Actor Patrick Garcia with his girlfriend, Nikka Martinez, and their daughter, Chelsea. Photo from the official Facebook page of Smart Parenting magazine
MANILA - Actor Patrick Garcia, known for his portrayals in the acclaimed dramas "Madrasta" and "Separada," admitted that his latest role as a new father -- this time in real life -- took some time getting used to.
In an interview with Smart Parenting magazine in its October 2013 issue, the 32-year-old TV star Garcia said that his newborn daughter, Chelsea, has changed him for the better.
"We were just typical, selfish kids before all this, so it's a total lifestyle change," Garcia said, referring to him and his non-showbiz girlfriend, Nikka Martinez.
The couple welcomed their first child in March.
Garcia, who also has a son with his former partner, actress Jennylyn Mercado, said having Chelsea strengthened his relatively young relationship with Martinez.
"Before Chelsea came into our lives, medyo magulo, parang bata lang kami, away nang away, or lakwatsa lang. Chelsea gave us focus, nagkadireksyon kami," he said.
Garcia said he hasn't had a night out in more than a year.
Martinez, in the same interview, also said that the actor pitches in his fair share of parenting responsibilities despite other commitments.
"I'm thankful because no matter how tired he is, even if he comes home from a 24-hour taping, he really does his part. He'll cuddle her, put her to sleep," said Martinez.
Martinez referred to Garcia as the "cool head" in the relationship. She said he manages to keep his calm even during times when both she and Chelsea would break into tears.
"During the first month, there were times na ayaw niyang [Chelsea] tumigil ng kakaiyak! Umiiyak na rin ako! Palakasan kami ng iyak," shared Martinez.
"Patrick hasn't broken down and cried pa naman," she added.
'I do's' ahead?
Martinez revealed that even though they haven't set a date yet, she and Garcia are definitely planning to wed in the near future.
"I am very upfront with him, like 'O, ano, are you going to marry me ba?' And I get reassurance from what he tells me," she said.
But currently, the couple has their hands full with Chelsea. Garcia said he is steadily learning to become a better father and partner, which he credits to the responsibility of raising a daughter.
"I think that Nikka and I, we're both growing up along with Chelsea. And I guess, that's the best thing," said Garcia.