Body Talk with Carmen Soriano
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - February 12, 2009 - 12:00am

In a previous exclusive no-holds-barred interview (with fellow “golden divas” Pilita Corrales and Carmen Pateña), Carmen Soriano denied that, 1) She had an affair with the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos (by whom, according to unfounded rumors, she had a child), 2) Former First Lady Imelda Marcos hurled an ashtray (or was it a bottle of acid?) at her face in a fit of jealousy, and 3) She was battered black and blue by one of her ex-husbands (not the late Drama King Eddie Rodriguez).

With those revelations done with, Carmen has nothing more to hide (not that she had to).

Now, back in tip-top shape riding on the crest of the retro wave, Carmen is singing with even more passion.

After her successful Golden Divas show with Pilita and Carmen P. here and abroad, Carmen S. is starring in two special shows called Romancing at the Captain’s Bar of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, on Feb. 20 with Jun Polistico and then on March 7 with Anthony Castelo.

The years have been kind to her. Looking tall (even if she stands only 5’2.5”), Carmen came to this interview wearing the same skirt she wore years ago (“Noong dalaga pa ako, and it still fits!”), sparkling like an expensive diamond as usual, her eyes bright and beautiful like those of a woman in love not with a man but with herself and life.

She has mellowed like vintage wine.

How do you take care of your voice?

“I don’t take ice-cold drinks. They say that ice-cold drinks are bad for the vocal cords. But look at Pilita (Corrales). Alam ko that she drinks ice-cold Coke pero ang ganda-ganda ng boses niya, walang kupas. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.”

Do you still vocalize?

“Oh yes, I do. I have to! Otherwise, you’ll find it hard to adjust your voice to the kind of songs which are ‘in’ today, unlike before when I used to whisper when I was singing at Bulakeña.” (Proceeds to sing in her signature style) “The shadow of your smile when you are gone...Now, iba na.” (Proceeds to belt out the way most singers do today) “This is my life and I don’t give a damn form lost emotions.”

What do’s and don’t’s do you observe before a show?

“I eat only one meal...a heavy lunch. It’s hard to sing when you have a full stomach. I refrain from talking hours before the show. Once, while doing a show in the States, I lost my voice. I didn’t have a voice for two weeks and my doctor advised me not to talk. It helped. Naka-rest ang vocal cords ko.”

What’s one song that’s always included in your repertoire forever and ever...?

“Eres Tu. Lumalabas na sa tenga ko ang lyrics ng kantang ‘yan. Hehehehehe! But I really love that song; a lot of people like that song. So I never get tired singing it over and over again.”

And what song naman never fails to make you cry?

“Kung Kailangan Mo Ako (by Rey Valera). You know, when my husband (Robert Dabao) was bedridden with cancer in the States, I played nurse to him. I kept him company. Sometimes, he would request me to sing a song to him and it’s Kung Kailangan Mo Ako that I always sang.” (Proceeds to sing a few lines from the song). “Mayroong lungkot ang ‘yung mga mata at kay bigat ng ‘yung dinadala. Kahit di mo man sabihin, paghihirap mo’y nadarama ko rin.” (Her eyes suddenly turn misty) “I knew that when Robert would hear me sing that, he wanted to cry but he tried to control himself.”

You are noted for your sexiness. How do you take care of your skin?

“I just moisturize. I do my own make-up and my hairdo.”

What kind of diet do you follow?

“You know, my body is even better now than it was years ago. I follow a simple diet. For breakfast, I take only two pieces of toasted bread with slight butter or cheese, one scrambled egg and a cup of black unsweetened coffee. For lunch, I eat anything but in small amounts and only with three teaspoonfuls of rice. Sometimes, I eat a big hamburger and Chinese food, and always I take dietary tea afterwards. I don’t take anything after 8 p.m. Snacks? I indulge once in a while...fries, etc.”

What vitamins do you take?

“Vitamin E.”

How much water do you take per day?

“I never knew how important water is to our health until four years ago. I used to drink only very little. Siguro, until that time mga 20 gallons lang ng tubig ang nainom ko sa buong buhay ko. Gusto ko ang iniinom ko may lasa palagi. Now, I drink as much water as I can.”

How much sleep do you get per night?

“As you get older your sleeping habits change. Before, I would sleep for 12 hours per night. Now, my sleeping hours are getting shorter and shorter.”

In bed, is Carmen Soriano still the Carmen Soriano that we see onstage — you know, pustoryosa?

“Ay, simple lang ako. My favorite sleepwear is a loose T-shirt, ‘yung panlalaki. I don’t have a partner, so bakit pa ako mag-aayos when I go to bed? I’ve been sleeping alone.”

How long have you been sleeping alone?

“A long time...a loooong time! I also haven’t dated for a long time. Siguro mga 10 years na.”

Any bad sleeping habits?

“Well, I don’t snore, I don’t talk in my sleep but I grind my teeth so I wear something over my teeth to stop it.”

What’s the last thing that you do before you go to sleep?

“I wash my face with soap and water and then I moisturize.”

And the first thing that you do when you wake up?

“I stretch a little bit.”

Do you work out?

“No, I don’t. I just move around the house all the time. That’s my exercise. Luckily, I feel okay. I don’t feel any body aches, wala ako mga sakit sa kasu-kasuan. Wala akong rayuma. My blood pressure is normal and so is my blood sugar. But my doctor told me that I have a little murmur in my heart.”

How do you relax?

“I watch movies in the moviehouse, all the time. Everytime a new movie opens, una ako sa pila.”

How’s your love life?

“Zero. Mahirap akong ligawan; pihikan ako. I have a slim chance of meeting somebody because I am a loner; I’d rather stay home than go to parties.”

What’s your outlook in life?

“I’m a worrier. I worry that I might be hurting somebody without my meaning to. I’m a Cancerian (July 6) and Cancerians are basically shy, so people think that they can bully you around. Think again! They have a hard front, like the crab that is their zodiac sign. You step on their hard covering and you will find how soft they are inside.”

What song do you want to be remembered for?

“No Other Love.” (Proceeds to sing) “I was blessed with love to love you, till the stars burn up above you. Till the moon has gone to silver shade, no other love, let no other love know the wonder of your spell...

(Note: Romancing is produced by Viva Concerts & Events, directed by Roxanne Lapus. Tickets are priced at P3,500, P3,000, P2,500 and P2,000. Call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or Viva Concerts at 687-6181 locals 620 or 745.)

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