I want to be honest about why we are flying all the way to the US for my medical assessment... There is this feeling within me that if I don’t initiate sharing my story I open myself up to so many made up scenarios, yet by just telling the truth I may also be helping other people with medical conditions they are ignoring prioritize their health.
August of 2017 after a full day shooting outdoors during that time of the month that I had my period, my blood pressure at night after the shoot when we got home dropped to 80/50. This worried my doctors because of all the dangers- most especially hypovolemic shock (in simple language my organs could have shut down).
I was told to have complete bed rest for 3 days, but that night big hives started appearing on my legs all the way up to my arms and neck. I have been on low dose betablockers as maintenance since my pre Christmas 2016 executive checkup in San Francisco and my BP problems have mostly been solved.
The problem is that the most effective treatment for an allergy attack as severe as mine was would be an antihistamine with a steroid component. I don’t react well to steroids, they cause my blood pressure to suddenly rise.
So for nearly 2 weeks I was bedridden waiting it out just on antihistamines and topical ointments for the hives to stop being so angry and flatten. I am lucky - I haven’t scarred because the tendency would really be to scratch causing wounds on the skin that could become scars. Cetaphil, Aveeno, and Elica cream have all been kind to my skin.
Since August not a month has passed without me having to suffer through an allergic attack, although the duration would never exceed 4 days. These almost always occur right before or during my menstrual periods.
The triggers have been varied - dust, pollen, food, exhaustion etc... And the main problem has been the effect the allergy attacks have on my blood pressure - it either drops super low, or elevates to hypertensive urgency level - this Monday after a Sunday allergic reaction that manifested in hives in my arms, my BP went up to 180/110 - causing me to throw up nonstop because of my dizziness. Again this timed itself right before I got my monthly period.
I hate worrying my sisters and my sons. The US-based doctor who helped solve my blood pressure issues by assembling a team of specialists 15 months ago was kind enough to help me get consultations with specialists again, but we had to fly now because a lot of the doctors would be going on their spring breaks with their families.
God granted my prayers to be super busy again- I am immensely flattered that apart from my iflix movie commitment, 3 movie companies have all offered me exciting projects - I think it is okay to mention that they are Quantum Films for a movie to be written and directed by Chris Martinez, Direk Paul Soriano’s Ten17 Productions, and hard to believe right before leaving for this trip I got a firm offer with a definite timetable coursed through Roxy Liquigan for a Star Cinema movie.
Some will again accuse me of being arrogant for stating these facts - BUT I worked very hard against great odds for these opportunities to come back... from after Easter until June 30, we have more than 34 signed contracts for brand partnership webisodes and endorsements - 2 of them with shoots in Japan and Indonesia because they are the countries of origin of the products that the clients hired me to endorse.
My sisters are very proud of my career resurgence BUT they made me confront the reality that I am a single parent with Kuya Josh who has special needs, and Bimb who will only be turning 11 in April. What good is all this work success and income if I’m not healthy, or knock on wood - if I won’t be alive to take care of my sons?
So this trip is to get answers to what is weakening my immunity, what are my true allergy triggers, what are the conditions and stressors we should minimize, and most importantly what are the preventive measures we should implement to insure my overall wellness.
Not many people, especially celebrities and politicians will openly share their medical concerns BUT I wanted to remain authentic and transparent. I shall forever be GRATEFUL because of your support for my entrance into the digital world... and I also wanted to impart that professionalism and that single minded focus to succeed are very admirable traits that I am proud of- but prioritizing health and wellness should be just as important a goal, most especially because I am a mother who wants to give my sons the very best of me.
P.S. The state of my health I owed all of you a truthful and factual account... But I have also learned this week that there are matters in order to protect, I must keep private... when it comes to the man I shall love and allow to love me, that will just be for me, him, my sons, and the people closest to him and me who will be directly affected by decisions made by 2 responsible adults...
Persons who believe that happily ever after is a day to day choice worked on together without the whole country being allowed a vote on the sustainability of their relationship. I say this with 100% certainty - for lasting love, I shall with no hesitation walk away from the limelight because to quote the lyrics of 1 of my favorite Sharon Cuneta movie theme songs:
Kung minsan ang pangarap
Habang buhay itong hinahanap
Bakit nga ba nakapagtataka
'pag ito ay nakamtan mo na
Bakit may kulang pa
Mga bituin aking narating
Ngunit langit ko pa rin ang iyong piling
Kapag tayong dalawa'y naging isa
Kahit na isang laksang bituin
Di kayang pantayan ating ningning...
Because at my core, I’m still a 47 year old woman who try as she might to deny it, still prays for a life partner she can happily look forward to growing old with. I’m idealistic because I witnessed that once in a lifetime love and devotion our Mom gave our Dad- and she didn’t get a chance to grow old with him (our Dad was only 50 years old when he was assassinated), maybe there’s that longing in me to live the life my Mom was deprived of.