For celebrity couple Aga and Charlene Muhlach, their journey as parents is no different than any other Filipino. In spite of their family’s celebrity status, the couple believes in traditional Filipino family values complemented by practical ways of raising children in a modern world.
Early on in their parenthood, the couple decided to cut back on film and TV projects they took on so they can spend more time with their children. The twins, Atasha and Andres, are turning 17 this November and have only been seen by the public through the Jollibee endorsements they did with their parents. This 2018, the Muhlachs graced another TV ad for the fast food chain featuring never-before-seen moments in the celebrity family’s lives.
Raising a child is difficult in itself, especially in the first months, but Aga and Charlene had twice the challenge and eventually twice the fun and fulfillment as the years went by.
“Early on in our relationship, Aga and I talked about wanting to have a boy and a girl. Then when we found out that we’re having twins—a boy and a girl—nagulat talaga kami but we were so happy that we got what we wished for in one go!” Charlene shared. “When they were babies, it was really challenging because parang there was really no time to rest because they had different feeding and changing schedules. But now, we really, really enjoy their company so much.”
Apart from juggling the twins’ needs, the couple also had to find their own parenting style that suits their family best. The “family first” philosophy entered their lives early, as both Aga and Charlene decided to spend as much time as they could with their children. They also made it a point to shelter Atasha and Andres from their parents’ very public personas. The couple also decided to encourage their children to play outside, make friends the old-fashioned way, and experience the fleeting joys of childhood firsthand. Use of smartphones and tablets, as well as access to social media, was limited, too—in fact, the twins only received their own mobile phones last year. As a result, the Muhlach kids give their undivided attention—undistracted by smartphones and social media—to every moment as they live through it.
“I’m happy that they raised us this way because we were able to create more memories with our loved ones,” Atasha shared. “We know that when you’re around people, you don’t need to have your phones out, because when you’re at that moment, you want to spend it talking to your family or friends and creating new memories with them.”
The twins were also never spoiled, as Aga and Charlene believed in teaching their kids to be independent even at a young age. Andres, for instance, is very entrepreneural. He's built a growing shoe collection without asking his parents for dole-outs. “We just buy him two to three pairs every year, then it evolved into a buy-and-sell thing. For example, he wears a pair of sneakers once or twice, he then sells it and buys two more pairs. From the one pair that we gave him, he found a way to make it five pairs,” Aga said.
Never-before-seen home videos
For their newest commercial, Aga and Charlene required going through hundreds of hours of their family’s home videos. “When we were reviewing the videos, we were just struck with how fast time flies. It was wonderful to see the kids in different stages of their lives and how they’ve grown,” shared Charlene.
“Throughout the process of going through our home videos, I realized that it’s really important to put family first. As Filipinos, we really value the family,” she adds. “I think that’s what makes this whole campaign with Jollibee Chickenjoy more special, that our journey as a family is the same one that many Filipinos go through... It’s nice to be reminded of the love, the memories, and the bond that we have with our families.”
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