Marvin Agustin believes in being honest and transparent with his kids, Sebastian and Santiago, when it comes to money matters.
The 16-year-old twins are Marvin's sons with his former partner Tetet Dy.
"I share with them what I go through. Kasi yung mga nakikita online, that's just the result of hard work, determination, and sacrifices that we do," Marvin said in an interview after the online press launch of Maxicare SME Healthcare Plans last September 10, 2021.
He continued, "During pandemic, it would be a choice for someone to just feel the burden and to lose hope. Pero hindi iyon ang tingin kong dapat na attitude, so kinukuwento ko sa kanila kung gaano ako katakot kung ano ang mangyayari sa amin."
The 42-year-old celebrity dad even told his kids that he had to borrow money from their mom Tet just to keep them in school.
He recalled, "I even actually told them, well, personal story ito...Kasi mag-e-enrollment na noon, sabi ko sa kanila, 'I borrowed money from your mom so you could enroll, so babayaran ko iyon.'
"'Tapos, 'I hope you take this school seriously because, you have an option, homeschool naman ngayon, e. Puwede niyong hindi ituloy iyan, pero kung gusto niyo ituloy, ipaglalaban namin ng mommy ninyo.'"
The actor continued, "'So, mamili kayo: gusto niyo mag-homeschool na magbabayad kami ng ganitong kalaki na tuition or maghanap na kayo ng puwede niyong mapag-aralan kasi puwede with all the online programs?'
"Pinili nila yung homeschool. Sabi ko, 'Okay, I'll borrow money from your mom and I will pay her.'
"Pinapakita ko sa kanila yung totoong situation. I'm always honest with them, with what I go through in life."
Now that Sebastian and Santiago are teenagers, Marvin maintains a good balance between being lenient and strict in enforcing the rules.
He said, "Balance lang palagi. Sometimes kailangan maging strict, kailangan [din] magluwag nang konti so they would discover... and huwag silang matakot mag-explore para mas matututo sila, because that's how we learn about life."
The twins are also at an age where Marvin can now see if his approach to parenting has worked effectively.
"So, I actually listen to them now more than me telling them what to do.
"Yung stage na kung ano yung mga paghihigpit or pag-i-instill ko sa kanila ng values, medyo tapos na.
"Ngayon, mas pinakikinggan ko na sila kung ano ba yung naging resulta ng pagpapalaki ko sa kanila."
Marvin is glad that he was able to raise independent kids.
The actor-entrepreneur recalled a time when one of his sons needed a new laptop and was able to figure out how he could buy one.
Marvin recounted, "Yung isa kong anak parang kailangan niya na ng bagong computer dahil nasira na yung laptop niya.
"Tumawag siya sa akin, nag-usap kami na kailangan niya ng laptop.
"Ganito kami mag-usap whenever he needs something: hindi ako yung nag-o-offer na 'Bibilhan kita.' Tinatanong ko siya kung ano yung mga option niya at paano niya mabibili iyon or makukuha.
"Sabi niya, ibebenta niya daw yung laptop, ipapaayos niya. 'Tapos may kulang na pera. 'Tapos in-ask ko siya, 'Ano gagawin mo sa kulang?'
"Sabi niya maglo-loan daw siya sa akin. Then I said, 'Okay good, sige pag-usapan natin yung payment terms.'
"I like to train them that way kasi paglabas naman nila sa bahay, ganito ang totoong mundo. Walang magbibigay at mag-aabot sa iyo ng computer. Gusto ko ma-train yung utak nila that they have to understand kung ano ang totoong sitwasyon ng mundo."