By Jo Aguiluz
For Hero Bautista, incumbent councilor of the 4th district in Quezon City, his greatest life achievement so far is being a dad to his two wonderful sons.
The eldest, 18-year-old Halbert Arren Yshua or Ysh, an incoming student at Mint College in BGC is interested in music, arts and acting while his younger son eight-year-old Hunter Jaguar or Jag, a grade school student in Claret School in QC likes sports.
“My kids are my pride and joy. Both of them are into movies. They love watching and even being part of one. Apart from that, our idea of bonding is going out of town. My boys love water sports so we go to the beach any chance we have,” the former actor said.
“At home, we spend time together, we play bowling, or I cook them their favorite food. The kids in our clan love my adobo and spaghetti. These dishes are famous and sought-after during family gatherings and reunions,” he added in jest.
As someone who loves sports himself being a former member of the University of Sto. Tomas’ Dragon Boat team as well as an Aikido enthusiast, Hero tries to engage his sons in sports they like yet does not force them to engage in activities they are not interested in.
“My youngest is into bowling. My eldest is more into music, arts, and acting. Ish plays the drums, keyboards, and guitar. Like me, he likes to paint, too. As a father, I don’t really impose upon them. My role is to support them in any field or path they choose, be in acting or politics, I will support them all the way.”
On his parenting style, Hero shared that he is generally a cool dad, but he can be a bit strict to his children when needed. “Because we also grew up that way with our parents. My sons are very good kids. They are not spoiled and I’m glad for that. At times I reward them for good deeds and achievements in school, however, when they need some disciplining, they really have to face the wall, or I ground them.”
Varied interests and talents
Perhaps not known to many is Hero’s love for the arts. A Fine Arts graduate who majored in Painting at UST, Hero took interest in the arts at an early age.
“When I was about eight years old, we had this neighbor who was a very good painter. I got interested in learning the ropes, and eventually, he became my mentor,” he shares. “I’m more into portrait and landscape painting than anything else. Unfortunately, I was not able to salvage my works when our old house burn-down years ago.”
In his spare time, his idea of relaxing includes doing sketches, and soon, according to him, he plans on picking up the paintbrushes again.
“I’m currently doing sketches—I have about 15 already. I hope to be able to have more time so I can sit down and paint again. I’m looking into holding an exhibit when the right time comes,” he adds.
Apart from painting and cooking for family occasionally, Hero also writes poetry. Writing and reading poetry, he said, help him in coping with stress.
Love for his siblings and the family business
Hero and his siblings, former QC Mayor Herbert and actress/producer Harlene were born into a family that’s involved in the entertainment industry being that their father was a notable director/actor and their mom a makeup artist for actors.
‘I’m very close with my siblings. We support each other through and through, from when we were young and up to now. And we always make it a point to see each other from time to time. Our kids are also very close to each other. They’re cousins but the relationship is more of that being siblings, especially my youngest son and the youngest daughter of my sister Harlene, because they are closer in age.”
The family business, Heaven’s Best Entertainment, in fact, was born out of this solid relationship that they have as a family. Newly built and furnished with top-of-the-line equipment, the office is a testament to the siblings’ love and dedication to the entertainment industry and how they are continuing the legacy they were born into.
“These days we are renting out our editing and CGI (computer-generated imagery) offices to private companies for commercial films as well as to independent filmmakers,” he said. “As a family business, our goal is to have a continuous flow of projects.”
On the side, Hero is also looking into doing a drama with his siblings in the near future.
“I have these two scripts I wrote years ago that I have been rewriting. But it’s more or less solid already. One is tentatively called the “Little Big Brother,” kind of like the movie Rain Man. It’s about a younger brother’s love for his savant older brother who depends on him. It’s about the unconditional love for a sibling, and the sacrifices he had to make out of the role he so willingly took on. The other also delves into the world of differently-abled individuals and how it affects the lives of the people who care for them,” Hero enthused.
A public servant
Being a public servant is something that Hero saw from his dad who was a former Barangay Captain in Brgy. Immaculate in Quezon City when he was young and had been embedded in him. His older brother Herbert was also very active in their barangay at young age, being then a chairman of the formerly Kabataang Barangay or KB. Hero had been his brother’s first council member. From there, he never stopped being involved in civic works. He founded Batang QC Foundation in 2004 and has been continuously helping kids go to school through this foundation. Apart from that, he is also an active member of YMCA of Quezon City, the Rotary Club of Cubao West, the Knights of Columbus and the Quezon City Capitol Jaycees, among others.
Currently, he has a project promoting the use of bicycles as an ideal and alternative mode of getting around QC. To date, he has donated a total of 480 bikes to 38 barangays in QC.
His “Hero Business Cart – Kasama mo sa Hanap-Buhay,” a socio-economic project for indigents has helped 48 families already through the 190 food carts that were donated by Hero.
Light, funny, serious, wise, full of heart but very much grounded. These are just some characteristics that one can easily see from Hero when you get to talk to him a little bit up close.
As a single parent, I am happy to witness my sons grow up to be fine young men. Having them is really my greatest achievement above anything else. As a parent, I always want the best for my kids, I want them to be successful in life, even more successful than I am. But to witness them grow up before my eyes, to bond with them, to share special moments with them is something I truly enjoy and treasure these days,” he ends.
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