Jake Ejercito is not too excited about entering the next stage of parenthood.
Realizing how quickly she is growing up, Jake admits in his PEP Exclusives interview in October 2020: "Actually, I'm not looking forward to it. Siyempre, as much as possible, gusto ko ano pa rin siya, di ba, baby.
"But you know, it's inevitable."
Jake does his best to accept reality and keeps in mind a quote he read from the Instagram page of Hollywood star Will Smith.
The Sunday Noontime Live host-performer continues, "Nabasa ko one of Will Smith's Instagram posts. He said something like, 'Parenthood is a balance between letting go and squeezing tight.'
"That's the challenge kasi nandoon na si Ellie sa age na she gets curious about lots of things and slowly, parang gusto na rin niya maging independent somehow."
Jake knows that any time soon, Ellie will be asking for this independence and he is determined to properly prepare his daughter for the future.
"Maybe a few more years, she'll leave the nest. And I just have to make sure na before that happens, she's well-equipped to survive by herself."
Jake Ejercito ON co-parenting with Andi Eigenmann
Ellie is Jake's daughter with former girlfriend Andi Eigenmann.
Jake and Andi maintain a co-parenting set-up with Ellie, and showbiz fans look up to them for that.
But the Star Magic talent reminds fans about its beginnings.
He remarks, "I get to read the comments about iyong set-up namin and how we're doing nowadays. But you know, it wasn't always this easy.
"Co-parenting, it goes through many phases. Pero eventually when you guys mature and you learn to be child-focused and set the past aside, talagang iyon. You just have to compromise and focus on the welfare of the kid, and that's what we did."
On a personal level, Jake wants to spend as much quality time as possible with Ellie, especially since he was busy studying abroad when Ellie was in her toddler years.
Jake studied college in London then pursued a Master's degree in Singapore. He returned to the Philippines after completeing his graduate studies in 2018.
"By the time I got back here, I made it a point to make up for lost time, na makabawi kay Ellie. Ginagawa ko talaga lahat.
"I try to spoil her, but not too much. Every time she's with me, I make sure na we have fun."