MANILA — For the first time, the father of Kathryn Bernardo sat down for a tell-all interview, with his superstar-daughter asking the questions.
Throughout Kathryn's 17-year career, her father Teodore or Teddy has rarely faced cameras, in contrast to the actress' mother, Min, who has been a visible figure through interviews and other public appearances with her daughter.
In a rare moment, Kathryn finally convinced her father to do an interview through her vlog, which proved to be an emotional conversation for them both.
Released on Monday, the vlog touched on several personal topics, from Kathryn's childhood, to Teddy's approval of actor Daniel Padilla as his daughter's long-term partner, both onscreen and in real life.
Kathryn was 16 when she first told Teddy about her relationship with Daniel.
"Halo — takot, tuwa," Teddy said, recalling his reaction to the news then. "Sabi ko, mukhang okay naman siya (Daniel), mukhang totoo naman. Kasi wala ka namang magagawa. It's all up to them."
"Lalo na ngayon, they're at the right age. Nakita ko, mukhang maganda naman ang relasyon nila," he said.
Kathryn and Daniel have been together for 8 years.
When Kathryn asked how Daniel gained his approval, Teddy answered: "Show of respect lang. Alam niya 'yung lugar niya. Hindi naman siya matanong, hindi rin mayabang. Swabe lang, okay lang. At saka 'yung porma niya, hindi naman yabang 'yun. Natural. Iyong iba, 'pag makita mo, sabihin mo, mayabang. Hindi naman. Swabe."
Teddy recalled that when Kathryn turned 18, she asked to be allowed to make her own decisions. At that point, Teddy made sure to have "the talk" with Daniel.
"Lagi lang na bilin na, 'O, baby ko 'yan, alagaan mo 'yan,'" he said.
Sharing his coversation with Daniel during Kathryn's debut, Teddy said he had told the actor: "She, being my baby, ini-endorse ko lang sa 'yo. Ingatan mo lang."
"Sabi ko, 'Bugbugin ko siya!'" he added, laughing.
According to Kathryn, it took a while for Daniel to earn the trust of both her parents.
"It took him years. Kailangan talaga, ipakita ng lalaki 'yung intention niya sa babae, na hindi lolokohin, aalagaan. Kasi mapi-feel 'yun ng magulang, e. Feeling ko, pag naging magulang ako someday, ganoon din. Siyempre, protective ka," she said.
Giving advice to men who are trying to win over their partner's parents, Kathryn went on: ""Trabahuhin lang. Hindi siya mabilis. Pero iyon 'yung mga bagay na hindi minamadali. Kung nasa posisyon ka ng parents, isipin mo, ang hirap din mag-let go ng anak. You have to earn that trust. Respect is very important."
Daniel, needless to say, has since become a part of the Bernardo family. In fact, during the initial coronavirus lockdown that lasted three months, Daniel, in the absence of Teddy, made it a point to check up on Kathryn's household.
Kathryn and Teddy then explained the setup of their family. Kathryn is the youngest of four siblings, two of whom are abroad. Teddy is based in Cabanatuan City, while Kathryn, her mother, and one sibling are in Manila.
Teddy usually visits Manila once or twice a month, according to Kathryn. That only changed with the community quarantine in the first half of the year.
Explaining why he chooses to stay in Cabanatuan, Teddy said: "Pag may edad ka na, hahanapin mo ang tahimik lang, away from the city, hindi polluted ang hangin. At saka 'yung makakatulog ka nang maaga, mahimbing, wala kang kinakatakutan. Nandoon ang peace of mind. Kaya mas gusto ko sa probinsya. Walang traffic. Simpleng buhay lang."
His daughter agreed, conceding that Manila does tend to be chaotic, compared to what they were used to in Nueva Ecija.
"Tahimik din kasi sa buhay-province. Para sa akin, ang gulo dito sa Manila, kaya binibigay namin 'yung choice na 'yun kay Papa, kung saan niya gusto," she said.
"At saka 'pag matagal silang magkasama ni Mama, nag-aaway na sila, so dapat paghiwalayin mo! Huwag masyadong matagal!" Kathryn added, laughing.
In a tearful moment, Kathryn then asked her father whether he has ever had to sacrifice anything for her, circling back to their live in Cabanatuan.
Teddy, whose business and properties are in the province, recounted that when Kathryn was age 6 and wanted to try out showbiz in Manila, he gave up investments so he could build a house for them in the capital.
Kathryn did accomplish her dream, and is now regarded as a superstar in local showbiz.
"Ang pangalawang sakripisyo," Teddy went on, "'yung hinayaan ko kayo na nandito lang sa Maynila."
"Hindi naman hinayaan as in pinabayaan. Hindi ko talaga maiwan 'yung Cabanatuan. Nandito kayong lahat sa Manila, nandoon lang ako mag-isa. Parang pinagpalit ako ng Mama mo, pinagpalit niyo akong mga anak ko sa mga kagustuhan niyo."
Teddy clarified that he understood, mentioning that his other children's education in Manila helped them secure good jobs.
Kathryn's final question for her father was about his dream for their family.
"Dream ko lang naman para sa pamilya ko, maski hindi masyadong mayaman. Hindi tungkol sa pera," he said. "Basta ang importante, ma-satisfy ka. Kasi pag na-satisfy ka na sa sarili mo, happy ka na. Iyon ang importante: ang maging happy ka lang sa buhay."
"Nakikita ko naman, because of Kathryn, tumaas 'yung level ng aming living because of her. Napag-aral, napagtapos 'yung mga kapatid niya because of her," he said.
Kathryn's next big goal is her "dream home" for her family. Its groundbreaking happened just last March.
"Thankful kami na natupad din 'yung gusto niya, na makatulong sa amin," Teddy said. "Napakalaking tulong. Kung iba siguro, lumaki na ulo ni Kathryn."
Noticing his daughter's tears, Teddy said, in jest, "But look at Kathryn, iyakin!"