Candy Pangilinan recalled her initial reactions the first time she received the doctor’s diagnosis of her son Quentin
The comedienne has been called a ‘super mom’ for properly raising her neurodivergent son, Quentin, despite being a single working parent.
Candy Pangilinan admitted during the 27th National Autism Consciousness Week conference, held at Cinema 4, SM Megamall, on January 20, that she struggled to absorb right away the doctor’s diagnosis of his son, Quentin.
Quentin is a “special child” with a neurodivergent condition.
“Hindi ko alam kung drama o comedy, kasi litung-lito ako sa sinasabi ng doktor. Parang drained out —vague? Sabi ko, ‘pakilulit po, from the top? Gusto ko sanang mag-drama kaso may-appointment din ako after,” she shared, recalling the vagueness of the moment, the first time Quentin’s diagnosis was read to her.
After a while, she realized whether she would survive raising a “special child” by herself, given that she got already separated from her husband when it happened.
“After that, I realized, when the doctor said…ang tingin ko kasi, sabi ko’ kailangan ba dito may partner? Kasi po hiwalay po ako. Kailangan ko po ba dito ang asawa ko? Eh sabi niya: actually ang kailangan dito ay consistency,” she recalled. .
“Kung consistent ang asawa mo na magpapakita kailangan mo siya, pero kung consistent siya na hindi magpapakita, hindi mo siya kailangan,” she added, provided a much-needed comic relief during the conference.
Pangilinan has been raising Quentin for 18 years. Last year, her son graduated from Junior High School, an exemplary accomplishment both for Quentin and her, given the former’s “special condition.”
She also imparted what she learned in dealing with other people who compare special kids like his son to normal children. She denied arriving at a point where she felt ashamed of letting people know about her son’s condition.
“Parang hindi na po ako umabot doon. Hindi ko inisip na matakot at saka,… it doesn’t matter talaga,” she told the audience, who are mostly parents and relatives to autistic kids.
“I can not tell other artists to come out, because that’s their choice. I can only respect. Pag ‘yun ginawa sa’yo, hindi mo maipipilit sa kanila na kung ano ‘yung gusto mong reaksyon nila sa anak mo, pero may magagawa ka sa reaksyon mo,” she shared as a response to an audience’s query about what her advice to fellow celebrity parents with austistic kids, would be.
She reiterated the mantra she has been living ever since she started raising Quentin. “Do not compete, compare, and conform, so your life will be content.”
As an advocate of autism awareness in the country, Pangilinan has been actively involved in programs that seek to impart consciousness about autism and autistic children in the Philippines. She is one of the long-time celebrity ambassadors of the Autism Society of the Philippines and the A-OK Philippines program.