Film and commercial director Paul Soriano, who is a first-time dad, is still learning the ropes of fatherhood. “I don’t know how to be a father, but I’m also learning.”
The 36-year-old director-producer is the husband of Toni Gonzaga and father to 14-month-old son, Severiano Elliott or Seve. Fatherhood posts many challenges, but Paul says it is a role he fully embraces. Having to spend time with his son every day is “the best part of 2017.”
“I guess the best part for the rest of my life is having a little boy and watching him grow and grow,” he said in an interview last December 13 at the press conference of his film Siargao, one of the entries for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival.
This first-time dad explained that his lack of experience as a father does not hinder him to try to be good at it. “I don’t think you will ever fully learn how to be a father. You will always be a work in progress.
“But what I love about my son, Seve, is that I want to do all that I can to make him happy. Parang yun ang happiness ko, e. If my son is happy, okay ako.”
He related that as long as he sees his son wear a happy face whenever they do activities together, he knows that he is on the right track. “When I bring him to his little gym yung activities niya sobrang saya, okay na ako. Parang I’m doing something right, di ba?
“Every time I see him smile or when he says, ‘Daddy, Daddy,’ it’s the best feeling in the world.”
Even if his hands are full with directing and producing, family is Paul’s priority.
“Right now, my main focus is whatever I can do to make my son happy, to give him the best childhood that I could possibly give, of course, to discipline him and raise him correctly [that] I will learn along the day.”
Paul confessed he has the tendency to be overprotective of his son, but he still wants Seve to be properly disciplined. “I’m also very protective of him. I want to keep him as safe as possible. I’m learning to discipline him because he’s in that age na he’s getting to know what’s wrong, what’s right. I’ll definitely discipline him because I want him to learn and want him to value hard work…that it’s not easy.
“But, of course, love above all, I will love him with all that I have.”
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When you've got parents who are household names, it is inevitable that people treat Seve as a celebrity, whether his parents like it or not. He is also adorable, as seen from social media posts by his parents, aunt Alex Gonzaga, and grandparents.
Paul says he is trying to manage Seve’s social media exposure to make sure that he still gets a normal childhood. “I still also want to keep some moments very private but it’s the age now, social media, di ba? And of course, how can you not share it with the world? He’s just so cute, so lovable.
“As much as possible, when Seve goes out of the house, I try to avoid yung pa-picture sa kanya coz I want him to grow up normal and parang not wondering, ‘Why are people taking pictures with me?’ I want to give him a normal childhood,” he concluded.