Spreading the good vibes of fatherhood

At the helm of one of the country’s largest and most active dad communities on Facebook to date, DadBudPH, is advertising entrepreneur and food content creator Joey Ong. He founded the community in 2019 when his wife was pregnant, initially as a way to seek counsel from more experienced dads.

“Back then, I didn’t know much about being a dad and there weren’t a lot of communities that brought dads together the way mom groups did. It became a platform to share personal experiences, get inspired and really just spread the good vibes of fatherhood.”

Last November 2022, it became the only parenting group in the Philippines to be invited to the coveted Facebook accelerator program which kicked off in Singapore as a thrust to help grow the community further.

Since then, DadBudPH has steadily grown and recently hit gold with over 50,000 members — an unprecedented 90 percent. Fueled by dads and dad figures of various ages, socio-economic classes and locations, the community brings to life topics related to fatherhood — parenting, family, homes, humor, entertainment, food, fitness, gadgets, pop culture and more.

The growing DadBudPH community.

To celebrate the golden milestone of over 50,000 members, Joey recently kicked off DadBud Academy, a program that brings dads together in a series of physical events to learn, enjoy and be inspired for a better future. This is an untapped initiative and a novel way to honor and empower fathers year-round.

The pilot event entitled “Dad Talks” was held at Robinsons Galleria’s Robinsons Movieworld and Playlab, where established dads shared their stories to inspire other dads. TV personality Kim Atienza, former seminarian Romulo Velasco, Filipino-American actor Troy Montero, “ausome” parenting dad Ron Ramos, Kalye Negosyo and Potato Corner founder Jorge Wieneke, and Emmanuel Manansala and Ed Embradora from LIV Ministries spoke to an audience of close to 200 dads and their families, giving them a glimpse of their personal journeys and how they became who they are today.

Troy Montero on facing challenges as a parent.

“This advocacy aims to let go of any stigma that dads are slackers,  corporate slaves or executives who are too busy for family. We can also be domesticated, entrepreneurial and, most importantly, the best husbands we can be to our wives and the best dads we can be to our children,” Joey said. “We have lots of exciting opportunities up ahead, with the end goal of supporting and honoring dads whose roles in the family are valuable and irreplaceable.”


Here is the rest of our interview with Joey:

Daily Tribune (DT): What are your fond memories of your father when you were a child?

Joey Ong (JO): My Dad was very quiet but he was very present and would always teach us how to DIY things and fix the house and our cars. He was a builder and this was something he shared with us growing up.


DT: How did you bond when you were growing up?

JO: My Dad would always take us to places that he liked like restaurants in Binondo. Chuang Kee was our favorite and until today I still go there.


DT: What was his advice to you when you were in your teen years?

JO: He passed away when I was 15 and never really verbally share any life advice but he did show us how to be independent and to know how to fix my own problems.


DT: What is the most memorable gift that he gave you?

JO: Looking back, I remember clearly that he got me a Batman merch in 89 when Michael Keaton came out. It’s so timely to today. That opened up my world to Superheroes and being a comic geek. I I was 9 then.


DT: What did he tell you about women?

JO: He would always tease me that I had a girlfriend in class when I was growing up. Hahaha I did end up being close to a few girls in school.


DT: Any anecdote that would show how he imparted his values to you?

JO: I think being a builder myself and a problem solver is something I can really say that I picked up from my dad. We fixed so many things at home and our car. Something I would teach my son as well.


DT: What do you want to tell him today?

JO: My Dad was typical and very quiet. He was an introvert but we did spend a lot of time together and he shared with me his world, with all not in words but experiences. I will tell him today that I miss him and would have loved for him to meet my son. He is a product of his love for me and another generation of his legacy.


The DadBud Academy rolled out fun-filled events weeks leading up to Father’s Day, which include an immersive high-tech play session at Robinsons Galleria’s PlayLab, a deep dive into financial literacy for families, a food festival run by small-to-medium business dads and more.