MANILA—Candy Pangilinan talks about her journey as a parent of a child with special needs in her recently launched book "Mommy Dear: Our Special Love."
In her book, Pangilinan opens up about the ups and downs of raising Quentin, her son who has autism.
Pangilinan added that "Mommy Dear" is also about her journey toward acceptance and empowerment, as well as how she overcame her fears.
The comedian and TV and theater actress revealed that she blamed herself for Quentin's disability, since she suffered from mental and physical distress throughout her pregnancy.
"Kapag nalaman mo kasi na ang anak mo may special needs, hahanap ka ng dahilan. So sinisisi mo kung sino ang may kasalanan," she said, recalling how her partner left her penniless a month before she gave birth.
Since no study has proven the link between stressful pregnancy and autism, Pangilinan's physician convinced her to focus on the solution instead of dwelling on the problem.
The tough times drew Pangilinan closer to God. "I never questioned God. As a matter of fact, I went to Him agad. Ang tanong ko lang is, 'Anong gagawin ko?' "
Despite being a single mom, Pangilinan was able to raise Quentin with the help of her family. He is now 14, and his verbal and motor skills continue to improve with each therapy.
Besides opening up about her life as a parent, Pangilinan said her book delves into the meaning of unconditional love.
"It's not only for parents with kids with special needs. It's for all human beings who know how to love and hope and want to be inspired and live a better life," she added.