Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Real Nora Aunor
By Bibsy Carballo As Published In Star Studio Magazine July, 2007 Issue

There is no Filipino, young or old, who has not heard of Nora Aunor. Nora, or more fondly Ate Guy, broke the prevailing idol stereotyoe of the mestiza beauties with family pedigrees. The 4’l0" dark-skinned Nora was someone the masses could identify with. To this day, none have been able to match the mass hysteria and adulation she invoked.

Entertainment figure Boy Abunda confesses in his column. There is not one actor in history that would make me faint except for Nora Aunor. I tremble. I get tongue-tied. I cower. Such is the power of the Superstar. Director Lupita Aquino Kashiwahara, who was Nora’s ninang in her marriage to Christopher de Leon, elaborates, If Guy were to sit immobile in a chair, as in a scene, she would exude the kind of emotions dictated by the moment and demanded by the director. When she sings, she moves into a different realm and transports us to another dimension. Charisma? It’s much more than that. It’s like the song of a sirena that beckons to untold promises.

Fast forward to 2007. The Superstar is 54 years old and has been living in the USA for almost five years. She has done some singing stints here and there, shot a digital movie, until she got embroiled in a drug case that brought her again to the forefront of media attention. Currently serving a sentence of community work, she faces yet another more controversial issue with even wider repercussions.

T-Bird At Ako

Enterprising reporter Jojo Gabinete chanced upon an entry in the Marriage Inquiry System of Clark County, Las Vegas, where a Nora Villamayor (Nora’s real name) and a Richard James Merck were married July 7, 1998, and subsequently a Nora Villamayor and a Norie Sayo on May 22, 2000, which he quickly wrote about in his tabloid column. It was the latter, a same-sex marriage, that caught attention.

Many of us in the entertainment sector have met Norie through her decades- long association with Guy as her musical director and confidante. If there was any special relationship between them, we didn’t know and didn’t really care. It was their own business, after all. None was not the first female to be linked with the Superstar through the years. The only difference was that unlike all her other relationships, real or imagined, this time a legal document was involved giving credence to the rumor.

Still, apart from those in the world outside of the entertainment sector who were incredulous and shocked, most of those in movies, television, and music were hardly jarred by the news.

An avowed Noranian who dubbed Guy as the One And Only Superstar entertainment columnist Ronald. Constantino simply shrugs his shoulders saying, So what else in new?" Another columnist Billy Balbastro who has known Guy from her earliest days simply says "She is unpredictable. She can do anything like marry someone of the same sex.

The irrepressible Lolit Solis, manager of Christopher de Leon, who until these discoveries was the only husband on record of Guy, laughs It’s no big deal. Let’s put it this way. If Ate Vi (Vilma Santos) got married to a girl, it would be shocking but with Nora it is nothing extraordinary.

German Moreno, who has been hounded by reporters and the broadcast media since the news came out states simply, Ewan kung totoo, pero alam mo naman, this was in Vegas where it’s so easy to get married and divorced in one day. Posibleng katuwaan lang yan, if ever.

Lupita who is one of Guy’s favorite directors (Superstar on TV and the acclaimed Minsa’y Isang Gamu-Gamo) agrees conclusively, I was not surprised by her romantic entanglement with Norie Sayo. But I have my doubts that they went through the serious ceremony of marriage. More likely at some katuwaan they went through some kind of a ritual. The last time I had a chat with Norie, over a year ago, she and Guy were having a business tiff. Norie was definitely in pain with the separation and I can only surmise that there was more to it. She cared for Guy a lot.

Beyond the same sex marriage

Part of this was her habitual tardiness or simply absence from her shows, shootings, or tapings. June Rufino, executive secretary (manager, confidante, lawyer) to Guy for four years from 1974-78 during possibly the most tumultuous years of her life remembers one instance when she made Mother Lily Monteverde of Regal wait for hours at her Valencia residence. The lady producer was so incensed she swore that one day the house would be hers. This, of course, came to pass.

Kitchie says that in the 22 years of Superstar where Kuya Germs was a host, Siguro for 10 years Kuya Germs did it alone. She would call and say, masakit ang ulo ko,or sometimes she would come but not sing, or sometimes wouldn’t even talk. But you learn to live with it.

But why, we wonder would anyone live with this type of behavior? A distinguished psychiatrist who had some professional dealings with a member of Guy’s immediate family explains, "The persona she projects in public is very different from that in private. There is a multiplicity of personalities. That is a character disorder. Some people like that commit suicide. In Guy’s case, it is not physical suicide, but injurious behavior to herself and to her audience. Despite all the seemingly respectful po and kawawa image she shows, she is actually bastos in her behavior. Isn’t it bastos to make people wait on the set of your movie or TV show for hours upon hours and then not appear? There is a total disregard for rules."

Ronald, however, who met the Superstar very early in her career ascertains that even then, she already had this habit of saying po to everyone. It wasn’t put-on but part of her personality.

It is therefore these multiple personalities of Guy that those close to her are given a glimpse of, and which they try to understand and forgive. Kitchie tells us, There would be times when I would hate her, but then you always go back and try to understand her. She doesn’t have two faces, she has four, five, even more. She is the perfect Gemini, adds Baby K. Jimenez, veteran entertainment writer.

Fortunately for Guy, she has been blessed with numerous talents that add to her charisma, which makes it very easy for people she has hurt to forgive her. Tirso Cruz III explains the lack of discipline which started when they were practically just entering their teens. You have to remember that we were so young then. The presence of so much pressure on her, flooded with adulation resulted in negative reactions from her. It was an act of rebellion. It’s like the tantrum of a child against so many things she was being made to do, I went through that phase myself. You feel that everyone wants a piece of you and nothing is left for you.

This rebellion has also manifested itself in all her actions, in the purported drug abuse, in the innate lying, in the habitual buying and selling of the 40 houses she lived in, in her short term relationships.

Our psychiatrist continues, "She has a personality disorder that may be traceable to her childhood, or may be a result of instant fame (some people who can’t deal with fame go into drugs or commit suicide). There is this passive-aggressive personality trait, that is manipulative at the same time. And most often, people with these personality disorders are not aware of their illness. Other people are at fault, never themselves."

La Aunor’s unpredictability

Despite the belief of many that we were part of that clique in the ‘70s and ‘80s that kept close guard over the Superstar, our only real encounter with Nora Aunor was on the set of the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines’ (ECP) opus, Himala. We were offered to line produce this film by Charo Santos, then with the ECP which produced it. It was our very first experience in line-producing and with a schedule that would take three months in the desert of Paoay, Ilocos Norte with thousands of people in the cast, a temperamental director like Ishmael Bernal, and an even more temperamental star like Nora Aunor, we were petrified to say the least.

This was already 1982. Guy was 29, had been through her most turbulent years that included legal cases with Sampaguita where she was a contract star; had already undergone a number of early teenage romances with Tirso Cruz III, Manny de Leon, and Christopher de Leon whom she had married and separated from and other romantic dalliances that are said to include President Joseph Estrada, Richard Merck, Mario O’ Hara, Bembol Roco, and John Rendez.

We were ready for the worst

Again, Guy surprised all of us by being her unpredictable self. Not only was she excellent in her performance, she was also on her best behavior. She was on the set when needed, at the time she was needed, and never once misbehaved in all those three months. The only instance shooting was affected was when she drove a vehicle, got into a minor accident, and had to be airlifted to Manila for check-up, after which she returned immediately to the set. Himala went on to become her greatest picture and many of her movies like Bilangin Ang Bituin Sa Langit, Bona, Condemned, and Bulaklak Sa City Jail have consistently been ranked as the best of Philippine cinema.

If Nora Aunor, therefore, is accepted as the country’s most important actress, shouldn’t it give her license to behave as any diva with a list of unreasonable demands? Of course, the answer is no. But in the entertainment world, a Nora Aunor with all her eccentricities is not only accepted, but admired for doing what she wants to do and to hell with all of you.

She does, however, have her many positive traits. There are people who swear by her and this includes Ronald Constantino who claims that there was not a single instance when she disappointed me in any way.

It is not true either that she does not know the meaning of love. June remembers Guy’s wedding to Boyet, which was consecrated while they were submerged in the waters of Bauang, La Union, in April 1975. She was witness to the love between Boyet and Guy.

She was with Guy during the years she was married to Boyet and remembers that final breakup. We had just come home and were standing in the middle of the hallway. Boyet comes out of the bedroom with his suitcases, sees her and says, Putang ina mo! To which she answers, Putang inamo rin! When he had gone, she takes me to the game room below and we listen to the song Love is Blind for ten hours from evening till the next day na paulit-ulit, while she was crying all the time and drinking.

She had that ability to attract love and affection from all. Man, woman, friend. Not a few came under her spell. Says Baby K. I believe both Pipo and Boyet really fell in love with bulilit (her nickname for Guy) deeply. Guy has this knack, masyadong malambing and maasikaso. She could be generous and would go to any lengths to please a partner. Extra thoughtful, selosa, very skilled in her ways to endear herself.

What to do therefore with a problem like Aunor? She with the conflicting personalities, with that seemingly endless search for real love and affection, with that continuous death wish exhibited in aberrant behavior.

Kashiwahara sums up the feelings of many who have known and loved the Superstar. I loved her talent. She is a national treasure. I disliked her lack of discipline, her un-professionalism, her weaknesses, her lifestyle, and most of all, the feeling of sayang. The tragedy of a Nora Aunor like most cosmic stars is the waste and the squander of fortune, fame, and idolization of the masses. She could have been a force for good, a continuing dream of the impoverished masa, a source of joy with her undiminished talent. And still, the tragedy need not continue. For as long as the heart beats, there is time for triumph. Guy can still make one more comeback.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Here's a video clip from Tower Productions' The Golden Voice (1970). In this scene, the soon to be Superstar was performing a rendition of Cry, Cry, No More while being haunted by Manny de Leon. This is one of those rare movies wherein musical numbers were interspersed with suspense. Director Artemio Marquez shot the movie in 10 days. I'm quite surprised that there's still an existing copy of this film. It's quite rare...

Thursday, April 19, 2007


This photo just makes me so happy. The Superstar with two of her children, Ian and Kiko. It's been three years since they saw each other. It must have been an emotional reunion for them but judging from the picture they seem to be having fun and enjoying each other's company. Ian flew back to Manila last Sunday since he has prior commitments and is taping a fanta-serye for GMA entitled Super Twins, while Kiko is staying with his Superstar Mom.

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Here's a clip of Superstar Nora Aunor singing the George Canseco classic Kung Ako'y Iiwan Mo from the movie of the same title. Director Laurice Guillen's sophomore film which was LEA Productions' in the 1980 Metro Manila Film Festival.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

SUPERSTAR... The Concert

For the first time on the East Coast, Superstar Nora Aunor together with erstwhile scrren partner Tirso Cruz III and for the first time with real life children Ian and Kiko de Leon. This is truly a how to watch. Tickets are available in most Filipino retailers in New York nad New Jersey. See you all there!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Here's a clip of Mega Star Sharon Cuneta's guesting on Superstar. Special Thanks to Ken Gonzales for the uploading the video.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


The essay below is anthologized in the book Si Nora Aunor Sa Mga Noranian (Mga Paggunita At Pagtatapat) Pages 70-73

Impluwensiya Sa Aking Kabataan
Ni Jojo Devera

Lagi akong tinutukso ng mga kaklase ko sa elementary dahil pumapasok
akong bitbit ang bag na My Blue Hawaii at si Nora ang nasa cover ng
aking notebooks. Mga sampung taong gulang, madalas akong magpantasya
na isa akong direktor at gumagawa ng pelikulang si Nora ang bida.
Ako rin ang gumaganap na Nora sa mga pelikula ko. Isang araw naisip
kong gawin ang eksena kung saan kinakanta ni Nora ang "Song of My
Life." Suot ang wig ng malaking walking doll ng aking bunsong
kapatid na babae, nag-lip synch ako sa harap ng salamin. Nakita ako
ng nanay ko pero sa halip na magalit, naaliw pa siya. Palibhasa
Noranian din, kaya pinabayaan lang ako.

Taong 1978, kainitan ng labanan ng dalawang pelikula ng
pinakamalaking artistang babae ng pelikulang Pilipino: Atsay ni Nora
Aunor at Rubia Servios ni Vilma Santos. Natatandaan kong ipinalabas
ang dalawang pelikula sa Coronet Theater sa Cubao: Rubia sa Theater
1 at Atsay sa Theater 2. Isa ako sa nakipagsiksikang mapanood ang
Atsay. Walang tigil sa pasaringan ang mga tagahanga ng magkabilang
kampo habang nakatutok ang atensiyon ko sa life-size cutout poster
ni Nora sa Atsay na nakalagay sa lobby ng sinehan ('yung may bitbit
siyang tampipi). Pagkatapos naming manood, namasyal muna kaming
magkaibigan sa COD Department Store bago nagdesisyong panoorin na
rin ang Jack en Jill of the Third Kind na lahok din ni Nora sa
filmfest. Halos hatinggabi na nang matapos kami sa panonood.
Napadaan kaming muli sa Coronet Theater at nakitang nagsasara ang
guwardiya ng sinehan. Napansin naming naiwan sa labas ang life-size
poster ni Nora. Nagkasundo kaming nakawin ang poster. Nakita kami ng
nagtitinda ng balut pero di kami pinansin. Itinago ko sa aking
kuwarto ang naturang poster. Nang gabi ng parangal, nang ideklarang
Best Performer si Nora, nakaharap ako sa poster niya habang
sinasabing, "Mama... mali ang hula nila!"

Di ko malilimutan noong 1979 nang ipalabas ang Ina Ka ng Anak Mo.
Nagpumilit akong pumasok ng sinehan para panoorin ang unang
pagsasama nina Lolita Rodriguez at Nora Aunor sa direksiyon ni Lino
Brocka, pero hindi ako pinayagan dahil for adults only. Madalas kong
napapanood sa TV ang eksenang "Hayop... hayop!" Lagi itong
pinapagaya sa mga contestants sa Take One Acting Contest ng Eat
Bulaga. Isa kina Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon, at Richie D'Horsie ang
gumaganap na Lolita; ang mga contestants naman ang gumagaya kay
Nora. Ito lamang ang tanging paraan para makita ko ang talino ng
Superstar sa pagganap. Kahit na madalas nabababoy ito ng mga
contestants, dito ko lang ito napapanood. Hanggang sa ipalabas ang
pelikula sa isang second-run theater sa Pasig. Doon ko ito unang
napanood nang buo, ka-double pa ang Modelong Tanso nina Charito
Solis at Vilma Santos. Hindi na naalis sa aking isip ang
eksenang 'yon. Nasabi ko sa sarili: "Putang ina! Ang galing talaga
ni Nora."

Sa pagpasok sa high school, lalong umigting ang aking paghanga kay
Nora. Madalas akong hindi pumapasok sa eskuwela para manood ng
kanyang mga pelikula. Marami kasing sinehan na malapit sa
eskuwelahan ko sa Pasig. Doon ko pinanood ang Nakaw na Pag-ibig at
Kastilyong Buhangin. Ilang beses kong pinanood sa Cubao ang Totoo ba
ang Tsismis? Isang araw, tumanggap ng sulat ang aking mga magulang
mula sa aming guidance counselor: isang linggo na akong hindi
pumapasok sa eskuwela. Pinagsabihan ako ng nanay ko. Pero ang tatay
ko ang talagang nagpupuyos sa galit. Ginulpi niya ako dahil sa
pagkagusto ko kay Nora at dahil sa aking kabaklaan. Mahirap talaga
siguro para sa isang ama na tanggapin na ganoon ang panganay na anak
na lalaki. Sa sobrang sama ng loob lumayas ako. Walang kaalam-alam
ang aking mga magulang; buong akala nila kaya ako may dala-dalang
maliit na maleta ay dahil nakalagay doon ang costume na gagamitin ko
sa stage play namin sa eskuwelahan. Noong araw na iyon, inihatid ako
ng nanay ko sa eskuwela at alam kong nakita niyang pumasok ako sa
gate ng school, pero ang hindi niya alam umakyat ako sa pader para
makalabas sa kabilang bahagi ng gusali. Tulad ng nakagawian ko nang
gawin, muli akong nagpunta sa Cubao, baon ang tatlumpung piso, at
nanood ng Ibalik ang Swerti na palabas noon sa Diamond Theater.
Habang lunod sa kaligayahan dahil pinapanood ang idolo, may biglang
sumigaw ng "Nandiyan si Nora! Nandiyan si Nora!" Nagmistulang may
sunog sa sinehan. Dali-daling naglabasan ang mga tao para kahit
saglit ay masilayan si Nora. Sa lobby, natanaw kong kumakaway si
Nora. Sigawan kami ng "I Love You, Nora!" At parang alon, tinangay
siya ng mga taong nagdagsaan. Kinabukasan, lumipad si Nora patungong
Cannes, France, para dumalo sa 1981 Cannes Film Festival kung saan
tampok ang Bona sa Director's Fortnight.

Pagkatapos ng kaguluhan, bitbit ang maleta, pabalik na ako sa
sinehan para ituloy ang panonood nang may narinig akong
nagtatanong: "Saan ka pupunta?" Paglingon ko, may isang taong
mistulang anghel sa paningin ko. Siya si Orly, tagahanga rin ni
Nora. Ikinuwento ko sa kanya ang paglalayas ko. Inalok niya akong
tumuloy sa kanilang bahay sa Barrio Mandaragat, Tondo. Alam ko ang
lugar na 'yon dahil doon kinunan ang Bona. Tulad ng ipinakita sa
pelikula, pinalilibutan ng maitim na estero ang kanilang lugar.
Makikitid ang daan at iilan ang poste ng ilaw. Malubak ang mga
kalye, maputik. Pagpasok sa barong-barong ni Orly, una kong napansin
ang posters at magazine covers ni Nora na nakapaskil sa mga dingding
at kisame. Kumpleto rin siya ng Superstar komiks. Iisa lang ang
bombilya sa bahay at masakit sa mata pero binasa ko pa rin ang mga
komiks kahit nabasa ko na ang iba. Binigyan ako ni Orly ng banig,
kumot, at unan na hindi bulak ang laman kundi buhangin. Hindi ako
nakatulog nang maayos dahil napakaraming lamok sa kanila.
Pinagpiyestahan ako ng mga ito. Kinaumagahan, dinala niya ako sa
isang karinderya at doon kami kumain. Umaalingasaw ang estero sa
likod ng kainan. Pinilit kong kumain kahit halos masuka ako sa amoy.
Pagkatapos, isinama niya ako sa kanyang trabaho; nagtitinda siya ng
mga diyaryo at magasin sa sidewalk sa EDSA. Nakabilad sa init,
tumulong ako sa pag-ayos ng mga paninda. Inilagay namin sa harap ang
mga magazines na si Nora ang nasa cover para agad mabili. Doon ko
nabasa 'yung article ni Roger Ebert tungkol sa Bona na lumabas sa
Jingle Extra Hot. Halos isang linggo rin akong tumigil kina Orly
bago nagdesisyong umuwi na sa mga magulang. Nauunawaan naman ni
Orly. Hinatid niya ako pabalik sa Cubao. Naglalakad-lakad ako sa
Araneta Center nang businahan ng kotse. Naroon ang aking mga
magulang na hindi pala humihinto sa kahahanap sa akin. Niyakap nila
ako nang mahigpit at sinabihang huwag nang uulitin ang ginawa ko
dahil mamamatay sila sa nerbiyos. Humingi ng tawad ang aking ama.
Wala na sa isip ko ang nangyari. Ang mahalaga magkakasama na kaming muli.

Friday, February 02, 2007


No doubt, Nora Aunor is still the Philippines One And Anly Superstar. To this day, her phenomena is still unmatched. Movie stars have come and gone, but Nora Aunor's legacy will forever be etched in the memory of every Filipino. The films she has given the moviegoing public is this artist's gift to Philippine Cinema. Elsa, Bona, Milagros Cruz, Rosario, Esther Postigo, Corazon de la Cruz, Nelia de Leon, Babette, Annie Batungbakal, Beatrice Alcala and Angela Aguilar are only some of the most memorable screen portrayals La Aunor has essayed on the silver screen. Guy and Pip, local cinema's most popular love team was immortalized in Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr.'s Pepot Artista. While Emmanuel de la Cruz' feature film debut Sarong Banggi, her name was mentioned as being the lead female character's favorite actress. There was also a scene from Mario Cornejo's Big Time where the Superstar and her children were discussed during a lengthy conversation between the two male leads. With a career almost spanning four decades, Nora Aunor has touched and continues to inspire the lives of the Filipino masses.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Superstar Nora Aunor made TV Drama a household name in the mid 70's when she starred in the weekly drama anthology Ang Makulay Na Daigdig Ni Nora which served as a training ground in honing her acting prowess. In the 80's, the Superstar enthralled us once again with with La Aunor. In the early 90's, she top billed yet another weekly drama anthology, STAR Drama Presents NORA. For an entire season, the Superstar played various roles opposite some of the seasoned performers in Philippine television. In what's probably the show's best episodes Dagok, written by Gina Marissa Tagasa, La Aunor reunites with estranged husband Christopher de Leon where they play Purita and Ernesto, a mentally challenged couple who are both being haunted by a dark past. They meet in a local carinderia and soon after finds solace in each other. The Superstar's brilliance is showcased in a couple of highly dramatic scenes while de Leon matches her fiery performance with much intensity and intelligence. Nora and Christopher may not have the onscreen chemistry he has with erstwhile rival Vilma Santos but what these two have is magic. Their artistic bond is unparalleled. I remember Ate Guy saying Takot si Papa Boyet sa akin... then I asked why and she responded coyly with Akala kasi lagi kong lalamunin sa eksena, to which I said Kasi ho, masyado kayong magaling kaya minsan nago-overacting siya. She then said Oo nga!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


The recent VCD release of Superstar Nora Aunor's acclaimed entry to the 1978 Metro Manila Film Festival Atsay was a huge disappointment. The original theatrical release runs at 2 hours and 31 minutes while the VCD was just a little over two hours. I was surprised to find out that Solar Entertainment edited the film therefore affecting it's narrative. Some very important key scenes are nowhere to be found. It was exciting news for Noranians everywhere when this Eddie Garcia directed film classic is finally released on video. The transfer is less than impressive as well. It doesn't give justice to Romeo Vitug's excellent cinematography. The colors are mostly faded and washed out. This proves the poor state of film preservation in the Philippines. I'm just thankful that I have the complete version of Atsay on VHS so I can savor the Superstar's superlative performance in this film where she was honored with the Best Performer Award.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Last Saturday, I went to the surprise birthday party for one of my closest friends Vincent Nebrida at actress Dindi Gallardo's apartment in Manhattan. At the aforementioned occassion, I had the pleasure of talking with Gil Jose Quito, one of the writers of my most favorite film 'Merika. I asked him how he and co-writer Clodualdo Doy del Mundo, Jr. came up with the screenplay for the movie. He told me that Gil Portes wanted to make a movie to be shot in the United States which will star Nora Aunor. In a couple of weeks time the two writers came up with a sequence treatment which the director approved right away. The trouble was that Ate Guy had to fly here earlier than scheduled. She has prior commitments in Manila at the time. A week before the Superstar arrives, Gil and Doy locked themselves in a motel room in New Jersey for ten days so they could finish the screenplay. Gil said that it was easy for him to write the character of Milagros Cruz because he had Ate Guy in mind, that he could actually hear her singing in his head. Immediately after, they gave the first draft of the script for 'Merika which Gil Portes loved so much. I asked if he visited the set often, only a couple of times he said. Since his co-writer went back home to the Philippines, Gil was the one who added the last scene where Milagros Cruz was on top of the Empire State Building. I told him it's one of my two most favorite scenes in the entire film. The other one is where Mila was reading her friend Cora's letter afterwhich, Ate Guy slowly tilts her head up as tears slowly well from eyes. Gil mentioned that Ate Guy practically directed herself in the movie. So Gil Portes didn't give her any instructions on how she should act in each scene in the film, I asked. He said pinabayaan lang siya ni Gil (Portes). 'Merika was great for the simple reason that director had a briliiant script to work with. Apparently, Gil Portes shot the movie using the first draft of the screenplay. Gil said that he met Ate Guy twice during the shoot and she was extremely warm and accomodating.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Dearest Ate Guy,

I would just like to thank you for all the great films and music you've shared. All of which still continue to give me immense joy. I've long been relieving what others call your glory days. The important films you've made during the 70's and the 80's. I wallow in the pleasure of watching these classics over and over again, and I do consider myself to be very lucky to have most of those important films on video. I still get excited whenever I watch Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos and marvel at your genius in Himala and Bona. But there's this certain connection between me and your films which has played a huge part in my life when I was growing up. As a young boy, I would ditch school, go to the theaters and spend the whole afternoon watching your movies. The images on the silver screen resonates with me and to my surprise, after all these years it still does.

I consider myself to be among the fortunate few who was given the chance to spend time with you. How can I forget the Power Of Two Concert Series with Kuh Ledesma three years ago? I even flew to San Francisco to witness this event first hand. You weren't feeling well the very first time we've met but you graciously accommodated all of us. You even allowed us to accompany you during the rehearsals for the show. And sitting next to you while having dinner, I was starstruck! Along with other Noranians I followed you to San Diego, then here in the East Coast. The sleepless nights I spent driving back and forth to Atlantic City just to be near you. I never felt exhausted even once! You've always been a constant source of strength. But I guess like any other, I'm just human and when we were in Virginia Beach I got sick and you were there inside our hotel room, nursing me to health. You never left my side until I fell asleep. I was genuinely touched by your thoughtfulness, it made me cry... I cannot believe that the one person I admired my entire life was sitting next to me, taking good care of me. How can I forget all those memories? It's one of those special moments I'll cherish and forever be greatful for.

I know things haven't been easy for you this past year, what with the drug charges and all, but like any other problem that came your way, you were still able to rise above it all. You have proven not just to us your followers, but to your detractors as well that you can pull yourself together and still be triumphant at the end. On this New Year's day, I wish you good health, happiness and inner peace. May the Lord Almighty continue to shower you with all His love and Abundant Blessings! Things may not always come your way like they used to but always remember that no matter what, I'll be here to love you unconditionally and continue to support your future endeavors. As I listen to Superstar, your latest compilation CD I was reminded of how much I loved one particular song which the late great composer George Canseco wrote espcially for you, I was suddenly reminded of all the journeys in life that I took with you, (well, you weren't physically there but you know what I mean). I always listen to this song with much fondness.


Sung By: Nora Aunor

Words And Music By: George Canseco

Arranged By: Amado Trivino

Minsan ang ngiti,

Sa wari'y kay tamis

Di mo alam na sa likod pala,

May nakatagong hinagpis.

Dangan ay dapat kang humalakhak,

Sa ngalan ng pakikisama

Huwag kang pahuhuling, umiiyak

Kung di mo nais mag-isa.

Kapag ang tagumpay,

Ay nasa iyong kamay

Marami ang sa iyo'y nagmamahal

Mailap ang pagkalumbay

Subalit ang talunan sa daigdig,

Walang kasing kaawa-awa,

Iniiwasang parang may sakit

Na nakahahawang pagluha.Ang buhay nga naman,

Walang iniwan sa dalawang maskara ng sining

Isang humahalkhak at isang lumuluha,

Ikaw, ano ang maskarang naitakda sa iyo?

Luha o halakhak?Dangan ay dapat kang humalakhak,

Sa ngalan ng pakikisama

Huwag kang pahuhuling umiiyak

Kung di mo nais mag-isa.

Kapag ang tagumpay,

Ay nasa iyong kamay

Marami ang sa iyo'y nagmamahal

Mailap ang pagkalumbay

Subalit ang talunan sa daigdig,

Walang kasing kaawa-awa,

iniiwasang parang may sakit

Na nakahahawang pagluha,

Nag-iisang lumuluha,

Isang kaibigan may wala.

A Very Happy New Year!

With Much Love And Admiration,