An Ateneo Interdisciplinary Studies undergrad, varsity swimmer, restaurant owner, and fitness advocate, it would seem that David Mendoza's plate was already full. That was, until early of 2017 when he found out he was pregnant with his then-girlfriend.
For many, being a young father is a huge and difficult responsibility—often a scary one. But this wasn’t the case for David, who is 21. In fact, it has always been a dream for this Chalk Bright Young Manila alumnus to be one, and having a baby only encouraged him to become a more hardworking young man. (David's the one behind the Japanese restaurant Mr. Roboto in Alabang!) He details more of his inspiring journey to fatherhood below.
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Tell us about the moment you found out you were to become a dad.
"Well the moment I found out I was gonna be a dad was really because of my baby mama's intuition. She had one of those apps that tracked her cycles and would tell her when she was late. So, she kept insisting that we take a pregnancy test. The first time we took the test, the second line was super faint, so we thought it was a false alarm. A few days we took more tests, then the second line was more obvious so we knew by then we were gonna be parents."
How did you overcome doubts and judgment around when people heard you were "too young" to father your own?
"Personally, I have always been excited to be a dad. So, when I found out my girlfriend was pregnant, I wasn't really scared. I'm still in school now, but thankfully I was able to set up a business that provides me with income I use to support my kid. Being a parent to such a healthy and beautiful baby is always a blessing I am extremely grateful to God for."
What changed when you became a dad?
"For me, I feel that becoming a dad helped me mature. I wanna be a good example to my son and that made kicking some bad habits that I used to have come naturally. I dont wanna be the guy who's always out partying, drinking, and getting early in the morning anymore. I've rediscovered my passion for health and fitness while managing to get better grades in school."
Tell us more about your relationship with your 'baby mama.
"Unfortunately, my baby mama and I are no longer together, but we are still the best of friends. We decided that we had to put our son's needs ahead of our own and focus on being the best parents we can be. The stress and pressure of our relationship on top of being new parents would have been too much. Our relationship has never been better and I honestly would not wish for another partner in this journey of parenthood."
What kind of luxuries did you have to give up to support your kid?
"I am always very happy whenever I spend for my kid. Knowing that I'm a dad now and have that responsibility just makes me more frugal with my day to day experiences. I don't eat out as much and live of Tupperwares because I am always making baon."
Name us three of your 'hot dad' essentials!
"Well, I personally believe you can never have too many plain black or white shirts that fit really well. I have also been more conscious of my posture now for some reason after becoming a dad. Haha so yeah posture, too."
Who's your #daddypeg, if at all?
"Hideo Muraoka! Easily! He became a dad around the same age I am now and he really took care of himself, his baby mama, and his beautiful daughter while being super fit and traveling the world. He is definitely living his best life!"
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Photos from instagram.com/_tidaldave