A break with Cristy Fermin



IT was late Thursday night, Cristy Fermin brought me along with her secretary and personal assistant to Cowboy Grill on Quezon Avenue for two reasons: One, to make us listen to Jay Brothers in its gig; two and more important, for us to keep our collective mind off our common showbiz reporter-friend Richard Pinlac’s critical condition after suffering a massive stroke last week.

Richard, Cristy’s co-anchor in her daily Cristy Ferminute on Radyo Singko, was then rushed by Jobert Sucaldito to the Capitol Medical Center.

Cristy was among the first whom Jobert had informed about Richard who—because of the blood clot the size of a clenched fist in his left brain—was given a slim chance to survive. With a vast network of friends in and out of showbiz, it is with Cristy that generous monetary donations are entrusted and then personally handed to Richard’s distraught mom.

“’Lika, mga anak, gusto ko lang mag-relax, makinig ng musika at pansamantalang makalimot,” the teary-eyed Cristy told us. Earlier that night, we had come from a hospital visit. Richard was still comatose, but he would slightly move his head and left knee as though to acknowledge our repeated proddings, “’Teh, gising ka na!”

Jay Brothers’ latest single “Ako ang Mahal Mo” happens to be her latest favorite, giving it much airplay at the start of her daily radio program. “Ang gusto ko sa kantang ‘yan,” Cristy would address her loyal listeners, “napaka-positive ng lalakeng in love sa lyrics. Dapat naman, sa lahat ng bagay, eh, positibo tayo.”

And proof of her mantra on one’s positivity did manifest as moments later, prolific songwriter Lito Camo sashayed toward our table at the Cowboy Grill. In slippers and house clothes, a seemingly downtrodden Lito sat opposite Cristy, “’Nay, hindi ako pinalad.”

Lito ran as mayor in his hometown Bonga-bong in Oriental Mindoro during the last elections, but lost. Having served his first term as board member, Lito heeded the clamor of his kababayan that he go for the local executive post for a sure victory.

He told Cristy, “’Nay, kung pagbabasehan ang mga tao sa araw-araw kong pag-iikot, kino-congratulate na nila ako. Kahit nu’ng miting de avance ko, hindi magkamayaw sa dami ng tao. Kaya nga nu’ng natalo ako, tinanong ko ang sarili ko, ‘Saan ako nagkulang?’”

But if it was any consolation, Lito said, “Mismong si Man (Manny Pacquiao) ang nagsabi sa akin na siya rin, eh, nakaranas ng pagkatalo. ‘Laban lang nang laban!’”

If such morally uplifting words weren’t enough, Cristy told Lito, “Eh, kung si Goma (Richard Gomez) nga, apat na beses tumakbo at natalo, o, tingnan mo ngayon, nanalo na siyang mayor ng Ormoc City (Leyte). Etong lagi mong tatandaan , anak, hindi natatapos ang mundo sa pagkatalo mo.”

Lito’s face brightened up, then happily intoned, “’Nay, tama ka.”

At present, Lito and Willie Revillame are collaborating on an album, their nth musical partnership, which is due for release this year.

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LAST Tuesday, Vignettes featured Vin Abrenica’s act of heroism when he, on his way back to Manila from a fiesta celebration in Nueva Ecija, rushed a certain Bryan Gonzales to a nearby hospital. Bryan sustained a fractured skull from a motorcycle accident.

Out of gratitude, the victim’s parents had newly harvested rice grains in four sacks on standby, ready for pick-up by Vin.

Came the bad news, Bryan—who was supposed to be transferred to the better-equipped PGH in Manila after undergoing brain surgery in NE—passed away Tuesday. His bereaved family though are still thankful to Vin, “Hindi namin makakalimutan ang kabutihang-loob na ipinakita niya sa aming anak.”

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PERSONAL: Happy birthday to my Riyadh-based best friend Henry Endradora of Mouawad, a leading chain of jewelry stores across the Middle East. See you in December!


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