At 28, Maiko is about to welcome his fourth child.
“Boy or girl, I will love the kid no matter what,” the young father said in Filipino. He only has to wait four more months before his new baby arrives.
Maiko’s three other children are ages 7, 5, and 2.
If there’s one thing this young dad values the most, it’s respect.
“My family’s lifestyle is simple,” said Maiko. “As a father, I give importance to my children.”
“I give them respect,” he continued.
“Have understanding for your children. Sometimes our children will make mistakes; other times, our children are right. So in some cases, the parents are the ones who should adjust,” he advised.
Maiko hopes to inspire other dads to become truly present in their children’s lives.
Maiko grew up in the province of Samar in Eastern Visayas.
“I practically grew up in the mountains,” Maiko said.
As a boy, he would help his father as much as he could. Maiko spent many hours of his childhood out in the field.
They were copra farmers.
After high school, he left his hometown for Manila in search of better fortune.
He landed part-time jobs in construction and welding. Occasionally, he gets paid to paint houses.
Just last Christmas, he lost his stable employment in a pasta store. Now, he’s juggling the above jobs to make ends meet.
“I’ll do my best so that my children won’t have to experience my childhood hardships,” Maiko said. “My only wish is for them to be able to go to school and finish their studies.”
“I want to give them a good life, unlike my childhood where I really had nothing,” he added. “But I won’t spoil them either.”
Maiko vows to teach his children good values and life lessons – he himself has gathered throughout the years.
Hence, his determination to continue learning. (WATCH: This teen mom is determined to learn what she didn't)
Maiko and his wife are among the parents trained by Save the Children on Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition.
Aside from being there for his children, Maiko also ensures that he fully supports his wife.
Support, for Maiko, should not be limited to just the financial aspect. It also entails emotional care.
“I support my wife, I help her out,” he proudly shared. “I provide food, wash dishes, make the bed, wash clothes.”
“I also massage her foot when she’s in pain,” he quipped. (WATCH: Dad's role in raising children)
Maiko reminds fathers that there is no shame in doing household chores; in fact, such tasks should never be seen as something exclusively done by women.
“Couples should help each other out,” Maiko stressed. “My wife and I are equals. Fathers should respect their wives and their children."
Both parents play a crucial role in raising children. Teach your children about gender equality, set a good example at home.
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