They are known for their exquisite vocal harmony, the very essence of their music. And their avant-garde fashion statements. The CompanY, Asia’s premiere vocal group, is a visual and aural treat for the young and the young once.
If you have noticed, the Y in their name is a capital letter for visual identity. “We type it differently so that it doesn’t come out as too generic,” said Moy Ortiz, the leader of the group.
Organized in July 1985, the group started as a backup vocal group to such first-rate artists as Gary Valenciano, Kuh Ledesma, Zsa-Zsa Padilla, Martin Nieversa, Louie Reyes, and Celeste Legaspi. Their popularity snowballed when “Everlasting Love,” a cut from their debut album ‘Yon Na!’ became the most requested song in the early ‘90s.
Initially, when “Everlasting Love” was released people thought it was a foreign song. Later on, they found out that it was sung by a Filipino group.
“It was just the right timing that we got a recording deal,” disclosed Moy. “Personality-wise we were more comfortable with ourselves. We knew how far we could go. We didn’t know that we would take a hit in pop.”
In terms of visual packaging, The CompanY is more experimental. Their target market includes the yuppies, young executives, and professionals.
“We are entertainers we have to be visually appealing and interesting onstage. So you have to capture the attention of your audience. We had the guts to experiment with our looks, hair, clothes, and shoes,” shared Moy.
This group has been a company of friends ever since their Ateneo College Glee Club days, where they acquired extensive and rigorous training in voice and traditional choral works. When The CompanY made their crossover to professional singing, they applied the discipline and accuracy demanded by the classical school into the world of pop music.
Starting with 12 members, the group eventually stabilized at six. Now, they are down to a 4-member group. The CompanY is not an overnight success.
After many years in the entertainment industry, they remain active and continue to share their music with the world.
Miriam hopes that she may inspire other people, to help them know themselves by knowing God.
She was named the second most beautiful woman or first runner-up in the 1999 Miss Universe Pageant. Former Bb. Pilipinas-World Miriam Redito Quiambao stood up with courage and poise after an embarrassing fall during the contest held on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago. The grace she showed under adversity and heavy pressure won her tremendous sympathy.
Although the Miss Universe crown eventually went to the very articulate Miss Botswana Mpule Kwelagobe, an engineering student, she was the clear favorite at the pageant. Still, Quiambao scored the highest finish by a Philippine candidate at the prestigious pageant.
“I was just the symbol and the real winner is the Filipino people,” said Miriam during a previous exclusive interview. Miriam is a physical therapy graduate of the University of Sto. Tomas. She is the first child of Mr. and Mrs. Medardo and Magdalena Quiambao.
A deeply religious person, Miriam said she agreed to join the Bb. Pilipinas contests to fulfill what she calls “her mission to live for others while at the same time becoming a living witness of God’s gift of life.”
Miriam has already changed her mind about the answer to the final question that was asked during the Miss Universe competition. She answered yes to the question, “Should a Miss Universe be allowed to continue her reign if she became pregnant?”
Her reflections: “Some said that the final question was unfair to me and Ms. Spain because we both came from Catholic countries,” she said. “The issue of pregnancy is a moral issue between us. But at that time I was sure that I gave the best answer. I tried not to be judgmental about the whole thing. I was hoping that it would get me somewhere and I did emerge as first runner-up.
If she were to answer now that question, she would say, “The birth of a child is the most important thing in this world, and if ever the Miss Universe would get pregnant during her reign, she should resign and focus more on bringing the child into this world, and taking care of that child and herself.”
Has she changed? “Perhaps the change in me is that I’m more equipped to combat whatever adversities or problems I may undergo in life. So far, that’s one thing I know has changed in me for the better,” shared the beauty pageant titleholder, inspirational speaker, author, actress/host, model, and entrepreneur.
She hopes that she may inspire other people, help them know themselves by knowing God, encourage them not to let anyone get in between their dreams, and stand by their convictions.
Looking at her now, Miriam is an epitome of a fulfilled woman – a dutiful wife to husband Ardy Roberto, and doting mom to her two adorable children, Joshua and Elijah.
“Ara Mina has a certain innocence and is in a category completely her own,” according to Direk Carlitos Siguion-Reyna. It helps that the actress is sexy and charming in person. She titillates readers with candid remarks on her sexuality. Meanwhile, this interview reveals a half-child, half-woman excited and eager to give her best shot.
Having a great body makes her more confident. Ara Mina described herself as “dibdib manok. Medyo hiwalay siya (referring to her breasts), so you need to push it, to achieve a cleavage. Sometimes it depends on the dress or bra I’m wearing.”
To maintain her 36-24-35 shape, Ara Mina said she works out at a gym twice a week and observes some dietary restrictions. “I have my dumbbells,” she volunteered. She said she has not eaten rice for two months now. Also, soft drinks have not been in her diet for two years.
Her liberal view of woman-to-woman relationships
Back to her past movie “Tatlo,” Ara Mina admitted she felt uncomfortable kissing another girl.
“I was tense, especially with my kissing scene with Ate Rita,” she said. “Ingat talaga ako. Mayroong torrid kissing scene pero hindi naman labas ang tongue. Actually, na-tense din siya.”
Ara Mina, however, confessed that she has a liberal view of woman-to-woman relationships in real life.
“It’s fine with me. In “Tatlo,” you can’t blame Elsie (my character in the film) if she falls in love with another woman (Rita Avila). She’s looking for something that she cannot find in her husband (Tonton Gutierrez).”
She recalled how she experienced difficulties doing a love scene with Rita. She called it the “Scandinavian style” ( a pumping scene between lesbian lovers, but she did not explain it in detail).
“We tried to relax . . . Nakakangawit talaga, pinagpawisan ako,” she relates. “Biniro ko pa nga si ate Rita na ituloy na namin sa kuwarto. Sa eksenang yon naisip ko, parehas naman kaming babae. So I decided not to wear any plaster. Pero talagang makikita ang boobs namin doon.”
Ara Mina admitted that she can be attracted to members of both sexes.
“I think there’s nothing wrong with having a relationship with another woman as long as there’s no sex involved. I couldn’t imagine myself having sex with another woman. I have best friends who are all girls. Sometimes I develop a crush on them. Sometimes, I feel I like a woman, and sometimes I like a man.”
But she denied being bisexual.
“Hindi ko masasabi,” she says. “Minsan gandang-ganda ako sa babae. Minsan nagsasabi pa ako, ‘Ang seksi niya.’ Wala naman akong nararamdamang feelings for her. It’s like an admiration.”
Reflected Ara Mina: A man is completely different from a woman when it comes to expressing affection.
“Ang lalaki siyempre medyo brusko; ang babae tender ang dating . Kaya lang nakaka-ilang kung humahampas ang boobs níyo,” she laughed.
In real life, Ara Mina said she has had lesbian suitors.
“I treat them as friends. Natatawa nga ako dahil kapag nanligaw sila, itsura nila babae, tapos inaamin nila na may boyfriend sila, pero may gusto sa akin at nag-I I love you,” she related. “They write love love letters, send flowers, chocolates, and stuffed toys. I entertained them kasi kung iniiwasan mo minsan delikado. Grabeng ma-in love ang mga lesbians; they’re very posessive, parang nakakatakot.”
Portraying meaty roles
Now that she gets to portray meaty roles, Ara Mina hopes that she will be noticed for her acting ability and not just her ability to show off those curves.
“Kahit na naghuhubad ako, gusto ko namang mapansin nila ang acting ko lalo na sa mga pelikulang ginagawa ko, para irespeto rin nila ako. Natutuwa naman ako dahil hindi nila sinasabi na bastusin ako, kahit na naghuhubad ako.”
She said she’s only daring in the movies. But she emphasized that she hasn’t experienced doing her onscreen love scenes in real life.
“That’s one good thing about me. At first, it was really difficult for me because I used to portray sweet roles. Like the scenes in my previous movie, “Sagad Sa Init” na nakipag-laplapan ako sa bubungan at sa kotse. As of now, ‘yong mga wild things na nagawa ko sa movies pa lang.”
Ara Mina’s life changed when she junked her sweet image. But the transition was not easy. Going the bold route made it possible for her to land her first starring role in “Maldita.”
But it was in the movie “Curacha, Ang Babaing Walang Pahinga” that film critics began to pay attention to her. Before this, she became a supporting player in such movies as “Roller Boys,” “Butch Belgica Story,” and the “Flor Contemplacion Story.” She entered showbiz at the age of 14 via the teenybopper show That’s Entertainment.
Ara Mina said she couldn’t imagine herself portraying bold roles or posing nude for pictorials. She was conservative then, she said. She recalled how she would react negatively to the bold pictures she saw in the newspapers.
“Now, pagbukas ko ng dyaryo, ang sinasabi ko, Okay lang naman as long as ang mga shots mo na hubad ay artistic ang pagkakakuha,” she smiles.
Because of the attention, she’s getting at the moment, she vowed never to let success get into her head. She said she is especially thankful to her parents for understanding her when she decided to go bold without their permission.
In the near future, she hopes to bag an acting award, “Para masabi ko na rin na may narating yong paghuhubad ko,” she said.
Ara Mina is Hazel Reyes in real life. Her mom combined the names of her two sisters Ara Christine and Mina Princess to come up with the name Ara Mina.
The eldest in a brood of six (two boys and four girls), Ara Mina is a product of a broken family. She was only seven years old when her parents separated. However, she was not disheartened by what happened to her parents. Although both have their own individual families, they maintain open communications. “They are on good terms now,” she notes.
Ara Mina is a high school graduate of Morning Dew Montessori. If her schedule permits, she said she plans to take up Interior Design or Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines (UP).
Off-camera, Ara Mina is a sweet, simple person. She doesn’t talk much during interviews.
“Hindi ako palaaway,” she relates, “gusto ko lahat ng tao kasundo ko. Tapos sweet pa rin, nando’n pa rin ‘yong pagiging childish ko. Sa set nga, nagugulat ang iba dahil parang ang lakas kong maghubad sa eksena. Then after the scene para akong bata. They are confused. That’s who I am. Trabaho lang.”
Her type of man is someone who resembles actor Matthew Mendoza. “Parang hindi siya makabasag pinggan, tipong hindi ka lolokohin. And he’s a gentleman, baby face talaga, she notes. “Yong guy dapat mabango ang hininga, malinis sa katawan, sweet, and understanding.”
Although she admits she has had two boyfriends before, one from showbiz, and one from non-showbiz. She prefers to stay at home during her free time and shuns the nightlife.
Ara Mina feels that her job is quite fulfilling at present. In her five-year stay in the business, she has been able to buy a condominium unit, a car, and jewelry. The other earnings go to her savings (time deposit) and her family. She rewards herself by shopping for signature clothes and accessories.
“Nakakatuwa dahil at my age, nakakabili na ako ng mga ganitong bagay sa sarili kong kita. . . kung baga sarili kong pagod.”
Older men go for her. Ara Mina reveals that she has received around five “indecent proposals” from different men.
“May nag-alok pa nga sa akin ng house and lot with matching brand new car and allowance. Siyempre ang kapalit no’n iiwanan ko ang career ko,” she revealed. “Yong tipong ibabahay ka. Hindi ko pinapatulan ang mga offers nila kasi kaya ko namang kitain sa sarili ko. Besides, I don’t want to experience what my parents had experienced in the past.”
(Based on the same writer’s exclusive article published at the now-defunct Mirror Weekly Magazine.)
As of a recent update, Ara Mina is experiencing a new “journey” in her personal life. She is now married to her non-showbiz husband, Dave Almarinez, CEO of Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC).
Featured photo courtesy of Ara Mina Almarinez Facebook
A woman of strength, style, and substance, Concert Queen Pops Fernandez finds greater joy in being on her own, doing the things she loves. “I have to keep moving and believing in the future, not just for myself but for my children,” she shares.
Life does go on for Concert Queen Pops Fernandez. She has become her own person and finds greater joy in being on her own, in experiencing her own successes.
She is busy as a bee – co-hosting with former husband Concert King Martin Nievera for “eXes&whys” over Cignal TV (channel 60 SD or 202 HD); maintaining her own YouTube Channel with 119k subscribers to date and is even active in social media (FB and IG).
At 55, Pops is looking great. She takes care of her overall well-being. She keeps the faith as evidence of her positive outlook in life.
Pops considers being a single parent as difficult but she’s coping beautifully for the sake of her children – Robin and Ram.
“I have a life to live for my children,” she said from a previous interview. “I’m still their mother; what happened hasn’t changed that, and I must work for their future and make their lives as happy as I possibly could. I have to keep moving and believing in the future, not just for myself but for my children.”
She gives all the love and attention she could give to her two boys. “Ram and Robin are both loquacious and active,” she said. “But their attitudes are very different. When you talk to one, it should be different from the way you talk to the other because they’re two different personalities. But they love being together.”
She said being honest with them is the best way to cope with whatever they’re going through at present. “Sometimes parents think that because children are young, they don’t understand. I think it’s the other way around. They are smarter than we perceived them to be and they are more adaptive to change than older people,” she explained.
Of course, despite everything, it couldn’t be denied that Martin is still the father of her children. The boys see their dad whenever he’s free, and even go on trips with them just like one happy, modern family. Martin and Pops, whose marriage was annulled in 2000, have remained friends.
Pops added: “I don’t know how I could have made it without my friends and my faith in God. It’s true what they say about how a crisis has to hit you first before you feel God’s presence. Of course, there are times when you can’t help but ask God why this had to happen ‘coz sometimes you just feel like crying. But the good thing about God is that He has the answers to all the questions. I believe that there’s a reason for everything happening in my life.”
Pops said she was very idealistic when she was younger. To be a single parent was farthest from her mind.
“When my parents separated, I told myself, “When I get married, I won’t let this happen to my kids.’ I had plans. I said, ‘I won’t do this, I won’t do that. I’ll be the best wife and mother I can be, then everything will be alright.”
She further explained: “But sometimes you just can’t help it. Things happen. Problems crop up. You try to fix them, but you can’t. You just learn to take things one day at a time and realized that each marriage and each situation is unique and that one rule doesn’t apply to all.”
What she always wanted was to have a complete family. “Just seeing my family happy is enough,” she said, “especially, my children.” But then, things don’t usually happen the way you want them.
For her, life can be a struggle and at the same time exciting. And there are always lessons learned after the pains, after the struggle. She had dried her tears and is going about the business of living as best as she can.
(Based on the article published in the old Mirror Weekly magazine by the same author)
As a young kontrabida actress during her heyday, Gladys Reyes played many villain roles in movies and television. But she didn’t mind playing villainess in the past.
“I enjoy portraying villain roles because I get to experiment on my character,” related Gladys from a previous interview. “As the kontrabida, I see to it that I attack my roles in different ways, so the moviegoers will not get tired of my acting.” She’s known for her role as “Clara” the lead villainess from the Kapamilya’s popular TV series Mara Clara (in the 90s).
But is she a real kontrabida in real life?
“I know my right as an individual. I know that I’m not stepping on anybody’s toes. But when I’m not treated fairly and I have to fight for my right, that’s the time I become bitchy,” she uttered.
Gladys is indeed, blooming these days. She’s blessed with wonderful family life. She’s happily married to a long-time boyfriend and now husband Christopher Roxas. Both of them are Iglesia Ni Kristo devotees.
Gladys believes her feeling for Christopher (Christopher Sommereux in real life) is true love, which she defines as accepting one’s good and bad traits. “You know no matter what he does, I won’t be turned off, because you love that person,” she said.
She says for a relationship to endure, there should be a give and take and open communication. “Even in the Bible, it’s stated that you should respect the rights of a man in a relationship,” she shared.
What about Christopher’s feelings toward her? Gladys replied that he dislikes her tendency to nag. “But I’m not a nagger. I’m just a fast talker,” enthused the 44-year-old Kapuso actress, who appears in Pepito Manaloto Ang Unang Kuwento. She’s a doting mom to her four beautiful children – Christophe, Aquisha, Grant, and Gavin.
Off-cam, Gladys is a hands-on mompreneur managing their business called That’s EntertainMeat (frozen meat goods), which is open for distributors and resellers. She also manages their sommereux catering with her husband Christopher.
Gladys is an alumna of New Era University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications.
Not all people know that Gladys has a fetish for a mosquito net. “Every taping, I always bring my mosquito net, the size of which is just right for my feet,” she related from a past interview. “Since I was a kid I couldn’t sleep without it. Then I rub my foot there and I fall asleep right away. ”
Another interesting fact about Gladys is that she always wears pajamas when she’s at home. “Because even when my mommy was still a teenager, she was like that,” she said.
She maintains her flawless complexion by applying calamansi to her lower body every day before taking a bath. “I only consume five pieces of calamansi, so that my skin will not get dry,” she said. “You should apply it to your elbows, neck, knees, and areas that sweat quickly.”
Gladys’s early exposure in show business was at the age of seven when she won the Little Miss Philippines title in 1984.
What matters most to her now is her family, career, business, and the never-failing affection she gets from her loving hubby Christopher.
Jessa Zaragoza’s hit song “Bakit Pa?” made her music’s unexpected “Queen of Broken Hearts.” The three-stanza sad song with a simple, memorable melody has indeed struck the right chord among the women of the ‘90s (and even up to this day).
Actress-singer Jessa Zaragoza remains the reigning sentimental song queen of the airwaves. She hit it on her very first album with the song “Bakit Pa?” The song is heard in the metropolis as well as provincial areas up to this day. She is music’s unexpected “Queen of Broken Hearts.”
In her hit song, “Bakit Pa?” a girl is weeping over lost love. Another girl has replaced her in her lover’s arms. But she is not destined to die of a broken heart. I’m sad and confused, she sings, but I will survive (Ito’y aking kakayanin).
Jessa related that when she read the lyrics, they felt so right for her and she deeply felt the heart of the song. “So I recorded it with my whole heart in it. But I never thought it would be such a big hit,” she said.
“Filipinos are very simple and sentimental,” rationalized “Bakit Pa?” lyricist Vehnee Saturno, who was also surprised at his hit song. As they say: Aside from a new love, music is the best salve for a broken heart. “At first, no one believes that she had promise as a singer because she had a sexy image. But when I heard her voice, I knew that she had what it takes. Mukhang matagal-tagal pa ang pagsikat nya,” said Vehnee.
The three-stanza sad song with a simple, memorable melody has indeed struck the right chord among the women of the ‘90s (and even up to this day). For lyricists, composers and singers this means big revenues and more recording opportunities.
Jessa said that it has always been her dream to be a singer and to wax an album she could call her own. Her very first movie outfit did not fulfill the promise of giving her a debut album but instead built her up as a budding sex siren. “Before, it was just my dream to have an album,” quipped the lady with Bette Davis’s eyes. “Even if it wasn’t a big hit, I would be happy. I just wanted to sing.”
Sentimental Song Queen
Jessa has earned for herself the title, Sentimental Song Queen, joining the ranks of former hit singers, the late Claire Dela Fuente, Imelda Papin, Didith Reyes, and Eva Eugenio.
During the ‘80s, the celebrated Jukebox Queen title was a tossup between Claire Dela Fuente, famous for her songs “Sayang,” “Minsa-minsan,” and “Nakaw Na Pag-ibig,” and Imelda Papin (who eventually got the coveted title). Now, it is Jessa’s turn. She has put her embarrassing sexy starlet days behind her.
Jessa was a BS Psychology student in San Juan de Letran when she was lured into the showbiz whirl. If she has been given the chance, she said, she still wants to be a psychiatrist someday. Away from the klieg lights, Jessa is a homebody. The second in a brood of seven, she likes staying with her family at home.
These days, Jessa is blooming. She is happily married to singer Dingdong Avanzado, and a doting mom to her only daughter, Jayda, who is also making a name as a singer.
Featured photo courtesy of OfficialJessaZaragoza FB account
(Based on the published article in the now-defunct Mirror Weekly magazine written by the same author)
Actress Gelli De Belen and singer-actor Ariel Rivera exude that “happiness is being together” aura, reflective of their happy wedded life.
The keyword for their marriage is ‘fun.’ “We want to live a happy life,” disclosed Ariel. “We want to be adventurous. If you have more fun in your marriage, you’ll spend a lot of time together,” said Gelli.
They both agreed that in marriage, love is not enough. It involves constant communication, honesty, and trust.
The husband and wife have agreed as well to keep on listening to each other. That’s their formula for long-lasting marital bliss. “I remember my parents saying, ‘Just listen to each other,’” said Ariel. “That’s what you have to do. As a husband be aware of your wife’s needs, you are already a team. It’s both compromise and negotiation. What’s important in our relationship is communication. And trying to keep our relationship happy and fresh.”
Describing each other
According to Gelli, one trait he likes about Ariel is that “he’s confident with himself. He doesn’t have insecurities.”
In Ariel’s eyes, Gelli is a very good wife. “She’s very thoughtful, sweet, pretty, sexy, caring. She has a lot of sense of humor. And she cleans well! (laughs)”
Gelli admitted that the years they have been together are enough for them to know each other very well. “Before we took the plunge, we’re sure, we already know our habits,” said Gelli.
If you live your life all over again, would you marry the same person?
“Of course,” said Gelli. “Of course, I would,” butted in Ariel. “I want to live my life the way I’m living now – with people I care about around me.”
Her main goal in life is “to continue to be of service to my fellowmen. For a career to be worthwhile, it should carry a social responsibility. If by what I do as a job, I could put a smile on someone’s face, I would.”
Angelique Lazo is a woman who has known romance, enjoyed its thrills and basked in its unspoken joys and experiences, and decided that love is more than all these. Her concept of love has matured. “Love is being able to maintain a relationship, staying in it through good and bad times,” she related.
Her main goal in life is “to continue to be of service to my fellowmen. For a career to be worthwhile, it should carry a social responsibility. If by what I do as a job, I could put a smile on someone’s face, I would.”
According to her being a media practitioner is “one of the best careers that one can have. At least, if you are not a total expert in it, you can interview the experts and you meet a lot of people. You learn a lot, too.”
She is in person as she is onscreen. She’s a person full of love, and full of wisdom. Her outlook is very positive. And she’s a very musical person. “I think I will die singing. I’ve inherited my singing voice from my mom (Susie). My mom is an original opera singer. I come from a family of entertainment people.”
Angelique has a wonderful family, to start with. His dad, Liberato Lazo, is a military man, gentle and astute. According to her, he’s a “walking encyclopedia.” Her mom Susie is an artist. Angelique is the only girl in a brood of four. Needless to say, Lazo’s children are all musically-inclined.
I asked her, are you happy? “You make your own happiness. Oo naman, hindi ba halata?”
Angelique is now enjoying wedded bliss. She’s regularly seen as the news anchor of Sentro Balita, the afternoon newscast of the People’s Television Network.
Here are the excerpts of the Q & A:
You once said that for a career to be worthwhile it should carry a social responsibility, how will you extend this to your fellow journalists?
I’m not going to say bad things about other people. I’ll start it with myself. I don’t agree with envelop-mental journalism—especially if you’re distorting the truth. You have to lead by example.
Will you sacrifice your profession for money?
You have to weigh things in the light of the future and the legacy you want to leave. Kung sa iyo okay lang na ganoon ang image mo pero trash naman ang ginagawa mo, kagustuhan mo ‘yan. Money you spend, and lose eventually.
Tell us about your childhood.
I grew up in Japan. I stayed there for eight years. And because of that, they thought that I was “Japayuki.” Kasi ang ibig sabihin talaga ng Japayuki ay galing sa Japan. In Japan, I learned a lot about their culture. I spoke their language. Life in Japan is different. Japanese people will teach you to clean your surroundings. They have a deep sense of respect for themselves and others. Living there, I became a more diligent Filipino. I studied there from grade school to high school. But in all honesty, our educational system is still the best.
What do you think is the solid foundation for a relationship to last?
Communication. You should never shut out the other. Once you stop talking that’s the end of it. There is no problem big enough if you talk it over. Another one is putting yourself in the other’s shoes. You won’t judge him right away. You would understand him more. And most of all, there should be between you a keen sense of integrity.
If you were to choose between love and career, what will you choose?
My mom chose love over career, and she’s happy. Love begets family. I think I would still choose family. I’m very family-oriented.
What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Simple lang. These are the speaking engagements that I was invited to. For the fact that they invited me and interviewed me and in the process, they will tell you, “We want to be like you someday,” nakakaiyak, nakakataba ng puso. Kasi alam mo ‘yon hindi binabayaran, hindi gimmick.
What do you feel most grateful for?
My parents because they lead me towards the right path, because of the way they brought me up, have influenced me in the decision I make, my frame of mind, my sense of service, my zest for life. I was also thankful that I was able to study in good schools.
Whom do you admire most?
My dad and my mom. My mom had a flourishing career as an opera singer. She had a scholarship in Milan but chose to have a family. It’s hard to do that now; it’s self-sacrificing. We were brought up to appreciate things in life unlike some kids today who don’t value money. It seems life is so easy for them. Although my parents have means, they raised me to work hard, and not to be extravagant.
Aside from your family, what do you value in life?
Friendship. Sometimes your friends are your mirror. You will not see things for yourself, but they will tell you because they know you so well. I have a group of wonderful friends in the Ateneo Glee Club. We went on a trip all over the world. We’re together through thick and thin. There are also members of The CompanY.
(Based on the published feature article in the old Mirror Weekly magazine by the same author)
After more than three decades of working in the show business (she started in 1983), Divine Diva Zsa Zsa Padilla is happy about her place in the industry and the kind of respect and recognition she gets from her colleagues. She has proven to herself that she’s not just a singer but an actress as well. She feels that the longer she stays in showbiz the more she gets better.
Zsa Zsa has admitted that she has become a veteran of sorts when it comes to love and relationships. “For a relationship to grow, there must be passion, love, and nurturing,” related the Kapamilya singer from a previous interview. “Because of what I’ve experienced in the past, I’ve learned to nurture more my present relationship. I’m happy with my present partner (fiancé architect Conrad Onglao).”
She said too much passion can also be dangerous in a relationship. There has to be balanced to achieve harmony. “With an overdose of passion you cannot distinguish anymore what’s right and what’s wrong,” she rationalized. “You don’t have to follow your heart’s dictates all the time. I’ve been there. I’ve been hurt. And I’ve hurt some people in the process. It taught me a lot. Eventually, when the passion fades, you need to have something to hold on to, the love has to be stronger. In my case, my children are there. They keep me going.”
Zsa Zsa is hoping that one day, she’ll be able to tie the knot with her present partner. “I’m just waiting for the right time. It might come, it will come,” said Zsa Zsa, now in her mid-50s, looking more gorgeous than ever.
She disclosed that like everyone else there are days when she feels very depressed over nothing. “But I’ve realized that happiness is what you make it,” she said. “If I decide to be happy today, it’s my doing. As much as possible I don’t allow negative thoughts to put me down.”
Her children are giving her much joy and contentment. The proud mom has three beautiful and talented daughters – Karylle, Nicole, and Zia. When at home, she can be so simple and plain, but when she’s in front of the spotlight performing, she can be glamorous. Since she’s not getting any younger, she tries to take care of her health even more, and eat healthier food.
Motherhood and career are in a merry mix in Jaclyn’s life.
Jaclyn’s Jose is, no doubt, one of today’s finest actresses. The stature, she said, has been a product of two things: the opportunity to play challenging roles and the chance to be handled by the finest directors.
“I am reaping the fruits of my labor. I love my job, it’s so fulfilling and I like the people I work with,” related the international award-winning actress. “First things first, I prepare for my look. I want as a simple look as possible. I always play safe by being consistently simple. Then, I work on attacking my role.”
“I’m lucky all good roles are coming my way. Even mother roles,” she replied. She played a mother in fact in the TV drama series TheWorld Between Us (shown at GMA-7, with Alden Richards in the title role). “It was a good project for me,” she said.
Jaclyn’s show business career started in 1984. Her early movies with Lino Brocka, Private Show, and Macho Dancer remain her favorites to this day. “I will not be what I am today if not for Lino,” she said. “Through the years I have become more intense. I believe good acting comes from within.”
She continued: “I’ve learned a lot from Lino. He was an actors’ director. Among other things, he coached me to correct my eyebrow movement. Now I have no problem with that anymore. I’ve also learned a lot from Ishmael Bernal and Chito Rono. They’re so powerful.”
Jaclyn said that today’s directors, on the other hand, have incorporated new directing formula. “They have new things to offer. Laurenti Dyogi, for instance, is a very promising director. ”
Besides finding great satisfaction in her job, she finds fulfillment in her daughter, Andy, and now, granddaughter, Ellie. Andy is her love child with a former live-in partner, the late actor Mark Gil.
“To me, being happy is to focus my attention on Andy. I believe I’ve scored pretty high as far as motherhood is concerned,” she smiled. “I believe I’m a very good mom.”
After her separation from the late actor-partner, Jaclyn was left with nobody but Andy. “I would much rather sacrifice my personal life than create problems for Andy.”
She has no regrets that she opted to become a single parent rather than get involved in another relationship. “I’m enjoying it. It’s my choice. I’m doing fine. I work a lot and when I’m not working I take care of Andy. I don’t even have a boyfriend. I have lots of male friends, but you can’t kiss your male friends, right?” she said with a laugh. “But I had my time. When you have your child you don’t own your life anymore.”
Jaclyn has a very simple lifestyle. When she’s at home, she watches TV shows. “My relaxation is drinking one or two beers and watching good movies. Those are enough to make my day.”
Jaclyn entertains plans of directing someday. “I already have ideas on my mind. But I know that I couldn’t apply them right away. I’ll give myself at least five to eight years before I finally decide to direct,” she concluded.
Featured photo: Jaclyn Jose received her Best Actress prize for the film “Ma’Rosa” during the 69th annual Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France, on May 22, 2016. Photo by David Silpa/UPI
(Based on the article published in the now-defunct Mirror Weekly magazine by the same author)