Claudine Barretto explains to her daughter, with utmost care, that she’s adopted; pleads for public sensitivity to the issue

"Alam naman niya, e. Pero yung detalye na iba yung mommy niya, na iba yung daddy [niya], hindi pa. Hindi pa. Kailangan yun ihimay. Unti-unti. So, kaya nandiyan yung DSWD to help you. Na ito lang ang puwede mong sabihin," says Claudine Barretto on why DSWD’s help is needed in revealing to Sabina that she’s an adopted child.


Claudine Barretto looked slimmer last night, August 23, during the press launch of GMA-7’s newest fantasy series Iglot compared to when we visited her during the first taping day of the series a couple of weeks back.

According to Claudine, she did shed some pounds by following a diet and through constant prodding from co-star Sylvia Sanchez to lose weight.

I’M REALLY BACK. Claudine is excited for her new series, but the Optimum Star has to make a few adjustments.

For her, it’s like starting anew after taking a break from work for a couple of months.

"Siyempre nag-adjust ulit ako sa pagpupuyat. Sa taping hours, long hours. Yung mga locations na malalayo.

"Pero, hindi naman nagtagal yun, naka-adjust naman agad ako," she said.

Working and reuniting with fellow former Kapamilya stars make reporting to the set of Iglot more exciting for Caludine.

"Masaya. Masaya kasi at least nakakasama ko ulit sina Marvin [Agustin], Jolina [Magdangal], Patrick [Garcia], Luis [Alandy]...

"Lahat ng nakasama ko dati. Ayun, magkakasama ulit kami, and masaya. Masaya talaga yung grupo namin.

ACTING WITH A BEST ACTRESS. Iglot might be a fantasy series but its story requires some serious acting.

Among the cast members, Claudine is believed to be the one adept with dramatic skills, considering her awards in acting. Her acting credentials should keep her co-actors always on their toes.

"Wala. Wala namang nagpatalbugan," she said.

"Actually, ang maganda dito, since magagaling lahat ng mga artista at magaling ang director namin, maganda yung script namin, nagbigayan lahat.

"Kumbaga, nagbigayan lahat dahil sa magagaling na mga kasama mo.

"Ang mga artista, lumabas ang talent ng isa’t isa. At makikita mong talagang nag-work together sa eksena."

LUCKY MILKCAH. From our previous interview, Claudine revealed her fondness for child star Milkcah Wynn Nacion, who plays her daughter in the series.

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"Yes. Si Milkcah. Talagang sobrang cute yung bata. At talagang magaling. Makikita mo talaga na focused.

"At six years old, talagang focused yung bata sa pagtatrabaho at alam niya yung ginagawa niya.

"Hindi pa siya masyadong marunong magbasa. Kumabaga, tinu-throw lang yung lines sa kanya, pero alam na niya talaga yung... memorized na niya agad yung mga linya niya."

Claudine even gifted Milkcah with Barbie dolls among other things that she constantly showers the little girl. This gives us the impression that she might end up spoiling little Milcah.

"Ha? Hindi naman masyado. Hindi naman masyado. Oo. Sige na nga!" she said laughing.

She is quick to correct though that she is not as giving to her own kids when it comes to spoiling them with gifts.

"Yung mga anak ko, di ko ini-spoil!" she again laughs. "Masarap mang-spoil ng anak ng iba."

Playing mom to child stars on TV sometimes makes her daughter Sabina and son Santino jealous, according to her.

"Medyo. Medyo. Oo. Kailangan i-explain na kunyari lang anak ko sila.

"’Mommy, she can’t be your daughter. I’m your daughter. She’s not my sister mommy,’ sasabihin ni Sabina. ’Only ate is my sister,’" Santino would also say, according to Clau.

"Ine-explain ko, na, ’It’s not true. It’s not real. It’s only acting."

TIME TO TELL. Recently, Claudine tweeted about consulting the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on how to properly disclose to Sabina that she was adopted.

During Iglot’s press launch, however, she was reluctant to dwell on this sensitive issue. "No. ’Wag muna. Hindi pa ako masyadong..."

But realizing that it was necessary to talk about it for Sabina’s sake, she said, "Sige na.

"Ever since naman maliit si Sabina, we’ve been open about her being adopted," she began.

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What makes adoption a sensitive issue is that the truth should handled carefully. "Pero siyempre, sana hindi manggaling sa iba yun.

"Sana, hindi niya marinig from other people yun. And any time soon, sasabihin na namin, na mero’n siyang ibang mommy. Mero’n siyang ibang daddy.

"Hindi naman siya nagtatanong, pero oras na. And yun.

"So, in contact naman kami with Director Alex Bonoan of DSWD who’s always been there kapag meron kaming any concerns about anything about adoption.

"So, ako, if lang, sa lahat ng adoptive parents out there, pag meron kayong concerns, you can always contact director Alex Bonoan, or anybody in DSWD. And they’ll help you," she said out of concern for other parents like herself who have adopted kids.

She added, "They facilitate seminars and counselling on how to tell your child yung proper way kung papano na hindi naman sobra-sobra."

Claudine and husband Raymart Santiago already secured all the necessary papers to legally adopt Sabina, but telling her about it is a different story.

"She’s seven and of age na," she wryly said.

"Pakiusap ko lang, sana, sa mga tao. Hindi... pag nakita nila yung anak ko, wag naman nilang tawagin na ano, adopted, or ano.

"Kasi nagsisimula, e. Kasi nag-trigger ’yan, kasi merong isa sa mga batang nag-mention ng adopted.

"Sa park [narinig ni Sabina]. So, do’n nagsimulang magulantang yung buhay namin. Na sana, careful [sa pagsasalita]. Sana mas careful.

"Alam naman niya,e. Pero yung detalye na iba yung mommy niya. Na iba yung daddy [niya], hindi pa. Hindi pa.

"Kailangan yun ihimay. Unti-unti. So, kaya nandiyan yung DSWD to help you. Na ito lang ang puwede mong sabihin.

"Not too much information na baka naman malunod yung bata na, ’Ano ba to?’ Na di naman kaya ng bata."

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