One of the challenges faced by parents today is raising their children sans gadgets.
But businessman Joel Cruz has been firm about his decision not to expose his eight children to iPad or tablet or smartphone.
He actually fears not being able to talk to them because they are glued to the screens. “Minsan nga, nakita ko sa isang restaurant yung isang pamilya na habang kumakain sila, may kanya-kanya silang celll phone na hawak at di sila nag-uusap. Ayaw kong mangyari sa amin yun.”
He told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during the birthday celebration of his eldest twins, Prince Sean and Princess Synne, “Masasabi ko na I’m proud of myself na isa akong ama na nakayanan ko palakihin sila na wala pa ring gadget even up to now na seven years old na sila.
“Kahit cellphone ay wala even though I can afford to buy them cellphone.”
Those times it cannot be avoided, he lets them borrow his or their nanny’s phone for a limited time.
“Minsan nakakagamit sila pero hindi yun sa kanila, kahit 10 to 20 minutes, they use the iPad or cellphone ng yaya nila or minsan yung sa akin din na cellphone. Sinasabi ko kasi sa kanila na masisira yung mata nila when they use gadgets.”
Don't they throw tantrums?
The eldest twins are seven years old, while the youngest is turning one this November .
“Yung mga younger yung madalas mag-tantrums, pero hindi sila talaga sila ma-tantrums, kasi malaki talaga yung tulong ng mga yaya. Kasi pag gutom lang, bibigyan ng gatas.
"Minsan, antok lang. Kahit nga minsan antok, e, di rin sila masyadong nagta-tantrums, e, matulog lang sila. Kahit nga nakayuko lang at nakasandal sa kotse, makakatulog na sila, e."
Sean and Synne have participated in fashion shows. All eight kids have been featured on TV, broadsheets, and websites. Are they aware of their celebrity status?
“Minsan naririnig nila yun, because daddy is famous, daddy is celebrity. Minsan nga tinatanong nila ako, ‘Bakit may nagpapa-picture sa kanila? Bakit kailangan naming sumali sa mga fashion show?'
"Back stage, tinatanong nila ako back stage. Sinasabi ko sa kanila na, ‘We are not just ordinary people, na we are special, we are celebrities, some people inspired by my stories.’”