On April 10, 2012 in Makati, Philippines, I finally got to meet Ruben Nepales @nepalesruben after all these years. He was launching his first book titled, “My Filipino Connection: The Philippines in Hollywood.” He was overwhelmed with the news coverage, fans, photographers, and celebrities clamoring for his attention. For those who live in the Philippines know that there is car coding during the week and his launch happened to be the day my car was coded. No fear… My Auntie Grace and I took a tricycle, Jeepney, and a cab to get to Greenbelt in Makati from Bacoor, Cavite. What a ride! It was well worth it to help celebrate a Pinoy that has made a difference in Filipino culture all around the world. Ruben Nepales is the thread that carefully holds the pieces of the Filipino community together. For those of you who know and don’t know, I started out in the art world, fashion world, and independent cinema worlds… and somehow I found myself being interviewed by Mr. Nepales back in 2007! (if you click on the photo it will link you to my first interview with Mr. Nepales) Congrats to a truly genuine man who possesses the grave sensitivity to weave together Filipinos, through his interviews, and managed to convey a compelling story as a whole in his first book. The colorful blanket that his book represents can now also keep you warm and you can wrap yourself up reading about Filipinos in entertainment from all walks of life. This story doesn’t end here with his first book (I assume)… this will be a continuing life journey for Mr. Nepales and one we all should surely watch!
* Special shout out to one of my BFF’s Vincent Nebrida for giving me the best advice (always)… and for encouraging me to take the first step and get on that damn tricycle!
* Thank you to Ricky Davao who met me at the book launch, took some great photos of me meeting Mr. Nepales and his wife for the first time, and for buying me my first copy of my very own Filipino Connection book! Which was signed by the man himself! (Hello to Myta Santiago and Auraeus Solito too!)
* And finally a very special shout out to Ruben’s wife Janet, she made my heart swell at the the book launch and I didn’t expect to get so emotional! She really knows how to get inside a Filipino’s heart…