Master and Servant (Part One)
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When the Ayala Malls The 30th opened in our neighborhood last January, little did I know that a month later, an accident near the mall would forever change some lives.

Last week, the Internet was abuzz about a story published in The Atlantic, about a Filipino woman who was enslaved by a Filipino family in the United States.


The story broke my heart and I read it twice. While many people chose to attack the late author Alex Tizon and his family, I tend to agree with Teddyboy Locsin, who called it a love letter to Lola.

This morning I read We Are All Tizons which brings to light how people treat their helper—the people who work to make our lives more comfortable.
It was unfortunate that horrible monsters still exist in our society. I had to talk to one a few months ago. The encounter left me traumatized for weeks….

Last February, I was expecting my husband to come home early to cook spaghetti bolognese with me.
The ingredients were ready by 4PM, but he didn’t come home until around 6:30 PM.
When he walked in, he look very much stressed and harassed. Jeroen said his driver had an accident and ran over a jaywalker’s foot in front of the 30th Mall. The jaywalker had been on the phone while crossing the street. He chose to cross in front of the mall, even though the actual zebra crossing was just a few yards away.

The man’s foot was bloodied. A crowd gathered around, and seeing a white man (my husband) stepping out of a BMW, they took out their phones and started taking pictures. A traffic enforcer came. My husband, in his meager knowledge of Tagalog, heard him say it was the man’s fault, not our driver’s.
With that, my Dutch husband decided to walk home.

When he told me what happened, my first instinct was to wonder if it was some sort of modus operandi, because my friend Biden had a man throw himself in front of her car in Divisoria to solicit money. My husband assured me it was not like that. The man was really in pain.
We decided to cook spaghetti while waiting for news from the driver.

Two hours later, I got a call from Medical City Hospital in Ortigas where the cops took the victim, Nilo (not his real name), and my driver. My instinct during a time like this, was to offer to pay for the medical bill because the victim was poor. Never mind if it was his fault.
This, I told the police officer over the phone. The police handed the phone to the doctor who told me I had to make a Php 20,000 deposit to have Nilo confined. The doctor then asked if I would have the victim transferred to a government hospital because Medical City is expensive. It would cost more than Php 150,000 for the first surgery. I braced myself.

Having experienced horrible service at a government hospital in 2010, I told them to keep Nilo there. I could imagine the pain he was going through and thought the humanitarian thing was to get him treated as soon as possible.

I spoke to Nilo on the phone and told him not to worry, I would take care of the bills. But I need him to sign a waiver that it ends there. I would pay for his bills and he cannot run after us or press charges because he was the one jaywalking. I was there to help him get through this. Nilo was kind and agreed. I quickly called my lawyer cousin and asked him to email me a waiver form.
Then I sent my maid to the hospital with Php 20,000 deposit and the form. And then I got a call back that Nilo refused to sign the waiver.

Meanwhile, the police had taken my driver into custody, along with the BMW.

I decided to call to Nilo on the phone. Apparently he had consulted with his boss in Tarlac who told him not to sign anything. I asked for his boss’s name, did a quick Facebook search, and found him.
I went through his Friend’s list and found common friends (Yvette Fernandez, Elbert Cuenca) and a distant cousin from the Zamora side.

I reached out to my cousin to ask the boss to vouch for me before I talked to him. Unfortunately my cousin refused to help me. It was already 10:30 PM and I didn’t want my driver to sleep in the precinct. God knows I have watched too may Brillante Mendoza movies to know what happens in there….

(Sorry I have to pause because this is getting stressful. Be back in a while.)

West Side Story at Solaire this August 2017
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My favorite musical West Side Story comes to Manila with an outstanding all-American cast, as it premieres at Solaire Theatre on 10 August 2017.
Set in 1950s New York, two enemy gangs—the Jets and the Sharks—are about to clash.
The Jets—sons of previous immigrants to America—are fighting the new arrivals from Puerto Rico, the Sharks, for domination of the streets.


Trouble begins when Tony (a Jet) falls in love with Maria, sister of the leader of the Sharks.
Former Les Miserables principal Kevin Hack takes on the role of Tony, while Jenna Burns reprises her role as Maria.


Anita will be played by Keely Beirne, who has been dreaming of playing the role since she was six years old.
Broadway’s Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva assumes the role of Bernardo, leader of the Sharks.
Lance Hayes will be playing Riff, leader of the Jets and Bernardo’s nemesis.


Described as “the No. 1 greatest musical of all time” by The Times UK, West Side Story was inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Its ground-breaking choreography and unforgettable score changed the face of musical theatre when it burst onto the Broadway stage in 1957.


This new production of West Side Story is as daring, realistic and relevant today as it was on the day of its premiere. Jerome Robbins’ original choreography has been recreated by director and choreographer Joey McKneely, a former pupil of Jerome Robbins.
Musical supervisor is renowned conductor Donald Chan, who studied under Leonard Bernstein, creator of the original score.


West Side Story is a Michael Brenner production, produced by BB Promotion GmbH in association with Sundance Productions, Inc. NY, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and David Atkins Enterprises.

For tickets and show times, click HERE.
For sponsorship, corporate nights and bulk buy inquiries, call (02) 403-8646 or (02) 403-8678.

WEST SIDE STORY is suitable for a PG audience and contains no profanities. As a guide to parents and guardians, it is recommended for ages 13+. All persons entering the theatre, regardless of age, must have a ticket. Children under 4 years of age will not be admitted.

Arrival Times:
Theatre Foyers open 2 hours before every performance, and the theatre doors open 30 minutes prior. Latecomers will not be admitted until a suitable break in the performance.

Ode to Sharon Cuneta
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I first heard about Sharon Cuneta in grade school at St. Paul Pasig, around 1978. My best friend Nana pointed her out to me at the canteen (cafeteria) and said, “That girl has a record, you know.”
This one.

Mr. DJ

We were in 6th grade and Sharon was a batch older.
Little did we know that she would be a huge star three years later.
I was already in Assumption when her first movie with Gabby Concepcion, Dear Heart came out followed by PS. I Love You.

Dear Heart
PS I love you

To my horror, some of my classmates cut class to watch her movies. I was too chicken to join them.
Then one day my classmates dared each other to ring the doorbell at Sharon’s home in Dasmariñas Village. To their surprise, Sharon was home. They went inside and became friends.
I didn’t want to admit it but I was jealous of them for a very long time.

I met Sharon just once when I was already in college. There was a massive traffic jam on Wilson Street where we used to live. My classmates were with Sharon stuck in a car, and decided to walk to my house and ask for water. This was at the height of her stardom.
I met her once but Sharon remembered me a few years ago when she joined Twitter. She followed me and said she remembered me and my reference to “NIKNUD STUNOD” which was backwards for Dunkin’ Donuts. She thought it was hilarious.


We even exchanged phone numbers but I never used it.
Which brings us to present time and Sharon Cuneta’s recent posts on Facebook which break my heart.

This takes the cake for me. Read her caption. 🙁

I don’t know what she’s going through but I wish it would go away. She does not deserve this kind of pain!!
I feel so much for her, so much sadness, as if she died. I decided to unearth my meager Sharon Cuneta DVD collection while the hubby was in Singapore and did an SC marathon.

Sharon Cuneta DVDs

I watched three of these back-to-back.
PS. I Love You is a classic ’80s which defined our high school years.
Rich girl meets richer boy and is broken apart by the girl’s mom because she hates the boy’s father with whom she had a past.
Lampel Luis was such a beauty, very chic in her ’80s disco outfits.
Danny Zialcita = John Hughes because he made films for an English-speaking generation of Filipino teens.
Danny Zialcita = cheese with the polo players and private planes.
But I digress….

Una Ka Naging Akin is a cheesy movie adapted from a komiks serial.
Rich boy Gabby Concepcion gets amnesia after surviving a kidnapping attempt and helicopter crash. He is nursed back to health by jungle natives who strangely know how to speak perfect Tagalog.
He meets Sharon and marries her but had to leave a pregnant Sharon and get a doctor when she goes into labor.
On the way to get the doctor, he figures in a bus accident and recovers from amnesia.
He remembers he was once engaged to a super hot Dawn Zulueta and marries her.
Dawn happens to be Sharon’s “best friend” in the movie.
Sharon is devastated when Gabby marries Dawn and doesn’t remember her and their son.
Pregnant Dawn miscarries in freak accident and becomes infertile. Gabby starts to hate her and starts an affair with Sharon, etc. until the shocking truth is revealed in a climactic ending.
PS. Everyone is gorgeous in this movie. Sharon is gorgeous (sans wig), Gabby is hot and always topless, and Dawn is super chic, whether in a cocktail dress or a Giordano pullover.

Sharon and Gabby

Bakit Ka Ba Mahalin is the worst one of the three (read: walang quenta), about the troubled marriage of middle class Sharon and typecast rich boy Gabby Concepcion.
The answer to the title is to be quite honest: NO.
Gabby is such a douche bag. He hooks up with a boring Chanda Romero (sorry) and hangs around with stereotypical bad boys such as Rez Cortez (so unchic).
This movie is so dumb, I can’t tell you. The only part I really liked was when Gabby brings his baby son to a room full of toys, including a giant Woody Woodpecker from Gift Gate.

Dapat Ka Bang Mahalin

I’m looking forward to watch Dear Heart again.
I’ll be looking for more Sharon DVDs, while avoiding the comedies and the ones where she’s paired with an action star (read: boring).
The younger people will never understand what Sharon is/was to our generation.
To dear Sharon, we get you. We are rooting for you, we respect you, and we are praying for your happiness ever after.
Hang in there!!

Download my convenient Permission Slip for teenagers
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I have two teenaged boys who suddenly went from PS4 to going out with friends.
Having grown up with really strict parents, I suddenly understand why they gave me such a hard time to go out. But I also understand it from the teen’s point of view.
My boys don’t go out that much, but I find myself an amateur in parenting teens and I forget to get all the important details.
That’s why I decided to create a permission slip just to make sure I cover most of the bases I need to feel more at ease.
So please feel free to download the form and let me know if it works for you.
Good luck to all parents of teens. God bless us all!!

Click HERE to download!

permission slip
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