For many families, the stay-at-home mandate has had a "positive" effect. Case in point: For the first time since last year with taping out of the way, The General's Daughter star JC de Vera has been spending more days at home.
In an interview with ABS-CBN Lifestyle, JC shares how being stuck at home with his wife Rikkah and daughter Lana indefinitely during this quarantine has changed him—in a good way. He details below with wife Rikkah Cruz how he's suddenly adjusted to new habits and routines as a stay-at-home dad and husband.
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How are you since the lockdown happened?
Sobrang saya ko since the lockdown. Kasi I came from The General’s Daughter project. Most of the time last year, I was out of the house, kakapanganak palang ni Rik, so maraming times talaga na wala ako sa bahay. Hindi ako nakakapag-spend time as much as katulad ng nangyari sa lockdown, so I really enjoy the lockdown period. Nakapag-spend time ako sa family ko everyday, mas nakilala ko sila—sila ng baby ko. Nakikita ko si Rikkah mula pagdilat palang ng mata ko hanggang sa pag-close ng mata ko bago matulog.
Do you love being at home with me and our daughter?
As a father kasi, I always look forward to give service to them. Hindi kumpleto ang araw ko kapag hindi ako nakakapagbigay ng isang service pagdating sa everyday na ginagawa namin. So, pwede syang pagluluto or basta mag-I-spend time with them, yun yung pinaka-important sa lahat.
Do you hate it as well?
Kapag araw-araw mo talaga kasama yung tao 24/7, hindi nyo maiiwasan talaga na magkaasaran kayo. Meron talagang kanya-kanyang mood swings.
Tsaka itong lockdown kasi talaga, yung difference nung lockdown period versus doon sa everyday life natin with me working sa (ABS-CBN). Parang eto kasi, 24/7 nakikita mo yung bawat galaw nung isa eh, makikita mo kung pano yung attitude nila pagdilat palang ng mata and the whole day nakikita mo talaga. So, alam mo yon, meron talagang major adjustments pagdating kung pano mo haharapin yung day together. Different sya.
Exciting. Kumbaga, experience.
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What’s the division of tasks at home? Who does which?
(We) take turns.
Yeah, we usually take turns. So, I sometimes cook and then sya yung mag-wash ng dishes. And then sometimes, sya yung mag-cook and then ako yung mag-wash ng dishes. Or sometimes sya yung magbabantay kay Lana when I cook.
And washing the dishes.
No, that’s not true. You don’t like washing the dishes!
Hindi, setting up the table. Pagwalis, yan!
And fixing Lana’s toys!
Fixing Lana’s toys. Pero hindi ko talaga matagalan yung maglinis ng buong bahay! Ha ha! Hindi ko talaga kaya. Ang kaya ko lang gawin siguro maghugas ng plato, magluto, magbantay kay Lana, pero other things like cleaning the room o kaya making our clothes uniform, hindi talaga kaya.
What have you learned to cook so far? How did you do it?
Oh my God! Meron akong isang sinubukan na 100% fail. Yung nag-start yung lockdown, nag-try akong gumawa ng ube cheese pandesal. Pero sobrang fail, sobrang tigas!
No, kulang kasi ingredients mo!
Pero nakakahiya! Degrading. Ha ha!
What’s the best way to entertain Lana?
Through food, I guess.
And you play with her sa kitchen.
Kailangan na may play time kayo kasama…. Kailangan lang naming syang dalhin sa outdoors, like kailangan syang makakita ng trees, plants, flowers, and kailangan nyang makakita ng animals like mga dog. We’re very lucky kasi yung daughter namin, hindi sya mahilig sa gadgets. Most of the time, she spends a lot of time painting, drawing, gardening. So, nasa artisticside talaga sya.
How does Lana pull a tantrum?
Si Lana meron syang pinapanood sa YouTube. Yung pinapanood nya, yung favorite character nya doon—is Diana and Roma. Ano sila in-e-explore talaga nila yung toys, yung life ng pagiging bata, yung playtime. So, itong si Lana nag-ta-try syang magpakita ng tantrums, nag-ta-try syang magtapon ng things tapos minsan naman gaganun sya. Tapos minsan sisigaw syang, “No!” Pero yun kasi yung napapanood nya pero hindi nya talaga sineseryoso. Expression lang.
How does Rikkah look like when she's on a tantrum?
Meron kang kamukha kapag nag-ta-tantrums ka!
Kasi si Rik kasi, medyo old-fashioned way of expressing things. Meron syang mataray effect talaga na—hindi mo kasi kilala yung sa Eat Bulaga—ung teacher nila sa ‘Iskul Bukol! Basta yun. Yun sya, parang syang teacher na every now and then nag-re-remind paulit-ulit, tapos masungit lang. Para lang syang terror teacher.
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Do you ever get tantrums?
I do have. Well very rare pero ang pinaka-tantrums ko is when I don’t speak. Todo na yon.
What topics in school is Lana learning?
She was supposed to start school pa lang this summer. But then, hindi natuloy ‘cause of COVID.
So ano sya, numbers, colors, animals, chores. Yeah, household. Mahilig syang mag-household!
What’s the most challenging part of homeschooling?
As in very different talaga yung nangyari ngayon, walang classroom, wala syang classmates, and she has to learn in a digital way. So, yung transition nun sobrang difficult lang.
What do you do when Lana asks for more playtime?
Syempre ikaw yung tatay, pagbibigyan mo pa! Ha ha!Sobrang giving naman tayo pagdating sa playtime ni Lana. As much as nag-e-enjoy sya, kaya nating ibigay.
What have you discovered about yourself during the quarantine?
Siguro, in general, (that) I can be a good dad. Naniniwala ka ba don?
Oo naman. Actually, hindi ko sya na-discover nung quarantine. Na-discover ko sya, start palang.
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What have you discovered about Rikka during the quarantine?
That you can be a very good mom and wife to me. Hindi, si Rik kasi very responsible person talaga. So, inaasikaso nya lahat ng bagay up to the point na sasabihin mo sa kanya, “Wag mo na ko asikasuhin. Kaya ko na yung sarili ko.” Pero that’s her language of love.
Do you think you’ve been a good dad since the quarantine started?
Aba, oo naman! Out of 100%, siguro 80!
Hindi, kasi nakatira tayo sa mga in-laws eh. So, in order for me to be a full-time dad, kailangan tayo lang. Kasi syempre pag magkasama tayo everyday, we just need to accept everything that’s going around. Kumbaga, part of the experience yon, lalong lalo na kay Lana, syempre si Lana, nakikita natin yung bawat phase in life and we just have to accept kung ano yung nangyayari satin. We just have to enjoy. Actually sobrang na-e-enjoy ko.
Do you think I’ve been a good mom since the quarantine started?
Mga ano ka, 86.5%! Ha ha!
Bakit mas mababa sayo? Ha ha!
Mas patient ako sa kanya. So, may mga times this quarantine talaga, which is inevitable na alam mo yon, nagiging impatient talaga yung tao.
Do you still love me after everything?
Syempre. Hindi naman pwedeng hindi, diba? Of course, I do—100% forever! Tanungin kita. How am I as a lover?
As a husband, as a father, he’s everything I hoped and prayed for. Sounds cliché, but yun sya talaga. He makes sure na nagagawa nya yung pinaka-important, which is the little things na whenever I’m tired or gusto kong magpahinga, he makes sure na may isa syang job na sasaluhin for me. You know, when I’m feeling down or I’m feeling sad, he makes me laugh. He’s everything I hoped and prayed for.
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Photos from @akosijcdeberat
Banner image by Kang Garcia