We have seen great comediennes in the country do a 180-degree turn and accept roles that require heavy dramatic acting and kill it. These are the likes of Ai-Ai delas Alas, Pokwang, and Candy Pangilinan, plus so many more. Although renowned for their belly-busting humor, these women can effectively shed a tear or more when the scene calls for it.
Now, the actress recently starred in a movie we could guess is pretty close to her heart. Candy played the ever-supportive and hopeful mother to a child with special needs in “Star na si Van Damme Stallone.” To others, it might just be another movie to see but to Candy, this is her actual reality.
After playing the role in the movie, some people might be surprised to know that Candy is actually a mother to a child with special needs. She has never hidden this fact about her life nor did she want to keep mum about the struggles of raising Quentin, who is now 14 years old and diagnosed with ADHD and a “high-sensory integration problem.”
The actress has been interviewed about her difficult experiences in parenthood multiple times, one of these would be when she blamed herself for what had happened. Everything in her life, while she was pregnant, was in turmoil because of her separation from her husband and she is pretty sure this affected her pregnancy.
“Kapag nalaman mo kasi na ang anak mo may special needs, hahanap ka ng dahilan. So sinisisi mo kung sino ang may kasalanan.”
“From my point of view, feeling ko meron pero sabi ng doctor ko it’s not yet proven. Because I was very stressed when I was pregnant. I was emotionally stressed and physically stressed. Feeling ko nag-a-affect yun, feeling ko nagsa-shut off ang ibang parts ng brain ng bata.”
Despite such a hard pill to swallow, Candy’s faith in God has never wavered. Instead of raising her fists to the sky and shouting her spite, what came out of her mouth was a question of what to do next. By all means was the road ahead difficult.
She described what was going on with her son in these words:
“Sabi sa akin (ng doctor) gumagawa siya ng sarili niyang mundo. Lahat ng gulong, pinapaiikot niya. Kahit square, pinapaikot niya. Dati, ang gagawin niya, iuuntog ang ulo sa dingding at kakagatin ang sarili nya. Noong mas bata pa siya, matatalisod siya. Mahina ang motor skills e.”
It was also hard for her to see how her son was left behind by other playmates at social events. Candy said she never became angry at other children because she understands how hard it was to understand Quentin, but it was still heartbreaking.
But Candy still pushed to give Quentin daily therapy and to help him develop social skills. This is why the mother-son pair has seen so much progress in his day to day life. Now, the actress decided to share everything she has learned in a book called “Mommy Dear: Our Special Love.”
This is hoping that someone who is also going through the same thing as she might find a little comfort knowing that they aren’t alone. It is a book gearing parents of children with special needs to accept their situation, to be empowered, and to overcome their fears.
Watch an emotional interview with “Magandang Buhay” here:
What can you say about Candy Pangilinan’s sacrifice for her child? To parents reading this article, would you, or do you, do everything for your child? Share your thoughts and reactions in the comments section below!