Spotlight

Isko Moreno: Life as a Regular Citizen and Being a Grandfather

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As he embraces his life as a citizen, former Manila Mayor Isko Moreno also enters a new chapter—being a grandfather.

isko moreno grandfather

When Isko Moreno was a public servant, it was a day full of meetings and visits to constituents. Additionally, his schedule became more hectic during the presidential campaign. But recently, the former Manila Mayor bid goodbye to Manila City Hall and became a regular citizen. And Modern Parenting sat down with him to talk about the new changes in his life.

At the photo shoot, Isko Moreno sat relaxed while being prepped. He was in high spirits as he opened up about the free time he now has, his plans with his kids, and welcoming a new member to the family.

Isko Moreno on Life as a Citizen: More Time With the Kids

isko moreno

Since stepping down from public service, Isko’s children—Patrick, Frances, Joaquin, Franco, and Drake—are adjusting to him being in the house, especially during meal times.

“My children were surprised because I’d always invite them for dinner,” he starts. “Before, I had less time with them. But now, I’m enjoying always being with my kids.”

“In two weeks’ time, we’ve had dinner three to four times already. Sila yung naninibago, ako hindi,” he chuckles.

The former mayor has been enjoying spending time with his kids so much that they are planning to put up a possible business venture. “We’re trying to create a company and they’re involved in the creation, discussion, and research because it’s still on that stage,” Isko shares. “So mas marami kaming interaction ngayon.”

Moreover, his children have been asking him to go out of town—inviting him to places such as Sagada and even abroad.

isko moreno

Reflecting and Learning

Apart from spending time with his children and wife Dynee, Isko Moreno is enjoying his free time by sitting quietly in a coffee shop. But he will be the first to admit he has always gotten used to being busy.

Nakakapanibago na slow ang mundo. I’m not the type of person who will sit down and kakalawangin,” he shrugs. “I always do things. I always wanted to offer solutions in every undertaking or challenge.”

“Now, I just sit in a coffee shop—sometimes in BGC. Uupo lang ako doon at magmumuni-muni, mag-people-watching. So it’s slow but I try to be more productive every day.”

isko moreno

Isko adds that it has become a habit for him to study and learn—something he was unable to do at the beginning of his life. “I continue to study things that include carpentry farming, finance, and economics. Anything that can be useful to any person.”

Moreover, he shared that he has been hitting the gym—even admitting that he gained a few pounds. He tries to get pampered as well by going to Dr. Vicki Belo whenever he can.

“I am conscious because I am 47 and we’ve been hearing a lot of fathers or some individuals getting sick at my age,” he says. It’s evident that Isko Moreno is not taking his health for granted.

Just Call Me Lolo Isko

As he enjoys being a citizen, Isko also embraces a new chapter of his life—being a grandfather. His son Joaquin recently welcomed a son with his girlfriend and he’s definitely one proud grandfather.

Isa sa mga blessings ay lolo na ako. Ang pogi ng apo ko,” he proudly boasts about his grandson named Scott.

How does Isko Moreno feel about being a grandfather? “The same thing like other parents or lolos,” he answers. “Siyempre kikiligin ka lalo na kapag kamukha mo. I’m really enjoying it. I’m happy and grateful to God. Of course, I’m happy for Joaquin. Having a child, naturally, will create a certain mindset in terms of priorities.”

When asked what he wants to be called by his grandson, he doesn’t mind being called lolo at all. “It’s cool to be called Lolo. Okay ako doon.”

The baby is definitely a big welcome to the whole family. And as the first grandchild, Isko feels very lucky to spend so much time with Scott. “It’s a God-given life. It’s a blessing. Growing up is a challenge and making a better life for everyone, your family, or even your apo is hard. But from another perspective, it’s a blessing. Being a grandfather is an opportunity to be happier in the next decade or or two in this world.”

Be Humble But Firm

Although Isko Moreno has dedicated part of his life to public service and showbiz, he has never forgotten to be a father to his children. He admits to spanking them when they were young to discipline them—reminding them of the humble beginnings he had.

Namamalo ako at nagagalit ako pag kinakailangan,” he reveals when asked about his parenting style. “I always remind them that they have it easier. While it’s true that our life is more comfortable now, I tell them to always remember that their father was a scavenger. Hindi ka pwede maging mayabang sa ibang tao. Be fair with your dealings and be respectful.”

Another value Isko emphasizes to his children is the importance of humility and character. “Always stay humble but firm. You can be humble but at the same time, be firm in what you believe in. And always protect your character.  You may have all the money in this world but you cannot buy character. Always protect your character and value it.”

What’s Next for Isko Moreno?

With a possible business venture and a grandson to spend time with, is there anything he still wants to accomplish? Isko pondered for a moment before answering.

Marami na akong pinasasalamatan są Diyos. I came from nothing literally,” he says. “So anything that I will do next, I hope it will be for the betterment of others. I’m just happy and grateful. I have failed so many times. I’m trying to catch up with all those failures and if I succeed on something, I will try to share it.”

Is a return to showbiz possible? Isko is not closing his doors. “It is one of the considerations. Going back to showbiz in a different manner this time. For example—hosting or sharing ideas or mindsets that are applicable in a Filipino setting. Kung baga nag due diligence muna ako, get the feel.”

With all the changes he’s going through, it’s clear Isko Moreno is not yet done with his mission. He’s only beginning. And with a newfound inspiration thanks to his grandchild, he will definitely embrace more opportunities while also making them for the people around him.

Text ALEXA VILLANO
Photography KIERAN PUNAY
Art Direction MARC YELLOW
Makeup MARY ANN PARBA
Hairstyling JOF FANTONE for THE COLORBAR PH
Styling ROSHNI MIRPURI and SIYA DARYANI for THE CLOSET CULTURE
Shoot Coordination MJ ALMERO
Sittings Editor MARGA MEDRANO TUPAZ

Shot on location at HOTEL OKURA MANILA

Special thanks to RALPH LAUREN and LACOSTE

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Ian Veneracion: On Being a Relaxed Father and Celebrating His Career

Dr. Z Teo: On The Evolving Definitions of Parenting, Business, and Success

Troy and KC Montero on Dad Life, Brotherhood, and Raising Their Children in the Philippines