He may have wanted to become a rapper at first, but the combination of sharp wit and natural comedic timing brought Beethoven Michael Del Valle Bunagan to the path of pursuing the noble profession of making people laugh.
Known as both Michael V. and Bitoy, his long-running laugh-a- minute shows Bubble Gang and Pepito Manaloto have made him a household name, and he tells us in this #SmartParentingExclusive story that his own household is just as full of fun and laughter.
Aside from constantly cracking jokes at the dinner table to the detriment of family members who are trying to eat their meal in peace — “minsan nagwa-walk out na sila,” he laughs — he is also the cool dad to his kids Milo, Yanni, Migo, and Maypaul.
"Ako yung medyo mas natatakot sila magalit kasi 'pag nagalit ako, parang ibig sabihin nun, parang maling-mali na yung ginawa mo." — Michael V
Most of the disciplining falls on his wife, Carol, he grins sheepishly. “Mas siya yun, verbal at outright. Ine-express niya kaagad kung ano yung nararamdaman nya. At sinasabi nya kaagad, hinahandle niya kaagad yun situation.”
He, on the other hand, is less strict about certain things. “Ako naman, mas lenient ako, mas uto-uto ako. Pero only for things na ano, yung good clean fun.
"Ok lang, magpapauto talaga ako diyan, pero pagka hindi na — ay, teka, sandali — ako yung medyo mas natatakot sila magalit kasi 'pag nagalit ako, parang ibig sabihin nun, parang maling-mali na yung ginawa mo,” he explains.
Family is central to him. Something that he picked up from his own father, Cesar. “Tatay ko palaging nasa trabaho. Palaging naghahanap ng kayod, laging naghahanap ng hanapbuhay.
"Pero mas gusto ko siyang kasama kasi mas fun siya, atsaka alam ko 'pag kasama ko siya, walang time na hindi kami kakain. Palagi siyang concerned na baka gutom na ako,” he smiles in remembrance.
“I would say na pati sense of humor ko sa kanya ko nakuha,” he adds.
Lead by example
He also says that his dad was a practical man. “He’s a take-charge kind of guy. So yun, namana ko sa kanya yun, lalo na pagka dito sa household. Handyman din ako dahil sa kanya. Ang dami rin niyang naituro sa akin. So, ano siya, parang lead by example, palagi siyang ganun.”
Conscious of his father’s effect on him, he tries to act as role model for his children. This is also the aim of his entertainment projects such as Pepito Manaloto and the movie Family History, where he plays a father who imparts important life lessons for his children, and believes that how he builds a relationship with his wife impacts their own future relationships.
“Tataasan mo lang standard, e, 'di ba, ng pagiging father mo kasi, ikaw yung parang significant male sa buhay nila and if you set the standards way, way high, you can be pretty much sure na yung mga anak mo na babae, would find someone as good, if not better, than you.”
While he is teaching them the right values at home, he also looks into their other influences. “Ang mga bata marami nang natututunan ngayon, lalo na sa internet, sa games atsaka social media. Iba ibang kultura ang andyan at dapat matutukan mo sila.”
He also show them how he has time for himself, through his passions such as art and basketball and encourages them to do the same. “It’s the same way that our own dads were supportive of what we wanted when we were kids. Kung ano ang trip nila ngayon we support that," he says.
Catch Michael V and Ogie Alcasid on SmartParenting.com.ph this whole month of June in celebration of Father's Day! Click here for #SmartParentingExclusive story about their friendship, plus head on to the Smart Parenting YouTube Channel and Facebook page for all our videos featuring these funny celebrity dads.