TV host and actor Paolo Ballesteros is obstinate in getting supervision of his daugter Keira Claire from his mother-in-law. “Yung sabi mo na sa korte daw kami maghaharap… As much as gusto namin na ‘wag nang umabot sa gano’n, wala kaming choice. Lahat gagawin namin para makuha namin ang anak namin,” Paolo said in between cries on Showbiz Central last August 28. It is also reported that Kaye, Paolo’s ex-girlfriend and mom of baby Keira, was left with no choice but to give to her mom the custody of their baby because she had to leave for the US to work.
Baby Keira Claire was born on Nov. 29, 2008 and baptized on February 2009 she has been staying with Kaye’s mom in Baguio, since then.
Actually, Paolo’s dilemma sort of went public when his absence from the show in Eat Bulaga, Juan for All, All for Juan. All was the subject of Wally Bayola and Jose Manalo’s jokes last week. “May event sa Baguio. Parang meron siyang isang challenge,” Jose said in explanation of Paolo’s absence in their segment.
Last August 25, the staff of Showbiz Central went to the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Baguio, then to the City Social Welfare Development Office and they were able to confirm that Paolo asked help from the institutions to get custody of his daugther from his mother-in-law. “Kasi nag-usap na kami ni Kaye, ‘yung mommy ni Keira, na it’s about time na kuhanin na namin siya from her mom, sa lola. Nakikiusap kami doon sa lola na ‘yun nga baka puwede na namin siyang kunin kasi plano na namin na magsama-sama kami,” Paolo shared. He also added, “ang balak namin ni Kaye is sama-sama kaming mabi-birthday, sabay. Magkakasama sana kami. Weekend pupunta kami diyan. Hindi na siya nagre-reply. Two months ko siyang ini-email, tinetext. ‘Mommy, punta kami ‘dyan…’ ‘Mommy paakyat na kami d’yan.’ Hindi kami pinapasok. ‘Yun nga nadatnan namin, naka-padlock na gate.” He continues, “Actually nahiram ko lang siya once,” the TV host said while crying. “The whole time talaga na nagpupunta kami dito, ‘pag dinadalaw namin siya, hirap na hirap talaga kaming hiramin siya. Parang sa loob namin, ‘sige hiramin mo na ‘yung anak mo,’ ganyan.”
Paolo’s family is longing for his daughter very much, but they know that seeing her is quite impossible. “Yung sila mama, ‘yung mga kapatid ko, parang sila, pinipilit nila ako na hiramin ko si Keira sa lola. Ako naman kasi, alam ko na hindi ipapahiram. So parang inuunahan ko sila na okay lang ’yan. Ipapahiram din sa atin ‘yan. Naawa ako sa mga kapatid ko kasi pauwi na kami, iyak nang iyak.” Paolo was so hurt knowing that when her sister visited baby Keira in Baguio, her mother-in-law did not allow her inside her house. “Ang dala-dala lang naman ng kapatid ko parang dalawang blouse at saka doughnut, pasalubong,” He said. “Para kasing ang sakit-sakit sa akin na ako ‘yung tatay, hindi ko naman tinakwil ‘yung anak ko, hindi naman siguro ako nagkulang, ako pa ‘yung nakikiusap na puwede bang hiramin namin ‘yung anak ko.”
Paolo tried to look for the help of the authorities but their efforts proved to be useless. “Pagpunta namin kasama namin ang mga pulis. Gano’n pa rin, naka-lock. Hindi naman kami puwedeng mag-force entry or what.” He said. The actor-host is confused over his mother-in-law’s behavior. “Ayaw ibigay sa tatay, ayaw ibigay sa nanay ‘yung anak namin. Nakikipag-usap naman kami nang maayos. Gusto kong malaman, ano ba ang pinaglalaban niya.”
The news staff went to the house of Paolo’s mother-in-law three times but according to the helper and security guard, they do not know where the mother-in-law and baby Keira is.
Paolo publicly appealed with tears in his eyes to his mother-in-law. “Ang ipakikiusap lang namin kay Mommy Cora, sana lang ‘wag mong sugatan ‘yung utak, ‘yung damdamin ng anak ko… kahit na two years old pa lang siya.” He repeats his concern for his child whom he’s not seen for so long. “Kung mahal mo si Keira, hindi lang po kayo, si Kaye, ‘yung nanay niya, ako, ‘yung pamilya ko, lahat po tayo concerned sa bata.” And to baby Keira, this is what the TV host promised: “Tandaan mo lagi kahit na ano’ng mangyari, mahal na mahal ka namin.”