Breastfeeding and natural parenting advocate Jennica Garcia-Uytingco announced on Mother's Day weekend through Instagram a new endorsement for a formula milk brand. It has since sparked a heated online discussion in the comments section.
Mom to daughters Mori, age 3, and Alessi, turning 1 in June, she has since defended her decision to endorse formula milk targeted for kids aged 3 and older. Her husband, actor Alwyn Uytingco, was also quick to defend Jennica by posting a Mother's Day tribute for her, two days after the new endorsement became public.
"Hindi niyo siya talaga kilala," Alwyn started his post for "Nanay Jen," whom he has been together with for nearly ten years (and counting!) and knows her best. "Napakahaba ng pagpapasensiya niya sakin, at hindi masusukat ang binibigay niyang pagmamahal," the dad of two wrote. He considers himself the luckiest man because God gave him Jennica to be his wife.
Alwyn said Jennica has been balancing motherhood, being a wife, and being an actress since she gave birth the first time. "Grabe ang pagmamahal niya at dedication niya pagdating sa mga anak namin," he said. "Wala kayong clue kung gaano kalaki ang sacrifice niya para lang sa pamilya namin," Alwyn stressed.
It's easy to judge and shame a person based on her social media posts. "Pero sa likod ng mga ngiti sa post niya ay isang tao na gabi-gabi nagpupuyat, nagpapagod, nag-aaral, nag-aasikaso ng negosyo, umiiyak, nababaliw, pero patuloy pa rin na bumabangon at lumalaban para lang sa pamilya niya," he added.
Addressing Jennica, Alwyn wrote: "Mahal, kung ano man ang pinagdadaanan mo, wag ka mag-alala dahil lilipas din yan. Hindi ka nila kayang saktan dahil 'ang mga salitang nabuo mula sa hangin ay dadaan lang at lilipas din.'" Alwyn and their kids will always be Jennica's number one supporters.
"Sobrang proud ko sa'yo Jennica," he said. "Ipagpatuloy mo lang ang mga nasimulan mo dahil ginintuan ang iyong puso." He also assured his wife that whatever backlash she's been receiving is all but a small hurdle in their path.
Jennica defended her milk brand endorsement, saying that she still thinks "breast milk is best," but does not see milk brands "as evil as how some see it." She also said she wants moms who choose to formula feed not to be ashamed, fearing to be judged or shamed by their choice not to breastfeed.
"Wala ako sa position para magsalita na sana tigilan na itong mommy shaming na laganap sa buong mundo kasi alam ko na may mas di hamak na mas influential pa sa akin ang sumubok to get the word out, pero ayokong humusga ng kapwa ko lalo na ang kagaya ko na nanay rin," the mom of two added.