Monday, December 24, 2018

Sylviahera: A journey to life with a silver lining

If someone will do a survey among Filipinos to write down the reasons that make them happy, more likely the top answer would be "family."

It is the same reason why we have millions of OFWs around the world working hard to give a decent living for the loved ones they left here in the Philippines. It is realy unimaginable all of a sudden to be away for a long time from people you have shared almost all the highs and lows of all your life. Sacrifice is an understatement. Believe me, I worked overseas for years almost two decades ago.

A few days ago, I was fortunate to have met in person one of the actresses I really admire, Ms. Sylvia Sanchez. She was given recognitions from in and out of the country because of her almost impeccable portrayal of every role given to her. My favorite perhaps is her portrayal as a loving mother in ABS-CBN's moving drama series "The Greatest Love" where Sylvia gave a performance of a lifetime as Gloria, a woman who have gone through tough challenges in life from being a rape victim to living as a scavenger to survive and at the end suffers Alzheimer's disease. All of these challenges she have faced but still she have shown the essence of being a mother.

On Christmas day, Sylvia will share to us how to keep your family together and how to make each time that you are together memorable, especially when the time comes that the children already have their own lives. This time, it will be through an online reality show called "Sylviahera" that anyone in the world can watch via Youtube and Facebook. When I say anyone, it will also cater not only to fellow Filipinos but also to foreigners curious about Pinoy life. Every episode comes with English subtitles.

At the blogcon held at Bizu, Greenhills, you can feel her presence as a caring mother the moment she arrived. She went around and greeted everyone with "Oh, naka-order na ba kayo?" to "May paborito ako dito tikman n'yo din, ha." or "Pasensiya na if nakalimutan ko pangalan nyo pero tanda ko mukha ng karamihan sa inyo dito."

I was so into the dalandan juice that I ordered when I heard her say at my back, "Kain muna tayo ha, tawagan ko lang si yaya?"

"Mam, Yaya Dub, po ba?", I mentioned in jest.

She laughed and held both my shoulders and literally shook me, "Ay naku, naba-bash na nga ako eh.!"

This is how casual, cool and real Sylvia is. 

In Sylviahera, you will learn about the life and dilemmas of Jojo Campo, a simple girl from the town of Nasipit, Agusan Del Norte in the island of Mindanao who became the actress that we all love now and eventually married a man from a traditional Spanish family.

Presently, two of her kids already followed her footsteps in the entertainment industry and she is already feeling the struggle of bringing everyone in the family together to enjoy a meal she prepared.

One Christmas morning, she went to her hometown alone, built a box that transforms into a one-burner kitchen, and decides to embark into a culinary adventure with a goal of finding ingredients, learning new recipes, and bond with mothers who are also going through the same situation--and eventually rekindle simple, warm moments with the family that she implores to keep together, no matter what... and it is through food and conversation that she expresses her joy and love for them.

Sylviahera is a mother’s journey that will tell us that no matter how seldom a family eats together, it is how much love and preparation you put into it that will make it special and memorable.

Join me, not as a fan of Sylvia, but as one of the 104 million Filipinos, including the noble OFWs around world proud of the way we live, we eat and see our lives with silver lining.

Streaming at @CasaNieves.TV on Facebook and YouTube starting December 25, 2018 at exactly 12:01am (Philippine Time).