MANILA – Senator Grace Poe was in grade 1 or 2 when she first learned that she is an adopted child of Susan Roces and the late actor Fernando Poe Jr.
In an interview on Toni Gonzaga's vlog, Poe recalled she had a classmate who always teased her that she’s adopted every time they fight.
As she did not understand why her classmate kept saying that, Poe said it prompted her to ask her parents about the truth.
“Hindi ko maintindihan kung anong ibig sabihin n'un and paulit-ulit 'yun. Finally, hindi na ako makatiis, tinanong ko yung mom ko. Inamin naman niya. Pero parati niyang sinasabi na ‘You were given to me by God',” she said.
Poe said it was at that point that she had a realization how she does not have any resemblance with Roces. That was also the time that she developed a closer relationship with her dad, Poe said.
“Kasi, ‘di ba, she’s so fair, ang ganda ganda niya. So that’s why nung mga panahon na iyon, mas naging malapit ako sa tatay ko. Feeling ko, mas brusko ako nung lumalaki ako. Mas kakulay ko yung balat niya kaysa sa mom ko. But of course, my mom, parati naman niya ako binibigyan ng lakas ng loob na hindi importante yun, ang importante is mahal ka namin,” she recalled.
According to the Senator, she’s so blessed to have Roces and Poe as her family that she never really questioned why her biological parents gave her away.
“Hindi ko masyado tinanong bakit ako pinamigay. More like, sino kaya sila? Ang tanong ko ay, sapat ba ako para sa mga magulang ko? Do I deserve their love? Will I grow up to be somebody they can be proud of? Kasi habang lumalaki ako, maraming nagsasabi na ang galing ni FPJ and Susan Roces. So ang hirap na 'yung mga magulang mo ay talagang tinitingala. So gusto mo ikaw, hindi ka nila ikahiya,” she said.
Poe said this was also the same reason why she steered clear of showbiz. “Kasi feeling ko, hindi ko naman kaya abutin yung kanilang naabot. Ikukumpara ako parati,” she said.
Nonetheless, Poe said she treasures all her memories as a child, especially when she would tag along with her parents when they would work on their films.
“Nung batang bata pa ako, nag-e-extra ako sa pelikula ng tatay ko. So tuwang tuwa ako doon. Kaya lang, 'yung tatay ko siguro, alam naman niyang wala akong talent talaga. So parati akong anak ng mga kontrabida. Alam niya hindi ako magaling umarte,” she said.
“Ang adventure sa akin, kapag nagshu-shooting ang tatay ko, nandiyan din ako sa sapa kung saan sila nagshu-shooting or sa dagat. Untouched islands, beautiful forests, mountains, napuntahan ko yun nung bata ako, kaya ganun yung kilos ko. Kasi siyempre, wala namang hotel doon. Minsan, makikitira ka lang sa bahay… yun ang kinagisnan ko na buhay,” she added.
As for the one thing her father taught her that she will never forget, Poe said: “Parating sinasabi ng tatay ko, ‘Humility in victory.’ Kasi siyempre maraming nag-a-adulate sa kanya, na ang galing galing niya. Pero sabi niya, ‘You always have to be humble and you always have to help if you have the means to help'.”