Cristine, Empress, Rufa Mae, Jolina express fulfillment as first-time moms on “Magandang Buhay”

Second of a two-part series

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! The day when the life of our everyday heroes – our mothers – is celebrated and given more emphasis. The day when we feel more spontaneous to express our love and gratitude for them. Every one’s excited about it, but nothing surpasses the exhilaration it brings to the first-time moms.

In the second part of our Mother’s Day special, celebrity mom novices Cristine Reyes-Khatibi, Empress Schuck, Rufa Mae Quinto-Magallanes, and Jolina Magdangal-Escueta share the ups and downs and what they’ve learned since bringing their beloved first-borns to the world.

Cristine Reyes-Khatibi


Much has changed in the life of Cristine Reyes since she tied the knot with mixed martial arts fighter Ali Khatibi and gave birth to first-born baby Amarah.

When Magandang Buhay visited their home, Cristine confessed that she really had a hard time in transitioning to married life. “Unang-una nadiscover ko, kaya ko palang mag-compromise. Kasi dati noong single ako, syempre di na ako magdedeny, sinusunod ko talaga ang gusto kong gawin. Kahit alam ko ‘yong consequences no’n, gagawin ko pa rin, tutuloy ko pa rin. So ngayon na may-asawa na ako, natuto akong makinig, although honestly totoo dati talaga di ako nakikinig kahit sa mommy ko, sa elders ko. Pero ngayon na may asawa na ako, ‘yon ang struggle na kailangan makinig ka dahil kung hindi, mauuwi talaga kayo sa awayan.”

The actress also admitted that her life peg before were Hollywood stars, particularly Angelina Jolie, However, she later on realized that they were too far from reality.

“Di ba akala mo noong bata ka, syempre mahilig ka manood ng movie ng princesses. Akala mo kapag kinasal ka na ‘happily ever after’, tapos nagkaanak ka. Tapos makikita mo sa mga magazine lalo na yung mga Hollywood, ‘yong mga inspiration ko before sina Angelina Jolie. Tapos no’ng ako na, nag-asawa na ako, nagkaroon na ako ng anak, hindi ko naisip ‘yong reality na iiyak ng iiyak ang anak mo, malikot ang anak mo, ‘yong asawa mo may gagawin din sa sarili rin niyang buhay. Akala mo kasi sa pictures ang saya-saya n’yo, kain kayo, tawa kayo ng tawa. Hindi ‘yon totoo. Hard work siya talaga.”

And, when she fully immersed herself as a mother, Cristine had been hands-on in taking care of Amara together with Ali, as revealed by her brother-in-law Nathan on Magandang Buhay.

“They’re very hands-on with Amara. Even pagod sila, like when she’s (Cristine) very tired from taping and all, she’ll still make way for Amara. She’ll bring her to school and all. Then, walang tulog siya, she’ll take her to school and all and make time for Ali. So sobrang maalaga sila. They’re very good parents,” Nathan said.

With her devotion to family, primarily as a dedicated and caring mom to Amara, it truly has been a loving and fulfilled life for Cristine.

Empress Schuck

Empress Schuck surprised everyone when she confirmed her pregnancy two years ago, and had since gave birth her first-born baby Athalia with boyfriend Vino Guingona, grandson of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona.

In their family’s appearance on Magandang Buhay, the newbie parents imparted that they go hand-in-hand in taking good care of Athalia and in handling their finances. They are also proud that they did not undergo any parenting classes and bringing up their daughter is ‘magic’ or purely parental instinct.

When asked who’s more hands-on, Empress retorted, “Syempre, Mommy. Parang normal na ‘yon kasi mas instinct talaga ng mommy na siya talaga. Pero bilib talaga ako kay Vino kasi parang parehas lang kami ng level.”

Being a mother transformed Empress in incredible ways and brought her direction, with patience and compassion foremost in being there for Athalia at all times.

Rufa Mae Quinto-Magallanes

Rufa Mae Quinto-Magallanes is well-known for her trademark “Todo Na ‘To!” energetic spiel, and giving birth to her daughter Alexandria Athena is the happiest and ‘Todo na ‘to!’ moment of her life.

When Magandang Buhay visited her condominium unit, she reminisced the very first day of becoming a mother. “Basta ang naalala ko, ayaw ko siyang mahiwalay sa akin. Parang feeling ko, iiyak siya kasi di siya sanay na wala ako dahil magkasama kami sa tiyan.”

During the initial phase of her adjustment period, the comedienne was indeed grateful to her friend Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla for helping her out particularly while she’s in dire need of colostrum for Athena. Mariel donated four to five ounces of breastmilk and imparted a lactation diet for her to produce more milk.

Rufa Mae didn’t find it hard to adjust to motherhood as she is more delightful of it, which is obvious to her Instagram posts. Her husband Trevor Magallanes has been helping her also in attending to the needs of their baby girl.

When the Magandang Buhay momshies asked how Athena changed their relationship, she said, “Mas naging serious kami kasi aasikasuhin mo buhay ng anak mo. Mas naging close at mas nakilala ang isa’t isa, saka at the same time ‘yong bonding mas forever.”

Jolina Magdangal-Escueta

Even with her tight schedule, which includes her hosting chores on Magandang Buhay, Jolina Magdangal-Escueta indicated that as a first-time mom, she would make sure that she’s hands-on in her mommy duties for her first born Pele Iñigo.

Jolina said on Magandang Buhay that she and husband Mark Escueta share responsibilities in taking care of their son.

“Yung pagiging hands-on namin, parang siguro sa iba OA na kasi talagang hindi namin maiwan si Pele na wala ang isa sa amin. Tapos kung talagang magkasabay yung work niya at saka yung work ko, talagang isa sa amin ang magsasama sa kanya,” Jolina revealed.

She says quality time with her kid is most important.

“Kasi para sa amin, ang important sa amin yung time namin na kasama siya. Kahit alam ko ngayon, baka di pa niya naiisip pero alam ko, kahit papaano, naiinject sa kanya yon na lagi kami nandyan para sa kanya.”

Motherhood has not been detrimental for her as she could always seek support and advice from her mommy Paulette and celebrity friends who are mothers too, such as Kyla, Judy Ann Santos, and her Magandang Buhay co-hosts Melai Cantiveros and Karla Estrada.

What’s most extraordinary for these celebrity first time moms is their enthusiasm, dedication, and steadfast love for their first-borns. Their initial experience would certainly guide them further in the difficult yet rewarding commitment of parenthood. Now, it’s not about them, but all about the best they could give their children and eventually, how they would find and succeed in their own journeys—indeed, a sense of fulfillment they couldn’t get from a top rating show, a movie blockbuster or a sold-out concert.