Comedienne Candy Pangilinan could not help but think that the tough times she experienced during her pregnancy had an adverse effect on her son, who was born with special needs. “From my point of view, feeling ko, meron. But sabi ng doctor ko it’s not yet proven,” she explained in her guest appearance on Tonight With Boy Abunda on November 7.
“I was emotionally stressed and physically stressed, so feeling ko nag-a-affect yon, feeling ko nagsha-shut off ang ibang parts ng brain ng bata, kasi magkadikit ang lifeline na ‘yan e.”
Candy's stress was rooted mainly on her troubled marriage with ex-husband Gilbert Alvarado. Less than two years after their marriage, the two called it quits. Their son Quentin, now 14, has been diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Candy, 45, admitted that she blamed herself for her son’s condition, but her doctor told her to stop. “[My doctor said] Let’s not go there. Punta tayo sa solusyon. If we dwell [on] the problem, walang mangyayari,” she related to host Abunda.
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She added that through the most trying times, God was her source of strength.
Another challenge that Candy had to deal with while her son was growing up was how people regarded Quentin. “It’s how the people around you look at you and your child, yung discrimination.”
She said people would call her son “abnoy,” a derogatory word which means "abnormal."
“'Yung pupunta kayo ng party tapos hindi kakausapin yung bata.
“[Pag] dalawa pa lang silang bata, syempre maglalaro sila, pero pag dumadami na [ang mga bata] makikita mo si Quentin lang yung humahabol. Iniiwan na siya nung ibang bata.
“But ganon talaga e, hindi siya naiintindihan because hindi siya ganon kagaling verbally.
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“I just allow him to go through that because it’s part of life and he has to learn.”
According to Candy, Quentin speaks phrases which aren’t comprehensible and he jumps from one topic to another, although Candy is quite happy with the improvement she sees in her son’s speech and motor skills.
Because therapy is quite expensive, Candy said that she has to work hard to afford it, since Quentin’s father has never provided child support since the boy was born.
Candy recently released a book, Mommy Dear: Our Special Love, which talks about her journey from the time she conceived Quentin.
“This is about the journey of Quentin [and] my journey with my son—the development, the milestones, yung mga nangyari from pregnancy,” she related.
With her book, Candy hopes to help parents like her who also have kids with special needs. “Kasi some of the parents sinisisi nila ang sarili nila why their children are like that. I had also that feeling, so I had to go back and check ano ba ang ginawa ko nung buntis ako. It’s all there.”