Archive for the ‘ZZP Blog’ Category

Coming home to Las Vegas

Thursday, December 5th, 2013
We decided to take an early Holiday vacation to the U.S.A. My whole family lives in Las Vegas and it’s been years since we’ve spent Christmas and New Year’s with them.


I love taking Philippine Airlines to the States. The flight is at night and when you wake up the next day, you’re already in Los Angeles. I never got to know the gentleman’s name next to me. (Insert jokes here!)


Zia and Coco busy reading while dinner was being served.


I love Zia’s Geisha mask! LOL


Thankfully, we were all seated next to each other during our interstate trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas!
It was raining and very cold when we arrived.

10 9

There is so much to do and so many relatives to visit! Will keep you posted.
Much love xoxo Zsa Zsa



Valentine Blues

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

A broken heart (or heartbreak) is a common metaphor used to describe the intense emotional pain or suffering one feels after losing a loved one, whether through death, divorce, breakup, physical separation, betrayal, or romantic rejection

I have to admit. Valentine?s day has always played a big part in my life. It marks my anniversary in showbiz. This year marks my 30th year. I should celebrate. But all I can think about right now is my broken heart. And until my heart mends? I won?t be doing much celebrating. I pray that when I do find the courage to celebrate, you will be there with me.?

I am heartbroken. The man I love is never coming back. I am sometimes (still) in denial. I had to go to Heritage yesterday and replay images in my mind of him being there, inside his tomb. As I stood there talking to him, ?I did some complaining because ?it felt like a Teleserye scene. I mean, yes, how many times have I done this scene in a Teleserye?! ?Tumayo ka sa puntod at umiyak ka habang nag mo-monologue ka, Zsazshing! And? action!?

It felt like some karmic joke. I wasn?t in the mood to laugh. So I stood there- self-conscious, a bit mad at the whole situation? and in tears. My life feels like a movie. Damn it.?

I was at a wedding the other night and was told by someone who made a movie with him, that she also lost someone dear and that she visits the person she lost ?2-3x a week. She said that she felt ?physically? closer to him. I wondered why I can?t seem to make the same connection.?

And so, standing there yesterday, I came to a conclusion: ?Lovey, let?s just chat at home, over coffee, as we always do in the mornings. I like it better that way.?

Some of you reading this might just be having Valentine blues like me. We can?t pretend it?s not coming. And we can?t be bitter ?coz we have to be happy for those lovesick fools we call our friends and family. They?re in love! We get it. We get it.

People say, ?Love is contagious?. The idea of love should put a smile on my face then? Right now, all I feel is a smirk coming. But on the upside, i know this feeling will go away. If you?re in love and reading this, I am happy for you. Sincerely. *Smirk.


Archive: Travel Diaries: South Africa

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Travel Diaries: South Africa
Filed under: Travelogue — admin at 12:30 pm on Thursday, May 8, 2008

Manila- Singapore- Johannesburg- Mala Mala
April 26-29, 2008

If you visit South Africa for the first time, you’ll end up using so many superlatives to describe your experience. To name a few—magical, breathtaking, awesome, pure, exciting, unforgettable. And given that I still am reeling from my wonderful experience, the word “ineffable” also came i nto mind.

Last year, I was asked by Dr. Vicki Belo to join her South Africa trip. It has been a trip I have been looking forward to doing, since I’ve never been to that part of the world. But unfortunately then, our schedules never seemed to meet. She asked me again early this year, and finally, looked at April as our target month. Since I had a commitment the day they were scheduled to leave, she went ahead with Dr. Hayden and another colleague, Mo Twister. I was to follow two days later with my daughter, Zia.

Zia and I took Singapore Airlines on a Saturday evening, April 26. The flight to Singapore was only three hours long, but the layover took five hours. But it was a very comfortable five-hour wait since the Raffles Business Class lounge was comfortably stacked with so much food and drinks, newspapers and magazines, and, best of all, free wi-fi.

The flight to Johannesburg took another ten hours. The cradle seats of Singapore Airlines were amazingly comfortable, so we slept the whole trip. The food and service were also excellent!

But Johannesburg wasn’t our last stop. We had to take a local connecting flight to Krueger Airport, then a short ride to Rattray’s Mala Mala Game Reserve.

Our flight to Mala Mala was delayed for an hour. We were already onboard the plane when the pilot told us that we needed to board another aircraft “in the interest of aviation safety.” All passengers were only too eager to move to another small aircraft.

Mala Mala is an hour away from Johannesburg (or Joburg, as some people fondly call it). The entire area measures 13, 200 hectares or 33, 000 acres. It is sandwiched in between the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the world famous Krueger National Park. It is a premiere safari destination in South Africa and the world. Take a peek at what it’s like by visiting http://www.malamala.com/Rattrays.htm.

On our way there, I was feeling so lucky to be spending time there!

As soon as we arrived, we had to freshen up for only an hour and get ready for our first safari. Dr. Vicki’s party had been at the reserve the day before. And prior to that, they stayed in Cape Town for two days. She told me that vehicle safaris have two schedules daily—one at 6:15 a.m., and another that starts after teatime, which is around 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. Each safari would take three hours. I wanted to ask if there are evening safaris, I mean, I wouldn’t dare go—I was just being curious. I guess no one in our party would suggest it either. The latest we were out there was at 7:00 p.m.

But of course you’ve heard that South Africa has extremely beautiful sunsets. As my pictures would attest, sunrise and sunsets at Mala Mala were indeed, amazingly beautiful!

The weather was extremely cold in the mornings and late afternoons, and that caught me by surprise. But I am not one to travel light so I came prepared with sweaters and jackets. I dressed myself up in layers. During safaris, the jeeps are equipped with blankets and hot-water bottles, so there is no excuse not to be out there if you’re feeling cold.

Our ranger conducted a short briefing. Meal times were scheduled as follows: snacks at 6:00 a.m. before morning safari, 9:30 a.m. breakfast, lunch at 1:30 p.m., and dinner at 8:30 p.m. We’re all non-alcoholic drinkers in the group so we’d normally skip social drinks before dinner.

Dinners were the most fun because we’d sit by the fire and exchange stories with other guests, and then the local staff would entertain us by rendering indigenous songs. It was such a treat!

We were told that room service was available but there was no menu in the khaya so I opted not to skip a meal. Don’t you hate that feeling of jetlag and waking up in the middle of the night famished? Add the fact that I’m a constant snacker, so I wouldn’t want to experience that. By the way, South Africa is only six hours behind Manila time.

South Africa was everything I had hoped it to be…and more! The camp, Rattray’s, had eight luxury Khayas (bungalows) with separate his and hers bathroom, heated plunge pool, outdoor shower, satellite TV, gym, infinity pool, internet connection. It also had a library, abundant food during buffet meals, and deluxe service. My perfectly spoiled idea of er- camping!

I know that five-star quality is not really what one would expect when he/she goes to a reserve, but that’s how things are at Rattray’s. Each guest is greeted by a very relaxed and is treated with personal service. In other words, service is so personalized that everyone knows everyone and everything that goes on in the camp, including rumors. Well, I’ve nothing juicy for you guys right now, but I have another story to tell after our stay at Mala Mala.

Rattray’s had highly qualified rangers and trackers from the Shaman tribe that lead the 4×4 safari. Our designated ranger was a 21-year-old local named Leon and our tracker’s name is Marka.

The local’s language Afrikaans sounded a bit like German to my ears but I was told that it was derived from the form of Dutch. Sometimes, I would have a hard time catching what they were saying in English because of the thick accent, and had to turn to my daughter, Zia, if she caught on what was being said. I had to be extra attentive, because truthfully, out there in the wild, I didn’t want to miss out on important instructions. I mean I didn’t want to attract any of the animal’s attention. My imagination would sometimes get the better of me—every now and then. I actually had this usual case of paranoia, imagining some wild animal would snatch someone in our group. By God’s grace, nothing of the sort happened.

The whole idea of seeing the animals in their natural habitat was much too exciting! Even at times when all we’d do was sit quietly in the range rover and just observe. It was important to simply respect how the animals behaved. And naturally, we took lots of photos.

The reserve guarantees that during your first day at the safari, you’ll be able to see The Big Five—Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, and Leopard. We received certificates upon check out. That was a cute touch. I’ll have mine framed.

We also saw different species of birds. Truthfully, I am not a bird aficionado so I could only remember a few of their names. The vultures were mean-looking and downright ugly. So far, that’s the only bird name I could remember.

Hyenas were surprisingly bigger than I imagined them to be. The zebras graced beautifully on low-grass fields along with the wildebeest and warthogs. The reserve had lots of other animals like the buffalo, kudu, nyala, impala, and monkeys.

I didn’t spend much time in our verandah because monkeys would casually spend time there. I heard they bite so I didn’t want to take chances.

One of the most graceful animals I saw, grazing at the reserve, were the giraffes. But I found them a bit elusive. I’ve only seen them in zoos and had no idea they could run so fast. They didn’t seem to like the 4×4 getting near them.

The hippopotamuses were submerged in the water and I was only able to get a glimpse of them wiggling their ears. There was a lone crocodile which looked like a piece of land to me. Which brings to mind—if I walked alone in the reserve, I’d probably be a goner in 60 seconds. The animals camouflage so well!

One of my favorite animals at the reserve would have to be the Rhinoceros. They were massive and looked like elephants from afar.

It was such a shame we couldn’t go as near as we could the lions. It was unbelievable how our jeep could be just six-feet away a whole pride! The pride we saw had three females and eight cubs. We also couldn’t go , we just watched them from a safe distance.

My group’s favorite safari moment would have to be seeing a leopard cub up in a tree. It was frightened and waited for it’s Mum to give her the signal to come down. It was something beautiful to witness and according to our ranger, a very unique moment.

We were told later on by the first group who were there that a pack of hyenas came and the mother leopard had to make her cub climb the tree. The mum ran so the hyenas would chase her and spare her cub. She eventually returned to her cub when she deemed it safe.

I did not witness a “kill” but I did see three female lions going after a buffalo. To my knowledge, the buffalo got away. I’m not sure if witnessing a “kill” was something I would want to experience, and I know for sure it’s not something I would enjoy seeing. Whenever I watch the Animal Channel or National Geographic, I turn the channel each time I see a poor animal being devoured by another. But such is the way of life in the jungle.

Zia and I were able to experience a total of four safari trips during our short stay at the reserve.

I know, two nights didn’t seem enough…but our group had to move to Johannesburg for another adventure: The Great White Experience. And that, my dear friends, is what my next journal will be all about.


We had the best time and I have to acknowledge that the trip with my daughter is a gracious gift from Dr. Vicki and Dr. Hayden. My deepest and sincerest thanks goes to the couple.

Hello, tumblr

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Hello. I know has been around for quite awhile (Google says 2007). I Have no idea why I decided to check on it today. Haven’t had the chance to blog- been ages since my blogs at Multiply (gasp!) and Zsa Zsa Says at PEP.

I suppose it’s because Twitter has been so convenient for working Moms/Wives like myself. 140 characters, pics, video snippets and quotes or a quick hello just about says it all. Well, most of the time, I guess.

So here’s hoping to get my writing skills working again- even in tidbit (at first).

I am on vegetative state. Finished working at 3:30 am. Not that I am complaining, love the acting job as Luisa in Budoy. But it leaves me with very little energy to do things the following day (technically, the same day) with my family. And as a Mom, like some of you reading this, we have an endless list of errands.

So, since I have been awake at 9am, I have been in my pajamas eating and catching up on episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Hart of Dixie. And in between, a short nap or two. So many shows lined up yet to see. My computer memory is full (again) thanks to Megavideo closing down and I can’t seem to properly video stream anywhere else decent, that I need to buy all updates at iTunes. Well, maybe that’s how business should be. I have to learn to have a better system of downloading and keeping these shows. Anyhow, I’ve already gone off topic, right? Alright, I’m gathering enough strength to hit the shower. Meanwhile… still in my PJs and contemplating on another short nap.

I need to keep moving in a bit (seems to be an endless argument in my head lately). There is somewhere else I need to be. And I need to study songs for ASAP 2012 tomorrow. Sometimes, I need to learn too many things at the same time, it feels like I never left school.

Although I can’t share everything that has been going on in my life, I guess some of you know that the past year or so has been extremely difficult. Work keeps me sane. My girls. My friends. My family. Little trips abroad or to the beach. Taking care of my Lovey. I don’t know what to do with my life without these things- or being surrounded by these people and being enveloped in their love and energy. And although I try my best to be utmost honest about things, I remain to be quiet about some that are not easy to talk about. So, thanks to all of you who continue to send messages and offer your prayers. We love all of you.

Here’s looking forward to a good relationship with you, Tumblr.

Be Happy. Be thankful. Be you.

To Papa

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

By ZZP· Saturday, June 18, 2011
Thank you. I am blessed that God gave me you. Growing up in a 2-bedroom bungalow in a family compound in San Juan has brought so many happy memories. Although it came with the hardships of growing up poor, we were a happy bunch- and a closed-knit family, thanks to you wanting the Padilla family near by for support.

I can’t imagine how you and Mama were able to manage to put all 6 of us through school. It must have been tough. And I remember times when we barely managed having food on our table. But we were all happy. And even when you were strict with us and disciplined us in ways worthy of an MMK (Maalala Mo Kaya) episode, the good memories always outweigh the tough.

I remember the embarrassment of having to be called to report at the Principal’s office numerous times. I was not allowed to take the exam because my tuition was not paid for. And still, you and Mama managed to pay. At tignan mo, Inglesera na ako ngayon! Sana huwag ka mag nose bleed sa sulat ko, ok? Labu.

I also remember walking the streets of San Juan in the rain (naka umbrella naman) to go the panciteria of N. Domingo to buy 2 bags of pancit. Ulam natin sa kanin. Puro carbs, huh? Pero in fairness, may chunks of meat pa nuon. Healthy and nutritious pa din.

When i tell these stories, people would raise their eyebrow. Like I am making up that we were poor and that I used to love to play in the open canals of the streets of Valenzuela. Eh sa feeling ko, yun ang “fishing” eh. Ang sarap kaya mang-huli ng isda at tadpole sa kanal? Bet? Thanks to the combination of combatrin and pineapple fruit, labas lahat ng alaga sa tyan! Ewwww. Yucky (ganyan na ang may class).

I am proud of you. When I see the past films you have made, I’m quite impressed that you were an excellent actor! Sorry, i was too young to remember your past films but thanks to Cinema One, I get to catch it. I hope that we can act together. All of us in one film. Wouldn’t that be a dream project?

And what about all the many successful fights that you have worked as a referee? It is marked in history. Never to be forgotten. That is why we, your children, all strive hard to be as successful as you in our chosen field. You have rubbed this off on all of your grandchildren as well- to make a difference in the world, to try and give our very best.

The most difficult phase in my growing up years was when you had to make a sacrifice to leave your family and work in Las Vegas. I know a lot of people can relate to this. Being part of a family with an OFW parent. Ganyan naman ang karamihan ng buhay ng Pinoy. Sadly, I rebelled and married early. In retrospect, I know now why that happened. I was destined to stay in Manila. God has different plans for each of us. God is good.

I thank you for my love for working out- growing up watching you work out everyday in your home-made gym. At least inspired ako mag-work out kahit masakit na minsan sa buto at kaso kasuhan! Because you’re still taking good care of your body. Still jogging at 77! Both impressive and inspiring!

Thank you for taking care of Mama and staying married for more than 50 years! I thank you for loving family first and foremost. I thank you for all the sacrifices you have made, to make us who we are today.

Although I am far away- you, Mama, all my brothers and sisters, pamangkins and apos will always be in my heart. Thank you for everything you taught me. All the phone calls and “sermons” that I get even with my constant bikkering- “Akala mo ata 12 years old pa din ako!!!”. I know now as a parent that we will always be protective of our children. And in our eyes, sometimes, it is hard to understand that children grow up to become adults. But thank you for your guidance. I may not always listen to your advise (tigas din ng ulo at pasaway minsan), but no matter what i say or do, I know in the end how you are always right and want ONLY what is best for me.

I am proud that you are my Papa. i wouldn’t want anyone else in the world. I love you very, very much. I miss you. I pray that God would grant you many, many more years on Earth. I cannot imagine life without you and Mama (pause for tears).

Happy Father’s day!

Papa the health buff

My beautiful parents

Third man in the ring

My beautiful parents

The Art of Clean Clutter

If there is spring cleaning, what does one call the act of throwing out old stuff to make room for new ones beginning of the year?

While family is away on vacation, I have been doing a bit of cleaning. Our house is 18 years old and we have decided to refurbish (major repairs are in order) this year. We will also be building a library and a mezzanine which will act as our “bodega”.

I decided to start with my own things. The idea dawned on me while I was looking for my Star Cinema script. I have been so busy I just pile everything in one corner. I started sorting them out- “Maalaala mo Kaya?” script and Mano Po 6 scripts are now nicely stowed away. Lyrics from shows and itineraries from  the Divas tours piled in another corner.

So far, I  have cleaned two desks- one inside my room and the other right outside where I hang out to do bills, write letters, do photo albums and sometimes, type on my computer- just like today.

I was supposed to film for Star Cinema today (hang on tight Kimerald fans), but it was canceled, so I decided to stay home to do more cleaning. We accumulate so much mail, magazines, books, knick knacks, “abubot” the whole year ’round and January always seems  a reasonable time to clean, right? It’s easy for me to throw things out but it’s important to know what you shouldn’t throw away. Like the old adage goes, no one throws away memories.

Things I couldn’t throw away:

1. Pictures. Why aren’t we printing enough anymore though?  This digital frenzy makes it impossible to choose. I mean, aim and shoot. How hard could it be? And as long as you, your friends and family are in the photo, that makes for a good shot, right?

Photo albums are so much fun to look at. And seeing how fast my kids have grown, makes me sigh and ask myself,  ” Where has the time gone?”.

And scrapbooks are fun to make. I think the last time I had pictures printed was 2 years ago. My bad. I need to sort out good ones and have them printed. Wow, thinking about it makes me dizzy. Some task that’s going to be.

2. Cards/ letters, Souvenir programs from concerts, my kids’ school programs, report cards, drawings,  scripts, lyrics and travel/tour itineraries, etc, etc.

I’m sentimental but I don’t know where to keep them anymore. I had my staff go to SM MOA today to get 6 big plastic containers.Luckily, it was on sale. I filled one with old and new posters of concerts/ movies and the other one with important mail, letters, souvenirs, cards, report cards, scripts, etc.

3. Magazines especially with Karylle on the cover. Proud Mom will keep them forever!
I also keep newspaper articles and it’s all piled up in a corner! That has got to go in one container.

4. Paper weights. I have about 4 and they are cute and basically just acts as knick knacks on my desk. Most are from my girls and it makes me happy seeing them on my desk.

That’s about it. I have not been keeping cds of music materials like I used to. It’s already in my computer. After I upload them, I throw them out. Kinda wasteful, don’t you think?

I still own a cassette player/recorder and several tapes though. Although they are obsolete, they have been neatly filed by my staff early last year.

And so i am done cleaning my desks. I’m thinking of old clothes and shoes next. So many people may be able to make good use of them.

I don’t want an empty desk. I even put the most “painful” mail I have where I could see it. And as I fixed my desk today, I put it right back at the very top of the heap.

I need to glimpse at it daily. Because even with this long hard struggle, I have learned to be grateful. And so I thank God that I get to live another day even if it’s to fight this long battle. If there’s one thing in my life that has not yet been granted, there have been so many blessings that have probably taken it’s place.

And yes, I have lived another year to “declutter”. Who knows, this year, I may have the chance to finally throw these registered mail out. For good.


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