FOR THREE consecutive years now, the Bautista siblings led by Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista have been—without fail—holding batch-by-batch birthdays treats for the members of the entertainment press at their family-owned Salu Restaurant in Timog, Quezon City.
This April-born writer, who shares the same birth month with broadsheet editors Ricky Lo (of the Philippine Star) and Isah Red (of Manila Standard), and tabloid columnist Rey Pumaloy (of Abante), among others, joined the May and June celebrators on June 1.
Ironically, the supposed host/sponsor was nowhere in sight. “Si Kuya nasa Berlin siya ngayon for a mayoral forum,” Herbert’s ever-affable younger sib Harlene—who is married to Romnick Sarmenta—told Vignettes.
Not much saddled with showbiz work, Harlene oversees as the overall operations of their thriving resto, which serves well-known delicacies endemic to particular regions across the country.
Chatting some more, Vignettes probed, “Your kuya is on an official trip, how about your other brother Hero, is he completely okay now?”
It can be recalled that Hero—fresh from winning a seat at the QC Council in 2016—openly admitted he was a drug user. His confession came in the wake of the then-newly installed Duterte administration’s relentless war on drugs. It was in September when the alderman voluntarily submitted himself to an undisclosed drug rehab facility.
“Hopefully, he’ll be out of the drug rehabilitation facility second week of July,” Harlene relayed the good news. “Supposedly, he should spend one straight year to complete the program. Pero dahil maganda naman ang record niya, his period of stay would be shortened. Tuloy pa rin ang trabaho niya sa council. He’s allowed to attend council meetings every Monday but he goes back to the facility.”
Looking at Hero’s situation is something their family had to accept and learn much from. As such, Harlene believes that like anyone else whose life has gone wayward due to drugs, her brother deserves a second chance.
Vignettes thinks so, too.
GUESS WHO? Meanwhile, already reformed from his drug dependency, this former child actor (FCA)—for as long as he lives—will never forget his caper when he was confined at a rehab facility.
All throughout the treatment period, the FCA—who loved to do role-playing—would refuse to have his daily beddings changed. But the staffers hatched a brilliant idea.
“Sir, papalitan na po namin ‘yung bed sheet n’yo,” a group of male and female nurses gently nudged him. “Sige, pero sasakay muna tayo sa eroplano,” the FCA—who thought he was a pilot— bargained, “O, sakay na kayo. Boarding time na!”
The assigned nurse would then jump on bed, as the FCA would start the imaginary engine. “Alam ko na,” one staffer whispered to his co-passenger. “Ah, Captain (to the FCA), we’re running out of fuel. We need to touch down for refueling.”
“Okay, we’re touching down now. Please disembark from this plane slowly,” he said as he got out of the bed himself.
Finally it would be time for the linen change.