It’s a little ironic how Ismael “Macky” Mathay IV never ever considers himself a celebrity yet the concept is hounding him that it has fast materialized into a reality. While he’s the hunky dreamboat many dads in their late 30s-40s aspire to be, a lot of his newfound popularity, of course, is from his relationship with Sunshine Cruz, to whom he’s attached after the actress split with actor-politician Cesar Montano around six years back. Everything is so ironic, Macky, 39 and a separated parent like Sunshine, says, that it’s... funny.
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“You know what? When my Sunshine and I became an item, my Instagram following suddenly spiked!” Macky, who now boasts of more than 72,000 followers, recalls with a laugh. “'Pag about politics ang posts ko, kunti lang ang nagla-like compared to my posts with my Sunshine. I believe that most of my followers are single moms who believe in a second chance at love!”
Second chance it’s been indeed for Macky, whose relationship with Sunshine hit everyone’s radar upon their confirmation late 2016. He and Sunshine have since become less inhibited when it came to pronouncing their love publicly—both online and offline. In the recent elections, for example, he and his girlfriend supported Francis Zamora in his mayoral bid in San Juan City. Macky is now slated to work as a public servant under the newly elected Zamora.
Yet if there’s something more interesting than Macky and Sunshine’s romance, it’s both their parenting journeys. As everyone knows, Sunshine, who’s still active in showbiz, is a hot momma to three girls: Angelina, Samantha and Chesca. Macky, meanwhile, has three kids of his own with his ex-wife Camille Fariñas (they’ve been separated for three years now).
“In our world now, andami din kasing single parents,” Macky explains his surprising fame in a society where modern parenting exists.
[related: Daily Diaries: 5 Ways Sunshine Cruz Is Setting The New Parenting Standard]
Macky is dad to Roan (15 years old), Cole (11), and Charlize (7). (Swipe through our gallery to see their photos!) He’s proud to call himself a “hands-on” one despite his failed marriage. In fact, he believes that’s exactly how he and his children pulled through this phase.
“The adjustment wasn’t really hard. As a dad, I’d do anything and everything for my kids,” Macky, who had his firstborn at 24 years old, surmises. “It was also a blessing that my children understood right away what was going on. Of course, there are some cases that children have a hard time with their parents not being together. That alone, I just did everything to make them comfortable and convenient with the situation. 'Pag kasama ko sila, I make sure I multiply my support—financially, physically, and mentally.”
In fact, Macky’s parents also dealt with the same fate; yet, he calls himself being “blessed” as Mom and Dad didn’t fail to support him and his siblings despite their separation.
[related: Cheat Sheet: Surefire Tips In Staying THAT Hot At 40 By Ina, Alice, And Sunshine]
Every day on weekdays, Macky finds himself driving his two younger kids to school (Roan is currently in Laoag for tertiary school). He then works out at a nearby gym (he’s an Anytime Fitness ambassador) before heading to his multiple jobs as a businessman. He keeps this “well-balanced” lifestyle as a way to take care of himself more, all to be strong and healthy enough to see his kids prosper in life as they all age.
“Fatherhood is a forever learning curve. As they grow older and as years go by, they also change. These are constant changes. I also adjust to their changes. I try to guide them,” Macky, who would also drive his kids back home everyday, says. “They'd problematize over toys. Next thing is they're into their crushes, I help them in every experience. I help them with all of that physically and spiritually."
As Macky tries to build a new family with Sunshine, he always spins back to his bigger purpose: Fatherhood.
"I try to be as hands-on as I can be. Time doesn’t wait for anyone. Things happen so fast, so I just make sure I cherish every moment.”
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Photos taken from Macky Mathay's Instagram account