MANILA - Comedienne Pokwang has the tricky task of balancing time between her work and her 17-year-old daughter, Ria Mae.
In an interview on "Tapatan Ni Tunying" aired Thursday, the 43-year-old actress shared that one of her regrets as a single mother is that she wasn't able to attend most of her daughter's school activities.
"Noong high school siya, una at huling punta ko sa eskwelahan niya ay ‘yong graduation niya. Nalulungkot ako. Marami akong na-miss na mga big event sa buhay niya. Pero bumabawi naman ako nang bongga," she said.
Despite her shortcomings, Pokwang revealed that her daughter has been very understanding of their situation. "Alam naman niya na lahat ng ito ay para sa kanya.”
"Naiintindihan naman niya, kasi ako lang naman talaga ang provider sa pamilya at 'yung tuition niya mahal. Kung puwede nga lang, lahat ng raket kukunin ko," she added.
The "Mirabella" actress said she makes it a point to spend time with her daughter whenever she can. She shared that they often cook meals together and trade stories and secrets.
"Kapag nasa bahay kasi ako, I'll make sure na ‘yung oras na ‘yun para sa kanila. Sila na ‘yung magsasawa sa akin," she said.
Asked about the difference between raising a daughter and raising a son, she said: "Pag babae ang anak mo, lagi mong iki-kiss, lagi mong iha-hug, paramdam mo sa kanya na siya lang ‘yung baby mo. Hindi ‘yan maghahanap ng landi."
Dealing with loss
Pokwang lost her first child, Shin, to brain cancer at the very young age of five. The comedienne confessed that she was not at her son's side when he passed away.
"Nung namatay 'yung una kong lalaki, wala ako sa tabi niya eh. Nasa ibang bansa ako noon. Dapat nandoon ako, dadamayan ko siya," she said.
According to Pokwang, Shin had wanted to be a pilot. "Mahilig 'yun magpabili kasi ng mga eroplano. Lumipad naman po siya bilang anghel."
The loss, Pokwang explained,is one the reasons why she values her daughter deeply, threatening those who would ever think of hurting her. "Subukan ninyo. Pa-riding-in-tandem ko kayo," she quipped.
But comedienne denied being an overprotective parent, explaining that she understands life as a teenager, especially since her daughter is nearing the age of 18.
However, she does have one rule when it comes to her daughter's romantic interests: "Sabi ko naman sa kanya, basta dalhin mo sa bahay. Pakilala mo."
When asked about her love life, Pokwang quipped: "Nasaan? May nakikita ka ba? Wala nga!"
Admittedly, however, Pokwang said she does not want to grow old alone. "Anak ko, magaasawa din 'yan. Ano na lang ako?"
On Mothers' Day, Pokwang said that she will be completely focused on the debut of her daughter, who will turn 18 on May 14. She said that she wants the celebration to be perfect for Ria Mae because she didn't get to experience one herself.
"Debut muna ni anak then ilang araw after baka mag-out of town," she said when asked about her plans on Mothers' Day.