise her the best he and Jessy can.

Just when many assume that his wife is the “more praning” between them, Luis confessed that it’s actually him. They may not have clashed yet with regards to the way they take care of their unica hija, but he knows that the time will surely come in the future that his and Jessy’s different parenting styles are going to be unraveled as Peanut grows up. They also do not practice the so-called “good cop, bad cop,” as they want to raise their daughter as a solid tandem until she grows up. 

While Luis would allow Peanut to have suitors and be in a relationship when she’s already in high school, he disclosed that he and Jessy actually have discussions about not letting her have access to gadgets at an early age. In fact, they always turn off their TV or close their phones every time Rosie enters a room, and will not have phones once the time comes that she can join them at the dining table.

The adorable father-and-son tandem capped off the show by once again greeting each other a “Happy Father’s Day,” as well as the other fathers and father figures out there.