Chynna and LJâs magical, colorful stories of motherhood
Chynna Ortaleza (with kids Stellar and Salem): ‘I’m happy that I have been given the opportunity to be a parent.’

Chynna and LJ’s magical, colorful stories of motherhood

Jerry Donato (The Philippine Star) - May 11, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Chynna Ortaleza and LJ Reyes can play as many diverse roles as possible on TV and in film. Their real life, however, revolves around being a daughter, a sibling, a friend, a wife and a mother. Unlike the dramatis personae they inhabited for a short period of time, the Kapuso celebrity moms give these roles lifetime commitment and dedication.

“I’m happy that I have been given the opportunity to be a parent,” said Chynna in a Mother’s Day-themed virtual media conference, which was also graced by LJ and first-time moms Maricris Garcia and Luane Dy.

“It’s been especially trying now that we have been in our homes for the past year or so. Before, I felt that parenting was already challenging because I had a career, and my kids were taken care of by part-time nannies, nabibigay ko sila sa mommy ko, ngayon walang ganun. I need to do everything, learn everything and balance everything.”

Chynna and husband Kean Cipriano with Stellar and Salem.

Chynna, who has two kids (daughter Stellar, five, and son Salem, one,) with husband Kean Cipriano, described her journey as a mom (thus far) as “magical.” Each day, she surprises herself how she can pull off and juggle everything.

As for LJ, she compared hers to a very colorful book. “Everyone knows, it’s an open book, that I (was) a single mom (before). Now, we have a small family together with Pao.” LJ has a daughter named Summer (aged two) with Paolo Contis, and a son Aki (10) with Paulo Avelino.

The Kapuso actresses are aware of the joys and sacrifices of motherhood and each phase (like being a mother to a baby, toddler or pre-teen) posts unique responsibilities and challenges.

“Iba-iba talaga yung stage (Each stage is different),” said LJ. “When I’m asked which stage is easier? My answer is wala (none). You cannot compare the level of difficulty of one stage to another. Merong magagandang bagay kapag baby siya, pero merong mahirap, kapag toddler siya, ganun din, kapag schooling kid siya, ganun din. The challenge now is the age gap between my kids. While I’m helping my son out with his studies, then may malikot na isang bata (I have this one, full of energy).”

Besides attending to every child’s needs, LJ said she has also to work at home and manage the household. “(It’s been) very colorful that I enjoy it so much. It’s not easy, never easy, but I really love being a mom.”

With that, one can easily feel the confidence and passion of these young celebrity mothers.

LJ Reyes (with children Aki and Summer): ‘It’s not easy, never easy, but I really love being a mom.’

“I’m lucky to have a very strong mother to look (up to) and emulate,” said Chynna. “I only realized how strong she was when I eventually got married and had my own children.” Her mother gave Chynna the space to grow as a person and to be herself. She will also do the same for her children.

“Your job is to be there (for them) and support them every single time they go into something,” shared Chynna about being a mom, “guide them and give them advice when (being) asked. I know I’m ready for that.”

Given today’s global health crisis, Chynna and LJ teach their kids to be responsible, resilient and content this early in their lives.

“Aki is very aware of what’s happening,” said LJ. “As much as we’re living by the day because we don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow, which is very uncertain. We’re at this point, me and Pao, wherein we have to prepare him for the future. Hindi pwedeng, ‘Ok, Baby, kawawa naman (ang) mga batang ito.’ Hindi pwede ganun.

“Our point is: What if our life will be like this for a very long time. We’ve told Aki that you’re the older child. So we’re teaching everything to him. Summer is very young… Sabi namin, ‘Pasensya na, medyo kailangan mong mag-mature ng kaunti na mas mabilis (you need to mature a bit fast).’ As much as we want to comfort them, we also need to prepare them for the future.”

“We train the kids to be happy with what they have at present,” added Chynna. “And then, Kean and I will try our best, as parents, to give them experiences that they will enjoy sa abot na makakaya ng safety precautions natin (within the bounds of safety precautions these days). Ganun muna at this point.”

At this point in their lives, Chynna and LJ look forward to every milestone their children are about to make and they will celebrate it with gladness.

“We’ll always be mothers (to our kids),” concluded LJ, “habang buhay na nandito kami bilang mga nanay. I think we will always carry our children. It’s not true that when they leave the house and start their own family, your being a mom stops (from there). Lagi kang nanay sa kanila. Siyempre, iba-iba lang yung actions and yung mode (of your being a mom at a certain stage of your child’s life), but you will remain a mom to them.”

LJ with Paolo Contis, Aki and Summer.

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