Quezon City, April 18, 2002 (BULLETIN) by Crispina Martinez. Belen - Fans and followers of superstar Nora Aunor has something great to look forward to from their idol. In May, La Aunor will be seen anew on TV, but this time not in the usual musical–variety show format but in a public service program. Which to her is something more relevant and fulfilling..

Entitled “n.o.r.a.mismo (ngayon na ang oras ng remedyo at aksyon)” it will be aired every Friday at 1:30–2:30 p.m. over IBC 13. So actually, Nora has come full circle, returning to the network where she started her “Superstar” program decades ago. And if Nora is acceptable to the idea, IBC 13 could even bring back the show and even her drama series. And why not? Says Cerge M. Remonde, chairman and chief executive officer of the network. But Nora would like to concentrate on her public service program first.

Why a public service program? “Because this is something I’ve always wanted to do, for the common people, for the masa (from where I came from by the way) who’ve been there for me through thick and thin,” the diminutive superstar said. “And we hope that this program could be an effective bridge between the government and the people to be able to help each other. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is doing her best but she needs our help, everybodys help for her to succeed and realize her goals for the country and people.”

Doing something for the common folk, for the needy, is the ultimate goal of the superstar now. “I dont have to be in politics to do public service,” she stressed. Everyone knows that Nora sought a political post in the last elections but lost. This has not dampened her desire though to serve the needy, especially her kabayans in Bicol. Her public service program would just be the start of the realization of her dream to be of help to the common folk. “Tutulong na lang ako kahit wala ako sa pulitika.”

Her public service program “n.o.r.a.mismo” will have various segments, all focusing on vital, relevant and timely issues, like the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of women and children. The segments are “Babae,” “Kaya Kong Magtrabaho,” “Bawal Pong Maglimos,” “Pag-usapan Natin,” “Wow.inspirasyon;” “Problema Ba Yan?” “Iisa ang Ating Planeta,” “Bata.Bata” and “Problema Mo, Lunas Mo.”

The theme of the program is: Alleviate poverty, uplift dignity.” The three objectives are: extend assistance and keep hope alive for the less privileged; encourage public and private sectors cooperation to lighten the burden of the masses; and keep the government closer to the people by facilitating easier public access to social services.

“So in my own little way, I would like to bring government closer to the people by facilitating access to public services,” Nora added. “Noong una, I had misgivings. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, kaya ko ba ito dahil ibangiba itong papasukan ko. Pero napagisipisip ko rin na kung taos sa puso mo ang gagawin mo, magagawa mo para makatulong sa mga mahihirap at nangangailangan ng tulong. This is my chance to do public service, and I don’t have to be a politician to do so.

Chairman Remonde said the program is an excellent venue for Nora, phenomenally still a well-loved icon in Philippine showbiz, a living legend in fact, to connect to the people who she’ve wanted to serve eversince. This is the time for her to do a public service program, to make use of her gift and persona as a superstar. “A public service program could really be a more meaningful job for her to do, since she will be giving assistance to the poor who are truly close to her heart,” Cerge said.

“I really hope Nora will be successful in this program because she can really touch lives in a more meaningful way, aside from entertaining people through her gift of music.” IBC 13 has plans to make the program daily, “but in the meantime na nag-uumpisa pa lang kami, once a week lang muna,” Cerge added.

Nora revealed that they are also toying with the idea of bringing back “Superstar” and her drama series, “but one thing at a time. Mas gusto ko itong public service program sa ngayon.”

In “n.o.r.a.mismo,” Nora will have as co-host Junne Palacios Abejuela, a popular ABS–CBN broadcast journalist in Naga City. He joined ABS-CBN in l998. Because of this opportunity to be working with the superstar in a public service program, he might have to resign from ABS-CBN and move to Manila, he said which is just good because his family is here.

In Naga, Junne is host and executive producer of the Saturday show “Tips Atbp.” Interestingly, Junne was originally a stage actor when he was still studying mass communications at Centro Escolar University. He toured Central Luzon with Teatro Artistico for a year, he recalled. The opportunity to work in Bicol beckoned and there, Junne pioneered in some shows and newscasts. He also hosted a quiz show and a singing contest entitled “A Star Is Born.”

He and Nora met in l999 when the superstar guested in his show. Junne is of course very excited to be working with Nora in “n.o.r.a.mismo.”

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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