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Sillonas’ stepladders to serenity, success

  • Written by Tess L. Lardizabal
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 2780

THIS corner had the rare privilege of meeting a lovely couple who could give younger pairs -- and hip-hop generations -- priceless nuggets of wisdom on life, as well as relationships.
    
Up close and personal, former photojournalist Gaudencio ‘Jun’ Sillona Jr. and his beautiful wife Amparo ‘Ampy’ Aquino Sillona have an engaging aura. They radiate an inner serenity most people can only wish for. Which is not surprising.
    
For starters, Mrs. Sillona, or Tita Ampy, has a positive outlook which easily rubs off on people. She believes that a happy and healthy lifestyle is the key to bottomless bliss.
    
Tita Ampy welcomes every divine day with a simple purity ritual -- by drinking a glass of water. Then she drinks more liquid throughout the day.
    
She also eats healthy organic food, gets enough sleep, exercises regularly and shuns toxic emotions, not to mention people. She also has a deep respect and love for others.
    
Mrs. Sillona is a native of Guiguinto, Bulacan. She migrated to Los Angeles, California in 1978. On January 15, 1981, she married Jun Sillona in LA. She worked for 25 years at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles starting in 1983 as administrative assistant in the Orthopedic Dept., Quality Review System Dept. and Patient Care Services.
    
Tita Ampy received her Associate in Commercial Science degree at the MLQU in Manila.
    
Mr. Sillona, or Tito Jun, was an ace photographer at the Manila Times during the pre-Martial Law days.
    
Despite this stage of their maturity, the Sillona couple edges out other duos with their enviable love and respect for each other. The spark between them has obviously remained through the years, and amid life’s turmoils.
    
Having lunch with them at the Manila Hotel recently, it was inspiring to look at them exchange sweet glances and put each other’s needs before their personal essentials. Just like high school sweethearts.
    
Physically, both look awesome.
    
Tito Jun still merits a glance or two from women with his lean frame and wrinkle-free mestizo looks.
    
Tita Ampy is loveliness personified. Her gym-fit body boasts of curves in all the right places. Her secret to being sexy, she says, is that she doesn’t waste any moment NOT to keep trim. Thus, even when she was still a career woman, she would do simple exercises to keep her leg, abdomen and arm muscles toned.
    
And allow me to indulge. She could be a deadringer for a young Amalia Fuentes. Or an Asian double for Elizabeth Taylor.
    
Being a minority in a foreign country was not that easy for Tita Ampy and Tito Jun.
    
Mrs. Sillona started as a travel and tours receptionist in Stockton, California, in 1978; Department secretary for CHDC, a local government funded vocational school for low and/or no income farmers and she put up a Filipino resto inside the Stockton Filipino Community Center.
    
At the end of 1980, the couple moved to Los Angeles for good. Life in 1988 was better when they started a One Hour Photo business in North Hollywood, Ca. The undertaking went well and moved to Woodland Hills, California.
    
They were blessed with four loving children: Jhoy, Alvin, Jhing and JayR.
    
Prior to migrating to USA, Tita Ampy had worked with the Holiday Inn Manila, Ambassador Hotel, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and Makati Medical Center.
    
And if you think this power couple is already abundantly blessed, there’s more. The Sillona family members have been gifted with remarkable vocal and musical talents. Tito Jun plays the piano, while Tita Ampy, son JayR and two daughters sing like angels.
    
Daughter Jhing is a music teacher, performer and a recording artist. She had a significant part as a singing waitress in Spider-Man 3. Her website is Jhingsmusic.com. Granddaughter, Deejay, and her Kley band won as Best New Group at the recent 2014 Aliw Awards.
    
Tita Ampy’s eldest daughter, Jhoy (Deejay’s mom) was 1st runner up at the Tawag ng Tanghalan USA. Another granddaughter, Lianne, 16, is also a stage performer and a piano/voice teacher.
    
Then of course, who doesn’t know King JayR? This suave son of theirs definitely rocks and rules Philippine R&B. And there are no contenders in sight to his royal throne. His girlfriend, Mica Javier, also an artist of his Homeworkz recording firm, was recently named Best New Female Artist in the 2014 Aliw Awards.
    
Although JayR was born in the United States, he still has Filipino values and is well-grounded.
    
Tita Ampy is proud of her kids as they are slowly climbing their respective stepladders to success. In their own doting ways, they have followed her simple yet sure-fire mantra to serene yet successful living. And that is: “Follow your dreams, no matter how difficult it may seem. Never hold back and never let go.”
    
God will do the rest.
    
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