Danica Sotto-Pingris has nothing but admiration for her husband, Mark Pingris.
In spite of his busy schedule as a player for the PBA team B-Meg Llamados, he still manages to fulfill his duties as dad to kids Jean-Michele or Mic, 4, and Anielle Micaela or Caela, 10 months.
In an interview with PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at a BC Magazine event last June, Danica said of her husband, “I’m the one who really takes care of the kids kasi ako iyong mas may oras.
“Mark kasi trains six times a week. In between, meron pa siyang mga games, so hindi siya nakaka…iyong oras niya hindi kasing dami ng oras na nabibigay ko sa mga bata.
“Pero ang masasabi ko kay Mark, pag-uwi niya every day or bago siya umalis for work or pag mga times na wala silang practice or training, sobra naman kasi ang pagbawi niya.
“Sobra siyang hands-on din na dad, so hindi ko siya masumbatan ng anything.”
She added that Mark is not only an attentive dad, but he’s also a responsible babysitter.
“Actually, magaling siya sa mga bata. Hindi ako natatakot na, kunwari, iyong iiwan iyong mga bata sa kanya.
“Kaya niyang magpaligo, magpalit ng diaper, kaya niya. Puwera lang siguro mag-breastfeed!” she quipped.
Even their own kids fully appreciate their dad's efforts to spend time with them.
Whenever Mark is around, Danica would find herself being ignored by both Mic and Caela.
“Siguro kasi nagsasawa sila sa ’kin na, ‘Ikaw na lang parati.’ Pag kay Mark, they’re really crazy about their dad.
“Minsan nga sabi ko, ‘Grabe naman ‘to! Ako iyong laging kasama pero…’ Wala. Talagang mas habol sa kanya iyong dalawa, sobra.”
Asked if the couple follows a certain schedule or if they divide all the child-rearing workload between themselves, Danica answered, “No.”
As the mother, she has made it her priority to be with the kids and just lets her husband do the earning.
In fact, Danica hasn’t done a regular TV show since the 2006 ABS-CBN Komiks Presents series. That was a year before she and Mark got married.
So has she really given up on showbiz to become a full-time mom?
“Sa ngayon, siyempre, mga anak ko talaga iyong priority ko.
“Pero pag siguro may papasok na project na medyo okay iyong schedule, and siguro okay ang theme or something to do with being a woman or a mom, why not?”
While she is still open to doing TV projects, Danica refrains from accepting offers, such as soap operas, that will require her to give up much of her family time.
“Kasi iyong soap, honestly I miss doing iyong mga taping-taping, kaya lang di ko pa kasi alam kung kaya kong mag-commit sa...iyong sobrang puyatan.
“Maybe, kung hindi siguro thrice a week, I’ll accept. Depende. Kasi nga, iyong taping ng soap magdamagan, e.
“So, ang hirap din, tapos thrice a week. Pag uwi mo, iyong kinabukasan pa na araw no’n, tulog ka rin or baka may lakad ka din.
“So unless it’s something twice or once a week, gano’n, baka puwede kong gawin.”
Right now, Danica still gets to work from time to time as a host of corporate or mommy-related events.
She considers it a blessing, after choosing the path of being a hands-on mom, because her situation now has allowed her to discover her other talents.
“At least, kahit papaano, may other side of me naman din na natuklasan ko na, ‘Okay, kaya ko rin palang mag-host.’”