Resident DJ at Valkyrie and Palace Pool Club, Mars Miranda has been DJing for over 17 years. He still works the night scene at 39, flooding wherever he serves with beats and tunes to people's delight.
He tends to have his hands full even with just two kids. His son is a budding teenager at 13 and his 3 year-old daughter can sometimes be a rambunctious bundle of joy. Mars feels strongly about allowing kids a certain amount of freedom to express themselves, and provides huge doses of hands-on parenting whenever possible.
What do you love most about being a dad?
"Waking up everyday, seeing your kids, being able to experience all these milestones in their lives—what's not to love?. The have their lambing and they’re extra clingy to you. Of course there are days when I want to throw them out, but most of the time, I love everything."
How do you normally bond with your children?
"Taking trips, going out, and seeing new places. It’s also cool to just spend time with your kids. Sometimes, we’re so yaya-dependent. Everytime I see a father with just him and his daughter in the mall, it’s cool. It’s good bonding time when it’s just you.
My daughter lives with me, and my son, his mom. We have helpers at home but we never really leave them with just a yaya. We’re always there regardless of whether we’re going out or just staying in. We try to be as hands-on as we can."
[related: ABS-CBN Lifestyle Asks ‘Girl Dads’: Are You Man Enough To Do These Activities With Your Daughter?]
What’s changed the most about you since becoming a dad?
"I guess it’s being able to balance work and family time, and bringing them to cool places. [I'm] trying to get out of the traditional way of doing things. You know, let them do what they want, let them play outside...pretty much explore the world on their own without [me] having to be there all the time."
Are there stereotypes about dads that you think are false?
"One is that they don’t change diapers, or that they’re not hands-on. Like, not taking care of kids."
Who is your role model?
"As a DJ, it’s not really one particular person. It’s more of everyone who was there before. I try to learn how they became successful, what avenues they took to get there, what worked for them, what didn’t, and then apply that to my own career. At least it’s a bit of a guide for whatever I do. As a dad, it’s pretty much the same thing. I have a lot of friends who are dads. So you take the good parts of what they’ve done and learn from them."
What tips would you want to give first-time dads?
"Number one, if you have daughter, you have to let them win all the time. You just give in; don’t even question anything. For the son, it’s different because you’d want them to do what you do. Like if you’re into sports, you’d want them to do your sport. If you’re into cars, you’d want them to like the car that you like. But don’t dictate which basketball team [to root for] or which school to attend. Let them figure it out on the their own. They’re not going to like what you like all the time. It might be bad for them in the future if it’s all dictated."
[related: ABS-CBN Lifestyle Asks ‘Girl Dads’: How Strict Can You With Your Daughter?]
Describe your diet and workout.
"I try not to eat fatty food or fried stuff. I try to stay healthy: a lot of vegetables, a lot of fruit, and a lot of water because it's part of the job. We stay out late and we’re exposed to all this smoke and alcohol. If we don't eat right, it would take its toll on us. Last thing you want is to get sick.
I recently started biking. It’s not like you’re stuck in the gym and you’re doing the same thing over and over again. With a bike you can go wherever you want. You can pick a different route everyday. It also comes with its challenges, [like] if you want to conquer a hill. I enjoy biking because it’s outside."
What's your advice for staying stylish and kempt?
"Because of work, I’m out every night, and it’s a constant effort. You really have to look good for the gigs. It’s also nice to make your kids look good. So dress them up. Whenever you’re out, when you go to the mall or whatever and your kid’s all decked out, of course you have to dress up, too."
What do you normally post online?
"It's a balance between work life and family life. I try to choose what I share when it comes to my kids. Sometimes, work makes you very visible to the public, and there are negative things that come with that. So when it comes to my kids, I share fun stuff, but I choose to let them have their own, you know, at least to keep the privacy part intact.
I also post a lot of Spotify playlists. At least there’s new music out. I’ll do playlists, not naman weekly, but regular playlists for people to use if they can’t catch me in the club. Or if there are a couple of new songs that I like or find, I share it. My Spotify account is DJ Mars Miranda."
What are the most touching comments you’ve gotten from your posts?
"It’s really nice to hear when people comment positive things about your kids, like how they look or congratulating them on things that they just learned. It’s very fulfilling to get positive feedback of what your kids are doing. So far, thankfully, there haven’t been negative comments, kasi nga I choose what I post."
In your opinion, has social media give people a better idea of who you are and what you do?
"Yeah. It’s easier than when people come up to me and say, 'Hey, can I have songs", or "Can you make me a mixtape?" At least with Spotify, I can do it from wherever I am and people have access to it. I don’t have to physically give them the material; it’s all online. For work, you I update followers on what’s happening in my upcoming gigs [and post] photos of previous gigs."
Anything planned for Father’s Day?
"We don’t mind staying at home since we’re out most of the time. My weekends are Sunday to Tuesday because I start DJ-ing on Wednesdays. So, the best time to go to the malls and do groceries is Monday afternoon. There’s no one there! If it’s crowded, we’d rather stay home on weekends because we know we have Monday and Tuesday to do all that."
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Produced by Julia Arenas, Angela Sy, & Barry Viloria | Cinematography: Jana Jimenez and Gio Vibar | Photography: Vyn Radovan | Production Assistant: Chloe Ramirez | Grooming: Julia Arenas | Styling: Barry Viloria | Shot on location at 916 Luna Mencias St., Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City | Special thanks to: @TimHortonsPHL, @ChefClassics, @GoodyPH, @UniqloPHOfficial, Trisha Naguiat of @SpectreMNL, Ivan Cabral and Tiff Uy of Campaigns & Grey, Apryl Galang of ODV, Danica Gigante of EON, Jenna Sy, & Jed Macaraya of @VIVAArtistsAgency