The Father Chronicles: Hayden and Scarlet

Published June 18, 2021, 10:06 AM

by Philip Cu Unjieng

If you’re talking celebrity Dads and daughters who enjoy immense popularity, and aren’t technically in the show business arena, Dr. Hayden Kho, Jr., and daughter Scarlet Snow Belo will rank among the most followed. Scarlet, who’s now only six years of age, already has 4.9 million followers on IG. Hayden and wife Vicki Belo should need no introduction, as Vicki founded the Belo Medical Group, and Hayden is the managing director.

HUGS AND KISSES It’s one of the best feeling in the world to have your daughter hug you until she falls asleep.

Just recently, as I had my Makatizen COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Colegio de San Agustin, the Belo Medical Group was involved in providing much needed logistical assistance, and it was Hayden himself who took care of me, facilitating my registering and SinoVac jab. If leading by example is the topic of conversation, it was great seeing Hayden put service and community firmly in his sights.

As it’s Father’s Day, it’s his role as Scarlet’s father that were especially interested in today.

Hayden Kho Jr. with daughter Scarlet Snow Belo

Asked what his typical everyday routine would be, Hayden said that daily breakfast with Vicki & Scarlet starts the day; and he leaves the table so he can head to the prayer room and read the Bible. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, he works out; and then on a daily basis, it’s in front of the computer managing affairs remotely. These are broken by the scheduled ‘Teacher Daddy’ sessions he has with Scarlet—comprising of Bible study and piano lessons. In the case of the Bible study, from the Old Testament to the New, Scarlet loves the stories, always filled with questions. Sacred to the three as bonding time are Sundays; and Hayden smiled, recounting how upset Scarlet gets if he tries and work on a Sunday.

If there’s something that Hayden already feels, it’s that Scarlet is growing up so fast, and he doesn’t want to miss any of the precious moments that he knows he can never bring back. This pandemic period has its own sets of concerns—a major one being that he’s worried about whether Scarlet is missing out on all the childhood stuff that children her age ought to be enjoying. This is largely because her interaction with children her age, and even teachers, is happening almost exclusively online. That preys on his mind and I’m sure it’s something a number of ‘pandemic’ parents, with children the same age as Scarlet, ruminate on.

WONDERFUL MUSIC Hayden enjoys playing the piano with his daughter

More talkative and engaging now that she’s six, Scarlet has a busy schedule herself. There’s mid-afternoon school, gymnastics and dance, piano lessons, and Chinese tutorials. And if there’s something Scarlet should be picking up at an early age, it’s Film Appreciation. That’s thanks to Kuya Quark and his wife Bianca, and how they’ve instituted regular movie nights with Scarlet. Can just imagine how that will evolve as Scarlet gets older, with Quark as cinema mentor and guiding her creative juices.

Hayden considers himself the disciplinarian in the family; while Vicki is very sweet with Scarlet and she’s learning about true intimacy through her Mom. In fact, Hayden was somewhat crushed relating how Scarlet at 6, is somewhat bored with the games they used to play, and Scarlet hangs out more with her mother now. Half-jokingly, Hayden referred to this state of affairs as ‘heartbreak’ for him.

When I noted that Scarlet has always struck me as a precocious child, and inquired if there was already innocent talk about boys, crushes, or puppy love; Hayden’s eyebrows immediately brushed the ceiling, and he said, ‘Terrifying question… next please!’ And inwardly I broke out in a grin. I have three grown sons, so I can’t relate on a personal level, but could easily imagine how this must be one of the traumatic rites of passage that most fathers of daughters have to endure.

TEACHER DADDY Hayden makes learning fun.

‘Did you know… ‘ or ‘Hey, everyone, I have a joke..’ are the most frequently used conversation breakers for Scarlet at her tender age. And Hayden was smiling, remembering how she loves to teach, and make people laugh. Hayden went on to say, ‘She’s also fond of random hugs to make us smile. She’s definitely the ray of sunshine in our home, and I feel so blessed to be her Dad.’

Humility, Integrity and Service—these are the three pillars of core values that Hayden hopes to impart to his daughter. It’s something that both Vicki and Hayden regard as all-important in their own lives and in child-rearing, and Scarlet can be assured that awareness of these values will be constantly with her as she’s growing up.

If there’s one strong takeaway we can glean from Hayden’s Daddy duties, it’s how he enjoins all dads to really treasure each moment spent with your children. Those moments will never come back, and while there are new ones to create, each one will and should have its own special quality.