Marrying Wendy Tabusalla was just the start of Carlo Romero’s transition from up-and-coming artista to family man. He’d fallen in love with his fellow Pinoy Big Brother: Unlimited housemate in 2011, and admitted on live television that they dated soon after their time with Kuya came to a close.
Rather than pursue an acting career as many PBB alumni do, Carlo decided to move back to his hometown Chicago and join the police force. Not long after, the two became five. Today, Carlo is a proud dad to four-year-old Carson, two-year-old Carter, and one-month-old Charlotte.
Wendy’s first pregnancy was met with mixed emotions, Carlo admits to ABS-CBN Lifestyle. “I was happy and excited because I’ve always wanted children. But I was also scared and stressed because I wasn’t financially stable."
Fatherhood entailed certain lifestyle changes as well. Instead of drinking with the guys after work, he heads home to tend to his wife and kids. Rather than watch action movies with his brood, he’ll choose Disney films or other family-friendly genres he knows the little ones will enjoy more.
Having children has been quite the learning experience for Carlo. “If you have a newborn baby, you have to wake up every two to three hours in the middle of the night to feed your newborn. Back then, I had no idea newborns needed to be fed that often,” he recalls. “I have a three-week old baby girl now and I still dread waking up in the middle of the night.”
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Raising young boys is another issue—but one he takes great pleasure in. “My boys are wild and crazy!” he exclaims. “They’ll cry for a minute and bounce right back up playing again. I find it very entertaining how their screams can easily irritate Wendy.”
The learnings don’t stop at the kids, Carlo adds. It also affects the way he relates to his family, both immediate and extended. “When your children get older, your parents and in-laws have a tendency to provide 'advice' on how to raise (them). You might disagree with what they say, but I suggest agreeing with them to keep the peace,” he cautions.
One tip that did stick came from his dad, who he considers his biggest role model. “My father worked hard to provide us everything we needed. He woke up every morning at 4 AM, arrived home around 6 PM, ate, showered, slept and repeated,” he recounts. “(But) the best advice I got from him is to keep a happy family. I had a happy childhood; I hope I can do the same for my family.”
That said, seeing his children happy brings an incredible amount of fulfillment for Carlo. He likes to think he's one doting dad, buying them toys, acting goofy in public, or playing pretend.
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He's just the same a doting hubby to Wendy. The subtle digs he’ll throw at his baby mama are funny as they are adorable. Case in point? “Children are expensive,” he says. “I have to thinly spread out our expenses in the following order: household necessities; children’s needs; Wendy’s makeup; and whatever is left over for me, which is typically nothing,” he jokes.
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Photographs courtesy of Carlo Romero's personal Instagram account