Ian Veneracion, dad to millennials

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Despite his busy schedule in show business, fatherhood is still Ian Veneracion’s top priority  PHOTO BY NAZZI CASTRO

Despite his busy schedule in show business, fatherhood is still Ian Veneracion’s top priority
PHOTO BY NAZZI CASTRO

TV’s once famous ‘son’ reveals his parenting style    

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Strong, a stickler for details, authoritative. These are some of the adjectives kids usually use to describe their strict fathers. But like any parent nurturing the day’s “millennial” children—a generation said to be more emotionally intelligent—dramatic actor Ian Veneracion reveals that he has chosen to veer away from the iron-fisted fathers of the past, and instead treat his brood like his peers.

The 41-year-old celebrity, who shot to fame in the ‘80s as the very handsome son of comedian Joey de Leon in Joey and Son, had his first child when he was only 24. Then and now, he takes pride in the kind of relationship he has fostered with his kids, Draco, 17, Deirdre, 15, and Buccio, 9.

“I am kunsintidor with my sons,” he confessed in an interview with The Manila Times.

“But with my daughter wala akong laban, kayang kaya niya ako,” he laughed. Siya yung bully. Pero with my sons, I can’t help it, kunsintidor talaga ako,” he added with a grin.

To give an idea just how cool he is with his sons—and yes, even with his daughter in other ways—the former child star even said he is OK with the idea of them drinking liquior.

“Pero sinasabi ko lagi, drink moderately. Just like I do on the radio,” he said in jest, mimicking his line for his latest endorsement with Primera Light Brandy.

The former child star and matinee idol turned serious though when he explained the reason for being lenient. “They are allowed [to drink]because it’s something they have to go through growing up; it’s a stage.”

Besides drinking, Veneracion shared that he encourages his children to be adventurous, and got them to try paragliding or motor riding as their form of bonding.

“Mahilig ako sa outdoor sports at palagi ko silang sinasama. In fact, a month ago, I went to Sagada on a motorcycle with my son. Tag-isa kami ng motor, and kwentuhan the whole time,” Veneracion said, adding it was a fruitful father-and-son bonding.

He has also given the go signal for her only-girl to own a motorcycle. Ditto his youngest who has started to ride his very own bike inside their subdivision.

Conversations between them, his kids are well aware of what he does for a living.

“Kunwari nadaanan namin yung billboard ko sa EDSA, sasabihin nila, ‘You are so pa-cute.’ Sasabihin ko naman, ‘Ganyan talaga pag tumatanda, hayaan nyo na,” he fondly shared.

Moreover, Veneracion is proud that his children with wife Pam Gallardo, who he married in 1994, understand the nature of his career, even the concept of love teams.

While showbiz is nothing new to Veneracion—he started acting at the age of six in 1982 for Joey and Son—he quickly found himself the object of viewers’ affection. Decades later, when he returned to TV via 2015’s Pangako Sa’Yo, the exact same thing happened, gaining fans even from his children’s age range.

He acknowledges his pairing in the series with Jodi Sta. Maria as a huge part of this phenomenon. So successful was their tandem that they were immediately cast in December’s rom-com flick All You Need is Pag-ibig, while now working on a follow-up movie, The Achy Breaky Hearts.

“I talk to them as adults, even my 9-year old. They understand naman [how love teams work]and they even come to the set. Then they go to Jodi and say hi, kwento-kwento sila,” Veneracion said.

He added that his children are very comfortable with the actress mainly because they know he is “just being professional with his work.”

“I have a very good reputation with my kids. They know kasi that I am a professional. I’ve never been late to the set, kahit noong binata pa ako. Sa akin, work is work,” the actor enthused.

Wrapping up the interview, Veneracion said that despite his second wind in show business, fatherhood remains his top priority.

“For me that’s the most important role that I have. Secondary na lang yung career and everything that comes with it. I make sure that I spend time with my kids before anything else.”

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