n July l994, my self exiled stay in Hollywood, California ended. After 9 years of living La Vida Loca, my mom persuaded me to come home. After all, that was a decade of fast lane freedom with no vacations to Manila. So I gave up my job as wardrobe stylist in the American Film Institue, a contributer to Elle Magazine Los Angeles Division and looked forward to my return the Motherland.
After the initial 2 months of extreme culture shock, brownouts and the lackadaisical sosyalans, I decided to seek spiritual rescue. So at dinner one extra humid July, my Dad said perhaps I should join a spiritual group because it was the fad du jour. He belonged to The Lord's Flock, my Kuya Ikoy was with Couples for Christ and Mom suggested maybe a trip to visit Gang Gomez in Bukidnon would spark my spiritual journey within myself.
At a party, an old friend and fellow fashion designer Bobby Novenario told me about Contemplative Outreach Philippines. The plan was to spend a weekend retreat in Tagaytay. It sounded grounded, no hysterical singing or preaching. In fact, it was a retreat of SILENCIO. Like true CONTEMPLATIVES, we were to avoid talking so our minds, hearts and souls would look inward.
It was serene and sublime. The two rigourous practices that I continue to do till today was Lecio Divina, where you read a verse, story even a word from the Bible and beconscious of it for the day. The other exercise was Contemplative Silence wherein you learn to be still, meditative and shutting off internal dialouge for ten to fifteen minutes. That weekend in cloud covered Tagaytay was HEAVENLY. I learned through the years to have a direct line to GOD. The best part was the lectures where members shared thier lives turning point and happiness to be in Comtemplative Outreach Philippines.
Bobby who was my sponsor finally broke the silence in his car as we were chauffered back to Manila.
" How are you related to Loren Legarda Leviste, " asked Bobby.
" I don't know her personally but my uncle said Loren and my Tito Tony Leviste got married as Muslims ATA. She was made honoray Princess and so she could have my uncle who loved her so much.I believe they are both still married to their respective spouses, Loren to Jongie Aranda and Tony to Celia Sarangaya but they have separated long ago, " I uneasily replied.
I am the type who doesn't gossip and feels uncomfortable talking about family matters.
" I was very close to Loren's mother Bessie Legarda who just passed away. I have to share something about LOREN at the cremation of her mother where it was just her, myself and her maid. Well, as they wer readying her mother's corpse for cremating, Loren told the maid to take off the beaded gown of her dead mother, " said Bobby.
" And what did you say, " I asked.
" I told her NOT TO as the gown was already slashed in the back.Sayang daw yung gown as she had paid P60 thousand pesod for it. So she told her maid to remove the gown fromthe body in the coffin. I was horrified, the MOTHER was naked as she was being burned to ashes. I shall never forget that day as long as I live, " said Bobby
I have never looked at Loren the same way. In time I met her, finding her exasperating, pushy and MAYABANG.
I thought to myself that's how she became a senator. The woman is evil and manipulative. She separated from my Tito Tony soon enough. She became popular and opinionated BUT I will never forget that ride home to Manila from Tagaytay.
Before long, she was fucking Ed Angara. Today, she is preparing for her fourth candidacy with her fifth party affiliation. She wants to be Vice President.
I pray GOD will not let this happen.