A Journey of Smiles and Strength: Candy Pangilinan on Discovering Her Perfect Family

As mom to 16-year old Quentin, Actress and comedienne Candy Pangilinan has regularly opened up to interviews on her struggles in raising a child with ADHD. When Quentin was diagnosed with the condition, Candy realized caring for a child with special needs will require her lifetime commitment -- a fact made doubly difficult by her being a single mother. 

Years passed and Candy credits her son as the catalyst for discovering the strength she never thought she even had. She admits that helping Quentin learn and develop social skills was a grueling exercise, but through the experience she found herself a better mother and a better person at every turn. 

Documenting the journey and countering stigma 
Candy published the book “Mommy Dear: Our Special Love” in 2017, which chronicles her journey in raising Quentin and as a response to people who can relate to her experience. 

With her book, Candy hopes to provide other parents -- especially single parents -- with enough useful takeaways from her own journey. Candy also speaks out ardently against the stigma of being single parents, while also taking issue with problematic relationships. She says that the sense of responsibility, commitment and accountability should always be there for the relationship and the family to grow -- otherwise, insisting on making it work may be the worse option. 

Recently, she honors invitations to discuss her experiences at conferences on ADHD, where her insights prove valuable to an audience who struggle to deal with their own children with special needs. 

Candy Pangilinan as a Colgate #SmileStrong Muse 
As a natural fit for the #SmileStrong campaign, Candy Pangilinan embodies the type of individual Colgate finds inspirational in trying times. With the way she constantly shares her moments with Quentin online, almost always with ear-to-ear grins or goofy faces, one can’t help but admire her tenacity to stay positive throughout her single motherhood. 

Special Smiles, a live and intimate event set early next year will feature Candy as Colgate’s #SmileStrong muse to host a discussion on raising children with special needs. The event will serve to extend the reach of Candy’s message of strength and optimism, particularly for parents who are coming to terms with such unique responsibilities. 

The perception of comedians drawing humorous inspiration from hardship couldn’t be truer for Candy; her commitment to giving Quentin the best life he can have always gives her the energy to #SmileStrong, resulting in the beaming, wisecracking personality people know and love. 

In collaborating with Colgate, we hope to share more of Candy’s story and her real-life wisdom on how her acting career -- as the character who laughed in response to life’s challenges -- helped her internalize those values into optimism in action.
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