If you look at Candy Pangilinan’s facebook, she describes herself as... TV, Movie and Stage Actress; Host; Stand-up comedienne; Writer; Entrepreneur; Mother; Worker and dreamer. I love the arts. I love to perform and share the joy.
A woman with many positive endeavors in life. But first and foremost... she is a devoted mother to 13-year old Quentin. And this is her story, told in her own words as she share with us her life’s journey...
WAS IT AN EASY PREGNANCY WITH QUENTIN?
CANDY: It wasn’t easy because I was working at the same time. I was also going through some family crisis. Though I tried my best to be happy and take care of the baby in my womb.
AT THAT TIME, CAN YOU SAY THAT YOU WERE REALLY “READY” TO BECOME A MOTHER? WHY OR WHY NOT?
CANDY: I don’t think anyone is really fully ready or not fully geared up to be one. I was excited and bought all the books that could be of help. I attended classes for natural birth. Maybe I was ready but the situation I was in and the people around me wasn’t. I wasn’t prepared for the hormonal and physical changes. I did not anticipate the stress that would orround me at that time.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU’VE ENCOUNTERED EARLY INTO MOTHERHOOD?
CANDY: I was fortunate enough that Ate Maricel Laxa visited me the day I gave birth and literally pulled me up to start breastfeeding Quentin. She was monitoring my breastfeeding. I rarely had sleepless nights because Ate maricel gave me a book, “Babywise”, that taught me how to handle Quentin’s sleeping habits. It was really helpful. The book taught me to train my baby to sleep at night, closing all lights, making it an environment for sleep. Until now, Quentin has that kind of sleeping habit. He sleeps at around 8pm and wakes up at 5am. I stopped breastfeeding because I got so stressed my milk stopped.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT QUENTIN IS A “SPECIAL CHILD”? THE THINGS YOU DID TO REALLY HELP HIM?
CANDY: I first brought Quentin to an eye doctor on his 9th month because his eyes had no coordination. It was either cross-eyed or the opposite of it. The eye doctor was the one that referred me to go to a developmental doctor on his 12th month. The developmental doctor immediately referred me to therapists that would help me with Quentin. I was blessed that I got the best team of therapists (Occupational therapy, Speech therapy, DYAD, ABA or attitude behavioral analysis) to help Quentin. I also went to a doctor that would help Quentin with his studies. I also went to consult a listening center for therapy and to help him with his sensory integration problems.
I actually went doctor hopping. I wanted to know if they had a better solution.
I started being strict with Quentin. The rules in therapy were implemented in the house. Especially with the way we communicated with Quentin. We started with sign language, then to sound, then to syllables until he was able to speak. There was a lot of OT exercises that we consistently followed in the house to help Quentin. It was a change of lifestyle for all. I even brought all the help to therapy so they would understand what Quentin was going through and his difficulties.
There was a lot of research. There were a lot of tools for study and exercises that I had to buy abroad for his fine motor skills. More than anything, I prayed a lot. I asked prayers from everyone. Quentin also went to a lot of healing sessions.
Quentin’s 1st words were prayers, Abba and Amen. I knew that after all the therapy, if God would not allow he would never develop and improve.
HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH THE DIAGNOSIS?
CANDY: I was going through a lot those times. My husband left me. I had no money. Honestly, I didn’t have time to dramatize the situation. I had one breakdown after I found out about Quentin’s disorder. It was during an interview with Tito Boy A. I came straight from the hospital to the taping that was previously scheduled.
After that, all I had in mind was how I could help Quentin. I had to work to provide for Quentin’s therapies, doctors, meds and etc.
I did a lot of research. We tried many diets like GFCF and alike to help him.
No sugar, less carbs, and etc…
We tried to be very consistent with everything we did regarding Quentin.
We treated him normal. I had a close relationship with the therapists. We communicated on developments and I reported back how Quentin was at home.
We had a quarterly meeting of teachers, therapists, yaya and doctors to discuss the things we were doing for Quentin and what direction we were going to take.
We planned everything. I did not deny and made excuses for my son’s condition. I embraced and accepted it. I think that helped a lot. I had no time for denial. I was open about it. I admitted that I needed help. My family supported me. The prayer community helped me to deal with Quentin in regards with his social skills. I prayed a lot. I had to fix myself. I had to be okay to help my son. I cannot give what I do not have. I cannot help Quentin if I was in misery.
My son and I journeyed with the Lord…and we still are.
At present we are teaching him independence. We are training him to sleep alone. It’s quite hard because he stands up when he knows he is alone in the room. We are training him to take a bath alone, dress up alone, and help himself. We are training him to choose and decide.
THROUGH THE YEARS, ARE THERE LESSONS YOU WANT TO IMPART TO OTHER PARENTS AS FAR AS “PARENTING AND TAKING CARE OF AN ADHD” CHILD
CANDY: Consistency is very important.
Never break rules because they will remember.
No one has died of crying, don’t give in. Tough love.
God has given you us a special gift therefore we have a special task to do.
The society looks at our children differently because they do not understand. The society can be so cruel. The more we have to love and be patient with everyone. I learned that if we plant seeds of kindness then we would sow it too.
For the cruel ones discriminating eyes, I let them be. I realized that we all have a story. We don’t know where that person is coming from. Let it be.
ANY ADVICE OR TIPS ON SINGLE MOTHERHOOD SURVIVAL?
CANDY: Be happy. Life is short but it’s not supposed to be tragic so let’s life to the fullest. I always share this to others but I too always have to remember it.
God loves us more than we love ourselves.
My rule at present that I am trying to embody: Do not compete, compare and conform so your life will be satisfied and content.
AS A MOTHER, I AM SURE YOU TEACH QUENTIN A LOT OF THINGS. BUT AS YEARS GO BY, MERON BANG NAITURO SI QUENTIN SA IYO ABOUT LIFE?
CANDY: Life is how we look at it. Quentin taught me so many things and still teaches me everyday. Quentin has taught me the attitude na “wala lang”… Yun bang “It doesn’t matter”.
It’s not important so let’s not waste our energy on it. Quentin taught me to be grateful for what we can do and me to appreciate everything we have. I overlook the importance that I can express myself, I have a grip and can hold things well, I can understand and comprehend, I can walk, so many things to be thankful for. These were some of the things that Quentin couldn’t do before. Now he can talk but still has a hard time to express himself. He couldn’t walk before but now he can. He still lacks balance though. There are so many things that we should be thankful for.
Life is good it really depends how we look at it.
Being a single mom, Candy exhausts all efforts to raise her son single handedly. So aside from her movie and TV stints.... Candy is also a certified WISE businesswoman. Visit her bags business https://www.instagram.com/qbagsbycandy/