Editor’s Note: Hayden Kho is a self-proclaimed fan of fatherhood—something he’s said repeatedly since the birth of his daughter Scarlet Snow Belo-Kho. In our exclusive interview with the celebrity doctor, we asked him to reflect on his life and the changes that occurred since having his Snowy Bear.
Who I was before Scarlet? I was more adventurous, borderline reckless, and relatively self-centered compared to now. My focus was just on myself. If you haven’t experienced something—in my case, being a parent—you think that this is already it. This has to be happiness.
But there came a point when things felt empty. All that time I spent fulfilling my desires and wants eventually didn’t give back the same pleasure as before. Sure, I was content. But I felt there was something in my life that was not yet complete.
On the subject of having a kid, of course I had mixed feelings about it. I think most people experience this. You get worried and ask yourself, “Am I going to be a responsible father? What is it going to be like bringing a child into this kind of world? How is going to affect my lifestyle?” There’s that part, and at the same time, there’s just this feeling of wanting to have a little one. You want someone to play with, to teach, to train, and to raise. When Scarlet was born, I was really surprised by joy. Ang saya pala maging dad.
There are bigger responsibilities when you become a dad, and because of that, I took less risks. Now, may inisip na akong anak. If something happens to me, it will affect her.
I’d say I became wiser. Whatever I do and whatever I say, I have to be very circumspect because someone is always thinking of me, learning from me, imitating me, and copying me—that is Scarlet. With her around, I’ve become more careful about the things that I say, the things that I do, and the experiences that I pursue.
I’ve also become more selfless because the subject and object of my life is not just myself. Now I have someone to raise, disciple, and train.
I’m very thankful for Scarlet. Since it was my first time to be a dad, wala akong expectations. I didn’t know what kind of personality she’d have. My only prayer was that she was she’d be a healthy and happy kid. Sabi ko kay God, bonus na lang na sana cute, sana matalino, sana charming siya.
Truth be told, I could have prepared a little more on how to be a father. Before Scarlet was born, I started reading books and about training kids and disciplining kids. Pero I would have prepared more intensively kasi I didn’t realize that was it was going to be this big of a responsibility.
If I could go back in time, with all that’s happening to us now and Scarlet being a charming, cute, and smart baby who is well-known, I’d tell myself, “Get ready.” I prayed for a normal baby, and thank God she is. But she’s extra special too.
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Photographs taken from Scarlet Snow Belo's and Hayden Kho's official Instagram pages