MANILA — Actress Coleen Garcia believes she has greatly matured as a person, and she has motherhood to credit for it.
Garcia, 30, discussed her parenting style Monday in an interview on TeleRadyo’s “Hapinay.” She contrasted her role as a “spiraling” single mother in the horror flick “Kaluskos,” with her being an actual mother to her 2-year-old son with Billy Crawford, Amari.
Asked if she feels she has matured since giving birth to Amari, Garcia answered: “Definitely. I mean, ang sama naman siguro kung hindi ako nag-mature all this time. That would mean I must be doing something wrong.”
“‘Yung mga experiences talaga, they’re so humbling. Mari-realize mo na parang ang dami ko pa palang hindi alam. And then when you change that mindset, it makes you more open to learning, to absorbing information,” she explained.
Pointing out that safe pregnancy is about following a set of rules to ensure the mother’s and baby’s health, Garcia said raising a child is significantly more challenging, as one how has to deal with human emotions, on top of the their physical well-being.
“Kasi ‘pag buntis ka, parang may formula, eh. You have to eat this, you have to do this, bawal gawin ‘to. Pero ‘pag may baby na, ibang-iba na. Walang handbook, ‘di ba, kasi iba-iba lahat ng bata."
“It’s really something you learn along the way. Kailangan open ka talaga to learn, kasi kung close-minded ka as a parent, mapapalayo sa ‘yo ‘yung bata. Kailangan open ka, kasi tao ‘yan, eh. We’re all different as people. You have to treat that child as a little human being. ‘Yung respect na binibigay mo sa kaniya, ganun din ‘yung respect na binibigay mo sa mga adults,” she said.
For Garcia, part of communicating with her son would be allowing him to question her, so the conversation would become an opportunity for learning. She recalled that as a child, simply answering a parent would be considered as disrespect.
“I think that’s something that lot of us forget or we overlook. Na-experience ko rin ‘yun, noong bata kami, ‘pag magsalita ka, or if you question certain things, [ibig sabihin] sumasagot ka na sa magulang.
“Kailangan, as a parent, treat it as, kailangan matuto ng bata. Kailangan mong turuan. In the future, iniisip ko, kung may mga itatanong siya, kung may rules ako at iki-question niya, ii-explain ko nang mabuti. Hindi ‘yung, basta sinabi ko, gawin mo. Ayoko ng ganoon,” she said.
Fortunately for the actress, she finds herself “in sync” with her child, noting that she was actively present when Amari was an infant. At the time, Garcia had taken a break from showbiz.
“Since I invested so much time noong baby siya, we’re so in sync, ang lakas talaga ng connection namin and I really understand him so well. Kilalang-kilala ko siya nang buong-buo.
“Ngayon na toddler siya, it’s not so hard. Kasi ang pinaka-mahirap talaga sa toddler stage ay communication. As long as you know how to communicate, at ma-address mo ‘yung needs ng bata, hindi siya ma-tantrum, kasi nakukuha naman niya ‘yung kailangan niya.
“Si Amari, napakadali. Napakadaling alagaan talaga. Sobrang, sobrang blessed talaga kami sa kaniya,” she said.
Garcia and her family are currently in France, where Crawford is gearing up new projects after his winning stint in the country’s version of “Dancing with the Stars.” They are planning to celebrate Christmas in the Philippines, after over three months of staying abroad.