âDarnaâ to the rescue
Nanette Medved- Po has long ago hung her superheroine costume but she continues her mission to lend the needy a helping hand.
‘Darna’ to the rescue
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - September 3, 2020 - 12:00am

Before Jane de Leon (whose “takeoff” was thwarted by the invisible enemy), memorable actresses have had the pleasure of playing Darna, the classic Mars Ravelo superheroine that has thrilled generations of movie fans, including Rosa del Rosario (the original), Eva Montes, Liza Moreno, Vilma Santos, Lorna Tolentino, Gina Pareño, Angel Locsin, Marian Rivera, Anjanette Abayari, Rio Locsin, Sharon Cuneta and...have you forgotten?...yes, Nanette Medved.

Makes you wonder, whatever happened to Nanette who, out of her Darna costume, has proven her mettle as a drama actress in some Viva films?

Well, Nanette is now Mrs. Chris Po, happily domesticated with their two children, one aged 16 and the other 12.

As founder of Generation HOPE, Nanette leads her team in building public school classrooms nationwide, with the 100th classroom inaugurated recently. Some of the beneficiaries are tribe members. Says Nanette, ‘The future of our country and the world lies in education.’

Now simply attired minus her cape and all, Nanette Medved-Po has retired from showbiz but she continues to, in a way, pursue her Darna mission of extending a helping hand to the needy as founder of Generation HOPE whose flagship product is the bottled water called Hope in a Bottle.

Explained Nanette (who is as shapely as she was when she took flight as Darna in 1991), “Generation HOPE is a company that donates 100 percent profit to building public school classrooms in partnership with DepEd. We just finished our 100th classroom recently.”

With Manila Mayor Isko Moreno in partnership with the Aling Tindera program that helps safely dispose of plastic waste to avoid polluting the environment

Humbly, Nanette said that she doesn’t want to take credit for it.

“Basically,” added the Finance summa cum laude graduate from Babson College in Massachusetts, “I don’t want people to think na ako ang nagbibigay ng mga classroom na ‘yan. Mahirap namang agawin ko ang credit sa mga tunay na nagko-contribute and they are the people who patronize Hope in a Bottle which you can buy at Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Shangri-la, Rustan’s and other supermarkets. So remember that every time you drink Hope in a Bottle, you are giving hope to school children who need classrooms.”

Asked why schools are the beneficiaries of Generation HOPE, Nanette said, “The hope of the country and the world is in education, although it’s a long-term proposition. Through education, people can hope to improve their lives and earn to help their families. They will be educated and know how much they can contribute to the political process, how informed they are as citizens. All of these rely on how educated they are.”

With the reopening of classes set for next month, possibly with schools adapting the online system (and avoiding crowding in classrooms), Nanette expressed some apprehension.

“I’m super takot,” she admitted. “The online system could lead to education gap because the infrastructure is not available maski gusto man ng gobyerno na mapunuan. It’s okay with people who can afford to buy the gadgets but what about those who cannot afford it? The result would be inequality in education. But there’s hope since the private sector is stepping in to help the government. Hopefully, more if not everybody can have access to digital learning.”

She observed that the new (millennial) generation is different from its predecessor.

“Iba sila sa panahon natin,” Nanette noted. “They are educated, connected, diverse and socially-conscious. Hindi lang pera ang hinahanap; they are not just after money. They want to have an impact in changing the world. Iba sila. Ang mga bata ngayon, very encouraging.”

Aside from Generation HOPE, Nanette also heads two other companies — Friends of HOPE which deals with education and livelihood intervention and the new Plastic Credit Exchange (PCE) that works with companies that use plastic packaging.

“We help them safely remove post-consumer items para naman hindi mapunta sa dagat, to avoid polluting the sea, at para hindi kung saan-saan itinatapon o nilalagay... you know, to offset the plastic footprint kapag nagamit na.”

In partnership with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and the DENR, Nanette recently launched the Aling Tindera program.

“We encourage the people not to throw away their plastic waste and exchange it with cash or goods at the Aling Tindera outlets. We help transport the plastics to our partner processing facility which is able to get rid of the plastics in a way na hindi makaka-pollute ng environment.”

Incidentally, doesn’t Nanette miss showbiz?

She laughed, “They don’t need me anymore; hindi na nila ako kailangan. Maraming magaganda dyan na magagaling, di ba? Makikisingit pa ba ako? Huwag na! Hahaha!!!”

Okay, Ding, ang bato!!! Darna!!!

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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