John Prats is an embodiment of the adage you'll never know until you become one, especially when one becomes a parent.
"Changed my life totally," the 35-year-old Kapamilya star told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the press at the Johnson's Choose Gentle event last Tuesday, August 13."
John and his wife, Isabel Oli, have a daughter and a son: three-year-old Lilly Feather and nine-month-old Daniel Freedom.
The actor continued, "Yung paglabas pa lang ni Feather, totally nag-iba talaga yung buhay ko.
"Sabi ko nga, nung kinasal ako... parang as a person, okay lang. Parang mag-boyfriend kayo 'tapos bliness [bless] lang kayo ni God, pero same lang.
"Pero nung dumating si Feather sa buhay namin, talagang totally different mindset, lahat."
Feather was born on April 18, 2016.
A week after having his first taste of fatherhood, John wrote this on Instagram:
"One week na ngayon! Grabe ang moment na ito sa buhay namin ng asawa ko. Hindi ko ma-explain ang saya. Napakalaking pagbabago sa buhay namin. Totoo ang mga tsismis:) Puyatan talaga, pero sobrang sarap na puyatan.
"Sulit ang bawat segundo pag kapiling ko sila. Sobrang gusto ko magtrabaho araw-araw, at hindi ko nararamdaman ang pagod. Dahil lahat ng ginagawa ko ay para sa kanila. Salamat Lord God sa healthy baby na binigay mo sa amin na si [Feather] at sa safety ng asawa ko [Isabel]."
Four years later, the way John views fatherhood remains the same. He told PEP.ph during the interview that he has found his greater purpose in life through his children.
"May responsibility ka na sa mundo, may purpose ka na, you find a purpose na may isang tao or dalawang bata ngayon na hawak-hawak namin yung future nila.
"So you want to be careful, you want to be gentle when it comes to handling their life.
"Sabi ko nga, nung nagkaroon na ako ng boy, si Freedom, okay na ako kasi para mas maka-focus kami sa two kids."
John's new goal in this chapter of his life is for his kids to know him as the "cool dad."
He does not like to end up stern like most fathers, but rather as his kids' ally and best friend.
He said, "Yun yung gusto ko ever since nung hindi pa ako parent.
"Gusto ko kapag nagkaanak ako at ina-apply ko ngayon, I wanna be the cool dad—no rules, have fun with my kids.
"Buti naman ganun yung nangyayari, kasi my wife, siya yung disciplinarian, very OC [obsessive-compulsive] with everything.
"Ako yung mas playful saka yung kakampi ng dalawa, hindi ko kasi kayang maging strict.
"I work almost every day, and yung time ko with them, I want na sana maalala nila ako nang happy.
"Hindi yung sandali na lang ako sa house 'tapos magagalit pa ako sa kanila or pinagbabawalan ko pa sila."
The celebrity dad, however, is grateful that his wife is playing the "bad cop" between the two of them.
He said, "Happy ako na ganun siya kasi feeling ko, confident ako na magiging okay yung kids ko."
When asked about his bonding moments with his kids, John said he usually brings them to the mall.
He told PEP.ph, "Kami ni Feather, we always go to the mall, sa Eastwood. Magra-ride siya ng train, favorite niya yun.
"Para sa akin, very emotional yung part na yun kasi lagi namin siyang ginagawa.
"Pati yung carousel sa labas, combination iyan, e... Lagi yun, dalawa.
"Darating yung time na wala na, hindi na siya sasakay dun so, for me, sobrang memorable yung dalawang area na yun."
In an Instagram post last July 25, John revealed his favorite bonding activity with Freedom is reading him a book.
Part of his caption read, "...sharing my time and having an open hand will give him the assurance that he can have comfort and happiness by my side."
John however clarified that he still does his part when disciplining Feather and Freedom. But his manner is gentle.
He related, "Si Feather kasi three-years-old so nakakaintindi na siya. So pag may ginawa siyang mali, I talk to her.
"And weird, e, naiintindihan niya pag nagche-change yung facial rection ko, kapag nakita niyang malungkot ako or na-disappoint ako.
"Alam niya and hindi na niya gagawin yun ulit. Siguro, I want them to grow up na hindi violent.
"Totoo yun, e, yung patience mo, ite-test talaga, e.
"Totoo yung sinasabi ng mga magulang ko sa akin na, ‘Aba, kung alam mo lang kung paano ka naming pinalaki, sasagot ka pa.’ Ganun ngayon, e."
John said both he and Isabel have been putting in extra efforts to show their children they are good people who value sharing, humility, and respect.
"Ang gusto ko ituro is to share… like with toys, kuha lang sila nang kuha. You know, you just ask permission and you share.
"And siguro, pag tanda nila, gusto ko lang maging humble sila, and just be nice to everyone, and respect everyone.
"Yun yung gusto kong ituro sa kanila. Lahat ng iyan, susunod na iyan, e.
"Kapag ganun ka naman, yung values mo, yung core mo, you want to show them na we're like that.
"Kasi kung ano yung nakikita talaga ng mga kids, yun yung ginagaya nila."
With new purpose, John has also learned to deprioritize luxury items.
He explained, "Kasama yun, yung love mo sa cars, sa watch, lahat yun maiiba, e. Mawawala iyan, mag-i-stop iyan.
"So bago ka bumili ng isang luho mo, you have to think about kung kailangan ba ito or hindi.
"Mas inuuna ko yung future nila, like now ang goal ko is to create this home kung saan sila lalaki.
"Mas pangkalahatan yung iniisip ko, mas para sa kanila na.
"Yung school nila, siyempre, you want to have a good school for them, yun na yung mga iniisip namin for them."