Monday, December 11, 2006

The Funniest Pinay on YouTube

(I found Christine one Saturday as I was surfing YouTube. I've been an avid fan since then. I wrote this article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and it was published last Sunday. Read on and find out why she's so much fun!)

Step aside Rex Navarette.

A 20something first-generation Filipina-American nurse, born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia has placed the experience of growing up Pinay in America on the world wide web via YouTube, a popular, free video-sharing Web site which lets users upload, view, and share video clips. “Happy Slip” has become one of the most popular videos on YouTube. In a span of three months, each segment garners a hundred thousand plus hits each time a new segment is posted by its pretty and wacky creative director cum actress-producer.

“I’ve been acting and imitating family members ever since I was young, my mom said I should be like Carol Burnett,” Christine shares, “I knew that I always wanted to be an actress, but thought I should have a skill to support that dream. So I studied to be an LPN (little Pinay nurse). I didn’t want to lose sight of a dream, but at the same time I didn’t want to depend on my acting craft to feed me.” Christine and another sibling currently live in New York City fulfilling their dream in the arts. Her sister is active in poetry reading and with Kundiman, a non-profit organization committed to t he discovery and cultivation of emerging Asian-American poets. Christine is signed up with an advertising agency that sends her out on commercial auditons. However, this young nurse who believes that humor is the best medicine, dishes out her own brand of healing laughter on a weekly basis through Happy Slip which had its maiden airing on YouTube only last September 2006 but has garnered quite a diverse following composed mainly of first-generation immigrant offspring based all over the world, primarily in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. In an exclusive interview with the Inquirer, Christine tells us all about the beginnings and inspiration for Happy Slip.

What prompted you to start a video blog like Happy Slip?
I'm always looking for a creative outlet and had thought of one day doing a one woman show... As I discovered that people could have their own "channel" on YouTube - I thought "Well, here is a way to have my own show whenever I have the time for it, and the world is the audience!"
Are the family situations, dialogues really drawn from real-life? What do your parents and other relatives say when they see your portrayal of them?
Yes, I pull moments that are from the past and might change some of the details surrounding the funny moment. But so far, the family videos are based on "classic" moments from the family. They laugh just like everybody else when they see these imitations. In fact, during family get together (especially during the holidays) there is always a point in the night where everyone is bored. My mom ends up coming up to me and begging me "Come on! Imitate me!! " as well as everyone else cheering me on to imitate different family members.
How Filipino are you? Do you still speak the language? How much Pinoy influence did you have growing up?

My parents did not speak Tagalog to us because they were afraid we would be confused in school. That decision has haunted us our whole lives because we wish we could speak the language, and we only understand some of the language. We always had our big extended family around while growing up plus our church family that had many Filipinos as well. So I do speak and understand it but only a little.

What are your dreams for Happy Slip? How do you see Happy Slip ayear from now?

Why I picked the name Happy Slip is not only because it is a funny phrase from the past... - but it reflects what I'd like people to feelwhen they watch these videos. As if they "slip into happiness" whilewatching - cheerful fun moments to just laugh and enjoy. My dream isthat people would have a smile on their face when watching theselittle productions and that it would brighten up their day. As far asa year from now, I'm open to working on other projects that come as aresult of Happy Slip, but still continuing to do these happy little video productions.
Any plans of doing a one-woman show among the Fil-Am communitythere? How about coming over here?

I won't say "never" to that, but I guess it would just depend on how much time it would involve. The nice thing about video, is you put all your time and energy into a project once- but people all over the world can repeatedly watch it! I quite like doing the videos because I love to edit on the computer as well. They allow me to do everything I love to do!
What message do you hope to spread through Happy Slip? You are sucha bundle of talent and placing it on You Tube is making the world
aware of the Fil-Am experience, of growing up Pinay in America.
I would like people to see that you can be creative, funny,entertaining, AND family friendly all at the same time and have theworld as your audience. It's nice to see that we are in an era that you don't have to wait for the bigstudios to give you a chance to shine. You can create your ownopportunity, your own vehicle and dictate what you want to do and how you want to do it!
Did you expect to get such a wide audience from Happy Slip?

No, I thought it may provide a few laughs, but did not I expect toget so much email from all over the world with people saying that theycould directly relate to my family!
Anything you would like to share with the readers?
Come and visit me at and help spread theword!
This article was published in the Global Pinoy Section of the PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER on December 10, 2006

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tagaytay Revisited

IMG_3672 Tagaytay is one of the few places one can run off to for the day. When you live in Manila, this serene city by the lake isn't too far away. I like going to Tagaytay whether by myself - to indulge in a quiet meal by the lake and meditate with the Good Shepherd nuns or on a day trip with the family. One Saturday, that's exactly what we did...

Leaving the house around 10AM, we motored off to Tagaytay for a late lunch at Midlands. The view from many points in this city is really quite breathtaking. Taking in the scenery and savoring the fresh air is enough to allow one's stress level drop several significant notches. Family We feasted on fish such as Tawilis and Maliputo - delights that are best taken in this part of Luzon. After a hearty lunch, we went to visit the Ilog Maria Bee Farm over at Silang, Cavite to get some honey bee treats.

Honey treats
Look at these prices!

ilog maria
Little shop on the hill...

I personally swear by their lip balm (the best balm with a wonderful peppermint scent and taste that really pampers and protects your lips), their throat spray (best for those who frequently have sore throats), the anti-itch balm forall sorts of allergies and insect bites and of course, to my mind and taste, the best virgin honey in the whole world. On this trip I discovered their essential oils. I was a bit skeptic at first due to the very simple packaging (never judge an essential oil by the way it's packaging looks...) but when I tried it at home, I was pleasantly delilghted by the quality of the oils! Step aside Sue Bee and Burt's Bee's! For a fraction of the cost, you can get world class products for your health and skin here at Ilog Maria.

Our last stop for the day was the Cornerstone Ceramics factory where they make beautiful but affordable pottery pieces, magical chimes and beautiful aromatherapy burners. I had met the owners, EJ and Eve Espiritu a few years ago when we did a feature on them for "Me", the inspirational women's magazine that I used to edit.

Cornerstone creations

I had searched for them on a previous visit to Tagaytay but could no longer find them. It turns out, they had moved from their Tagaytay office to a quaint location over at Silang, a few meters away from Ilog Maria where they now have their shop and factory in one place. Eve was kind enough to tour us through their small factory and EJ did a pottery demo for the kids. Cornerstone offers free mudpie parties for groups of twenty so long as you give advance notice. Hop over to their website and see what lovely pieces they create.

Tagaytay has something for everyone. It all depends on what adventure you seek for the day.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Loco About Coco

Retro breakfasts anyone?

Coco Rama is the newest and hippest dining place at the Shangri-la Mall. My family and I discovered it one week-end and we were so delighted by the sights and sounds of the whole place. Growing up in 70s, I love all things retro and so do my kids who I believe were born with old souls. Their father, who was in college in the seventies knows all the big hits by heart. Being a breakfast man, he was simply enamored with Coco Rama.

First - the food! Each dish we tried out was oh so delicious and very filling. Back to basics breakfast food just like the way we used to have them as children. Think pancakes, burgers, spam, omelletes, waffles - in really hearty portions and prices that won't bust your budget. There were several entree's to choose from and everyone in the family happily picked out a favorite to try.

L who like that little boy in the commercial loves eggs likes he does chocolate, chose a basic Paradise Omelette (Php 135.00) - stuffed with crabmeat, cheese and grilled vegetables. L who is such a picky eater surprisingly wolfed down this plate-sized egg delight.
eggs paradise

P, whose appetite doesn't reflect on her figure (thank God), felt extra hungry that afternoon and ordered basic Burger Steak with eggs (Php 175.00). Cocorama's is a huge grilled U.S. ground beef patty wth a generous heaping of scrambled eggs and garlic rice. The portion was pretty hefty that P opted to take half of it home instead.

beef PATTY

My roomie, H, the breakfast man went for the ultimate comfort breakfast food - what else but Spam and Eggs (Php 175.00) - three slices of Spam caramelized with a hint of mustard. His food was REALLY good and I couldn't resist digging into some of the tasty and succulent slices of Spam on his plate :)

we love spam

I went for the El Bimbo (Php 199.00). Huh? Yes, named after my favorite dance from the 70s, the El Bimbo is mixed seafood sauteed in garlic, olive oil, white wine and chilis with a generous heaping of warm Spanish rice. I was so happy eating my El Bimbo especially with Donna Summer and the Commodores blasting away in the background. For a moment there I felt like I was 12 years old again :)

el bimbo

As if all these goodies weren't enough, Cocorama offers free chubby, baby pancakes with every meal. Our family had wanted to order dessert after our meals but we were just too stuffed. We plan to go back and try out the Jackson Five pancakes - chocolate pancakes with whipped cream and marshmallows. Mmmmm...

mini pancakes

Cocorama is a fun place to take your family (or your date) to because it's great value for money - your tummy is filled, your senses are sated - audiovisually by the sights and the sounds of the seventies. The people behind Cocorama are the same guys who brought us Heaven and Eggs. Heaven can wait for now -- I'll have an LSD (longanisa, steak and diced veggies - hah!) Omellete with the Jackson Five to go next time.

Coco Rama interiorsCoco Combi
Coco Rama exteriors Take a look at these 70s interiors - note the disco ball. And don't you just love the Volkswagen Combi. Cool.

Friday, November 03, 2006

~Maging Sino Ka Man~ Episode 19 [1/3]

Amazing. "Maging Sino Ka Man" - my favorite soap ranks number 18 today in "the most linked video" on YouTube! Ibang klase talaga ang Pinoy.

Seriously though, it's a well-made soap and the story keeps me glued to the TV every night at 9PM. View this video above to see why...

Growing up on the set of showbiz mom's "Gulong Ng Palad" - the original - back in the late 70s was a memorable part of my showbiz childhood. It's been a long while since a soap opera has caught my interest this much. "Bituin...." was okay but I am not really a great fan of Sarah Geronimo. Besides, once you've seen the original with Sharon and company, all else is, pardon the pun, a copycat :)

John Lloyd Cruz is a sensitive actor (just look at those eyes emote!) and even showbiz mom says that he really has great potential. Sam Milby of course is the big discovery of the year and Anne Curtis and Bea Alonzo have their own loyal following. It seems like ABS-CBN has a winning soap in it's hands. Followed by the top hit reality-tv show "Pinoy Dream Academy" it's no wonder that they have been able to re-claim the number one slot again. Philippine television (at least after 9PM) has gotten interesting again. I hope this is one soap that they don't kill right away or one whose storyline becomes corny after a while. When the yayas, the daughter and the mother are glued to the television set for a teleserye, you can bet it's one show that will really climb the ratings chart.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Family Lunch at Myron's

L's Fave

One of L's favorite foods of all time is pannacotta. He was drooling over the Vanilla Bean Pannacotta served at a family lunch one afternoon at Myron's, a steak and seafood place over at the Powerplant Mall in Rockwell. Myron's is owned by a childhood friend, Mon Eugenio, who seems to have a golden touch for the restaurant business. He started with a Spanish restaurant by the Shangri-la Mall parking lot around 10 years ago but had a falling out with its owners and so he opted out and moved on to Katip's that famous watering hole over at good old Katipunan. A few years ago, he sold his shares and then was supposed to open a restaurant at the still-mothballed NAIA 3 so now he has put up the highly suvccessful Myron's over at the Powerplant.

Known as a steak and seafood place with Angus steak that is supposedly to die for, our family opted to do a light lunch instead. We're not really such big steak eaters but were eager to try something new that afternoon. Here's some of the stuff that we decided to savor...

Cream of Pumpkin

Pumpkin soup is a family favorite and P decided to start her meal with this. "It tastes sooo fresh," the pumpkin soup connosieur said. L and I had the French Onion soup which was very tasty and cheesy while H opted for the Asparagus Capuccino - soup, not coffee.

Chicken Fingers

Both kids opted for Chicken Fingers and Fries which was crunchy and very tasty, just the way most kids like it. Dipping options were mayo or catsup.

Roast Beef & Cabbage

H chose to have Roast Beef and Cabbage - a very British dish which he said was succulent and rich in flavor.

I opted to do the greens and chicken (like mother, like child) --

Mesclun Salad with Cajun Chicken

A very healthy and adequate serving of Mesclun Salad with Cajun Chicken. The dish itself looked very appetizing and I was not disappointed. I was also very full at the end of the meal :)

And of course, everyone's favorite part... though we hardly had any space left for it was the piece de resistance ta-dah! -- Vanilla Bean Pannacotta

Vanilla Bean Pannacotta

Which father and son and mother and daughter devoured!

Let's Dive InSated...

And here we are, all happy and sated after that delicious meal.

Myron's at the Powerplant --

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pokemon Halloween in Manila

Costume Parade

Costumes are always the best part of Halloween.

As a child in the 70s, Halloween wasn't really such a big deal. Trick or treat was something we just read about in books and Halloween parties were confined to the movies or television. Well, times have certainly changed and Manila has become very western in its practice of Halloween traditions.

Beginning with my daughter P who has in her closet every imaginable Disney princess costume that you can think of, Halloween has been a major family thing since 1995. Yesterday, our Halloween to-do was at the EDSA Shangri-la Mall where L had his major Halloween class party at Fish and Co.

The party was very well-organized by the dynamic parents of L's class - namely the ever funny S, C and her husband E who so generously donated the prizes, F and his wife A and V who set up the very well-organized and fun party that all the boys and girls in attendance loved. Congratulations to them for always pulling off a great class event!

Phantom and Pokemon Pokemon was the over-all theme and Pikachu himself was there to give the boys a grand time. Here's a picture of L sandwiched between two of his Pokemon friends. The boys willingly participated in all the games and of course were all very eager to win after they saw the great array of prizes to be had! Barbie dolls were won by practically all of the little girls in attendance. Super saya talaga ng mga bata!

L's costume was given to him by his godmother whom we lovingly call the Contessa from Malibu. He had originally wanted to come as a Dementor but all the Target stores had run out! Thus, his Ninang wisely picked out something very close to what L had set his eyes on. He came instead as a Phantom, complete with hooded cowl and all. Hand-carried by his ninang, on her visit to Manila last week, it won for him the "Scariest Costume" award! What a great surprise it was for L and the award (plus [prize) certainly made his day!

Phantom and mom
Here are some more photographs from our fun Halloween party. The thing I like most about Halloween is that we can all dress up (nope, I didn't wear a costume!) watch our kids have a blast, let loose and allow our inner child to come out and play. How was your Halloween week-end?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Manila's Best At-Home Pampering Treats

They say that you can tell a lot about a woman or a man just by looking at their hands, feet and teeth.

Growing up, I remember how my father, a stickler for grooming and style would say "You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes and his belt." I suppose the same holds for a woman's bag and shoes as well. However, I digress...

As I grow older, I notice that I have a fetish for the following things - immaculate hands and feet (think well trimmed nails and no chipped polish) ; for body scrubs and pearly white teeth. Daddy always had clean hands and feet. I knew all about Dr. Scholl's products even as a seven year old. His collection of colognes was quite vast and I remember how he used to spend a great of time in the bathroom just brushing his teeth every morning. No matter the time of day, he always smelled squeaky clean! The original metrosexual :)

The last few days I've been indulging myself by pampering these most abused parts of my body. Yesterday afternoon I indulged in a major scrub and had tha masseuse come over for reflexology. The benefits of massage are simply wonderful. Your mind calms down, your muscles get unknotted, you have an over-all sense of well-being. Best of all, when it's done in the confines of your home, you don't have to bother with dressing up, driving to the spa or tha mall, and getting your wallet derailed by other stuff that you see on the way to a massage.
I guess this is the reason why there's been a boom on home service massage companies over the last year or so. Life has become soooo stressful in Manila that a massage has become de riguer in order to preserve one's sanity. I've been calling on the girls from DIAL A MASSAGE (727-3954)for the last year and a half now and have been so happy with their services. They are highly skilled, courteous, well-mannered and mind their own business. Best of all, at 275 pesos an hour (of course you need to add a tip) it's really great value for money. Don't believe me? Give them a call this week-end and you'll see what I mean. For Quezon City you can call 723-9552 and for the Makati area call them at 723-7157.

scrub a dub dubShameless plug : This wonderful scrub a dub is made by another classmate, Rose Manzano. Very relaxing and does the trick to slough off dead skin. 294 pesos for two tubs at Watsons

Today, I decided to try out the services from TOETALLY NAILED (634-8512) a "nail service salon at your doorstep" which is based in the Valle Verde area. I booked for 10AM and a few minutes before the appointed time, Fe was at my doorstep. Now, this is not your usual manicurista who comes visiting at a set time every week. Fe came complete with their own foot spa tub and a host of other gadgets, creams, masks and scrubs. The works! Highly skilled, I dozed off in my armchair as she gave me a very thorough and invigorating foot scrub and woke up to a living room sweetly scented with peppermint. And don't pooh-pooh their nail enamel... no Bobbie or Caronia here girls. Only Essie, Orly and Sally Hansen. ANd the best part - the rates! At Toetally Nailed a manicure costs a "staggering" 150 bucks, and an hour long foot spa is priced at 250 pesos only. I was so happy with their services that I booked them again for tomorrow to do the roomie. Yes, he's part metrosexual too.

And as for teeth. Well, I am blessed to be classmates with Dr. Noemi Reyes (727-3677) over at Greenhills Dental who has the lightest of hands that I always fall asleep in her dental chair. That is how good she is! So, I've got the dental hygeine part down pat. Thank God for dentist-classmates. My next project is to try out a teeth whitening procedure that I've been curious about for the longest time.

I wasn't this particular about these body parts before. You know what they say about the "warranty" being gone after the age of 40... I do not know if it is age but the things we women go through to take good care of ourselves. And this is not vanity folks, I mean we're dealing with the basics here. .I'm not talking Vicki Belo, La Mer or La Prairie... Indulge once in a while and take good care of the basic stuff. Life is short and it doesn't take a fortune to stay happy and clean. When people see your hands and feet and when you smile - what do you think goes on in their heads?

P.S. I had all the time in the world to indulge this week because I was stuck at home nursing a viral infection. Which to me was a signal, to take better care of myself again. And mini-pampering always does the trick!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Blast From The Past

33s and 45s
Originally uploaded by cathyguballa.
Those of you, who like me grew up in the 70s and early 80s, listen up...

I'm indisposed again this week and so I've been spending a great deal of time nowadays indulging in my two favorite past times - reading and blogging. I got a happy surprise in my mailbox yesterday morning. NM of Nostalgia Manila wrote to trade links with me. Apparently, he's a midlifer too because he found Midlife Mysteries much to his liking.

Before I agreed to do so, I checked out his blog first. Whoa! What a fun site! I got stuck there for the next hour browsing through an awesome collection of entries that sent me back to my childhood! I felt like Michael J. Fox in "Back To The Future" for the next hour or so. NM writes in a really funny way and his topics will certainly tickle the hearts of anyone who grew up in the 70s and was an adolescent in the 80s. After reading his blog, I immediately called our yaya over at showbiz mom's house and asked her to dig up some of my dad's old records.

Sergio Mendes and Tom Jones were the usual fare that would blast out of my dad's Pioneer stereo. Dad was a big music fan and he passed the passion on to me. I remember how sometime in the early 70s, when I was around 8 years old, he bought me a small 45 record player from Farmer's in Cubao (wala pang mall noon...) that was a bright fire engine red in color. I would play my 45's over and over again until I would get all the lyrics to my favorite songs memorized. I knew all the Carpenter's songs by heart by the time I was 9 years old. I think I was really born an old soul.

We would buy (more like, hoard) records and books from Uni-Mart every week-end and listen to them as soon as we would get home. My parents would always be able to tell if I was in a foul mood because I would play sad music at a very loud volume and sulk and cry in one corner of the sala. I was the original soap opera princess before Flordeluna came along.

Nowadays, psychologists say that if you really want to know what is in your children's hearts, you need to listen to their music. And so I try. They seem to have so much more angst nowadays, but on the other hand, they also have so much more artistry and fun too. And thank God there are a lot of revivals and so we get a lot, "You know that song?!?" from our 15 year old at home. Though it isn't exactly flattering to be called "retro", the flipside is, you get to be "cool" in your children's eyes.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Birthday Week

Showbiz Mom and child
Originally uploaded by cathyguballa.
I turned 42 exactly a week ago and it was day spent in the love of family and colleagues at work. It was a working birthday for me as I motored to work very early at 6:15 AM. In the afternoon, my angels and other colleagues from our unit had a fun merienda in the confines of our office feasting on the usual Pinoy birthday party fare - pansit, barbecue, lumpiang shanghai, ice cream and pichi pichi. E, one of my angels at work also celebrated her birthday belatedly so we had a fun double celebration :)

Leaving work at 4PM, I then got ready for a small gathering of family at home. Showbiz mom and brother, together with showbiz grandchild number 4 (mine are numbers 1, 2 and 3) came to help celebrate the evening. There is nothing like spending time quietly with family to mark a very special day. This year's birthday was really meaningful to me and my family because it marked a second lease on life. Check out our pictures in this family album

Friday evening was spend in the company of old and dear friends. View our fun photos here while Saturday evening was for a dinner date with roomie at Le Souffle at the Rockwell Club savoring my favorite comfort salad of greens, goose liver (super sinful! but heck, it's just once a year...), scallops and shiitake mushrooms. comfort salad

Because of my recent illness, it had been quite a while since roomie and I had gone on a "date" so this was a welcome treat - a belated birthday dinner of sorts. Yes, in spite of all the downtimes I have had this year because of one health problem after another, there is so very much to be thankful for. The times of stillness have lead me to know HIM more and to places in my heart that I would never have discovered if I had not had that time of quiet and reflection. I thank God for all those moments and for the privilege of seeing HIS hand upon me through every circumstance of my life.

Here's to 42 And thank you to each special person who made this year a truly memorable one - here's to friendship and to turning 42!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Life After Milenyo

Wishing, Hoping, Waiting...
Originally uploaded by thisbe_ara.

Life goes on after the storm.

Three days now without electricity. Argh, This is becoming a true test in Christian patience.

Last night we slept at showbiz mom's home because at least doon may generator kami. Thank God for that. It's always nice to come home and be with family especially during extraordinary situations such as these. I get to sleep really late, waiting up for Pinoy Dream Academy and at the same time catching up on showbiz goings on with mother. Dami ko na palang na-miss.

I'm tapping away at the internet cafe close to our home. Blogging has always helped preserve my sanity. I've only got three days of leave left so Lord, I hope the lights get back tomorrow so that life can really return to normal and I can complete all the tasks I need ro get out of the way before returning to work. Buti na lang magaling na ako mag paradigm shift. The best way you can survive these kinds of situations is if you know how to adapt to the circumstances instanty. One always needs to have a Plan B so that you don't stress yourself out when Plan A doesn't quite pan out. No use being bull-headed and insisting on protocol. Duh. Mag-adjust tayong lahat.

The clean-up in Metro Manila continues perhaps until the next three days or so. Gosh the devastation throughout the countryside is terrible - especially in the Laguna, Batangas, Quezon and Bicol region. Kawawa na naman tayo. I went to the mall today to cool off together with L and his yaya. On the way home, I was just so struck by the number of trees that were uprooted on White Plains avenue. Parang bumaligtad ang malalaking puno ng mangga! I understand some parts of the city still look like war zones. And as of today, the death count has already reached a hundred people.

Meteorologists are puzzled by the way that typhoon Milenyo behaved. Very uncharacteristic daw. And this coming from the people that run the weather bureau. Milenyo, they say, from all previous models and studies, should have weakened they said, once it hit land, and broke, when it hit the Sierra Madre mountain range. But what happenned? Para daw may tumulak sa bagyo -- papuntang Metro Manila. I can't explain it any other way except to believe that it was the hand of God. How else? He who controls our every breath, controls the motion of the wind and the waves as well. That's just how sovereign our Lord is. Yes, He allows both the good and the bad to come into all our lives for a purpose. Walang aksi-aksidente. He is in control of every situation 24/7.

Lord, please, let there be light na in all of Metro Manila tomorrow...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gabby Concepcion and KC Reunite In San Francisco

Originally uploaded by cathyguballa.

And they lived happily ever after, in a strange sort of way.

After ten years of being "estranged" from her dad, former actor Gabby Concepcion, showbiz princess KC Concepcion finally reunited with him in San Francisco last August. KC spent 10 days with daddy Gabby - "One day for each year lost," she said in an article by Bayani san Diego in the Philippine Daily Inquirer interview today. It's always tough growing under the shadow of one famous parent, more so two in KC's case. It is to Sharon's credit that KC has grown up quiet well with no bitterness in her heart. Here's an excerpt from the PDI article :

Tell us about the “unopened letters” mentioned in your blog?

That was when my Papa didn’t know how to reach me. He wrote birthday cards and sent them all to himself for three years. Maybe he was hoping it wouldn’t be long until we saw each other again. I cried about that, of course.

What was it like saying goodbye to your Papa after the visit?

It felt good because we both knew it wasn’t a “forever” goodbye. It was just a “for now” goodbye.

Where do you two go from here?

Of course it’s no longer like before. The visit was a turning point for us. I promised my titos and titas that I’d keep in touch. My Papa and his wife hold a very special place in my heart. Even my Mama feels that things can only go uphill from here. She’s happy and she knows I’ll never leave her for anyone!

In her blog Lemon Chamomile KC showcases some photos from that memorable reunion. One can clearly see how father and daughter basked in each other's presence. I suppose Sharon knew that this day would certainly come. As KC so eloquently put it "It was the last piece in the puzzle I needed to complete myself." And come on, let's face it, even she admits to the striking resemblance - undoubtedly anak ni Gabby.

To those of us that grew up on a staple of Gabby-Sharon movies, this latest twist in the saga sends us back to our younger, more innocent years. I have known Sharon personally since I was twelve years old - her Tita Helen, my mother's close friend and showbiz colleague, lived on the same street I grew up on. We would meet up during children's parties and ever since the Megastar has always had that charm about her, even as a 10 year old, way before showbiz beckoned. As she grew up under the kleig lights, I watched in awe and admiration from afar. Gabby and Sharon are what you might call "icons" of our generation. Their public lives reflect a similar stories from our generation - of love lost and found, of careers made and broken, of rebuilding new lives and finding new purpose. And if this latest twist in the lives of one of showbiz' most popular tandems is once more reflective of the 40something generation - then we can all someday claim a happy ending somewhere down the road, no matter how twisted the road may have been thus far.

Yes, Showbiz IS In My Genes

I was bored1
Originally uploaded by cathyguballa.

There's just no denying it. I am a child of showbiz.

Growing up, part of my childhood angst, was being known as the daughter of you know who. Not that I didn't love my mother. It's just that I wanted my own identity. It was easier for me to hide my mother's identity because we didn't share the same family name. Mom had a screen name and unless you saw my birth certificate, there wasn't any way you would able to link us both. The reason was pretty obvious - I did not look anything like her. Another schoolmate and good friend was the daughter of an even more famous actress. Her case was a give-away. Not only did they share the same tall and fair looks, Tita B used her married name as her screen name as well.

I was blessed in the sense that my parents shielded me from the limelight. Dad was conservative and a businessman and he was quite strict about mom's working hours. Mom could only do one or two movies a year at the most, and tape her weekly show once a week - usually on a Saturday. Weekdays were devoted to us siblings. I think we were the only children who was driven to and from school by our mother all the way until high school! And to think, artista pa ang nanay namin.

Mom had many friends in and out of the business but she lead a very private life. I had LVN lead stars as Godmothers for my Baptism (this was in the 1960s, okay...) and the superstar of the late 1960s and ac action star/presidentiable as my wedding Godparents. All of them were very close to my family. In my eyes they were Tito so-and-so and Tita so-and-so. Sitting beside these gods and goddesses of the cinema, watching them up close and personal was normal fare in my growing up years.

To this day though, I continue to be mesmerized by the presence of heavenly bodies. Attending movie premieres and award shows were highlights of my growing up years. Even in my previous life as a lifestyle writer, I would be star-struck by the best of them. "Parang hindi ka anak ng artista..." my mother often chides me. Well, I guess there's a part of you that remains non-showbiz after all.

So this blog is all about my life both as a child of show business and that of a lifestyle reporter. Parts of me that I set aside over the last few years in pursuit of ther things. However, now that I have become nore settled, and in a totally different world, these parts have been nudging me, wanting to re-surface somehow. For the serious parts of myself, you can check out my other blog - Midlife Mysteries for inspirational and thought-provoking reading (ehem...). For the fun and lighter side, come and visit me here. I promise that the journey will just be as fun. As they say, abangan...

P.S. That is showbiz's apo up there. Making like Pocahontas (her childhood heroine) for a Photoshop project. The gene pool remains as deep, two generations down...