NEWSFLASH


Quezon City, Jan. 25, 2002 (STAR) STAR BYTES By Butch Francisco - Sen. Loren Legarda is turning 42 on Jan. 28 and Iíd like to be among the first to greet her a Happy Birthday. With all the articles written about her in newspapers and magazines, we already know a lot of things about her. However, there must be some little details in her life that you probably still do not know about. Here are 42 things you probably didnít know about our good senator.

1. Her complete Christian name is Lorna Regina Bautista Legarda Leviste.

2. Her nickname Loren was inspired by a cousinís name, Miren Lorenís mother, the late Bessie Legarda, liked the sound of Miren, but didnít want to name her daughter Miren II so she chose something that was close to it - and so it became Loren.

3. When she was a child, her face was a bit round and her little cousins took to calling her Moonie-Moonia.

4. As a child, she already had this serious look on her face and rarely smiled. This prompted her grandfather, the late great journalist Jose Bautista to comment: "Ang batang íto, ang tipidtipid tumawa."

5. In grade school she fell into the lagoon at the old Assumption Convent grounds in Herran (now Pedro Gil).

6. Her mother used to scold her for studying too hard. Instead of playing with little girls her age, she would stay in her room and study her lessons over and over again.

7. In high school, she belonged to this all-girl group that called themselves. The Groovy Ch icks.

8. Among her classmates in high school at Assumption were Toni Yulo and Maricris Cardenas who later would become Mrs. Inigo Zobel.

9. In her batch (but belonging to different sections) were other students who later became prominent names: Joey Albert, Chiqui Brosas, Crispy Santamaria and Dr. Dominga Padilla.

10. She maintained a low profile all throughout high school. According to one of her teachers. Editha Pagdanganan, Loren wasnít the type who would butter up to the faculty members just to excel in school.

11. At the age of 15, she became a Close-Up girl.

12. Later she also endorsed Selsun Blue shampoo.

13. For one of her final exams in UP (she majored in broadcasting), she and her group were made to present a production number. They chose to mount the fast Ligaw-Tingin number and she was to impersonate Lea Navarro. In the middle of the song, Loren tripped over and fell flat on the floor. Mustering enough courage, she got up from that embarrassing position and finished the number to rousing applause. They got the highest mark of 1 from their professor, Orly Mercado.

14. Her first hosting job on TV was in Channel 7 quiz show called Who Knows What? With Orly Mercado.

15. She studied Television Journalism at the University of California in Los Angeles in the early í80s.

16. She has a human automatic toothpaste dispenser in the person of her husband, former Batangas Governor Tony Leviste. Every morning, one of her husbandís first rituals is to put toothpaste on her toothbrush - even before she gets up. "That is my way of expressing the words ĎI love Youí to my wife without saying it to her all the time," points out Leviste.

17. Loren, in turn, expresses her love to her husband by writing him little love notes, which she leaves on his bathroom sink.

18. When she got pregnant with Lanz, her first born, in mid 1989, she seriously considered giving up her TV career completely.

19. When she was conceiving Lanz she had this craving for lychees and ate this by the kilo.

20. She can go on eating green mangoes every day (dipped in bagoong Balayan).

21. To her horror and disgust, the family pet dog peed on her collection of trophies while she was having these cleaned one day outside the kitchen.

22. She gets upset when her pieces of furniture at home are rearranged.

23. She gets really upset when her two boys - Lanz and Lean - disagree with each other.

24. She hits the ceiling when she brings home work from the office and somebody rearranges the sequence of the papers and other documents laid out on her work table.

24. She is terrified of cockroaches.

26. She is extremely fond of Moroccan architecture.

27. She is an honorary Muslim Princess - a title bestowed on her by the Marawi Sultanate League. She is referred to by them as Bai-A-Labi - which means Knowledgeable Princess.

28. She has a passion for locally-woven fabrics - especially those that come from Mindanao and Iloilo

29. Her favorite vacation place abroad is the South of France.

30. Locally, she prefers to spend her free time at Lorelei, a private resort in Nasugbu, Batangas given to her as a first wedding anniversary present by her husband. Lorelei stands for Lorenís Enchanted Little Island.

31. She spends an hour on the treadmill every day - and this is also when she does some really serious thinking.

32. She was never finicky about food. Today, however, sheís more careful about her food intake and sticks mostly to fish and vegetables. Bacalao is one of her favorite fish dishes. But she canít cook even if her life depended on it.

33. Manansala is her favorite visual artist.

34. To this day, she doesnít know how to text.

35. Her favorite expression is "Oh my God!"

36. She was instrumental in making a quadroplegic return to normal life. On a visit to the Our Lady of Lourdes General Hospital Parañaque 10 years ago where she was supposed to do an interview, she saw at the hospital lobby this disabled man ( a victim of a bicycle accident) and inquired about his condition. The doctors said that it was a hopeless case. - Loren despite her lack of medical background - felt otherwise. She brought the man to the orthopedic hospital and made representations with the doctors there. Today, this man can walk again and even ride a bicycle.

37. She helped restored the eyesight of a three-year-old blind girl who lost her vision after contracting small pox. Loren, brought the girl this time to her uncle who is an eye specialist. The girl now wears thick eyeglasses, is cross-eyed, but can see and read.

38. She helped a lot of people get cured of tuberculosis.

39. She maintains a special devotion to Our Lady of Manaoag. When she was running for senator in 1998, doctors discovered the growth of polyps on her vocal cords. She went to Manaoag to pray and after a week, the polyps were gone - to the surprise of her doctors.

She goes to the Pink Sisters convent in Tagaytay for her contemplative moments.

41. Together with her family, she prays the rosary every single day.

42. She will have her birthday celebration on Feb. 3 (and on Jan. 28) in a forest that she herself made." This will be at the South Superhighway Manplasan Exit in Biñan. Laguna. She started working on this forest by planting acacia trees on Oct. 20, 1998. Since then, she has planted 1,600 forests all over the country.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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