Face to Face host Amy Perez talks about life's second chances

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"Siguro nakatulong din 'yong five years na nag-training ako sa radyo, kasi sa radyo natuto akong makinig sa tao, natuto ako maging pasensyosa sa mga tao. Kailangan kasi meron kang tiyaga pagdating sa pakikinig sa mga tao na humihingi ng tulong o payo," Face to Face host Amy Perez says about being a public service program host.


Jumping into marriage was a "'major, major' lesson learned" for Face to Face host, Amy Perez.

Amy exchanged "I do's" with singer and ex-South Border vocalist Brix Ferraris several years back, only to part ways because of growing differences.

The Supreme Court, in a July 17, 2006 resolution, denied Amy's petition to declare the marriage null and void on the basis of "psychological incapacity."

It may be easy to brand the marriage as a "mistake," but Amy feels it's not fair to describe her past experience callously .

"Hindi 'yon mistake," Amy told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other entertainment reporters over lunch at Mario's restaurant on Tomas Morato in Quezon City.

"Hindi 'yon mistake kasi nagkaroon ako ng mabait at guwapo na anak resulta ng pagmamahal na 'yon. So, it's not a major, major mistake, but a major, major lesson sa buhay ko at sa lahat ng babae na kilalanin muna ang lalaki bago magpakasal."

The 41-year-old host was referring to her son with Brix named Adi. Both Amy and Adi have been estranged from the singer for years but she encourages her son to communicate with his father through Internet social networking sites.

SHARING LIFE LESSONS. Amy eventually found a new love in radio reporter Carlo Castillo. The couple's son Sean Kyle was born on December 19, 2008 at St. Luke's Hospital in Quezon City.

Meeting Carlo, said Amy, made her rediscover the wonders of life and love.

"The separation [with Brix] was very tough," confessed Amy. "But one has to move on, especially since may anak ako and I have to provide and make sure that my child grows in a loving environment."

Fortunately, Carlo entered the picture and was able to fill in the space vacated by Brix as a father. Domestic bliss made Amy consider "showbiz retirement" to live a quiet life with her family.

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Fate, however, had other plans and Amy received an offer from rejuvenated network TV5 to host a new show they were conceptualizing earlier this year. That show turned out to be the country's first "talak-serye" titled Face to Face.

The show was launched on March 22, 2010. It didn't take long before viewership started catching up, making Face to Face a legitimate force in the ratings game both in the morning and late evening timeslots.

Being caught in the middle of a heated argument between warring parties is not exactly a glamorous occupation, but someone has to do the job, as they say. When it comes to counseling, Amy leaves that to the Trio-Tagapayo composed of a spiritual adviser, lawyer, and psychologist.

"Ako talaga kailangan ko magbasa ng mga self-help books kasi, di ba, ang tanging mai-impart ko lang sa kanila lagi is kung ano 'yong lessons na natutunan ko sa buhay ko. So dun lang ako kasi hindi naman ako graduate ng psychology, although my course is A.B. Psychology. Siguro ang maibabahagi ko lang is kung ano 'yong pinagdaanan ko sa buhay.

"Sabi ko nga it's like saving a soul. Ever since naman naging open sa tao ang buhay ko... So pagsi-share ko sa kanila, at least kahit papaano meron akong nase-save na soul lalo na 'yong mga kabataang babae na sana hindi nila pagdaanan 'yong mga pinagdaanan ko."

LIFE BEGINS ANEW. The courage to learn and carry on from past errors certainly tailor-fits Amy to host the highly emotional program. Hosting a radio program for five years also shaped Amy to become a good listener.

"Kung nabigyan ako ng second chance in love, ito [Face to Face] 'yong second chance in my career... Nandun na kasi ako sa stage ng buhay ko na willing na akong mag-retire. Pero sabi nga ni Boy Abunda four years ago, 'Hindi pa tayo tapos, Amy. Hindi ka pa puwede mag-retire,'" Amy recalled being told by the manager-TV host.

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"Kasi feeling ko nung nakilala ko si Carlo ready na ko maging plain housewife. 'Yong paminsan-minsan na lang na guesting. Nandun na ko sa stage na 'yon. Kasi maliit pa lang ako, pangarap ko lang talaga maging plain housewife and then naging artista ako."

There's just no room anymore for bitterness and one must not constantly rekindle past wounds, added Amy. "Itong the past years ng buhay ko, siguro the past four, second chance in love, second chance in life, second chance in career. So, masuwerte pa rin ako because madami pang panahon para baguhin at ayusin 'yong dapat ayusin—to value and really love the people around habang buhay ako."


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