Marian, Dingdong: Hands-on parents, conscientious advocates

Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes will always be the power couple we love — from being the best onscreen couple to real-life husband and wife, and now as hands-on parents to their two kids, Zia and Sixto.

“Parenting is a very challenging task,” Dingdong said. “As we discover every day, we learn a lot. I think during this pandemic, bottom line is health and necessities. We want to do so many things. Our kids want to do so many things. But the fact is that challenges like viruses will continue to come our way, and the only way to fight them is to have a strong immunity.”

The couple consciously did not accept lock-in tapings or visitors to their home during the pandemic to keep the household safe and protected.

“Marian especially needs a strong mindset because she’s a very hands-on mom. We are a tandem,” Dingdong said. “She will prepare while I bring and fetch the kids from school. It’s important to have everything prepared so that they are protected when they go to school, especially now since classes are
face-to-face. There’s a certain level of precaution when they want to get into sports so that we’ll have peace of mind knowing their bodies can endure it.”

Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera at the launch of Ceelin and CBCP’s partnership.

The couple partnered with Ceelin and Caritas Philippines of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines under the direction and supervision of the Episcopal Commission on Social Action-Justice and Peace.

The project has given vitamins since March 2022 to an estimated 100,000 kids from geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas who are deemed nutritionally deficient, to help these children strengthen their immunity against sickness especially given the lingering pandemic.

Dingdong and Marian distributed Ceelin vitamins to kids under the care of Caritas Philippines on 13 September, at the church where the couple held their wedding in 2014, in front of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral at Obispado de Cubao, Quezon City.

photographs courtesy of ceelin and cbcp

“It provides a very good opportunity to expand our legacy programs,” Fr. Antonio “Tony” Labiao, executive secretary of Caritas, said.

As big stars and influencers, they know that their status holds much power. Hence, they are very careful about the advocacies they support in their platforms.

“We recognize that this is a gift — biyaya — that is given to us. Part of our responsibility is to really take care of these gifts, and we were given a platform to advocate for other things and I think it’s right to use it in this way,” Dingdong said.

“That’s why we (support) advocacies that are really close to our hearts. It’s hard to do things that isn’t aligned with your values. It doesn’t feel like work at all, because for us this is a way of life already. It is a mission. We recognize that it is God-given.”

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