Drew Arellano finds joy in being stay-at-home dad 24/7

by Justine Punzalan
Jul 18, 2020
TV host Drew Arellano, here with sons Primo and Leon, enjoys being a stay-at-home dad 24/7 while working from home.
PHOTO/S: @drewarellano on Instagram

Like everyone working from home because of the pandemic, Kapuso hosts Drew Arellano and wife Iya Villania have turned their home into a "studio" where they conduct and shoot their interviews.

How then are the celebrity couple able to focus on their work when their son Primo, 3, wanders into their workspace and their one-year-old son Leon and newborn daughter Alana Lauren cry for their attention?

Drew casually remarked, "I just let the kids walk around."

Talking about his quarantine life at the virtual presscon of GMA News TV's New Normal: The Survival Guide on July 14, 2020, the father of three said, "Most of the shoots naman aren't that serious.

"If ever lang we do have serious interviews or we are lacking time, maybe I would tell my wife or whoever is there to like, 'O, medyo hawakan niyo lang iyong dalawa, a.'

"But, of course, whenever they cry or nahahagip ng audio iyong iyak nila, wala kang magagawa talaga.

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"I mean, we're working from home. Marami diyan ang mga uncontrollable factors din.

"Hindi naman kami nakatira sa isang mansiyon at wala rin naman kaming sound-proof na studio... we gotta do what we gotta do."

And so for those parents facing the awkward situation of having children doing cameo appearances during their Zoom meetings, here's Drew's advice: "Chill."

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SET PRIORITY, THE REST is EASY

Having a "family first" mindset also has helped Drew breeze through the work-from-home setup.

He said, "We are so grateful that because of the pandemic, we get to spend so much time together.

"And ever since naman, pre-quarantine, talagang that's always been my mindset.

"We grew up thinking that way, that family time is the priority for us.

"Working is probably second or third..."

Tasked with multiple responsibilities as a husband and father, host, and businessman, family was the reason he almost turned down his long-running travel show, Byahe ni Drew, when it was first offered to him.

Drew revealed, "Actually, when they approached me for the travel show, my initial reaction was, 'Wait, hold on, I'm doing the morning show already and I'm gonna take Saturday, Sunday?'

"I was like, 'Weekends are holy. This is family time, so I can't.'"

To make adjustments, Drew practically dictated his terms to his manager, "I want to work three days in a week—TV work, specifically.

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"Three days a week because I want to spend more time with my family and just do my businesses na lang at home...

"So we worked our way and, apparently, puwede palang Friday, after ng Unang Hirit, fly or whatever.

"Then, do the travel show for two days, fly back Saturday night, and then be with my family Sunday.

"So with that type of thinking, I told myself, 'Okay, I have to plan ahead.'"

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Drew remarked he's been grateful that his in-person work schedule, in fact, turned out to be perfectly tailored for juggling work and family life while working from home.

He said, "So, thank you, it was fortunate that I was able to plan properly and schedule properly...

"Hindi masyado naging problema iyong priorities because pre-quarantine, I already had that type of mindset already."

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NOTHING NEW IN THE NEW NORMAL

For Drew, family will always be a priority to him, "new normal" or whatnot.

He said, "Definitely I will continue spending time with them even after sabihin na nating dumating iyong vaccine, sabihin na nating, new normal will arrive.

"There's nothing like spending time with someone, there's nothing like getting to know that someone properly," he said.

In the meantime, he will share tips on parenting amid the pandemic in GMA News TV's newest program, New Normal: The Survival Guide.

The series consists of five different shows to be aired weeknights beginning July 20 on GMA News TV.

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Drew will host the Friday program, New Normal: Family Time.

He said, "With the help of experts, we will be giving helpful tips on parenting because I’m also a new parent.

"Family Time will show you how to build strong relationship, to create a safe and happy home.

"We will also show home activities—simple and fun activities, as well as explore homeschooling."

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TV host Drew Arellano, here with sons Primo and Leon, enjoys being a stay-at-home dad 24/7 while working from home.
PHOTO/S: @drewarellano on Instagram
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