Sarah Lahbati was young, almost 20, when she gave birth to Zion Gutierrez in April 2013.
During her pictorial for the #CheckMoMuna campaign of Nido 3+, she admitted to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an exclusive interview that, in the beginning, she was “confused.”
It can be recalled it was a tumultuous period in her life.
She then had a falling out with her home network, GMA-7, and a word war with the lady boss of GMA Films Annette Gozon Abrogar.
While all that was happening to her career, she was pregnant.
“I was having a hard time, and I was obviously really young, and it’s not something that happens every day,” she said, referring to her pregnancy.
Sarah added, “So I had a really hard time, but I had the best support system—my parents and Chard’s.”
A year later, she and Abrogar ended their feud.
Her baby then was almost one year old.
Motherhood, she said, is life-changing.
“I became such a different person. I would say a woman na, like, I matured so much and had a purpose in life for Zion.
“Parang when I work, I work harder. I’m more inspired every day, I have a goal every day.”
Looking at the bright side, she now finds her early pregnancy advantageous.
“Yung point of view mo is that you want him to feel comfortable, you want him to feel like your mom is your friend, too.
“So in the future, I guess it’s really important for me for him to be able to talk to me about every thing because I’m very open-minded.
“I’m happy that I’m energetic pa for me to do every thing that he’s gonna be into and parang, right now, I can run around with him and do whatever he wants to do so may advantage talaga.”
THE WEDDING. Speaking of the future, has she been discussing wedding plans with Richard Gutierrez?
Sarah paused, smiled, then resumed, “We’ve talked about it. We’ve definitely talked about it.”
But priorities have to be set first.
“We’re all about Zion and work, kasi the past few years... so we’ve been traveling, we’ve been relaxing, we’ve been enjoying Zion, enjoying each other’s company.
“And this year, we’ve been so blessed with opportunities at work so we wanna make the most out of it and we don’t wanna siyempre waste them.
“So, parang work lang talaga this year.”
Haven’t they set any timeline?
“We’ll see soon. I’m only 22, he’s young, we are not in a rush.”
Richard is 32.
ZION ON FAME. Does Zion already know his parents are celebrities?
Sarah, who was fresh from her Cebu trip, related, “Actually, like kanina, we were at the airport then may nagpa-picture sa ‘kin.
“Then, after magpa-picture, the woman left.
“Then, sabi niya [Zion] sa ‘kin, 'Mama, bakit di nagpa-picture sa ‘kin?'
“I was like, ‘What? I don’t know, baka ano, mami-miss niya yung flight niya, yung plane.’
"So, parang he surprises me every day, and siguro nasasanay siya dun, people ask for pictures, so funny, nagulat din ako kanina that he said that.”
What’s his reaction each time Zion sees his mom on TV?
“He laughs, parang sometimes kasi, if I’m on TV watching a replay or a tape, dance prod, and we’re all together, he’ll look at me, then he looks at the screen and laughs.
“So I think he’s kind of getting used to it, pero he laughs at us.”
But it’s a different story when Zion is watching his dad do his fight scene for Panday.
“He gets affected, kunwari Chard has an action scene, then someone’s beating him up, parang he’ll cling to me or parang he’s holding me tighter, ‘Chard!’
“Parang, ‘Bakit ka inaaway ng mga ‘yan?’ So, parang ganun. So cute!”
What if showbiz beckons?
“If he wants it, why not?
“Pero right now, I don’t think about it, i just let things be.
“I support his interests, such as music.
“He’s only three so I’m not into rushing things.
“But in the future, if he wants that, I will support him one hundred percent.”