By Karen Galarpe
Who doesn’t know Donita Rose?
The bubbly Fil-Am actress and host was Asia’s favorite VJ during her MTV days. She was only the second Filipina (next to former President Cory Aquino) to make it to the cover of Time magazine. She rubbed elbows with Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff, when they appeared together in the international movie Legacy. And her sitcom Ober Da Bakod ran for six years on Philippine TV.
Donita has surely come a long way from being the fresh-faced girl plucked out of the audience of the TV show That’s Entertainment in the late ‘80s, to the famous personality she is now. Now based in Singapore, Donita is far from slowing down, and is still very much active in the scene. In fact, she is currently shooting another international movie titled Seed of Contention in Manila.
But if there’s a role she is most excited about, it’s got to be that of playing wife to her husband Eric and mother to 20-month-old Joshua Paul or JP. The cool and happy mom lets us in on her life these days.
How has motherhood changed you?
At first, I dismissed all the cliches about being a first- time mom because I didn’t want any preconceived notions to pressure me. To my amazement though, what a joy and a revelation it was to experience motherhood first hand! I’ve been transformed in more ways than I could possibly imagine. I believe I am now more altruistic, mature, affectionate, hardworking and responsible. But the most obvious change of all has to be the sense of accomplishment I feel now as a woman. It is still so difficult for me to fathom that I nurtured the life of another being in my womb for nine months and helped bring that very child into this world!
What do you like most about being a mom?
I enjoy the responsibilities of having to nurture and raise this child to his full potential in a home filled with all the love and affection he’ll ever need.
Tell us about JP.
JP is a playful ball of energy who loves to soak up information and entertain. He is shy for only a few seconds around strangers, but gets over it after observing them. Then he goes back to his usual self, babbling nonstop, dancing, and grabbing the nearest person’s hand to where he wants to go or what he wants to do. I detect that he can be a little headstrong but I mean that in a positive way. As early as now, he seems to have the signs of a great leader like his father. As for the entertaining aspect, he’s definitely a mix of both mommy and daddy since daddy is an entertainer too!
What are some of JP’s antics that make your day?
JP loves music. Whenever he hears music, he will dance while looking to us for approval. Afterward, he’ll clap his hands and grin from ear to ear. Sometimes he also kisses me on the lips and then strokes my face with his hand. But the icing on the cake is when he’s sleepy and he effortlessly strokes my arm with his soft, adorable hand. My husband and I compete for that moment and tease each other with envy when it happens! JP is also more noticeably developing a good sense of humor. He cracked his first official joke just two days ago in the car with both mommy and daddy as witnesses. What a joy that was!
How do you bond together?
The first thing that my son does every morning is to climb up the bed and wait for us to smother him with as many kisses as possible before work. If there’s time, my husband and I take turns to tickle him ‘til he’s had enough. Fortunately for me, though, I can usually continue doing so by bringing my son with me wherever I go (for as long as I know I won’t be out until very late). When we are out, I look for opportunities to teach him new things. When my husband comes home from work, we try to have supper with JP at the dinner table as much as possible, play with him for an hour before bedtime and then cap things off with a bedtime story, a prayer and a short lullaby.
What are your dreams for JP?
I will support my son in whatever he wants to do when he grows up for as long as it glorifies God. But I think my husband has been secretly praying that JP becomes a basketball star.
How do you balance work and family?
Most of the time…with ease! When you know your priorities in life, you will omit things that distract you from them. My priorities are: God, spouse, children, family and friends, then work. Both family and work are my lifelong passions which make it less of a chore for me to balance well. Plus, I make sure that I get my “fix” of joy and strength every day from the Ultimate Source so that I never get burned out. It also helps that my husband is so supportive of what I do and is sensitive to my needs. He is the greatest man alive!
How do you keep fit? It seems that you have already shed off all those pounds you gained during your pregnancy.
The key is “balance.” Make sure that you are getting at least seven hours of sleep a day, drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day, getting the proper portions of protein, carbs and vegetables, and the part we like to hear least — clocking in a few hours of aerobic and anaerobic exercise a week. My goal is to shed off those last 10 pounds in the next two months. I am working out at least four times a week. I mix things up quite a bit so that I don’t get bored, plus I get to work out different muscle groups. One day I’ll jog for 30 minutes then circuit train for an hour and a half. The next day I will play tennis for two hours. Another day I will jog for 30 minutes then box for an hour in the gym. Tomorrow, I intend to start rock climbing.
Q: How many more kids do you want?
I’d only want one more if it turns out to be a girl but if it’s another boy, I’ll go for only one more, no matter what the outcome may be. Children require so much of our time that I couldn’t possibly imagine mothering more than three!•
Click here to read the full story on One Philippines’ website.