Saturday, December 1, 2012

LISA MACUJA-ELIZALDE: BALLERINA NG BAYAN (Second of seven parts) (October 15, 2012)

VN: How would you describe yourself as a mother? As a wife?
LME: As a mother, I would say that I am a pretty cool mom. Albeit a very busy one. I am not that strict. I don’t think so. I kind of tend to spoil my kids with material things because that’s what working moms normally do – you know – try to make up for less time spent with your kids with cool gadgets and toys and clothes and shoes and their favorite foods… but I always make sure that these are rewards that they earn, or deserve. It’s not just “Ask and you shall receive with me and my kids. I use a reward system for good grades or good behavior so that they feel that they have earned their treats.

When my kids were younger, I would spend more time with them. I would read to them. I would play with them more like a playmate than a mom. I am lucky that I don’t have to spend a lot of my energy doing household chores so I can really devote my full attention and enthusiasm to the passions of my kids when I am not working. Now that my kids are in Middle School, they more or less decide on their own how they want to spend their time. I often feel I’ve lost a lot of this time to the Internet and their computers. I make it a point to be able to attend school activities and of course, with Missy dancing in Ballet Manila, I spend a lot of time with my daughter at work. One thing I can tell you though is that now their math homework is Greek to me. And whenever I try to teach Missy ballet, we end up arguing so it is not a very pleasant experience for both of us. She prefers a different teacher than her mom. As a wife, I am what you would call a geisha wife. I even put the slippers on my husband’s feet! I really take care of him – kind of like my bunso. And he loves it! J I am also a take-charge wife. OIC. I am sort of like his secretary, executive assistant, dresser, groomer, schedule planner, organizer etc. etc… Mrs. All Around. Yes, I spoil him too, just like my kids. But, I also know when to draw the line. He spoils me too so I guess it’s fair. Ha ha ha I don’t cook. I don’t do the laundry. I haven’t even re-decorated our house that we have spent the last 15 years of our lives together in. I am not really a homemaker sort of wife. I don’t have the talent for it. If you come into our house, you will see a “creative clutter” that seems to work for us.

VN: How is it being married to the president and CEO of the Manila Broadcasting Company, the largest radio network in the Philippines and in Asia, with DZRH being the the oldest radio station in the archipelago?
LME: Well, I have my own radio show! Ha ha ha. Okay, seriously, except as a “radio host” of Art 2 Art (which is five years old already and has reaped a whole slew of awards so justified naman di ba?) I don’t really meddle into my husband’s businesses and affairs. He has so many people working for him already, I would rather not mess that up with my presence. We definitely compliment each other with joint projects such as Ballet & Ballads with MBC and Circus D’Ballet and the weekend and Christmas free shows in Star City. Not many ballerinas can truthfully say that for two consecutive birthdays in a row, her husband gave her two theaters – first Star Theater in 2001 and Aliw Theater in 2002. Fred is Ballet Manila’s patron and for all his support, we are forever grateful.

VN: Could you tell us more about your award-winning radio show Art 2 Art? Is it also televised?
LME: Yes, it is also televised now on Cable TV. It’s in a teleradyo format. 30 minutes every Sunday at 3:30 to 4pm on DZRH and RHTV. We normally tape four episodes for the month on a Monday (which is my official day-off from dancing). I interview artists of various disciplines. We pay tribute to our National Artists every last Sunday of the month. We have run out of National Artists to pay tribute to because we have been on every Sunday since March 2007 and have taped and aired more than 265 episodes! I learn so much from the interviews and so many artistic collaborations have sprung forth from the ideas shared on Art 2 Art. We are proud to have been awarded 2 CMMA’s as Best Eductional Radio Program and 2 Gawad Tanglaws for the same category. I even received a Best Radio Anchor from Gawad Tanglaw 2 years ago! I have a great team! Anjie Ureta has been my best friend for more than 20 years already and she is the writer of Art 2 Art. Susan De Guzman is our researcher and she is also a great friend. So, I really have a good time taping Art 2 Art, it doesn’t feel like work at all. Kind of like my dancing in Ballet Manila which also doesn’t feel like a job at all.

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