Father's Day 2018: Benjamin Yong, Nick Boden and Loque open up about fatherhood
These three Malaysian dads showcase their close bond with their daughters
They say that every father and daughter share an enviable bond, and when it comes to these three pairs—Benjamin and Blake Yong, Nick and Eva Boden, and Khairil Ridzwan Annuar (more popularly known as Loque) and Anggerik Dang Jelita, it's apparent. With numerous restaurants under his belt, Ben is a doting father to daughter, Blake, and son, Baylee with wife, Elizabeth Lee; Chiropractor Nick (who's married to Elaine Daly) is involved in the day-to-day operations of his clinic, and is also focused on two new babies—an environmental start-up, Klean, and one-month old baby Mia, who joins big sister, Eva; and Loque – father to Anggerik and Seroja with wife, Dahlia Nadirah – who is also the founder and lead singer of the band Monoloque—with his signature style that incorporates the traditional samping and 'tengkoloque'.

Below, watch how these three father-daughter pairs spent the afternoon engaging in two fun activities together:
On what fatherhood means to them

Benjamin Yong: Being a dad is a great responsibility, but I'm enjoying every bit of their growth and development—they have so much love to give.

Nick Boden: Fatherhood means everything to me. It gives me the opportunity to nurture my children to be good people—to have compassion and love, and to make a difference in the world.

Loque: It comes with great responsibilities, but it's a whole lot of fun. To this day I still feel happy waking up as an abah every morning.

On what they enjoy most (and the least) about being a father

BY: The boundless love and affection is what I enjoy the most. The tantrums? Not so much!

NB: Besides the affection I get from my kids, I love watching them grow and develop their own personalities. The part I don't like is drawing the line and getting them to understand that no means no.

L: I love it when Anggerik or Seroja come to me for security when they're feeling scared—those are the little things that only a parent can feel and describe. One thing that I definitely don't miss, is the lack of sleep from caring for a newborn.

Blake and Benjamin Yong
On whether fathers these days have it easier

BY: I agree. Fathers these days get much more support from their family, and having an access to education makes things easier.

NB: I don't think it was easier being a dad in the '50s or '80s, as each generation has its own challenges. I am sure being a father and being away fighting in wars was way more difficult than it is now.

L: Being a father is easier nowadays in certain aspects, but the hardships are definitely there. Nowadays, dads have to always keep up with the times to be able to accommodate and lead a family.

On the traditions or advices their fathers passed to them that they're now passing to their children

BY: Definitely the love for travel and adventure.

NB: My dad has always made the effort to spend quality time close to nature, and also understanding the history of Southern Africa, where I'm from. Some of my earliest memories include spending time at the beach and travelling to the Kruger National Park, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

L: Four words: dress local, think global. My abah has always told me to be proud of our roots while dare to be different, and that it's okay to go against the current. He has always been immensely proud of our roots, especially when it comes to heritage arts and culture, from music to Nusantara architecture.

Eva and Nick Boden
On their daughter's characteristics that are the most like them

BY: Blake's determination, and never take no for an answer!

NB: Eva has a wonderful sense of humour and has a passion for taking care of people.

L: Call me biased, but Anggerik is a music virtuoso in the making. All she needs is some fundamental music knowledge and she's good to go. She could hum the triton from the Star Wars Imperial March movie when she was two years old—how amazing is that?

On what kind of dad they aspire to be for their children

BY: I want to always be approachable and accepting, and that everything can be discussed and talked about with me.

NB: I want to set a good example as a caring, loving and fun dad who is always there for his family, works hard and tries to make a difference in the community.

L: Our family motto has always been to be proud of your roots and who you are, without forgetting the special traits that make you, you. I want to be a dad who dares to be different, and at the same time, celebrates who I am.
Anggerik and Loque
On their favourite thing to do with their children

BY: Besides swimming, I love to chat with her. She loves to talk about everything and it's amazing how she remembers the craziest things I say.

NB: I love swimming with her and taking her to her horseback riding lessons.

L: Doing solfège (a music vocal exercise) and singing together, and also exchanging ghost stories—Anggerik has a very curious mind.

On their hopes for their children

BY: I hope Blake and Baylee will grow up to have courage, and always be kind and considerate.

NB: It's simple—I just want them to be healthy and happy. I don't want them to be materialistic. I hope they get to see and enjoy the beautiful place I grew up in in Africa and to know that there is so much beauty in the world around us.

L: I want them to be a true Malaysian—to embrace the melting pot of culture of the country, and to succeed in their unique ways in their own pace without conforming to what the society wants.

Photography: Gerald Goh/Metal Bees
Videography: Octopost Studio
Art direction: Yi Suen Chong
Styling: Joan Kong
Coordination: Gwen Ong and Joan Kong
Hair: Juno Ko
Makeup: Ling Chong

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