Filipino actors

How fatherhood changed JC Santos’ views on love

Ysa Abad
How fatherhood changed JC Santos’ views on love

CHANGES. 'Dito at Doon' star JC Santos opens up about being a first-time dad.

Photo courtesy of TBA Studios

'Pareho namin ngayong in-eexplore ang buhay – siya bilang tao, and ako bilang parent,' says JC of himself and daughter Aletheia

Being a parent is hard, but to be a first-time dad in the middle of pandemic is an entirely different story. Actor JC Santos opened up about how fatherhood changed him in a Rappler Talk Entertainment interview that aired on Tuesday, March 30. 

“My daughter was born February 26, 2 weeks before the ECQ,” he said, recalling the birth of baby River Aletheia. 

For me, ibang take ‘to, ibang pagkatao na ‘tong dumating sa buhay ko… dahil fatherhood na eh, it’s a different kind of responsibility. Pareho namin ngayong in-eexplore ang buhay – siya bilang tao, and ako bilang parent.”

(For me, this is different, it’s a whole new person that came into my life… fatherhood is a different kind of responsibility. Both of us are exploring life – her as a newborn, and me as a parent.) 

JC was asked what he’s learned about love, a year into the pandemic and the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For me, ‘yung idea ng love, mas lumalim. Mas nagkaroon ako ng actual patience and respect for everybody kasi may anak na ako ngayon… Napunta na sa lahat, naging sobrang empath na ako.” 

(For me, my idea of love has deepened. I have more actual patience and respect for everybody because I have a daughter now… I’ve turned into an empath.) 

He also admitted that he’s more emotional after the birth of his daughter, which reflects in his work sometimes. “Ang bilis ko ng umiyak, nagiging vulnerable na ako lalo, mas mushy lang ako as a person dahil nagkaroon lang ako ng baby… every time na nasa eksena ako, nadadala ko ‘yung feeling. Kasi I treat everyone now how I treat my wife and daughter.”

(I cry easier now, I’m more vulnerable. I became more mushy as a person because I’m a father now. When I’m acting out a scene, I carry that feeling with me. I treat everyone now the same way I treat my wife and daughter.)

On being Caloy

It was his own experience as a first-time dad raising his family in the province (he was in Pampanga at the time of the interview) that helped JC build his character “Caloy” in the movie Dito at Doon. 

Naging madali siya sa akin. Na-gets ko agad ‘yung mga pinagdadaanan ni Caloy doon sa part na nagtatrabaho siya sa probinsya at breadwinner siya,” the actor shared. (I was easy for me. I understand Caloy’s struggles as someone who works in the province and is a breadwinner.)

Ito ‘yung naging base line ko of building the character… Doon ako nagkaroon ng foundation and doon sa idea ng empathy.” (This was my baseline in building the character. Empathy became my foundation.) 

In playing “Caloy,” a delivery rider who develops an online relationship with Janine Gutierrez’s “Len,” JC said he made sure to “grab” even the slightest glimpse of joy.

“Dito kami sa pelikulang ‘to, lahat tayo nasa panahon ng survival mode. ‘Yung konting glimpse ng saya at kilig, iga-grab mo na kaagad. Nandoon ako nagbabangko.” (In this movie, we’re all in survival mode. You hold on to the slightest glimpse of happiness and kilig. That’s what I banked on.) 

Set in the early months of the pandemic, where almost everyone is forced to isolate and rely solely on online communication, JC said the movie can be taken as a “cautionary tale” in dealing with relationships.

Mas maging maingat ka sa mga taong pinapasok mo sa buhay mo, iba ‘yung mundo ng online, iba ‘yung mundo ng mga tao sa paligid mo,” he said.

(Be careful in letting people into your life. The online world can be a different place.)

At the same time, the actor said, Dito at Doon is a lesson empathy. “Learn to listen because you don’t know what everyone is going through,” he said.

Dito at Doon, directed by JP Habac, began streaming across 5 different platforms on March 31. –