The cute baby on the Belo billboard
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - May 16, 2016 - 10:00am

“Cute! Cute baby, cute!!!”

So who’s the cutie on the Belo baby billboard at the top of a building at the Timog-Morato Rotunda in Quezon City that gets our three-year-old equally cute grandson excited every time we pass by that area?

I guess you, too, must be wondering who that baby is, with a smile so endearing that you want to pinch her. Yes, the baby is a she and if you look closely you will notice that she bears a striking resemblance to…Dr. Hayden Kho?

Well, it’s because that baby is really the daughter of Hayden (who is turning 36 on May 20), not with his beloved “forever love” Dr. Vicki Belo but with a surrogate mother whom neither Hayden nor Vicki has ever met.

Now 14 months old, the baby is named Scarlet Snow, born in March last year in the US where she was conceived through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to the tune of, according to Funfare sources, $200,000 (roughly P8 million). It’s the same procedure used by Joel Cruz who wanted one baby but got twins by a surrogate mother from Russia (“Who looks like Julia Roberts,” said Joel). So satisfied was Joel that he did it with the same woman (whom he hasn’t met) and, again, got twins.

Snow’s mother is Mexican-American whom Hayden never met.

How is it done?





You choose your “partner” from a roster of prospects (via the Internet) who are listed complete with their backgrounds, qualifications, traits and whatnots. According to a medical report, IVF is a procedure in which eggs (ova) from a woman’s ovary are removed. They are fertilized with sperm in a laboratory procedure, and then the fertilized egg (embryo) is returned to the woman’s uterus.

Vicki has two children by her ex-husband Atom Henares, Cristalle (who is getting married to her foreigner boyfriend in Italy in September) and Quark (one of the country’s finest young directors). Hayden wanted so much to have a baby with Vicki to whom he proposed in a style straight from a Cathy Garcia-Molina rom-com.

This was how the proposal happened as chronicled in a 2014 story in Funfare (story is among the 29 “Dynamic Duos” featured in your Funfarer’s third book, Conversations Pa More, now available at National Bookstores and Powerbooks for only P195 per copy):

It happened after Vicki delivered a talk at a medical conference in Houston, Hayden was with her on the trip, together with Vicki’s make-up artist Marife Mordido who travels with her anywhere she goes. Vicki would soon discover why Hayden was in a tizzy, always busy with the computer that he kept away from Vicki.

“I thought he was having problems again,” Vicki told Funfare, “and I was a bit concerned. It turned out that he was cooking up a big surprise.”

Yes, the proposal.

Initially, Hayden wanted to do it in Morocco (that’s why he was arranging the side trip there via the computer) which was the only place that Vicki had not been to, until the Houston trip changed Hayden’s “secret” plan.

On the night of Hayden’s proposal, he invited the still unsuspecting Vicki to check out an aquarium.

“Suddenly,” recalled Vicki, “I saw Hayden in the aquarium  holding a card with the words ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME?’ written on it. No wonder he briefly disappeared from beside me. When I turned again, he was beside me na and a scuba diver appeared in the aquarium holding another card with a ‘SAY YES’ on it.”

Then Hayden hired an expensive car to drive them round the city which was aglow with Christmas decors and lights. It was a cold December night, remember, so the “bedroom weather” was conducive to romance…

But the wedding never happened. The slight age gap, you know.

“Even if Hayden was vocal about being ready for marriage,” Vicki said then, “I really doubted it.”

Then, came Scarlet Snow (listed as Scarlet Snow Belo on the birth certificate) whom Vicki treats as her own flesh and blood, a cute “gift” that, to paraphrase Vicki relating how her adoptive parents described how she came into being, “may not have come from my tummy but straight from my heart.”

Now it can be told: In July last year, Lolit Solis and I got an invitation from Vicki to an “important event” which, we would know later, was Snow’s baptism at the Santuario de San Antonio, a few blocks from Vicki’s house in Dasmariñas Village, Makati City. Among the godparents were Manny V. Pangilinan and Anne Curtis.

Snow was then a carefully hidden “secret.” Lolit and I were among the few that not only saw Snow, who was four months old at that time, but also cuddled her at Vicki’s house which was being set up for the exclusive reception. Vicki and Hayden let us took pictures but requested us to keep them “off the record”…that is, until now.

Here are excerpts from Funfare’s exclusive interview with Vicki and Hayden yesterday:

How did you feel the first time you saw Snow and the first time you held her in your arms?

Hayden: Joy. The feeling is

 indescribable and incomparable. I felt no fear at all, just pure love pouring out profusely from me to her.

Vicki: I felt that she was God’s gift to me. The moment I saw her I loved her.

How did the coming of Snow change your life, the way you look at life, and at yourself?

Hayden and Vicki: We feel like our lives and relationship have more meaning now that Scarlet is here. The greatest challenge really is the inner work that it requires for both of us to be good and godly role models to her. That requires a lot of strength, discipline, self-confidence, and most importantly, prayer and faith because at the end of the day we know that really aren’t the ones in control of her life. It is Jesus Christ.

Have you learned how to prepare her feeding bottle (what formula) and to change her diapers?

Vicki: Hayden is the one who’s very good at it; but we were very grateful that for the first six months Scarlet was 100 percent breastfed. Thanks to the friends of Hayden and Cristalle who donated breast milk to our Scarlet Snow.

Hayden: Definitely. I learned how to do everything …feeding, swaddling, changing diapers, monitoring sleep, etc. I knew even before she was born that I was going to be a hands-on Dad. In fact, my main worry about being her father is that I might become over-protective of her. I am thankful to Jojie (Dingcong), Lianne (Bautista) and my parents who are so involved in the bringing up Scarlet. I am also very grateful that Quark, Atom, Cristalle, and, of course, Vicki’s mother Nena immediately accepted Scarlet Snow as part of the family.

How do you see Snow 10 years from now? 

Hayden: I see Scarlet Snow as someone who knows deeply in her heart and soul that she is loved, cherished, and worthy of interest. I want her to learn at a very early age to spread her wings with courage and confidence because it is through her eyes that I will live mine.

Vicki: She is daring and willing to try new adventures and experiences because whenever she looked behind her both her father and mother were there to support her fully and catch her if she fell. 

(E-mail reactions at You may also send your questions to For more updates, photos and videos visit or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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