Privilege card
FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura (The Philippine Star) - January 13, 2019 - 12:00am

I was in the supermarket when my cell phone suddenly rang. I answered and a male voice said, “Hi, Tweetums. Bobby Cuenca here.” I was surprised. He is the husband of my good friend, Chingbee Kalaw, who passed away recently. What could I possibly do for him?

He had been “dragooned” (his words) into doing a show for seniors for the RJ Channel. The show was to be about Sunshine Place. The shoot would be on Wedne sday, Jan. 9, at 9 a.m. Could I make it? I couldn’t say no because I had nothing to do on that day so I said yes. Could I send him photographs of me engaged in Sunshine Place’s activities? I knew there were many of those on file at Sunshine Place so I also said yes, and we said good-bye.

A few days later I made arrangements with Sunshine Place to send some pictures. All arrangements were made.  There was nothing more to worry about. But on Monday, Jan. 7, I got a text from Bobby, who asked if I might bring my husband, Loy, with me. Fine, I said. Then I rushed home and told Loy he was invited. He got a bit nervous then kept forgetting about what was happening on Wednesday morning.  Nevertheless, we got ourselves up and ready to meet with Bobby Cuenca at a nearby hotel.

When we got there Bobby wasn’t there. I texted him. He texted back saying Cris Tabora would pick us up. In the end it was Therese Necio-Ortega, the director, who rushed in. On the short walk to the studio she told us that they were going to do our love story on the show. “Cris told me about your story,” Therese said, “and I’m dying to know more.” “What about Sunshine Place?” I asked. “We’ll do them another time,” Cris and Therese said. “We’re more interested in your romance.”

When you meet my husband Loy for the first time, he may make you nervous. First, his hair is almost all white. You have the impression that he is really old. He is not. He is 80.  To anyone who is young, that seems old. But I know that he still has a lot of energy left in him. He (to 74-year-old me anyway) acts a lot younger than 80. Second, he walks with a cane because he sometimes feels unsteady on his feet and he doesn’t see very well when his blood sugar is high. So the cane helps as a support for his unsteadiness and it also assists in groping the ground — whether it is sloping upwards or downwards — so he knows where to put his feet, how much care he has to take. The cane comes in handy especially when we go to a new place. It makes him more secure. Best of all, I think walking with a cane makes him look more debonair, more chic. The cane to us is a symbol of stability and glamor.

That Wednesday morning Loy’s sugar was quite high so he wasn’t feeling too well but what can you do? You can’t postpone a TV show simply because you’re not feeling too well.  So on we went.

At the studio we met Cris Tabora, an old friend of mine from high school days at Maryknoll. She was a year behind me. I played the role of Mama in the play I Remember Mama in my senior year (long before Liv Ullman played it on Broadway, I like to facetiously say), and Cris played the role of Maria in The Sound of Music in her senior year. She sings very well. I introduced her to Loy and we all got to talking about our courtship and our marriage, which will be a year long on Jan. 24. It was funny enough because Loy has his version and I have my version.

At the end of the shoot Loy was crazy enough to ask to see some of the footage from the interview. That got us both feeling low. We both felt old and ugly. We got so depressed over the way we looked that we went out and ate an awful lot of Japanese food. Then we went to a supermarket and bought three boxes of tamarind to drown our sorrows in.

As I write this we still feel old and ugly, but hey, we’re happy anyway. We are glad that RJ has this new show for seniors because no one has ever paid much attention to seniors before and it’s about time we got some attention.

So I beg all my readers, please watch the show titled Privilege Card tonight, at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the RJ Channel, channel 19 if you’re on Sky and channel 52 if you’re on Signal, I think. If you like it please text and let me know. If you find us too ugly for words, please be quiet or you’ll regret it.

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Please text your comments to 0998-991-2287.

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