Filipinos have come to accept that the nuclear family has drastically changed over the past two decades, especially with the massive deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers. Though not encouraged, a family without a dad or a mom is now deemed normal. Pinoys are more open now to single parenthood. Laws are becoming more friendly to parents whose civil status is "single." Hiring guidelines in companies have become more accommodating.
Showbiz has its share of single parents. For young female stars, it's a different case. They go into hiatus, then make a showbiz comeback. Some have been lucky, but others no longer receive a warm welcome from their fans.
With guys, it's an entirely different story. So long as the chemistry with their respective screen partners is still hot and the image they project to the public is still "freelance and unattached," their rise to stardom simply continues.
Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP) draws a list of young male talents who have disclosed that they sired children. The list does not include Vhong Navarro and Wendell Ramos, who both got married, then separated. In short, its confined only to single dads.
DENNIS TRILLO. The newly minted father owned up to siring the child of 2005 Bb Pilipinas-World Carlene Aguilar two weeks ago.
At first, everyone just played a guessing game on who's the daddy of the kid. The beauteous mom made things more intriguing by saying the father of her baby was a "Chinese businessman." But the birth of the baby boy eventually put an end to the game, his name is Calex Andrea Ho. Dennis Trillo is Abelardo Dennis Ho in real life.
Dennis initially denied the rumors of fathering the beauty queen's baby. When asked to explain why he hid the fact, he said it was the request of Carlene to keep her pregnancy away from the limelight. He committed his support for his son.
"Pero bilang magulang, siyempre nandiyan ako para suportahan lahat ng pangangailangan. And willing naman akong makipag-ayos sa kanila or sa parents niya para maayos kung ano man ang dapat ayusin para siyempre dun sa bata. Siyempre, di ko 'yon pababayaan, anak ko 'yon, e," Dennis said in a television interview.
How did the fans take it?
PEP put out a poll and, surprisingly, the majority of respondents said, "It doesn't matter." Even the comments column showered words of support on the young actor. And the Mega-Manila rating of Dennis's ongoing TV series Zaido did not fluctuate—it actually registered its strong presence in the primetime block.
PIOLO PASCUAL. The 30-year old guy is presently the most sought-after bachelor. Girls and gays want to make Piolo their "papa." We've already heard dozens and dozens of stories about girls getting starstruck on seeing him in person.
But Piolo is Papa to his only son, Iñigo Pascual. The singer-actor has been very open about this aspect of his life, but he has concealed the identity of the boy's mother. He clarified though that his relation with the boy's mother is civil. Iñigo recently changed his surname from "Lazaro" to his father's surname.
Piolo is proud of his son. One of his product endorsements actually leveraged on this fact. Remember his multivitamin commercial where he narrates the joy of sharing his time with Iñigo?
He's not shy either when it comes to answering press queries about his being a dad. In an interview, Piolo said, "Ang sarap maging daddy. I like the feeling of responsibility that comes with it. He's proud of me and I really enjoy it. We go to the mall, watch movies, play at the arcade, shop for stuff...enjoy talaga."
And does his popularity meter falter?
With his platinum albums, hit TV series, box-office success, and numerous commercials—it wouldn't be hard to say that being a Papa doesn't make him less desirable and bankable.
MARVIN AGUSTIN. In real life, the guy assumes many roles. He is an actor. He is regularly seen on TV and is still busy with movie projects. He is a businessman. He manages a chain of food booths and restaurants. And most of all, he is a dad.
The 28-year old actor feels blessed for having twin sons, Santiago and Sebastian. Marvin's former girlfriend Tet Dy gave birth to the twins in the U.S. last August 15, 2005. Tet is the daughter of former Isabel Governor Fasutino Dy. Marvin and Tet are friends and both hands-on parents, but marriage plans are definitely out.
"There are no limits to how long they [kids] can stay with each parent. It's a very loose and comfortable setup. I'm at that stage where I'm learning to be a father. It's hard work when you've got two babies. And they're getting heavier each day. I can't carry the two at the same time anymore!" Marvin told a broadsheet, laughing.
His being a single dad did not get in the way of his career. Even when he was paired with former love team Jolina Magdangal in GMA-7's I Luv New York, the ratings proved that Marvin still has the star power.
ARCHIE ALEMANIA. Archie was relatively unknown before he burst on the television set via Studio 23. He was a Tadjock aka "Reklamador ng Bayan" in Wazzup Wazzup where he parodies Mike Enriquez's Imbestigador.
The guy also became a fixture in the now-defunct Magandang Tanghali Bayan (MTB). That's where he met Mickey Ferriols.
Archie was smitten with the mestiza actress and host, who was much older than him. His big-time crush became his girlfriend, and eventually, the mother of his child. They now have a two-year old son named Brent. Archie publicly admitted that he has another son, Ice, from a previous relationship.
In an interview with a daily newspaper, the 28-year old host said, "As Brent is my second son, people would assume I'm already used to it, but no. Everyone is different, so how you raise one would be different from how you do so with the other."
Archie plans to marry Mickey by next year. For now, he dabbles in acting, with comedy as his forte.
PAOLO PARAISO. Following the footsteps of his sisters Bubbles and Dimples, Paolo Paraiso crossed over from the modeling world to showbizlandia.
From being a ramp, television, and print commercial model, he made his debut in the hit afternoon series, Tabing Ilog. He later ventured into doing movies, and somewhere along the way, he met Mylene Dizon.
The two became a couple and, now, parents to Tomas Miguel.
Paolo was inside the delivery room when Mylene gave birth to their baby. Tomas was born in the morning of March 30, 2005, in Chicago.
In an interview with YES! magazine, the then 25-year old first time daddy said, "Malaking nag-iba! Feeling ko nag-mature talaga ako ng todo. Ngayon kailangan ko nang magplano kasi may anak na ako. Ang dreams ko ay hindi na for myself. Ang dreams ko, for him na."
The two agreed to end their relationship last June. But Paolo and Mylene remain good friends. In fact, they are usually seen at parties and events together. And even if he's already a dad, he still made it to Cosmopolitan magazine's list of hot bachelors.
Have your own list of bachelor dads, the PEPsters column will gladly accomodate it.