This letter is response to my entry Willie Revillame humiliates a crying 6 year old boy. You might also be interested to read an Open Letter to Jan-Jan.

March 28, 2011

ABC Development Corporation

Dear Mr. Pangilinan:

This is with regard to the 12 March 2011 episode of your show ““Willing Willie”, which was brought to my attention by several concerned citizens and groups. In the said episode, a six year-old boy named Jan-Jan Estrada was made to repeatedly perform dance moves usually done by adult dancers in indecent shows. The poor child was in tears and looked scared the entire time, as show host Willie Revillame poked fun at him and the audience laughed and cheered.

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Jan-Jan is the 6 year old boy who was dancing and crying in Willie Revillame’s show. This is a letter written by my good friend, Cathy Guballa . I have posted it here with her permission.

Dearest Jan-jan,

My heart broke as I watched you cry on television. You should never have been there in the first place. There are many people to blame for the humiliation that you went through. What took place should have never happened if people had been doing their jobs, if people had only known better.

First of all, I cannot understand how your tita would teach you to dance that way!! You are only six years old and what do you know about the world? I’m sure you are a very bright, sensitive, and talented little boy, that much I could see. That’s another reason why it was so painful for me to watch you suffer. You were, in fact, the only one in that studio who knew that what was happening was so very wrong. You rely on your parents and your guardians to take care of you. They need to ensure that you grow up to become healthy in mind, body and spirit. But by allowing you to suffer that way, they miserably failed you.

It’s not all about the money, Jan-jan. The dignity of every child must be upheld. By allowing you to perform that way, they trampled on you and made you feel so small. I could see the fear and embarrassment in your eyes. It was undeniable. If there was only some way to rescue you from that moment, I’m sure every parent worth their salt would have done so.
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This is just so disgusting. Willie Revillame, you are the lowest of the low.

I watched this video of a six year boy crying as he danced in Willie Revillame’s show. Watch as Willie laughs and picks on the poor boy (removed video now)

My heart just goes out to him.


My friend, a mother herself asks :

What have we become as a people if we consider the humiliation of a helpless six year old boy as entertainment? Of course the issue also goes back to the family — why in heaven’s name would you teach a six year old to dance that way? My heart broke as I watched the expression on this little boy’s face.

@iamhappyamy tells me in Twitter” @momblogger a kid gyrating like a macho dancer, willie making fun of him, the audience enjoying – truly sickening!” @yeahred adds “Letting a kid dance sensually on national television (and enjoying it) is very inhuman. Willie Revillame, you’re such a disgrace.”

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We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, killings, of wars, or of hatred…If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other? – Mother Teresa


As countries across the globe observe the Day of the Unborn Child today (it is Day of Unborn in Manila) , I will be celebrating the 25th birthday of Lauren , my eldest daughter. I don’t understand why the Catholic church here in the Philippines calls it the “Day of the Unborn” which pretty much sounds like some creepy horror movie like the “Undead”.

Those against the Reproductive Health (RH) bill say they are pro-life and label RH advocates like me as “evil” or pro-abortion.

Well, hear ye.

I am pro-life.

I am for the Reproductive Health Bill.

I am pro-life because I believe that all births should be planned and wanted by their parents.

I am pro-life because I don’t believe in abortion except for special cases e.g. mother dying of high blood pressure

I am pro-life because I believe women do not have to die during childbirth.

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Rest in peace, Elizabeth Taylor. I will always remember Elizabeth Taylor for her violet-eyed beauty, her stormy romances and eight marriages and her Oscar-winning performances. I also like her quotable quotes that shows snippets of her life:

Not at least until I’m dead, and at the moment I’m having too much fun being alive…and I plan on staying that way.

Every breath you take today should be with someone else in mind. I love you.

That is the thing that will give back to you all the rewards that there are. Don’t do it for yourself, because then it becomes selfish.

Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow.

You are who you are. All you can do in this world is help others to be who they are and better themselves and those around them.

Never let yourself think beyond your means…mental, emotional or any otherwise.

Always keep love and humility in your heart.

No one is going to play Elizabeth Taylor, but Elizabeth Taylor herself.

Humor is the only way to stay alive.

Because then it becomes about yourself…which is wrong. Giving is to give to God. Helping is to help others.

You find out who your real friends are when you’re involved in a scandal.

I suppose when they reach a certain age some men are afraid to grow up. It seems the older the men get, the younger their new wives get.

It’s not the having, it’s the getting.

Marriage is a great institution.

My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.
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June, my birth month is almost near. I know what I want. Of course, Pearls. I can never have enough. The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of queens. Well, I might not be a queen but I am definitely the queen in the eyes of my husband.

Years before I got engaged to my boyfriend (who is now my adorable husband of 25 years), he planted a kiss on my hands as he slipped a pearl ring with two little diamonds in it. He can be romantic like that. I think it was our “steady ring” to show how serious he was with his love. He was just a law student then and I bet he must have crossed oceans to get one for me. I loved it so much that I wore that pearl ring everyday until he replaced it with a diamond engagement ring. Of course along the years, I have collected a few pearl accessories.

I thought I had seen all the Pearls in the world until the golden pearl was introduced to me at a Jewelmer event. This golden pearl is the most gorgeous South Sea Pearls I have ever laid my eyes on. The luster is stunning. I have never seen such shimmering brilliance. The price of a pearl strand shocked me a bit but I thought, perhaps a golden pearl ring or pendant might be more affordable.

“These gems will eventually be handed down to our two daughters”, I told my husband , trying to justify the investment of the Golden pearls.

After my visit to the colorful world of the Pearl Farm in Palawan, I understood the value of this Ultimate Orient- the Philippine Golden Pearl.

Let me take you to a tour to the creation of this golden pearl.

This golden south sea pearl represents the triumph of collaboration between man and his environment. A pearl farm must , by necessity of its goal, remain a pristine environment. Oysters must live and thrive in clean, moving water, with constant tidal patterns and temperatures.

I witnessed the beauty of Palawan, its golden sunsets, the corals in clear blue waters, the Pearl farmers and the serenity of the place that all played a role in the creation of the Golden Pearl. The visit to the Pearl Farm, chatting with some of the marine biologists, the divers , staff and JB , managing director of Jewelmer made me value the marine diversity of the Philippines and the need to respect our environment.

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Be-Red-Cross-ReadyA cascade of feelings has been triggered in each one of us as the devastation brought by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is shown on TV. The images of death and destruction are everywhere. How do we explain natural disasters to our children, and how do we fulfill our role to protect and nurture them?

I remember the strong earthquake in 1990 that struck Northern Luzon and also affected Metro Manila. My children were below four years old then. As the earth shook beneath me, I could only think of my two children left behind at home with their caregivers in Pasig. Were they traumatized? I was in Makati then attending to a property for lease. My only connection to them was the landline, which failed to make a connection probably due to others like me checking up on their families. There was no time to lose but to brave the traffic in EDSA. The two girls didn’t seem terrified but in the next few days, one daughter scribbled what seemed like an earthquake scenario. I took it as a sign that she wanted to express her experience. Speaking to her calmly, I explained that earthquakes cannot be predicted but I will do all my best to keep everyone safe. To give assurance, I initiated earthquake drills at home and showed them the earthquake kit by the door.

When storm Ondoy struck our home, I was in Singapore. I read a tweet from my daughter ““Oh no, flood is entering our house and mom is not here.” I managed to call home, trying to check if my husband was there. He was home. That got me thinking that the kids were so used to me being in control during times of crisis. I failed to involve their father to give them the same safe feeling at times like these.

Allow me to share some thoughts about caring for our children and ourselves during difficult circumstances:

continue reading, Parenting through natural disasters

Here are preparedness guides that you can download too:

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““The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” I agree with Helen Keller.

Nothing prepared me for the the beauty of Palawan seascapes, its breathtaking sunsets, the beautiful people and the miracle of the Golden South Sea Pearl. The beauty captivated me so much I felt dazed. Now that I look back at it, I wished time slowed down for me to take it all in.

Photo by Jayvee Fernandez

This amazing adventure started with an invitation from Jewelmer through Yehey, their digital marketing. As I leafed through the invite I noted the ““passion for life” at the top and to join them in becoming a catalyst of change. That sounds like me. I am passionate about meaningful things in life. The invite to visit Palawan is heaven-sent. I have always wanted to visit the Philippines last frontier. The stories of travel bloggers inspired me to make Palawan a must-experience travel destination . I wanted to witness how the lustrous golden Philippine South Sea Pearl is cultivated. Lastly, I wanted to observe the livelihood projects of the ““Save Palawan Seas Foundation”, that are both sustainable as well as environmentally sound. I was terribly excited. Jayvee, Anna and I are the first set of bloggers to join this Pearl Farm tour, a first for bloggers in the history of Jewelmer.

There is so much to write about this trip that it needs to be shown in three parts: the travelogue, the beauty of the golden South Sea Pearl and the people of Palawan and the livelihood projects of their foundation.
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My heart just go out to the victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. The massive quake and tsunami left more than 1,000 dead. Some 300-400 bodies were recovered in Rikuzentakata, a coastal town of some 23,000 people. Around 10,000 people also remained unaccounted for in the Japanese port town of Minamisanriku in quake-hit Miyagi prefecture.


In the Philippines, here is how to donate through the Philippine Red Cross.

Celebrities have offered avenues for help. Lady Gaga says “Designed a Japan Prayer Bracelet. Buy It/Donate here and ALL proceeds will go to Tsunami Relief Efforts”. Even Boyz II Men offered help “Please Help us support our friends in Japan. Anything U can give will help! Boyz II Men Japan Relief “. Apple now accepts donations to Red Cross Japan relief fund via iTunes .

Here are many ways to help. I will update the list as more offers to help comes.
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