Marian & Dingdongâs parenting style
For Dingdong Dantes’ 40th birthday last Aug. 2.
Marian & Dingdong’s parenting style
CONVERSATIONS - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - August 9, 2020 - 12:00am

When Dingdong Dantes turned 40 last Aug. 2, his wife Marian Rivera gave him a beautiful gift — a portrait of Dingdong and his son Jose Sixto IV/Ziggy specially done by Mark Rocha Padernal, who was commissioned by Marian. “A meaningful piece of art” was how Dingdong called it, handed to him right on his birthday coinciding with Ziggy’s baptism at Saint Alphonsus Mary de Ligouri Parish in Magallanes Village, Makati City.

The day was marked by a simple family salu-salo instead of the planned Oktoberfest-themed ‘90s Rock All-Out Grand Party thwarted by the pandemic. There will be time for that.

Ziggy turned a year old last April and his Ate Maria Letizia/Zia will be five in November. Zia is now of school age, so is it okay for her parents to have her on online schooling?

“She is currently under the Pre-Kinder program,” shared Marian. “Kagaya ng karamihan, isang malaking adjustment talaga ang ganitong type of learning system. There are so many approaches, and I learned about them from friends who also have small kids. But Dong and I decided to stick with her current school na may pagka-blended learning. Kung anuman, as parents, we really have to adapt.”

Marian gave him a beautiful painting (of Dingdong and Ziggy).

Because girls her age are used to social interaction and face-to-face games, Zia will have to learn to also adjust to the new system.

“Ang isang mandate lang naming mag-asawa ay dapat hindi rin mawala ang personal na ‘tutoring’ na gagawin namin para kay Zia, sa kabila ng online schooling,” added Marian.

“Nobody can say na tama o mali ang ganitong approach. But what’s important is the education of the kids shouldn’t be stopped, especially at their age.”

The couple’s parenting style is not the same.

‘Dong and I have to be creative in encouraging the kids to learn especially with the limited resources available,’ says Marian. ‘We try to make it fun, laro muna mixed with learnin

“Yes,” Marian admitted, “magka-iba. Mas structured ako because I’m the one who was always at home. That was before the lockdown was imposed. Dong is often at work, so he’s assigned sa playtime and me sa study time. Pero hindi kami nagkaka-iba in upholding the basic values that we teach the kids. Magka-iba man ang approach, pareho ang gustong patunguhan. And that’s what the kids should realize that Dong and I are on the same page, pareho kaming pahina parati.”

How are they and the kids during this lockdown; do they play “school”?

“We have to be creative in encouraging the kids to learn, especially with the limited resources available. Dito lumalabas ang pagiging creative namin, and thanks that we have learned a lot in this industry to make ‘schooling’ attractive to the kids in the new normal. So, yes, laro muna at maya-maya nahahalo na ang laro sa proseso.”

It was also during the lockdown that Marian was able to expand her flower business.

“I got enough time to launch a new line, salamat sa oras na nailaan ko sa mga bulaklak. Para sa akin, nakakatanggal kasi ng stress ang mga ito. My vision is simple...share my love through flowers by sending good vibes to my customers. It’s very personal with me kaya konti lang ang nilalabas ko. I’m super excited because I’m putting out new (arrangements) at Flora Vida next month. I’d love to tell you more about it, pero huwag po muna, hehehehe!!!”

By the way, how many episodes has she shot for First Yaya, her GMA show with Gabby Concepcion?

“Just one taping pa lang. I still don’t know what the next move will be. But I’m sure that GMA is doing its best para maibalik na ang inaantay ng manonood, with the guarantee that our workplace will be safe and sustainable.”

The couple with their children Zia and Ziggy.

Who is her peg for the role?

“J.Lo po, just like her role in Maid in Manhattan. But of course, sarili nating flavor at kiliti ang pina-plano kong interpretasyon dito.”

And what can she say about Gabby?

“Siempre, since I’ve known him as I was growing up, I am excited to work with him, kasi mabait daw po siya at magaan ka-trabaho.”

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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