Sun.Star Cebu's chief photographer born to be a father

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Sunday, June 15, 2014


HE WAS a bachelor for 41 years. But now at 52, Alex Badayos is a hands-on father to five children aged between four and 11.

Known as “chief” to his peers because he is Sun.Star Cebu’s chief photographer, Alex is popular in the media not just because of his skills in photojournalism but also because of his talent in singing, choreography and mostly because he is a good-natured guy.

Co-workers and friends also look up to Alex, who has adjusted to fatherhood really well.

Alex’s day starts at 5 a.m.

“Since classes started, I have to wake up early so I can cook breakfast and the children’s baon for school,” he said. “And each child has a different taste so I have to plan out what I cook for the day.”

A calling

His 29-year-old wife Mary Grace is a stay-at-home mom but Alex said he doesn’t mind doing the cooking.

“I’ve always cooked and I love to cook,” Alex said.

He said Mary Grace’s job waking up the kids is equally onerous because the children—Sweet, 11; Apple, 10; Alexis, eight; Froggy, six; and Pete Zander, four—don’t like to let go of their pillows.

Sometimes, while Alex is cooking, he has to take over. “Because she easily loses her temper, so I have to take over,” he said.

Alex believes he was born to be a father, saying fatherhood is a calling.
“I was single for a long time and I had a blast. I think it was an easy transition because it was just time for me to become a father,” he said.

It was no surprise that Alex became a photographer. He took after his father, Pedro Badayos, who was a commercial photographer at the Basilica del Sto. Niño and the Metropolitan Cathedral.

“For as long as I could remember, I would wake up in the darkroom. My father took care of me while he processed his films. So of course, I knew early on that I would become a photographer,” Alex said.

One of his proudest moments is seeing his eldest daughter Sweet pick up a camera.

Burden
Alex said Sweet will have her own camera one day. But for now, she has to learn to take care of one.

Alex said he will never force his children to follow in his footsteps, adding that he wants them to pursue whatever interests them.

What burdens Alex is not making ends meet as the sole provider of a family of seven , but making sure his children grow up to be responsible adults.

When he was a bachelor, he partied hard and late into the night. There was no need to go home, since no one was there waiting for him.
Now, he’s home at 7 p.m., welcomed by five hugs that make the pains of fatherhood all worthwhile.

“Pero kailangan nga naa jud koy bitbit nga pan (But I have to make sure that I have bread for them),” Alex said, laughing.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 15, 2014.

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