Known as Regine Velasquez’s impersonator, Anton Diva has certainly come a long way from his humble beginnings through hard work and determination. His admiration for the Asia’s Songbird began when he noticed that his voice was changing when he hit puberty. He then realized that he couldn’t sing some songs the way he used to anymore. At that time, he found himself distraught with his disposition, until he heard the song “Narito Ako” by his idol. “Sabi ko, ‘Grabe ‘tong boses na ‘to! Tao ba ‘to?’Humanga ako talaga. Kasi sa kanya ko lang narinig ‘yung style na parang rollercoaster.” Regine’s other songs grew on him as well, and he found himself fascinated by her hugot songs such as “Ngayong Wala Ka Na”.
However, it was never an easy journey for Anton as he struggled with acceptance and the approval of his loved ones. Anton’s father Emmanuel admitted that he couldn’t tell that his son had lady like tendencies at the beginning. “Kasi sa bahay hindi naman siya nagbibihis ng pang babae. At pagkausap mo siya, diretso naman magsalita.” But when his son was in high school, Emmanuel could tell the difference, because of the kind of people his son would hang out with. Due to the obvious transition, he became strict with Anton and admitted that he still wanted his son to be ‘straight.’ Anton disclosed to the Magandang Buhay hosts that his mother new about him being gay, however it was a topic that didn’t have to be tackled with her, because he knew that her instincts were strong. “Si Mommy, hindi ko na siya kailangan kausapin kasi mothers know best.” He underlined that when it comes to issues like these, mothers tend to show more empathy and are easier to talk to.
Even if Anton’s father had a hard time accepting his transformation, Emmanuel stressed that he couldn’t be happier and prouder of what he has achieved and what he has become. He stated that Anton is a good person and generous, not just to his family but to those in need. And from time to Anton would spoil his family, and bring them to their favorite restaurants. “Ang dami po niyan ginawang pagtulong. Hindi lang sa aming mag-asawa kundi sa mga kapatid niya,” he stressed proudly.
However, Anton said that he had ill feelings toward his father at one point because he was too strict. But now everything has changed for the better, and he loves his father dearly. “I’m happy and proud to have a dad like him,” Anton said lovingly.
Another member of the LGBTQ group who is now a successful Kapamily actor is Adrian Lindayag, who portrays the role of Neil Andrada in the afternoon series Kadenang Ginto. Before he joined the hit teleserye, Adrian started out a stylist in ABS-CBN. “Stylist ako sa ABS-CBN sa Stylist Inc. for two years halos. Naka-assign ako kina Luis Manzano, nag-a-ASAP ako, at nag-a-assist ako kina Ate Maja at Ate Bea,” he recalled.
At a young age, Adrian shared that he was still confused about his sexuality, and didn’t want to disclose anything, just yet, to anyone. But his parents were the ones who were upfront about it and were already telling him that there was a possibility of him being ‘queer.’ “Sila na mismo ‘yung nag-approach sa akin. Sabi ni Daddy at ni Mommy na napapansin na nila so baka nga. So dun ko lang po natanggap ang sarili ko. Sila ‘yung unang tumanggap sa akin,” he elaborated.
His father, Kapamilya veteran director Roderick Lindayag, shared that it took a moment for him to adjust, and revealed that he had a really hard time accepting his son’s sexuality. Growing up, Roderick said he idolized movie icons such as the late Fernando Poe Jr. and a lot of other macho movie stars, to that point that he even wished that his son would be paired up in a loveteam. The director was in denial at first, but then eventually had to accept his son for who he was, and even cried about it. “Nung nag-eighteen siya, sabi ko ‘Mag-usap tayo’. Binigyan ko siya pa ng beer. Sana sabihin niya hindi totoo, at akala ko magde-deny. Pero diretso niyang sinabi ‘oo’ eh. Siyempre hindi madali, pero kailangan dahil lahat ng anak natin kailangan ng tamang pagmamahal,” Daddy Roderick pointed out.
According to Relational Life Coach Doctor Ali Gui, parents will always know their children’s sexuality, whether or not they confirm anything. She underscored that confirmation is relevant between the parents and their child, and added that the situation would be a lot easier, if the mother or father would be the first to make the effort and approach them. “Mas madali at mas mapapadali kung tayo mismo ang mag-uunawa sa mga anak natin,” she announced. Doctor Ali also said that children are scared to admit anything to their parents not because they don’t love them but because they are afraid of hurting them.
The two popshies also gave the audiences pieces of advice on how to deal with accepting their child if and when they become a part of the LGBTQ community. Emmanuel urged parents to be very observant, about what they wear and who they hang out with early on. “They have to observe all these things daily,” he stated frankly. He also encouraged parents to be vocal about preaching to young ones about being good and God-fearing. As for Direk Roderick, he stressed that it is imperative to always protect your child no matter what the circumstances are, and most of all, love them unconditionally. “Bilang ama dapat tayo’y nauuna sa pagproprotekta sa ating mga anak at nauuna rin sa pagbibigay ng pagmamahal,” he emphasized.