MANILA, MAY 2, 2011 (STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo - [PHOTO Isabella with mom Kuh Ledesma then and now: They put Christ at the heart of their relationship.]
As a tribute to all mothers, Kuh Ledesma and her daughter Isabella are starring in a concert called My O and O (My One and Only) on May 6 and 7 at the Music Museum. It's special to both because it's their first time to be doing a back-to-back show. Isabella made her first appearance as a special guest in Kuh's show Act 2 concert during the opening of the Music Museum (owned and managed by Precy Florentino, friend of Kuh and Isabella's) in 1994.
Directed by Freddie Santos with Jon Santos as special guest, My O and O coincides with the launch of a brand/product which is a perfect gift not only to mothers but to every woman as well. (Note: Tickets to My O and O [My One and Only] are available at Music Museum [call 721-0635 or 721-6726] or at Headline Concepts [721-1936].)
For a glimpse of Kuh as a mother, Funfare decided to do an exclusive interview with Isabella.
How would you rate Kuh as a mom?
"It depends. Kung five stars, I give her a '5;' if it's on a scale of one to 10, I give her a 10. Whatever the highest rating is, that's my mom."
Is Kuh a spoiler, liberal or a combination of both? Do you treat each other more as friends than as mother and daughter?
"When I was growing up, I was raised very much like a friend. Now that we are Christians, she has become my mother talaga. She instills good values in me and she always reminds me to be respectful, and to honor and obey her. At first, it was something strange to me because growing up, I was treated like her equal. My parents brought me to their friends' parties so I learned how to get along with adults very easily at a young age. But what happened was that I thought I was an adult at a young age, so I talked to my parents like I was an adult and didn't even know. It was only in the last 10 years that I started to understand and to learn how to act my age."
Do you confide in your mom everything about you — what you feel about yourself, about your friends and about your love life (if you have one)?
"I was 14 when my parents separated. I realized that it was just Mom and I, and I needed to let her in. I became a Daddy's Girl. I have a cordial relationship with my dad who would stay with me and make me kuwento. My mom naman was always very busy, although she managed to make time to help me study for my Geography test, for my Multiplication Table, to learn my songs. So at 14, I decided to let my mom in. But even before I thought of it, my mom knew what I was thinking; it was as if she could read my mind."
During your mom's "dark days" (dealing with the pain of separation and with agony of seeing ex-husband Louie Gonzalez stand trial for murder for which he would be imprisoned and later acquitted), how did you support her?
"I was just there for her. When she wanted to pray, I was there to pray for and with her. We were put in the same situation together and we became partners. There's a saying in The Bible that says something like, When iron sharpens iron, the cord of three strands cannot be easily broken. The third strand is God, di ba? My ninang Precy would tell me, 'Isabella, you know, your mom is very busy so don't add any more trouble for her.' So I just try to do my part and my part is to be the best daughter that I can be."
What's the best lesson that you learned from your mom?
"To love the Lord above all else. It was my mom who helped me develop a relationship with the Lord. She introduced me to her pastor-friends who shared the gospel with me. It's because of her that, even though I'm single, I don't feel lonely, I really don't, and I don't feel like I need to have a man in my life because I already have someone who fills that void."
How are you similar to and different from your mom?
"When I was small, I loved to draw interiors of homes, I used to draw houses and to build them out of cardboards and shoe boxes. My mom was exactly the same pala but she didn't teach those things to me. She would watch over my shoulder and ask, 'Who taught you how to do that?' I would say, 'Nobody!' We also both love to watch movies and to eat. We both paint. We are both creative. Like mom, I was shy when I was small. It took her some time to overcome that shyness and be outspoken. And the difference between us? Well, the only thing that I do that my mom doesn't is that I write songs. It takes mom a little time to put her thoughts together."
What was the first song that you learned and sang with your mom?
"I was a kid when my mom and I sang My Favorite Things (from The Sound of Music) together. When I was 10, we did a duet of On My Own and I Dreamed A Dream (from Les Miserables) during a concert."
Kuh Ledesma casts a huge shadow. How do you feel still (maybe partly) being in that shadow and what are you doing to get out of it and be on your own?
"You know, I have to say that it's a misconception. My mom doesn't cast a shadow, she casts a spotlight. It's a wonderful privilege to be her daughter; it gives me the opportunity to reach out to others. I'm not someone who runs away from who I really am. I can't help it if I am Kuh Ledesma's daughter. I just think of it as a blessing. It really is a blessing that I've fallen in love with the very thing that my mom does for a living as well and has succeeded. I take it as an opportunity to learn from her. She's my mentor. And if I really am to be different from her and stand apart from her, the only thing I really do is just be myself."

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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