Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Superstar family

Vanessa Balbuena - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines- They don’t have a hit show on TV, nor did they star in a blockbuster movie, but Team Kramer easily beats out other stars that do with their current level of fame. It’s safe to say that lovely couple Doug and Cheska Kramer, and their adorable kids– Kendra, Scarlett and Gavin – are the most-followed family on social media, judging from their amount of Facebook likes and Instagram followers. Just a weekend ago, Philippine social media’s royal brood held a meet-and-greet at Ayala Center Cebu – and boy, did fans go on a tizzy!

The Kramers held their very first meet-and-greet at Ayala Glorietta, which was supposed to be a one-time thing. But invites from other regions such as Davao and Cebu came flooding in, and they just could not refuse.

Doug, currently playing for PBA’s Petron Blue Blazers, shared, “You could see the comments in our timeline after our Davao visit and when they learned we were going to Cebu, a lot of fans were asking ‘How about General Santos? How about Iloilo? How about Bacolod?’ It’s so hard to entertain everyone’s requests, especially that the kids are still so young.”

Cheska, a former actress, TV host and model, can’t pinpoint a single fan encounter that she counts her most memorable, because all this attention was beyondher imagination, to begin with.

“All of our meet-and-greets are memorable because for one, we didn’t expect all of this,” said Cheska. “When we started on Instagram and Twitter, we did not expect any following and such overwhelming support. We were merely sharing photos, with no intention at all that it would get this way. It has been quite a surprise for us that ‘Wow, a lot of people have actually taken an interest on our family.”

Doug adds they could feel the genuine excitement of fans that finally get to see them in the flesh, after only following them on social media. “We don’t have a regular show on TV, but you see that the support is truly 100%. They really travel just to see us. In Glorietta, we had people all the way from Visayas and Mindanao, and even one from Singapore who traveled to Manila just to meet us.”

The fame has naturally translated into numerous offers for reality shows, movies, event appearances and product endorsements. Cheska and Doug though are hesitant to make an enterprise out of their kids’ hit antics, and refuse to submit them to a daily showbiz grind at such a tender age.

“We feel like the kids are not ready for that yet. They’re still babies. Occasional meet-and-greets like this are fine; it’s just a short while, around 30 minutes. Unlike when you’re doing a regular show or a movie, their attention span is still short, and it will really be quite hard for them,” says Cheska. “We allow them to do commercials, because it’s faster.  We don’t want them to feel like they’re working already at an early age.”

Cheska herself is not keen on giving another go at an acting career. Patrick Garcia’s sister is fine being the hands-on mom and wife that she is. “I had some offers, but mykids are still small, so I don’t want to go back yet. And when I got married, I really told my husband that I want to focus on our family, on raising our kids, and being there to guide them. I want to be the type of mom who is always around, and who is able to watch her kids grow up.”

At four years old, it’s Kendra (nicknamed Kendrasuperstar for being artistahin) who understands a bit the concept of her being famous, her proud mom said. “Kendra does things that a lot of people like her for. She knows that a lot of people know her and love her,” said Cheska.

Asked to describe their individual parenting styles, Cheska admits that while she’s the eternally “paranoid” mom, Doug balances out the equation with his laidback attitude.

Cheska says, “I’m the type that’s a bit more paranoid. I just want to make sure that the kids are safe, that nothing bad will happen to them, no accidents. That’s why I make sure the surroundings are safe, there’s nothing Gavin can put inside his mouth. I’m a bit more conscious about their environment. Doug, on the other hand, is more relaxed.”

Doug, meanwhile,  lets the kids be so they can learn on their own. “It’s more of a Western type of upbringing. If they fall down, I let them pick themselves up. Don’t baby them too much, but at the same time, I’m a very affectionate father and husband. As  everyone knows, we love spending time together. And I think, that’s why people love us so much, because they always see us together.”

Hoping to utilize their fame for a greater good, Doug is making it their responsibility to inspire families the world over that there still can be a complete, happy and God-fearing family. “When it exploded like this, we feel we now have an innermost responsibility. God bestowed this upon us, that’s why we post our daily devotions and scriptures. I think that’s why we now have a deeper relationship with God. I think he wants us to show the whole world that there is an intact family, a family that is centered on Christ,” Doug concludes.

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