Lea Salonga’s Backstory: Staying home


Staying home

By Lea Salonga
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:47:00 11/19/2008; On Paper 11/20/2008

HONG KONG SAR — I’m home … my body decided to give out, so to speak, and forced me to stay in the house all day. I’ve got a slight sore throat, and my left upper thigh is feeling sore, too.

My daughter was also sick this past week. She most likely caught something at Disneyland. It seems that quite a few Hong Kong locals have fallen prey to either the weather and/or whatever illnesses the change in season brings. In the theater earlier, I was hearing coughing from both young and old audience members. In a way it makes me feel better that it’s not just my daughter; there’s less parental guilt. We brought her to a 24-hour outpatient clinic in one of the nicest hospitals I had ever seen, and they took good care of her.

I was already feeling a little something starting with me on Sunday (better me than Nicole, I said to myself as I always do), so I kept an eye on my condition throughout the day. Nothing hampered my shows, thank goodness, and since a day off was forthcoming, I didn’t worry about missing work. If this had happened at the start, or in the middle of the week, I’d have panicked. Then again, I do have incredibly talented and well-prepared understudies.

Sleep, food, toons

So, how did I spend these last 24 hours at home?

1) I slept a lot. I have to thank my mother and yaya for helping me get my rest. I must have had a full night’s sleep, plus daytime naps, taken while my daughter was herself napping.

2) I ate, but not too much. I needed to keep my strength up! My mother made some delicious lamb curry last night, so I had that for lunch today, and she brought home some hot udon noodles in soup. I had a lot of the steaming broth, and it made me feel tons better. I love having my mom with me, especially when there’s a kitchen in which her presence will most definitely be felt.

3) Watched lots of Looney Tunes! Late in the evening when everyone else in the house was asleep, I tuned into Boomerang for some great Looney Tunes classic cartoons. One of them in particular was aired a lot when I was a kid, which meant I had memorized the dialogue from start to finish. So while the toon was playing I recited each and every line from all the characters. Fun!

4) Watched my daughter “perform.” I will say this one more time: I will not ever force my daughter to follow in my footsteps. That’s a decision only she will make. Having said that, it seems that she’s starting to gravitate towards performing. She’s already memorized a lot of the songs from “West Side Story” and “High School Musical” (by memorized, I mean she sings the last few words of each line without missing anything) — plus dialogue and blocking. I have no idea if she’s going to keep this up as she grows older … all we can do is wait and see, I guess. It’s fun watching her right now, though!

5) Met with family … sort of. Rob’s grandmother, Eva Chow, came to visit. She didn’t stay too long, as she was also nursing a cold and cough. It was great to see Nicole’s tai po (great-grandma) on this side of the world. She’ll be watching “Cinderella” tonight.

It’s past 2 a.m. so I’d better hit the sack. I’ll be far more verbose when I’m all better, I promise.


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