Far from his role as an absentee father in Maalaala Mo Kaya’s two-part father’s day special episodes, Cris Villanueva in real life is very much a hands-on parent.
“I think what makes a good father is communication with your children. That’s very, very important for me. Aside from being a father, I’m also very maternal. I see to it that I always think about their well-being. I don’t know if I can really say I’m the best at it but I’m pretty sure na I am doing my best and I hope that is enough,” he said.
As a doting dad with two children Zara and Rafa in different age groups, Cris shared how he disciplines them in their home.
“My eldest is 27 years old and my youngest is 12 years old. Lumaki kasi ang mga anak ko na gina-ground ko sila. We believe in grounding. We believe in taking away things that they really like. Like for example, masyado silang mapag gamit ng cellphone at meron silang nagawang kasalanan or hindi sila umuwi ng tamang oras during the time na puwede pa silang lumabas. Gina-ground ko sila. Like bawal sila gumamit ng cellphone for one week or bawal ka lumabas for three days or five days. Or bawal mo kausapin ang kaibigan mo. We believe in those things eh. Hindi kami yung nananakit. Hindi kami yung nagsasalita ng masasakit. We talk to them, we tell them, and we make sure na naintindihan nila kung bakit sila na-ground. Pag hindi nila na-explain ng mabuti yun, hindi kami titigil hangga’t hindi namin nakuha yung tamang sagot kung bakit sila na-ground,” he explained.
After his daughter Zara won the Miss Tourism Worldwide title in 2018, Cris said their very close relationship has not changed even after the pageant.
“Kasi yung mga anak ko are fun loving and sometimes sila pa yung nagsasabi sa akin na corny daw ako eh. Ako daw yung KJ eh (laughs). I think ang maganda sa pamilya namin is yung mga anak ko they have their own voice. Hindi katulad nung araw kasi na pag nagsalita ang anak bawal kasi pag nagsasalita ang magulang. Sa amin puwede kami pagsabihan ng anak namin kaya I think the relationship between me and my children is very nice because they can speak their mind. Hindi bawal.
“At saka isa pa bukod dun maaga kasi ako naging parent so parang yung practice mahabang mahaba. Although hindi ko sinasabing dapat maging ganun noh. I think parang masyadong mahaba yung naging rehearsal ko bago ako naging fun father,” he explained.
Even after becoming a beauty title holder, Cris said his only daughter has no plans of following his footsteps into showbiz.
“No she is not. But she’s in hosting. Dati meron siyang few hosting jobs. Pero ngayon meron kasi siyang sariling itinayo na online thing. It’s called The Social Startup sa Instagram. Parang nakita niya kasi na hindi niya kakayanin yung ginagawa ko na nagpupuyat at nag-si-stay sa isang place na tagal tagal. Hindi naman niya sinasabi na she’s not open for it. Feeling ko lang hindi niya type yung ginagawa ko.
“Dati gusto niya pero I don’t know now. Sabi niya hindi naman niya gusto maging model. Gusto niya maging role model. That’s why she put up her social startup sa Instagram. Hindi lang para mag-model ng damit or kahit ano, gusto niya maging inspiration sa mga maraming kabataang babae,” he said.
Watch the finale of MMK’s special Father’s day episode "Finding Papa” starring Cris Villanueva and Maris Racal and directed by Jerome Pobocan on June 19 at 9 pm on the Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, Kapamilya Online Live YouTube channel, ABS-CBN Entertainment Facebook page, and iWantTFC.