Candidly

What is beauty?

Filed under: Features — admin at 12:12 am on Saturday, January 24, 2009

When I was younger, I remember that my brother considered the mestizas, tall, and thin girls as beautiful. His description of “beautiful” actually confused me because my mom had always said I was beautiful. Did she call me beautiful? Mali…My mom said I was cute and maganda. She never really used the term beautiful to boost my self-confidence. Not bad because she never said I was not beautiful as well…I was cute, witty, and charming.

When I was in grade school, my friends and I defined beautiful as “one that fits the description of my older brother.” We associated “cute” as an adjective for a doll or a dog. Cute ako sabi ng nanay ko. So, mukha akong aso? Sandali…

Then came other adjectives similar to beautiful, like pretty, gorgeous, stunning, attractive, and good-looking. Ang dami pong adjectives kaya lalo akong nalito.

I wasn’t gorgeous. Hindi ko nga masyado ma-define kung ano yun, pero parang tunog matanda.

Stunning is a strong word kaya nag-decide kami ng classmates ko na ang stunning ay para sa “dating” or “arrive” ng tao.

The other terms like good-looking and attractive, we decided pang-lalake sila so as not to complicate things.

Nag-declare ako nung grade school na ayaw ko na yung cute kasi pang-aso yun. I told my mom that I am pretty. She agreed without hesitation and question. Now that I am a mother, I perfectly understand why.

I realized that as time passes by, the standards and definition of beauty change.

In the Philippines, most actresses in the ’70s era were fair-skinned and tall, until this short, olive-skinned, charming girl surprised everyone with her talent—she’s none other than Ms. Nora Aunor. I remember merong rivalry between Ms. Vilma Santos and Ms. Nora Aunor, at parang laban din ng ebony and ivory. Ah, bata pa ako nun, and mostly sa kuwento na lang ito…

According to my research (naks, nag-research ako!), nung 1960s nagsisimulang mauso at ipaglaban yung black beauty sa America.

In 1961, Corrine Huff of Ohio was the first black to wear a state crown. Gustong burahin yung idea na black is ugly. Tuloy, nagkaroon ng Miss Sepia, Miss Fine Brown, Miss Bronze…ang taray, di ba? Aminin niyo…

Pero hindi pa rin yun pinansin ng snobbish na Miss America pageant and they still favored the light-skinned contestants. I am citing these things because it’s a fact that we Filipinos are greatly influenced by the standards and tastes of the Americans then. It was only in 1984 that an African-American woman, Vanessa Lynn Williams, bagged Miss America title. Kaya naman nauso na rin sa atin yung mga black beauty nun.

For a time, pag maputi ka, para kang walang dugo and color. Matapos manalo si Sushmita Sen ng Miss Universe at at lalo pang pagsikat nina Janet Jackson, Madonna and so forth, napasama sa attributes ng beautiful ang deep set, round, big eyes. Kaya naman, pakapalan ang lagay ng eye liner hanggang maging muta na ito sa mata. Emphasize the eyes since they are the windows to one’s soul.

‘Tapos nauso na ang mga Mexicanovelas. Thalia is beautiful. Pumasok naman ang Koreanovelas na kinalokohan ko nang bonggang-bongga kaya Princess Hours-look is cool. In other words, nag-vary na talaga ang standards ng beauty dahil sa uso. Hindi na kailangang dyosa-looking ka to be considered beautiful.

Nasali ako sa Betty La Fea, kung saan ang major issue naman talaga ng soap na iyan ay “ganda.”

Betty La Fea (Ugly Betty) is a 1999 Colombian soap opera. It is currently being shown worldwide in different languages. According to Nielsen Media Research, the finale season of La Fea Mas Bella and first season of Ugly Betty shown in the US garnered the highest viewers in U.S. history of Mexicanovelas. At ngayon naman ay namamayagpag dito sa ‘Pinas.

Bakit? Pangit nga ang bida. Hindi ba ang gustong makita ng tao, eh, maganda? Pero bakit sa buong mundo, ang pinanonood ay pangit? Ibig ba sabihin nito ay mas maraming pangit kesa sa maganda? O, nakaka-relate ang tao sa pangit kasi lahat ng tao ay may pangit na pinagdaanan, o minsan ay naapi? Pangit nga ba si Betty? Oo naman! Compared kay Daniella na napakaganda.

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Napag-usapan namin iyan ni Bea Alonzo sa set and ang conclusion namin: Ang maganda ngayon ay hindi lang basta physical. It’s the confidence, how one carries herself/himself. The aura that a person is giving can be considered as beautiful or ugly. That is the reason why in beauty contests, there’s a question and answer portion. Beauty has transcended to a level that’s not merely based on skin tone.

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In other words, amidst all the technological breakthroughs we have, beauty is still basic. Baduy man pakinggan pero nakakaganda ang magandang puso. Well, sabi nga nila, whatever is inside will eventually show. Kahit gumamit ng whitening product ang tao, gamitin ang lahat ng naka-advertise sa EDSA na products na pampaputi, pero kung masama ang ugali mo, balewala. It has been universally-approved by the viewers of Betty La Fea that being a bad person can make you ugly.
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Sa lahat ng kasama  ko sa Betty La Fea, mga cast na kay babait, sa writer na si Joel Mercado, directors Erick Salud and Don Cuaresma, assistant director Lian, unit head na si Deo Edrinal, production staff and crew—maraming salamat po. Nag-enjoy na ako, napag-isip niyo pa ako.

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Question: If you were given a choice between being beautiful but stupid or ugly but intelligent, what would you choose? Ah…eh…Where is the nice person?

Well, napag-usapan din namin iyan sa set ng Betty La Fea. Usually, the intelligent people are nice because they have a broader understanding and perspective about things.

Thus, the intelligent people carry this certain confidence. Basta ganun, sa hinaba-haba ng blog na ito, yung mabait na tao pa rin ang bongga. ‘Tapos kung maganda ka, eh, di bonus na yun.

Pero kung mabait ka, maganda ka at nabobobo ka pa rin, huwag kang mag-alala—nobody is prefect, este perfect.

Another chance

Filed under: Features — admin at 2:16 pm on Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hello, my dear PEPsters! Pasensya na talaga at ang tagal kong gumawa ng bagong entry. I received so many personal messages, in my multiply and facebook accounts, asking when my next entry would be out. Na-touch po ako nang bonggang-bongga! Meron naman pala talagang nagbabasa ng entry ko maliban sa friends and family ko. Basta lampas sa dalawa ang sumulat sa akin kaya marami na yun. (Charos!)

What kept me busy? Ah, Christmas….

Alam niyo naman na tuwing Pasko, peak season po iyan ng mga artista for corporate shows and Christmas parties. I also attended numerous high school (dalawa pong school yun) reunions.

Nanganganak ang parties because people miss each other. Every time I go home from a reunion, ang saya ng feeling. I remember the past, my dreams, my problems, my needs, and my contentment then. Things were much simpler then. Sad to say, as we grow older, we tend to complicate our lives. We only appreciate the past when we look back and see where we are now.

It was really nice to reminisce and see old faces again. But of course, that would be much, much better without the hectic and tiring schedule.

Eh, bakit kasi kailangang Pasko pa ang reunion? Bakit hindi mag-reunion pag EDSA anniversary o di kaya Independence day para hindi masyado busy?

Pero ayos na rin, masaya naman. I went to Christmas parties, na parang hindi natatapos. In between the parties, nagbabalot ako ng regalo para sa lahat ng taong gusto kong pasalamatan at in-appreciate sa lahat  ng nagawa nila sa akin last year. Hindi pa nga ako tapos sa aking thank-you list. I haven’t sent anything for the PEP staff. Ang dami nga pala talaga!

I checked my 2008 planner and started to list down the names of people I want to thank, people that helped me survive 2008 emotionally, spiritually, financially, mentally, biology, anthropology…in other words, in all areas of my life as a human being. Ang dami po ninyo.

I am so grateful that there are so many people that I have to be thankful for. Praise God ang nasabi ko with a big smile and sigh. Akala ko my 2008 wasn’t as fun as it seemed. Looking back, it was a good year naman. Nakakaloka!

If I have to thank every person who made my 2008 better, and if I list down all the blessings that came my way, the items in my list would seem infinite.

Kaya sa lahat ng nakatrabaho ko nung 2008, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Sa lahat ng mga bago kong kaibigan maraming salamat. Sa mga matagal ko nang kaibigan at hanggang ngayon ay kaibigan ko pa rin, maraming salamat. Sa lahat ng nagbabasa ng entries ko sa PEP, maraming salamat. Sa lahat ng nanood ng shows at pelikula ko, maraming salamat. Sa mga hindi nanood ng mga shows ko last 2008, worry not, may chance ka pa ngayong 2009. Sa lahat ng kumuha sa akin for corporate shows, naku talaga naman, maraming salamat. At sa lahat naman ng hindi kumuha sa akin, meron pa kayong chance ngayong 2009.

Of course, I thank God for paving the way for all these things to happen. Naks! Parang tumanggap ako ng award. Look back, my dear friend, and count your blessings. Thank you sa Star Cinema for the movie at nakapunta ako sa Greece. I also went to Dubai, Singapore, Sultan Kudarat, Gen San, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Batangas, at sa tindahan ni Aling Nena para mag-show.

Thank you to Euro-Asia Productions, my new family responsible for Camera Café and this new show, airing this coming January 11 on QTV, entitled U WOMEN. Every Monday-Friday at 10:05 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Thank you din naman po sa ASAP LIVE for Spooftacular. Ang dami! Thank you talaga sa lahat.

Siyempre, thank you sa PEP at kay Karen Pagsolingan for editing my entries. Thank you sa iyo for reading this entry.

Sa lahat naman ng nasaktan ko, in one way or another last 2008, sorry talaga. Sa isa kong friend na pinagdudahan ko ang sincerity, sorry talaga at nawala ako sa sarili. Sana naman bigyan mo ako ng chance. Sa lahat naman ng tao na hindi ko na masyadong nakakasama, again, meron tayong chance ngayong 2009, kaya tawag na.

Sa lahat ng mga parties na napuntahan ko last holiday season, nag-enjoy naman talaga ako nang bonggang-bongga. Pero meron ding mga events and gatherings na hindi ko makakalimutan last holiday season, and I’m thankful I was given the opportunity to take part in them.

One is the street caroling for street children. Opo. Together with my friends in our community, bonggang bonggang tumayo nang walang hiya at imbot sa labas ng Franciscan Convent, situated on Visayas Avenue. Yun na!

The children came in batches. We just started singing and giving candies and goodies to the kids, passersby, and even the motorists. I’m sure akala nung mga dumadaan, may bagong gimmick kami. Others thought there was a shoot going on. I literally would stop people from walking and hand them candies, with a Merry Christmas greeting.

I got all kinds of reactions. Merong nagulat, merong nagtaka, merong delayed ang reaction, meron natakot, at meron din namang nahampas ako dahil sa tuwa nung nakilala ako. Para naman sa ongoing street caroling, meron naman talagang humihinto at nakikinig. Meron din namang napapatunganga sa pagtataka. But all of them left with a smile on their faces.

The street children were in awe because we were the ones singing for them and giving them stuff, without strings attached yun. Sabi nga nung isang bata sa akin, “Sino po ang dala niyong opisyal? Padala ba kayo ni mayor?” Tsk. Tsk…The kids are already aware of our country’s political system.

“Wala kaming dalang politician. Wala lang. Gusto lang namin kayo kantahan.”

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The other memorable event was our visit to the cancer-stricken children in Philippine Medical Children’s Hospital. Kung masama ang pakiramdam mo ngayon at di ka makagalaw, kung malungkot ka dahil wala kang love life, and you feel that life is a burden, go check out these kids, na parang nail ingrown lang ang sakit nila with the warm welcome they gave us. I pray for these kids. I especially pray for the parents who doubly suffer for their child and couldn’t do anything about his/her condition. Nakakaloka!

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Almost everyday, people would come to the house to eat, drink, party…But there was one party that I particularly made sure I was home. The sing-along party of the household members, including the drivers and their families, was a revelation. It was a night really intended for them. They were all busy cooking and preparing the whole day for their party. Masaya lang. I can’t explain my feeling, but I know that they deserve to have their own Christmas party. These are the people who took care of me, my son, my family, my home…they are my business partners. Sabi ko nga kung ako ang gagawa ng trabaho nila, na dapat sana ako naman talaga ang gumagawa, mas malaki ang mawawala sa akin.

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It’s time to take out all the Christmas decors. It’s time to pack away all the Christmas lights. I hope though that the spirit of Christmas remains with us for the whole year. I just love Christmas! I love 2008!

New Year, new 2009, new beginnings, new escapades, new adventures, and new things to be thankful for. For the things that you weren’t able to accomplish last 2008, well, you still have a chance this year.

2009 is my year, it’s our year. Bakit? Paano ko nalaman? Wala lang. Ganun talaga. Claim it and you will have it. This is your chance. Ang saya! May chance pa tayong lahat ngayong 2009!