Camille Prats’s son Nathan was only four years old in 2011 when his dad Anthony Linsangan succumbed to throat cancer.
After "one year" of being a widow and a single parent to her son, Camille unexpectedly found a second chance at love with a former schoolmate, US-based businessman VJ Yambao.
But Camille wanted to be certain about her feelings for VJ first before actually introducing him to her son.
She also wanted to be certain about how Nathan, who she calls Tantan, would feel about another man in her life.
So she probed.
"He was kind of young, and sinabi ko lang sa kanya, 'You know, Tantan, I have a friend…' siyempre, ganyan," she told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) at her princess-themed bridal shower on November 5, in Marco Polo in Mandaluyong City.
"'Tapos, actually, una, iyong sabi ko, 'What if somebody makes ligaw Mommy?'
"Sabi pa niya, 'No! Nobody can make you ligaw, I’ll sapak him.' So gano’n talaga sa umpisa."
In the beginning, the man who was becoming a constant presence in their lives was just "Tito VJ," but eventually Nathan warmed up to his mom’s new "friend."
For Camille, it was important to see Nathan happy about the new man in their lives, especially since she felt that her relationship with VJ was already taking a turn for the serious.
"I’m always after my son’s happiness. If he’s not happy about something, hindi rin magma-materialize sa ’kin iyon.
"Kaya rin umabot sa ganito, itong relationship na ito, it’s also because of him. He’s really a big factor of it."
A NEW DAD. When the time came for Camille to introduce Nathan to the idea of having VJ in their lives forever, mother and son had a serious talk.
The actress-host recalled, "Up until I was very sure of me and VJ, hindi ko talaga siya pinakilala kay Nathan. Talagang Tito-Tito lang.
"Pero nung medyo nagiging seryoso na, sinabi ko sa kanya na, 'You know, we can only choose once.'"
She told Nathan, who by then was five years old, "Tito VJ really wants to be a part of us. He wants to take care of us.
"Is that okay with you?
"Sabi ko, 'Kasi you know what, if ever we’re going to choose someone to be a part of our lives, we can only choose once.
"'If we choose Tito VJ, he’s forever na. We cannot change him anymore, we can’t be changing daddies, you know?'
"Iyon iyong thinking ko talaga, na parang ayokong madami akong napapakilala sa kanya na iba-iba.
"'Tapos ayoko rin na parang hindi ako sigurado sa imi-meet niya, 'tapos magbe-break kami.
"It’s also a breakup between the both of them, and I wanted to spare him of that heartbreak."
Camille gave Nathan time to think about the idea, which he accepted, but it took him a while to get back to her.
Once he was ready, she recalls happily, "Lumapit siya sa 'kin, 'Mommy, it’s okay na. I’m sure na talaga. I like Tito VJ na, he’s forever na. We’ll choose him na.'"
Camille is set to marry VJ on the first week of January 2017, at the Prats' family-owned Nayomi Sanctuary Resorts in Batangas.