Saturday, March 17, 2007

Untold Pinoy Story No. 8

Her Mother’s Joy

Her mother has always been proud of her. Mighty proud. And rightly so.

In the spring of 1991, Julia Roberts graced the cover of People Magazine’s special issue featuring its annual list of The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. Together with Julia Roberts in this ultimate list of the most beautiful people were Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Madonna, Mel Gibson, Whitney Houston, Michelle Pfeiffer, Isabella Rossellini, supermodels Claudia Schiffer & Naomi Campbell and oops…a Filipina?

Yes, People Magazine’s 1991 list of The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World included a true-blooded Filipina who was born, raised and educated in the Philippines.

Unlike most beautiful Filipinas who were the products of mixed marriages and who have therefore acquired foreign physical features, this Filipina was born to a Filipina mother and a Filipino father. It is no wonder that she does not typify a beautiful woman by any standard: She is short, standing only 5’2”. She has a huge and deep acne scar on her forehead. She has that distinct Asian nose. She uses only Avon cosmetics (gasp!) and applies makeup by herself. During her pre-Inno Sotto days, her clothes were not made by known couturiers: They were lovingly sewn at home by her mother who is a dressmaker. She does not even have the right genes to inherit beauty from: Her mother was plain, even stern-looking. Her father was a dark-skinned guy with the tough facial features of a hardened military man.

Although both the first names of her mother and father means happy in two different languages, their union was not as joyous. Her mother and father were reportedly never married, making her and her only brother illegitimate children. In the mistress hierarchy, her mother was not even her father’s second woman. Her father had reportedly a first mistress who ranked above her mother. It was being talked about that she and her brother only belong to their father’s third family. And yes, the gay club performer who once appeared on national television was indeed her half-brother. She couldn’t therefore be faulted for not talking about her father. In contrast, too much has been known about her mother. Her mother was always visible, too visible for comfort.

Her mother gave her the name Carmen and raised her in a province north of Manila. However, when it was time for her to go to school, her overprotective mother brought her and her brother to Manila to give them the best education. Carmen studied in Preciosa Soliven’s Operation Brotherhood Montessori in Greenhills where she emerged as the school’s valedictorian. However, Carmen’s academic rival protested the school’s decision to award Carmen the school’s highest honors, claiming that she had better grades than Carmen. Carmen’s rival even revealed that the school’s owner, Mrs. Soliven, was only fond of Carmen because she always performed in school programs which gave Carmen an edge in extra-curricular activities. But academically, Carmen reportedly did not really rise above her rival. But it was never proven.

Lured into show business, Carmen became part of German Moreno’s inane daily afternoon TV show, That’s Entertainment, where she got paired with comedian and now Quezon City Vice Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista. (Some say that Vice Mayor Bautista was so enamored with Carmen that he later refused to marry his partner despite their having a child.) As one of the countless stars of Kuya Germ’s That’s Entertainment, Carmen’s talent was overshadowed by the ridiculous mass appeal of the triumvirate of Sheryl Cruz, Manilyn Reynes and Tina Paner.

Later, Carmen made a couple of forgettable films which were big flops. Unsuccessful in local show business, Carmen enrolled as a BS Biology student in Ateneo de Manila, hoping to become a doctor. However, the lure of fame and fortune shattered her medical ambition. She followed her other dream and landed in…Dreamland! Yes, instead of comforting innocent and fresh-smelling babies in a hospital, she ended up entertaining horny, sweaty and foul-smelling drunken men in seedy bars.

When Carmen was a little girl, a local manghuhula predicted that she would be crowned Miss Universe. Her mother, legally known as Miss Imutan, was ecstatic upon hearing this. Sadly, the prophecy did not come true. However, when Carmen was 18 years old, she bagged a beauty title. But it was farfetched from a Miss Universe crown. Carmen became Miss Saigon.

Yes, the only true-blooded Filipina who was included in People Magazine’s The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1991 is Feliciano Salonga and Ligaya “Joy” Imutan’s only daughter: Maria Ligaya Carmen Imutan Salonga.

Most of us know her simply as Lea Salonga.

And most of you know about her amazing journey to West End and Broadway.
.
Image from yahoo.com

NEXT: Gary Valenciano’s Girlfriend

54 comments:

Gina said...

Wow,wow! I've always wondered why there's never any mention of Lea's father in any write-up about her. Now I know. I simply adore this girl- well, woman really! I even had to order her latest 'Inspired' cd from my sis in the Phils.
Ay, not even halfway in this entry, parang may inkling na ako na si Lea Salonga ito!
Looking forward to upcoming entries.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Nick said...

Thanks, Gina.
I hope you have a less oppressive weather over there.
Enjoy your weekend.

Nick

confessions from a cheap motel said...

who's her half-brother?

you know what, if you publish a book about these stories, it will really be a bestseller...

or you can write for a local paper here.

or you can write untold story #9 now and make our day :)

Anonymous said...

cant wait for the next post..

i wonder if you could write about henry sy's( shoemart ) hidden grandaughter.. shes famous right now..

keep em posts coming..

Anonymous said...

i love reading your posts...an officemate of mine forwarded your site and got hooked since :)

can't wait for story no. 9 :D

>> sweet pea

Nick said...

Hey Pao.
Thanks for the suggestions. (Are you serious?)
I’d like to make your day so I chose your third suggestion.
And I'm writing Untold Pinoy Story No. 9 for you (so I tried to write it in such a way that it is in tune with your writings. But it was really tough. I gave up.)
I’ll try to post it very soon. Watch out for it.

Nick

Nick said...

Hey Anonymous #1.
Thanks for reading my stories.
But I hope that you would identify yourself next time. I'll be glad to know who you are.
Watch out for my next story.

Nick

Nick said...

Hey Anomynous #2.
Thanks for enjoying my stories.
And please extend my thanks to your officemate for forwarding my blog.
My Untold Pinoy Story No. 9 is coming out very soon.
So watch out for it, Mina.

Nick

Citizen of the World said...

*applauds* Fantastic! You never fail to amaze us, Nick!

How's your visit to Manila coming along?

- SUPERPASYAL

ays said...

hi!first time to visit your blog. nice stories..got me hooked. can i link you up?
thanks!

Lee said...

i'm forwarding your blog to officemates. Sharing the good news.

Lee said...

yah. who's the half brother?

paolosbrew said...

hahaha tough eh?

hey, they've just released the nominees for this year's philippine blog awards. you should have been there (or are you?)

you can win it hands down, thats for sure.

Jo said...

whoever you are, i hate you! why? because now i am hooked with your writing and i need to make sure to check your site everyday. that means, additional task to my hectic life. thanks a lot though!

Nick said...

Hey Dylan.
Thanks. I have no plan of visiting Manila yet.

Nick said...

Hey Ays.
Yes, link me up.
Thanks.

Nick said...

Hey Lee.
Good to see that you're posting again. Keep it up.
Thanks for forwarding my blog.

Nick said...

Hey Pao.
Blog awards? Is there such a thing?
If there is, then I think you'll win it. Blog design. Consistency. Regularity/Frequency. Uniqueness. Writing. Appeal. You've got them all.

Nick said...

Hey Jo.
Have you read all of them? Which of those you've read do you like the most? (If there's one.)
Thanks for dropping by.

Jo said...

i love the dorothy and marcial love story (that never was)...

and of course, the sequel which relates the story of marcial's famous daughter...

keep it up! will link u nick!

Lee said...

now jo is hooked.

Jo said...

thanks to you lee! more more more!

exskindiver said...

hey nick
glad i checked today.
interesting. i didn't know LS life story. i quite like your delivery.
and...uh oh i think i know what your next story is about.
i went to school with her.
and nick, sutsutan mo naman ako if i miss a story...although i do check periodically.
btw, because of you i "blog met" wendell...and we even have common non-blogging friends.
thanks.
~chesca

Nick said...

Hey Jo.
I also had the most fun (pardon the expression)writing the tragic Marcial-Dorothy story. I'm just wondering why no one seems to have noticed the possible solutions to the mysteries which were discreetly "imbedded in the story". Did you see them? If not, you may want to take another "look" at it. And please tell me how long it took you to find them. Because it tells something about your IQ. (No, I just made that one up!). Have fun searching!

-----------------------------------

Hey Lee.
Thanks for visiting my blog again.
I'm really glad that you're posting again.
Have you found it? (Please see above).

-----------------------------------

Hey Chesca.
Thanks for dropping by again.
Has your Dad found the time to read one of my stories?
Have you found it? (Please see top).

exskindiver said...

in the words of bert "tawa" marcelo:
mag beer muna tayo.
wasn't this chairman also linked to the davide impeachment and an unsuccessful government overthrow?
apparently he is a busy guy.

paolosbrew said...

yup, the clues that you imbedded in the article escapes the eyes of the reaDers hahA i woNDer why thIs is so. a secoNd look miGht do the job though wink wink haha

Nick said...

Hey Chesca.
Got it!

Nick

-----------------------------------
Hey Pao.
You're inDeed A brilliaNt anD IngeNious Guy!

Nick

iFred said...

hi nick! i do enjoy your stories. i kinda know your story about lea. i have a high respect for that lady.

im looking forward to your upcoming stories.

Nick said...

Hey iFred.
I also admire her achievements. We'll never see anyone like her again. You better catch her in Les Miz at the Broadhurst on 44th before it closes in summer.
Thanks for dropping by.

leroi said...

wow, my hunch was Lea and it was true. I adore and proud of her. And you really are a great writer. keep it up and god bless.

Anonymous said...

hey are these stories for real?how do you know all these facts?im just curious...cool stories by the way..especially if they're for real..haha.keep em comin'

Nick said...

Hey Leroi.
Thanks for your kind words.
God bless you, too.

----------------------------------

Hey Anonymous.
Yes, these stories are for real.
Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Lea study in OB Montessory Angeles City?

Nick said...

My memory tells me that she studied in OB Montessori in Greenhills where she graduated as class valedictorian.

Anonymous said...

*clap clap clap*

great site!

Nick said...

Hey Anonymous.
I'm glad that you like my blog.
I wish though that you would leave your name next time.
Thanks.

sinturong_pangkaligtasan said...

hi....
ako rin i hate you too na...hehehe.
i found myself in the same dilema as others....hooked on all your journals. i kept on telling myself to "...just finish this journal now and continue later..."...and yet before i knew it, i was always staying!
am wondering where in the world youve taken all these and yet most of us are not aware of! hehheee...
keep it up, ure stimulating not the "chismis-hungry" attitude (well, i guess *wink!*) but the intelligence behind the controversy...hehehe.
thanks again...looking forward to more stories!

Kim Gonzales said...

Oh my! So the forwarded email was copied from someone's blog. I had to Google search to confirm. :-)

Anyway, I've just finished Story No. 3. But who's the half brother already? More clues, at least? Please?

By the way, I'll surely bookmark this blog.

Anonymous said...

gerard or gerald salonga? musical director ata sya? not sure..

Anonymous said...

ay mali pala, half brother nga pala, hindi brother. oops sorry!!

Nick said...

Hey Sinturong_Pangkaligtasan.
I'm glad that you like my stories.
Yes, I have many many more stories to tell. Watch out for them.
Thanks for the kind words.
Thanks for dropping by.

-----------------------------------
Hey Kim.
Did you say that my story was forwarded to you via e-mail? By whom? Which story was it?
Thanks for dropping by.

-----------------------------------
Hey Anonymous.
Nice try. Yes, he is a musical director.
Thanks for dropping by.


----------------------------------

rain said...

i'm amazed by your untold pinoy stories much more by how it was written...very well-written!!! and sayang talaga you rejected the offer of our national artist for a drink. very memorable sana ang first beer mo. btw, who is lea's half brother?

Nick said...

Hey Rain.
Thanks for the kind words.
Yes, my first bottle of beer could have indeed been more significant in the company of a national artist.
Thanks for dropping by.

pilosopong tasya said...

hey nick? gerard salonga is not a half-brother to lea as you insinuated in your answer to "anonymous". lea's half-brother is jeffrey salonga aka jeff or gie.

the way you've written this piece is full of intrigues as if it's a scoop. LEA SALONGA NEVER CONCEALED HER TRUE LIFE STORY, in fact I have read her own personal blog about her family, other half-brothers, half-sisters, ika nga the "baho" in her family and she wrote this particular blog a year ago.

seems like you despise her.

Maan said...

Pilosopong Tasyo, can you share with us the link to Lea Salonga's personal blog?

p!nkroma said...

^i'm not sure if this is it but check it out: http://bigsis222.multiply.com/


she's one of my faves!

Krishizzle said...

wow...nice stories. somebody forwarded me a 5mb email this morning thru my work email. i was about to delete it but I ended up forwarding it to people in my office, friends and family. man, you got me hooked...so hooked that I continued to read thru it on my BlackBerry on the way home. Nick, you're dangerous. I could've orphaned my son. Excellent writing!

Anonymous said...

whew! nakaka-adik! nareceive ko sa yahoo group one of the stories here. and cant help but google for it. i have forwarded all the entries here to our group here in the US, and lahat ng members na-adik din.. Juicy daw! i even forgot to mention where they came from. So on my last forwarded message to our group, i posted your link. more! more more!--sir june

Nick said...

Hey pilosopong tasya.
My response to anonymous was in reaction to his/her two consecutive comments. The phrase "nice try" was meant to indicate that his/her guess was wrong while my "Yes" response was meant to confirm that Gerard is indeed a musical director. (You may want to read them again.)
And if Lea ideed talks openly about her family, I don't see any reason for such negative reaction from you about this piece.
Like many others, I also admire Lea's accomplishments. And I thought that I was able to convey that in this piece.
Thanks for dropping by, anyway.

-----------------------------------
Hey krishizzle.
Thanks for the nice feedback.
Thanks for sharing my stories to all the people who matter to you.
Please do visit again. But next time, please drive safely. Don't read while driving and don't drive while reading.
Thanks for dropping by.

----------------------------------
Hey sirjune.
Thanks for sharing these stories with your friends.
Thanks for posting my link, too.
And thanks for dropping by.

----------------------------------

anne garcia said...

wow! hindi ko alam yun .. until I finished reading the post, na-wow talaga ako... thanks for your stories!

anne garcia said...

I was just searching "ob montessori" in Google and viola.. nakita ko to..

..i'm proud to have studied in OB Montessori and I'm also proud to be a filipino!

..thank you for posting these stories.. :D

AJ said...

I'm curious about Lea's rival at OB Montessori who made a big fuss about her academic achievement...sino ba yun? Hahahahahaha!

Like all your readers, I'm hooked! I stumbled upon your blog while reading another blog (political satire naman ang drama nung blog na yun) and I was simply floored by your stories. I'm a closet chismosa and I can't help but finish reading all your posts in one night. I'm going to forward your link to my dad who, unlike me, is a self-proclaimed showbiz guru hahahaha thanks to TFC and all the other pinoy channels we get on cable.

Thank you for quenching my thirst for anything pinoy (nakaka-homesick kasi dito) and for stimulating my penchant for juicy pinoy chismis.
Can't wait for your next post!

-AJ

mokmok of DC said...

i think lea salonga's rival was tintin bersola, right?

Anonymous said...

right, tintin bersola was valedictorian and leah salonga was salutatorian!