The best lessons Dad taught them: Romeo Peralta
From a daddy’s girl who always receives words of encouragement to a son who received “tough love” as a form of discipline. Our Ballet Manila artists have varied stories about how their fathers have raised them, but the goal seems to be the same – so that they’d grow up to be responsible and strong enough to go after their dreams. To celebrate Father’s Day, our dancers share the best lessons they’ve learned from the man they call Dad, Daddy, Papa or Tatay and how he continues to inspire them.
Romeo Peralta, principal dancer
Dad was a man of few words, but lots of action. Dad had a different approach to teaching life and showing us his love. He grew up in the province, his life as a kid was tough and he would tell us his stories whenever he disciplined us. He used “tough love” on us as punishment – either spanking us with a belt or kneeling for as long as I could remember. He would let us hit his hand until we couldn’t anymore because our hands were too painful to hit him again. I never understood that as a kid, why he would let us hit his hand. When I was old enough, I realized that we can’t choose the consequences of our actions and most of the time we end up hurting the people we love.
He knows the importance of education to achieve anything in life. At a very young age, he supported himself by working. It was with the same drive that I was able to finish college. I rarely spent time with my parents in my teens because they were busy providing for the family.
He taught me to be independent, stand firm, fight for what you know is right but keeping in mind to show respect at all times. It molded me to think like a mature, grown-up person even at very young age. "You want to be treated like an adult, then act like one," he would tell us. The most important lesson he taught me is to pray and to love your family, your siblings, and always have each other’s back. Now as a father of three boys, I'm trying to at least follow what he taught me, but at same time I’m learning from my kids. Fatherhood is the hardest role I’ve ever stepped into.
Top photo: Romeo Peralta tries to teach the same things he learned from his father, Romeo Sr., to his three boys – Stephen, Liam and Ethan.