Lea_Salonga_and_Nicole_article.jpgWorld-renowned singer and stage actress Lea Salonga can easily be called the pride of the nation. Her unparalleled talent, squeaky-clean reputation, and countless accolades make her the ultimate Pinay role model. But aside from being a showbiz class act, sought-after endorser, and recipient of Olivier, Tony, Dram Desk, Outer Critics, and Theatre World awards, Lea holds another title to her name—Mom!

In the September 2010 issue of Smart Parenting, Lea shares the spotlight with her adorable four-year-old daughter Nicole. The mother-daughter tandem graces SP’s cover—and what a pretty, close-knit pair they make! Lea shares, “I try to be as hands-on as I can. It’s the going off [to work] that’s hard because [Nicole] is close to Mommy.”

Indeed, even after all these years, Lea is still in demand on stages all over the world—and this can cause problems with Nicole, who is incredibly attached to her mother. Because of this, Lea has learned to bring her little one along with her as often as possible when she goes abroad for work. “What I try to do is find interesting and fun things for her so that she doesn’t get bored. Kawawa naman if all she does is stay at the apartment or at the hotel,” she tells SP.

Want more parenting tips from this celebrity mom? Read on to get Lea’s advice for new moms!


YOUR MOTHER OR MOTHER-IN-LAW WON’T ALWAYS BE RIGHT

Mother knows best—but sometimes you do, too. Lea says, “There are times when you’ll have to stick to your guns because what you’re doing is correct. And obviously, there’ll be times that what they’ve learned from experience is right. You just have to learn how to filter the BS from what’s right for your kid—that’s your kid eh.”


IF YOU CAN, BREASTFEED

Experts have called breastfeeding the ultimate bonding experience between mother and child, and Lea is apt to agree. “I breastfed my daughter for almost a year,” she shares. “The bonding is iba. You’re as much a part of the process as she is…It’s a living breathing thing.”


GIVE TIME FOR YOURSELF

Being a devoted mom to your kids takes a lot of time and effort, but Lea knows that it’s important to schedule some me-time—if only to preserve your sanity. Recalling the period after she had just given birth, the songstress shares, “Once a week, my mom would come to the house and then she’ll say, ‘Go!’ I had breastmilk in the freezer and I just did what I wanted to—whether it’s to shop, see my friends, or have lunch. Basta it’s my time, and it’s time that nobody else could intrude upon.”


Lea_Salonga_and_Nicole_cover.jpgTo read more about Lea, grab the September 2010 issue of Smart Parenting, out now.

(Photos by Paolo Pineda)

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