Ice Seguerra basically grew up in our faces, starting as Aiza Seguerra, the noontime variety show child discovery who would later become this OPM crooner melting our hearts with "Pagdating Ng Panahon" and "Pakisabi Na Lang" among his other hits. The most recent of this "televised" growth is his journey as a transgender man, as the 35 year-old is now not just a husband to Liza Diño but also a father to Liza's biological child Amara.
Presently, Ice keeps busy with music tours and “Don’t Call Me Tita” (an upcoming show on iWant). But he feels most fulfilled playing parent to his 11 year-old and being the padre de pamilya of the household. In our chat below, he recounts how else he's learning more about himself with this new role.
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What do you think about as a parent?
It’s just that, you know, medyo iba na ‘yung mundong pinaglalakihan ng anak namin. Pero, in terms of how she’s growing up, I’m very proud of how she’s growing up. She’s very independent, very headstrong.
What has changed since becoming a parent?
It’s different, like have to stay home kasi hindi ka pwedeng basta-basta pumunta kung saan-saan kasi nando’n ‘yung anak mo, e. Mas naging conscious lang din with how I live my life. Siyempre, I wanna be a good example.
What’s your favorite thing about being a parent?
The random I love you's and thank you's. And every time nakikita ko siya na lumalaki na maganda ‘yung paghubog ko sa kanya, for me, I think, that’s the best part -na alam mong kahit papaano, you’re part of how she is as a person and how she is becoming as a person.
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How would you describe your child?
Madaldal yan, madaming kwento. Malambing at very mayakap. She wants to show you how much she loves you by hugging you. She’s also very smart. When she speaks, she’s like 40 years old, grabe yung talino niya.
What are the ways you show your love to your child?
Actually, hindi ako ‘yung type na masabi. I show my love by being there. Hindi kasi ako madaldal. Hindi ako makwento. But I am there. She knows despite anything, or in spite of everything, I’ll be there whenever she needs me.
Can you share one of your favorite moments with your child?
There’s this one time, out of the blue, we were going home and all of a sudden, she thanked me saying she wouldn’t be who she is now if it weren’t for me. Mas disciplinarian ako kaysa mom niya. So parang nag-thank you siya para doon. I’ll never forget that, kasi kahit papaano, it made me feel good na I’m on the right track.
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What are some of the ways you discipline them?
Actually, hindi naman ako istrikto, like hindi ako ‘yung may oras lang ‘yung panonood mo ng TV, ganyan. As long as I see that she’s doing a great job in school. Pero once na nakita ko na affected yung studies niya, then dyan tayo magkakaproblema. I’m big on respect. She’s free to say her piece, she’s free to express her feelings, but kapag naging bastos sa pananalita, talagang doon ako nagagalit.
What has your child taught you?
She’s taught me to be more accepting, that people are different, na hindi mo sila pwedeng ikahon. Normally, meron tayong, ‘Oh, I want you to grow up like this,’ or, ‘No, you can’t do that.’ But you know, they are their own person. You just have to support and respect kung sino sila and just guide them. The lesson she taught me was huwag akong mag-set ng expectations, in terms of kung anong maging dapat sa paglaki niya.
How do you want your kid to remember you?
I want Amara to remember me as someone who’s always there. Someone she knows that she can talk to about everything. Kumbaga, ‘yun ‘yung gusto kong maalala niya ako, na when she needs someone to talk to, I am that person. I’d like to think level-headed and open-minded ako enough to really explain things to her, to show and teach her.
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On Ice: Button-down shirt, Mango; Pants, Uniqlo
Produced and directed by Mels Timan | Photography by Vyn Radovan | Cinematography by Lui Jimenez and Kang Garcia | Editing by Lui Jimenez | Styling by Red Dimaandal | Grooming by Renee Solis, Rainer Roca, and Lalai Glendro for teamMVP | Shot on location at The Green Door, Poblacion, Makati | Special thanks to Janlee Dungca of Castro PR and Jeffrey Hidalgo