EXCLUSIVE: Markus Paterson Gushes Over His Son Jude On This New Dad's First-Ever Father's Day
"There’s no book that can prepare you, there’s no YouTube video that you can watch that will make you instantly a dad. It’s just about being there in the moment and growing as a father while your son is growing as a boy," the happy dad shares
As they say, it is always the unexpected that changes our lives.
When the Filipino public first met Markus Paterson, he was a hopeful teenage singer on the 2016 reality talent show Pinoy Boyband Superstar. Since then, he has worked and appeared on a variety of shows such as ASAP, La Luna Sangre, Sana Dalawa ang Puso, High, Kargo and on films such as Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi, Tres and Dead Kids. He is slated to make a comeback via the upcoming ABS-CBN series Viral.
“It’s called Viral because umiikot iyong kwento sa isang viral na video na lumabas and the whole story is about how two different families deal with it. The story revolves around how these two families battle for the justice of the two parties involved,” Markus says, adding that he’s been preparing for the show prior to its locked-in taping in Cavite. “Sobrang maganda ’yung script at kwento and ng casting. The whole taping experience was amazing because sina Direk (Dado Lumibao and Froy Allan Leonardo), magaling at mabait. Basta the whole team was so welcoming and so warm. It was just an amazing experience and na-feel ko talaga na I’m back,” he says.
By “back,” Markus Paterson is referring to going back to work after the inevitable hiatus brought about by his new role in life: becoming a father to his and Janella Salvador’s son Jude who’s now eight months old.
Today, this 23-year-old is celebrating Father’s Day as a first-time dad. “It’s very weird. I’m used to saying ‘Happy Father’s Day!’ to my dad, my titos and all that. It’s weird being the recipient for once, you know?” he smiles.
Fatherhood becomes Markus
Markus and Janella found out they were parents-to-be in February 2020. That remarkable day, the pair was on vacation in Boracay to spend some time under the sun and to enjoy the tropical sceneries at the beach after spending a wintry Christmas with the Patersons in the UK.
“We went to the beach to detox and all that. Pagdating namin sa beach and on the second day pa lang namin doon, Janella told me that she feels weird,” Markus begins. He went on to share snippets of how their conversation went:
Janella: “Parang I’m feeling weird the past couple of days.”
Markus: “Okay. Do you want to take a paracetamol or something? Do you have a cold or something?”
Janella: “No, love. I think you should buy a pregnancy test.”
Markus was understandably surprised by his girlfriend’s suggestion. “I went straight to the nearest pharmacy. I bought five para sigurado. And then I got back to the hotel, I gave them all to her. I was just waiting at the balcony. In my mind, I was like ‘There’s no way...’ I was thinking to myself she’s going through something but it is definitely not this. It’s definitely not what she thinks,” he says, clearly incredulous at that moment. When Janella came out of the bathroom, all five of the pregnancy test kits that Markus bought indicated positive.
“We both sat out on the balcony, we talked about it and there were so many thoughts in my mind. My goodness! It was just so silent for a long time. I can see through her face that she wanted to say something and I wanted to say something but nothing was coming out of my mouth and her mouth. It was like [*snaps fingers*] we’re having a baby! Our thoughts were ‘Who are we going to tell first? How are we going to deal with this? How was management going to react to this?’ So many thoughts just flew into our minds but throughout the whole time, we noticed that we just couldn’t stop smiling. We had these crazy grins on our face,” Markus animatedly narrates, describing a lighthearted moment to their nerve-racking, life-changing but happy experience of finally coming to terms with the news.
The actor shares that fear and anxiety were on top of the emotions they felt at that very moment. “But like. looking back at it, why couldn’t we stop smiling? Like, we wanted it to happen. We were so excited that we didn’t know how to react because it came so early,” he says.
The pandemic and their decision to welcome their son in the UK allowed the couple to bask in the wonders of pregnancy and first months of parenthood away from the prying eyes of the public.
Markus was laid-back throughout Janella’s pregnancy journey. He knew their lives have changed forever the moment they found out about the pregnancy. But when their son was born and the first time he laid eyes on Jude, that was when Markus further realized that his life was truly about to change dramatically.
“It really came to me in the delivery room. I was by her side every moment and every day throughout the whole nine months of her pregnancy but it never really hit me. Maybe because I was just so focused on being there for her, getting everything she needed and making sure she’s comfortable and okay. So when it came to the day itself and she was in labor, I was literally stuck to the spot. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t breathe,” he shares.
He was preoccupied with thoughts of Janella’s and their baby’s well-being and safety especially since he has heard a lot of horror stories of births that went wrong. He admits he was just frozen to his spot and didn’t even know how to respond when the baby was finally out and one of the midwives asked him if he wants to cut the umbilical cord. “My answer was [he garbles]. That’s all that came out of my mouth because I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t speak. I was overwhelmed. I was in awe. I was like ‘My God! This is mine, this is my little boy!’ It was amazing,” he continues.
All about Jude
What were noticeable with Markus during this Metro.Style interview were his vivid and joyful narrations whenever the topic shifted to Jude and his mini-adventures and milestones.
“We started weaning him [and giving him] soft foods like avocado, papaya and mashed stuff; he took to them very well. He’s super interactive now he wants to hold his spoon. When we feed him, he has to be holding his spoon on the right hand. And now his current favorite food is still avocado because walang masyadong lasa. We tried feeding him apples and sweet fruits pero sobrang ayaw niya. He doesn’t like sweet. He only likes super-bland tasting fruit or vegetables like me. Janella hates vegetables but I love it. He took after me in that sense,” he beams proudly.
He also talked about Jude’s first taste of independence which he says is pretty remarkable for a baby his age. “He’s very good at standing up while holding on to his playpen so he can grab things and he can pull himself up. He’s very strong for his age. He will stand there for 10-20 minutes looking around because he’s new to the whole standing-on-two-feet thing so sometimes, he’ll cry and carrying him doesn’t work,” the young dad says. “He’s enjoying exploring on his own which, at his age, is kind of shocking. Minsan kapag binubuhat ko, iiyak and kapag ibinaba ko na sa playpen, ay ang saya niya! Tumatawa-tawa mag-isa at nakatingin sa kwarto. He’s assessing all the different parts of the room and learning new things.”
The glow of fatherhood
One can clearly see that fatherhood lights a spark within Markus, a self-confessed unemotional person.
Deejaye Cuadrado, Markus’ road manager at Star Magic, seconds this observation. “Coming from the Markus na kilala namin before ha? The usual teenager na gustong subukan lahat—carefree and all. Hindi mo na mapapalabas ng bahay ngayon ’yan. Mas gusto niyang mag-spend ng time kay Jude. Iba ang fatherhood kay Markus. Nag-mature siya. Iba iyong atake niya ngayon as a person than before,” Deejaye says.
Nowadays, simple pleasures took over the actor’s life. His stress reliever is still related to music and gaming, but is now primarily all about baby Jude. Markus basks in his favorite moment as a father which is waking up to a baby crawling or climbing on him (yep, he has this adorable little one now as his alarm clock!).
Markus’ thoughts on fatherhood reflects the current state of mind he has and the incomparable joy he feels. “The most surprising to me was how easy it would be. I know that’s weird to say because raising a child, being a father and mother is so hard because there are so many things you have to sacrifice and think about on a day-to-day basis. You’re not just thinking about yourself anymore, you’re thinking about this whole other human being that’s seeing everything for the first time. All of that stuff can scare anybody if they hear that but what shocked me was how easy it was,” he declares.
Wanting to explain his statement more, Markus went on to open up and detail his experiences so far as a dad, clearly amazed of parents’ superpowers. “It doesn’t feel like hard work and sacrifice because, if any mom and dads are out there [reading or] watching this, I’m sure they will understand. It doesn’t feel like effort gone to waste because you know you’re there for this little human being that you made, you love and cherish. You want him to see the best, be the best, experience the best. It’s a struggle but at the same time, it’s not. It’s hard to explain. It was weird for me because I’ve never had this kind of love towards anybody. The love for a child, I’ve said this before, is a scary kind of love especially for me who doesn’t show emotions. It’s the love towards a child that kind of blew my mind. Like damn! This kind of love really does exist. You know?” he smiles.
The parenting dynamic between him and Janella also helps in making their young family a well-balanced one. “If she needs my help, I’ll do it. If I need help, I’ll ask her. It’s the dynamic where communication plays a huge part especially in the beginning because we’re both going through the same thing at the same time. So it was a learning process for both of us. And even to this day, it’s the same sort of thing. If she’s not available then I’m all in. If I’m not available and I’m taping, then she’s all in. We’ve had visitations from her mom and my mom to help out some days but we don’t have a yaya for Jude yet,” he thoughtfully says.
Now that he and Janella are left on their own most days, Markus realizes that when it comes to parenthood or fatherhood, nothing could’ve ever prepared you for that experience; that paternal or maternal instinct just kicks in. On the advice his own father George gave him prior to welcoming Jude, Markus says, The only thing my dad told me that resonated with me was, you’ll cross that bridge when you get to it. Which basically means you’ll learn when you go through it yourself. It’s so true. There’s no book that can prepare you, there’s no YouTube video that you can watch that will make you instantly a dad. It’s just about being there in the moment and growing as a father while your son is growing as a boy.”
Happy Father’s Day, Markus!
To commemorate Markus’ first-ever Father’s Day, Metro.Style asked him to share meaningful messages not only to his dad but also to the future version of his son Jude:
“I just want to tell my dad that it’s crazy that we’re celebrating Father’s Day in the same lifetime. It’s such a mind-blowing moment, it’s so surreal. This is real, this is happening and my dad’s here to see it. It’s amazing. So dad, I just want to thank you for being the great father that you’ve been and for spoiling me against the wishes of my mother (laughs). Thank you for teaching me the respect and manners that I have towards all human beings that I still bring to my day-to-day life that I wish to instill in Jude, too, so Happy Father’s Day and I love you to bits,” he says with a smile.
Turning to share a message to future Jude, Markus concludes with this touching remark: “Hey Jude! It’s Papa here. I just want to say that if you’re stumbling upon this video [or article], I know you’re going to know that I’ve been there through everything and I know you’re going to know that I’m going to be here every situation that you go through, every hardship and everything that you wanted to talked to me about. I have been there and I know that I will be there so when you’re watching [or reading] this, I sincerely hope that you’re happy. I sincerely hope that I’ve helped you become happy and that I’ve supported you in every dream that you wanted to be. I hope that you’re watching this from your $50-million mansion in L.A. (laughs). In all seriousness, Jude, wherever you’re sitting right now, if I’m here or if I’m not… I love you and I’ve always wanted the best for you.”
Whether Markus would admit it or not, fatherhood certainly brought out the emotions he thought would remain unmasked: a happy mix of anxiety, patience, courage, pride, hope, and most importantly, joy.
Watch our full Metro Talks conversation with Markus Paterson below:
Photos from @markus