Salamat kay Mr. Keon Ysita Salamanca at sa kanyang blog na “Spotlight” sa Shuterfly, we were able to grab some photos and the link of his blog above. Feel free to visit his blog, very nicely-presented and edited. Talbog ang blog kong SSSIP! Haha! Anyway, very supportive naman si Mr. Salamanca sa writer na ito and he said that I am most welcome sa blog niya. The more, the merrier! Enjoy reading his blog, lalo na sa article niya on “Nasaan Ka, Elisa”, a new teleserye on channel 2.
“Maka-kaway man lang ako sa Kanya, okey na (Just to be able to wave at Him, will be okey).”
That’s what I said on my FB status on a Sunday afternoon. Thinking that I could no longer see the Black Nazarene that day. It’s been five years that I haven’t seen the Black Nazarene on his feast day. And that Sunday afternoon, could have been the sixth.
Maybe HE heard me.
“Robert, the Black Nazarene will be arriving at the entrance of his home in Quiapo church, maybe around 10 to 11 pm tonight”, suddenly, a chat message blopped on the screen of my fb wall.
“I am going there tonight. Come with me. I just read your status now at FB.”
The chat message came from Jay-en, a very special fb friend. He was my crush.
“I will be arriving there around 9 p.m. Let’s meet each other at Jollibee Arlegui St. branch. Then, let’s wait for the Black Nazarene.”
And I answered: Yes. Yes. Yes!
I may have forgotten, it’s not just when the Black Nazarene leaves his home-church for his yearly feast parade that people flock him. Some devotees had told me in the past that it was much better to wait for the Black Nazarene when he arrived from a long journey of walking. That’s the time you could really feel “His presence.”
And it was the perfect time.
I knew, it’s not just the excitement of meeting Jay-en (my crush) for the first time that mattered the most. But seeing an “old friend” that I haven’t seen for five long years, thrilled me to the max. That day, I knew He will be happy to see me again. He may be tired from a long hard day’s walk (coz it was His feast), but deep inside me, I knew He will come near to me and acknowledge me- coz we’ve been friends for a long, long time. Me and the Black Nazarene.
I kept on thinking that afternoon, maybe, just maybe, Jay-en was just an instrument. The Black Nazarene needed an accomplice so He could see me back again. Through Jay-en.
And the evening came.
Coz the road going to Quiapo was blocked by the authorities due to many pilgrims who went there, the walk from Morayta St. to Quiapo was an easy task to bear. No sweat. I could even walk for miles when I used to get high on drugs in the past. I remembered, I walked from Marcos Hiway, Antipolo to Quiapo more than 7 years ago when there was no longer any hope in my life. As I arrived and entered the Quiapo church after a long walk, all my weariness and tiredness disappeared when I saw “Him”- the Black Nazarene. I heard a soft whisper that night, which was more than seven years ago, inside the Quiapo church: “I am taking your load. You are my friend.”
I just couldn’t discern that evening if I was simply high on drugs (shabu) and I was simply hallucinating, or the voice I heard was really true.
It was supernatural. A voice sounding like it was coming from the deep recesses of an empty metal drum, or an empty well, or locked bathroom noise- where the sound seemed to be echoing, transcending not just within your very ears, but your very soul.
And the voice added:”Ang kulit-kulit mo kasi! (You are so redandant guy!).Pero hindi kita iiwan, huwag ka mag-alala! (But nevertheless, I won’t leave you, don’t worry!)”
And a cold wind blew on my face.
That was the time I looked-around the church, there was no one near me. There was no wind coming-in from the busy street outside.
And I cried…. When I went-out the church, I felt so light. The effects of the “shabu” disppeared. I didn’t know why.
That was more than seven years ago. After that night, I was no more a “drug addict”. After that night, I was surprised I could just use “drugs” on “accidental” basis only. The addiction was gone.
I became more of an avid “follower” of the Black Nazarene after that. Then, I missed him for five years. I ignored his feasts. I always had an excuse, an alibi.
Not until that Sunday afternoon- January 9, 2011. He badly needed to see me. He badly wanted me to be there. he badly choreographed the events so that I could be there upon His arrival at the Quiapo church.
Morning of January 9,2011, I first went to Sanctuarium funeral homes to be with the relatives of Miss Mila Parawan (RIP) and went with them until she was laid to rest at the North Cemetery. After a brief snack with them at Sampaloc (after the internment), I decided to open my Facebook when I saw an internet shop in Welcome Rotonda. That’s the time I posted my fb status: “Makawayan ko lang Siya, okey na.”
And Jay-en read it. He chatted me at once on FB.
And now, here was Jay-en beside me. A handsome young man in his mid-twenties. So gentle, so warm, so reassuring. He never left me that evening until the Black Nazarene arrived.
“Are you happy?”, Jay-en asked me.
“Yes, I am”, I answered him.”
“He’ll be a lot happier when He sees you.”
And that was it. My tears flowed. I was crying. The Black Nazarene hasn’t arrived yet, but I could almost feel “His Presence”. It was as if I was feeling Him, getting nearer and nearer to me. The emotions were tremendous. So powerful. So real. And I kept on crying, but trying to hold back my tears.
I held Jay-en’s hand, never letting it go. I held Jay-en’s arm, trying to feel him more. I touched Jay-en’s shoulder, not wanting anybody else to grab him away from me.
And there were so many people outside the entrance of Quiapo church. All waiting for the arrival of the Black Nazarene. As I gazed upon their faces, I saw the real images of my Catholic Faith. I saw it in their eyes, when they look up high above the facade of Quiapo church’s video screen wall. I saw it in their faces, as they anticipated the arrival of a “tired King”, I saw it in their emotions of hope, love and joy. The spirit had, indeed, never left us. “HE” was always there.
I knew Jay-en was there coz he was also having some problems with his health and his lover of 8 years. But he was discreet enough not to reveal anything about it. I simply kept silent. We are simply friends.
And me? I was there because I was “invited”. I was invited by the Senor Nazareno himself. And he “used” Jay-en so I would have no hesistancies, whatsoever, to be there with HIM upon His arrival.
And he arrived. Firecrackers appeared in the skies welcoming Him. People panicked. The excitement overflowed. The spirit went so HIGH.
He stopped in full view of me. I could imagine Him looking at me and smiling. He paused to where I stood for almost five minutes. He did let me feel: “Yes, Robert, I invited you.” Then, he moved on.
He looked tired and needed a home to rest inside the safe havens of the Quiapo church.
I may not be always invited in press conferences of movie productions and other showbiz-related works, it’s ok.
I may always be an “outsider” in showbiz, just like what others say, it’s ok.
And I may have been accused forever in different bad “labels” and notorious “tags”, it’s still ok.
But the mere fact that I was there that night near outside the entrance of Quiapo church. It was enough.
Coz, it was a little miracle. He heard me. And HE found a way to grant my wish:
And saw HIM back again.
The power of love is real. With me and the Black Nazarene.
Grabe, naiyak ako sa video na ginawa ng isang relative ni Miss Divina Valencia-Quesada na si Miss Tes Quesada sa Facebook. Sana, mai-share ko dito sa blog ko, hindi ko kasi makuha yung video na yun at mai-post dito sa blog na ito…. Masaya naman ang kanta dun sa video (“Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko), upbeat naman ang melody, nakangiti naman sina Ate Divina Valencia-Quesada at Kuya Delfin Quesada sa mga larawan, pero hayun, pumatak pa rin ang mga luha ko…
Hindi ko kasi malimutan ‘yung araw na nakapiling ko maghapon sina Ate Be (tawag ko kay Miss Divina Valencia) at Kuya Delfin sa kanilang tahanan na malapit sa may U.P. Balara. Katatapos lang nu’n ng bagyong Ondoy na kung saan ay naging biktima ng malakihang baha ang aking pamilya. Directly hit kasi kami nung disaster na yun since at that time, doon pa ako nakatira sa may Kingsville Subdivision sa may Marcos Hiway. Nabalitaan yata yun ni Ate Be at pinapunta niya ako sa kanilang tahanan to have lunch with her and his hubby, si Kuya Delfin.
It was such a pleasant day. Kakauwi lang nu’n ni Ate Be sa Pilipinas buhat sa ilang taong pamamalagi sa Estados Unidos. Pagkakita ko kay Ate Be muli sa araw na yun after so many years, namangha pa rin ako sa kanyang angking kagandahan. She looked so fresh, every inch an actress- so beautiful. Kasi naman, ang kagandahan ni Ate Be ay hindi panlabas lang o put-on. Ang tunay na kagandahan niya ay nasa loob niya. Nasa puso niya.
Si Ate Be, o si Miss Divina Valencia para sa madla, ay isa sa pinaka-totoong tao na nakilala ko sa showbiz. Hindi siya nakakalimot sa sinumang tao na makakilala niya, lalo pa’t ito ay kaparte ng industriya. Isa siyang tunay na kaibigan.
Nakilala ko si Ate Be nung sinusulat ko palagi noon ang anak niyang si Reb Belleza, noong ito ay contract star pa ng Seiko Films at naging Regal Baby din. Kinuha akong P.R.O. ni Ate Be para sa anak niya. Until she migrated again to the States at hindi na kami nagkita pa.
Kaya napaka-importante ng araw na yun. Hayun si Ate Be, kapiling kong muli, and at that time, kasama ang kanyang hubby for many years now na si Kuya Delfin. Masaya ang aming muling pagkikita. Very positive kasi ang outlook sa buhay ni Ate Be, at matatangay ka sa kanyang strong character and gentle ways.
Imagine, nag-treat na nga sila ng lunch sa akin ay nagbigay pa si Ate Be ng mga goods, mga damit na bago pa at imported na galing sa U.S. at padala sa kanya ng mga anak niya roon, kaso mo, puro panlalaki ang mga damit. Dahil sobra na si Reb sa mga damit at hindi na magkakasya sa kanya ang mga iyon, yung mga damit na yun ay ibinigay sa akin ni Ate Be dahil alam niyang nasalanta ako ng Ondoy that time. Wala na akong kadamit-damit noon. At yung mga damit na ibinigay sa akin ni Ate Be, for two years now, yun palagi ang mga suot ko. Araw-araw.
Super nakaka-touched, di ba? Ganyan ka-sincere si Ate Be at ang asawa niyang si Kuya Delfin. Yung gesture nila to support and help me, parang nakikita ko tuloy sa kanila ang aking mga minamahal na mga magulang. Very motherly si Ate be at very fatherly naman si Kuya Delfin. Damang-dama ko yun.
Nandyan din yung isinama din nila akong mag-asawa sa isang kasalan sa probinsya na relatives ni Ate Be. Super-enjoy din ako doon. Ang sarap pala kasama nina Ate Be at Kuya Delfin.
At ngayon, napanood ko yung video sa itaas. 18th (eighteenth) anniversary na pala nina Ate Be
at Kuya Delfin as husband and wife. Wow, ang tagal na rin nun! Dito yata nagkakatotoo ang kasabihang-“What God has put together, let no man put asunder”. Through thick and thin, through ups and downs- never silang naghiwalay ni Kuya Delfin.
At dito na muli tutulo ang luha ko.
Kasi, ganun din ang mga magulang ko na araw-araw kong kasama ngayon sa buhay ko. Nakikita ko ang tunay na pagmamahalan sa kanilang dalawa. At ngayon, kina Ate Be at Kuya Delfin.
And I count my blessings.
Napakasuwerte ko dahil nagkaroon ako ng mga kaibigang tulad nina Ate Be at Kuya Delfin, at lalong masuwerte pa rin dahil nagkaroon din ako ng mga magulang na tulad ng mommy at daddy ko.
21 artists, 5 recording days, one song, one Country. WOW PHILIPPINES Byahe Tayo! The Bonamine Travel Advocacy Campaign. Year 2004.
Nasa itaas ang link ng music video na “Tara Na, Biyahe Tayo” na nasa YouTube. Ang music video na iyan ay ginawa noon pang year 2004 at sumikat din nung mga taon na yun. Ipinapalabas yung nasabing MTV na yun sa mga sinehan, sa tuwing matatapos ang isang pelikula. Ar pagdating at paglipas ng mga taon, tila nalimutan na…
Pero dahil nagandahan ang writer na ito sa MTV na yun na ginawa ng Dept. Of Tourism at that time, to further promote tourism in the Philippines, kinalkal ko ito sa Youtube at maka-ilang beses kong pinost sa aking Facebook. Siguro, dahil sa kapo-post ko, muling napansin ng D.O.T. ang music video na ito na masasabi kong isang “modern-day-classic”. Kaya hayan, its already
confirmed na magkakaroon ng remake ang video na ito. More than 200 hundred artists and musicians will participate in the remake of the said MTV. Mas bongga, mas maraming singers at musicians na kakanta, mas malawak ang scope ng mga travel sceneries and all! Kaya lahat ay excited nang mapanood ang bagong revival ng MTV ng “Tara Na, Biyahe Tayo”.
Nagkaroon pa nga ng kaunting intriga sa MTV dahil salitang “coloquial” daw ang “Tara Na”. Hindi raw ito tunay na salitang Pinoy at wala sa diksyunaryo. Pero sa makabagong panahon, mas naaakma ang salitang “Tara Na” keysa sa “Halina o Halika Na”. Mas moderno, mas may dating, mas masaraop pakinggan ang salitang Tara Na.
Kaya hayan, malapit nang matunghayan ang remake ng music video na ito sa darating na buwan ng Abril. Abangan!
Salamat kina Mr. Garimon Escandor Roferos at Mr. Butz Fuentes sa pag-tag nila kay Fanny TF Serrano sa Facebook wall nito, at hayan, na-grab namin ng di-oras ang mga eksklusibong larawan ng Golden Screen Awards nominee for Best Actor na walang iba kundi si Fanny TF Serrano.
“Naku, Robert, super-enjoy ako sa trip ko na ito dahil nawala ang stress ko!, sey pa ni TF sa writer na ito nang tawagan niya kami sa cellphone. “Ang babait ng mga friends ko dito. Kain dito, dinner doon, pasyal kung saan-saan. At naku, nag-splurge pa ako dahil nag-shopping pa ako sa Armani store dito! Well, advice kasi ng doctor ko to relaks muna ang beauty ko, di ba? Kasi tunay namang tumaas ang blood sugar level ko at hypertension. Kailangan daw muna akong magbakasyon. Kaya hayan…”
Pero babalik at babalik si TF before April 2 para dumalo sa Golden Screen Awards ng Enpress na gaganapin sa Teatrino, Greenhills. Nate-tense na nga si TF to the max. Kakapanalo lang niya sa Gawad Tanghal Awards bilang Best Actor (ka-share niya sa award si Coco Martin) at ngayon, kinakabahan pa rin siya dahil mabigat daw na kalaban si Coco Martin.
“I am in a new phase of my life now, Robert!”, tanging nasabi na lang ni TF. “I am so inspired anew dahil may Best Actor trophy na ako. Lagi lang akong nano-nominate dati at now lang ako nanalo! Sana masundan pa!”
Anyway, look na lang tayo sa mga bonggang pictures ni TF sa Dubai. Very classy lifestyle, ha? And very trendy-socialite gay friends ang mga kasama niya. Wa na kami sey!