Tuesday, February 19, 2008

KC Concepcion's Double Exposure

I look at these images and suddenly I cannot help but feel old :)

Sharon and Gabby married when I was in college. KC is the best thing that came out of that short-lived union.

Look at her now. How she has grown and evolved! These photos are courtesy of my friend Juan Sarte who did her make-up in all these photos which were shot by the super talented Marc Nicdao.

On the cover of ROGUE this month...

And on the cover of "Tatler"

This KC is so lovely.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Thousands Attend La Salle Greenhills Mass for Jun Lozada

"Even if I'm not the light, I can be the spark -- in faith, service, and communion. Let us start the change we want to see, the change that begins with me," -Jun Lozada at LSGH this morning

While at church service today, a part of me wondered what was going on over at La Salle Greenhills (LSGH). Today, Holy Mass was celebrated for Jun Lozada and his family. Bumping into some friends at Robinson's Galleria, they said that there was really a huge crowd that gathered at LSGH this morning.

Upon reaching home, I was happy to find these photos in my mailbox. The photographs were shot by my friend Nina Lim Yuson who was at LSGH this morning. Tomorrow, Monday, there will be another mass, this time at the Church of the Gesu at the Ateneo de Manila University, to be presided by the acting Provincial of the Jesuit Order, Fr. Mario Francisco. A candlighting ceremony will follow on Katipunan.

Photographs speak a thousand words. See for yourself...

Lozada enters from the side and the crowds cheer

La Salle Brothers In Full Support Of Lozada

Part of the La Salle Crowd

Lozada Reads the prayer that has given him strength

Part of the crowd after the mass

My friend (cousin in-law), and PDI columnist John Nery, wrote in his blog, "Newsstand" -- "Witnessing to one's deepest convictions, notwithstanding the consequences, is the measure of our humanity. Proclaiming the truth to others, whatever the cost, is the mark of authentic humanity.

Jun, we know you have feared for your life and continue to do so. But in
transcending your fears for yourself and your family, you have reclaimed
your humanity. And your courage and humility, despite harassment and
calumniation by government forces, embolden us to retrieve and reclaim our
humanity tarnished by our cowardice and complicity with sin in the world.
You have inspired us to be true to ourselves and to submit to and serve the
truth that transcends all of us."

Read the Inquirer's coverage of the mass at LSGH here.

Raising Our Children To Be Truth-Tellers

Published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "Roots&Wings", February 17, 2008
The headlines over the past few weeks have put many parents like me in a deep quandary about the state of this country. What does the future hold for our children as this mad circus takes place? I choose to view this whole chain of events as an opportunity to teach my child about the importance of seeing what is real and of how I can raise them to become truth-tellers.

I remember as a child, there would be only one instance that would merit spanking from my father – if I would tell a lie. Lying, in any form was tantamount to receiving corporal punishment in our household. Looking back, and seeing where we are now, I am glad that my dad was very harsh when it came to telling the truth.

I spoke with noted family psychologist Dr. Honey Carandang about what we as parents can do in helping our children understand the current muddled state of the nation and what we can do in practical ways to ensure that our children grow up to become truth-tellers. Back in 2004, Dr. Carandang had delivered a speech to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at the University of the Philippines on the subject of truth-telling and national healing. In speaking to the esteemed audience she said, “It takes a high level of intellectual ability to do truth manipulations and clever deception. This subtle insidious process of truth distortion needs constant awareness because even the most honorable can be caught off guard & unaware and then it is too late.”

I recall how in that particular lecture, Dr. Carandang quoted from Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi who referred to Vaclav Havel in saying that, “The intellectual should constantly disturb, should bear witness to the misery of the world, should be provocative by being independent, should rebel against all hidden & open pressures & manipulation. This role is very important for we are the ones who will bare the truth, open people to new ideas & push them along new heights?”

As parents, we have the responsibility to steer our children in the right direction. Dr. Carandang says that nowadays the youth is in desperate need of role models that they can emulate and learn from and this is where parenting plays a pivotal role. “You cannot raise a truth-teller, if you are not one yourself,” she stresses. She then shared with me what Aung San Suu Kyi said when asked how she developed such a great love for truth. She said that her mother had always placed a high premium on honesty. “She did not always explain but she made it very clear that honesty was good and dishonesty was wrong. It was something I accepted at a very early age. My mother was naturally honest. That was really good for me because it gives me confidence that other people too can work to have such quality.”
Dr. Carandang stresses that it was by role-modeling and not didactic teaching that Aung San Suu Kyi became a truth-teller. “She lived and breathed it, all her life.” However, she adds that we, Filipinos, because of our history, have been traumatized and re-traumatized. “From colonization, to Martial law… Just when we feel that we are about to recover, once again, we find ourselves again betrayed and then a sense of powerlessness overcomes us.” Carandang cites a 2005 column by Dr. Randy David where he compares the state of our country to the dilemma that a wife faces when she discovers that her own husband has raped his daughter. “To ask him to go away because of the unspeakable betrayal is to expose the family to economic insecurity & ruin from which the family members cannot recover. This is how countless families end up staying silent . . . under the situation or regime of mendacity, abuse, and pretense. They abhor this person in their midst but they fear the unknown even more. They invent all kinds of rationalizations to justify the arrangement. They hang on to the hope that someday he may reform. It’s a no-win situation for the mother. Only the thought of her child’s future makes her break her silence. When one is dealing with the pathology of the family or that of a nation, therapy must begin with the recognition that there is a problem.”

Thus, Dr. Carandang says, there are four essential keys parents must remember in order to raise children who will become truth-tellers. First, a parent needs to validate his/her child’s truth. For example, when a child comes home saying that his teacher has unnecessarily yelled at him, don’t just say that “Well, that’s your teacher; you have to just take it.” As a parent, you need to probe and affirm what happened. If indeed the teacher was wrong in doing so, you can say, “Yes, okay, I understand, you have the right to feel angry too.” Do not just set aside your child’s feelings because it will erode his/her self-worth.

Second, don’t be impulsive. The reason many children lie is because they are fearful. Your child should be able to trust you, to know that you will accept the news and be non-judgmental. When your child brings home a report card that is not up to your standards, do not just lash out at him/her. Find out what happened and try to find solutions together. Third, when you catch your child lying, confront it and try to get the truth out. Don’t be in denial. Last, but most important of all, is that you must be a truth-teller yourself. Carandang says that children always watch and learn so parents need to be vigilant about their behavior because children pick-up signals so quickly and take these as gospel truth. Thus, if there are issues within your family, confront them, no matter how painful. It is only by accepting them that you are able to move on and remain true to yourselves.
In light of what is happening in our country, she emphasizes that as parents, we must inculcate in our children, the values of truth and inner strength for it is the only means by which we can achieve hope and get out of our predicament. Once more she refers to Aung San Su Kyi who defined truth and inner strength as “a spiritual steadiness that comes from the belief that what you are doing is right even if it doesn’t bring you immediate concrete benefits. It’s the fact that you are doing something that helps shore up your spiritual power. It is very powerful.”

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Celebrity Children on "Sharon"

If you've always wondered what it's like to grow up under the shadow of a celebrity parent, go and watch "Sharon" on Sunday, February 24 and catch these famous celebrity offspring talk about their moms and dads.

Featured on the show are Celeste Legaspi's daughter Waya, who did a mean rendition of her mom's "Tuliro" and "Saranggola Ni Pepe" accompanied by Jomari Chan's son, Mike. Then there is the very talented Ina Feleo, daughter of Laurice Guillen and Johnny Delgado; boy-next-door Alfonso Martinez, son of Albert and Liezel and Raf Fernandez, Daboy and Lorna's eldest son who graduated from the Ateneo.

It warms my heart to see these second-generation children of celebrities shine. One can really not ignore the genetic factor when it comes to talent. Congratulations to Shawie and her staff for putting together such an interesting show! Thanks to my friend Girlie Rodis for the photos on this page.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"The Bucket List" Is A Must-See Movie

"There are two questions to be asked of you when you get to heaven's gates -- first, have you found your joy? And second, has your life brought joy to someone else's?"
-- Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman) to Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson)

I don't usually make movie endorsements but this one I could not pass up.

Lat night, H and I caught the first-day screening of "The Bucket List" at the Powerplant Cinemas. Oh my gosh. It's such a beautiful, beautiful movie that I've been recommending it to friends since I got out of the movie thater last night. The dialogue is fast and witty, the acting is terrific (hey, it's Freeman and Nicholson), the story is one that will warm your heart and get you to think about your own life.

It's a movie that will probably appeal to the 40plus something age group or even to younger people who have gone through life-changing experiences. You have to be at a certain point in your life, to have gone through something life-altering, to fully appreciate the message of this warm-hearted film directed by Academy Award winning director Rob Reiner.

Edward Cole is a corporate billionaire and Carter Chambers is a middle class mechanic. They have nothing in common except for a shared experience with cancer that is terminal. While sharing a hospital room together, Carter decides to draw up a Bucket List -- things to do before you die or "kick the bucket". After learning that he only has 6 months to live, he decides to abandon the idea. His romm mate, the ever cynical Cole, convinces him that they should go ahead and set out to do the things they have always wanted to do. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find the joy in life.

Try to catch this movie, and pardon the pun, but make sure to bring a bucket for your tears. You have to be made of stone not to weep, even a bit.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Martin Nievera's XXV Concert Rocks Araneta

Martin and one the best talents to come out of La Salle :)-- Gary V!

I wasn't there because I had to be somewhere else important that night. Martin Nievera marked his silver jubilee in show business with one helluva show at the Araneta Coliseum. Here are some shots taken by my friend Girlie Rodis - a huge Martin fan herself.

Ooooh. Mr. Lobo himself :)

Midlifers eh. She was his first girlfriend here, 25 years ago.

With Zsazsa Padilla...

To view more photos of the concert, visit Girlie's site here.
Thanks again for sharing GR!