Ara Mina opens up about having a sister with Down Syndrome

IMAGE Arniel Serato

Ara Mina considers her younger sister, Mina Princess Klenk, her lucky charm.


Not many showbiz fans know that aside from her equally famous sister Cristine Reyes, 29, Ara Mina also has a 25-year-old sister named Mina Princess Klenk.

Batching, as they fondly call her, has Down Syndrome, which was defined by Medicine.Net as "a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21, and is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate intellectual disability.”

Ara said raising Batching can be both a challenge and a blessing.

“To be honest, mas hirap yung mommy ko.

“Pag nahihirapan na yung mommy ko pinapasa niya sa akin si Mina.

“Kasi they have tantrums, as in talagang nambabalibag sila. Nananakit sila, ganyan.

“Kaya dapat dalasan natin yung activities, i-treat sila as normal para sa mga actions nila,” she advised.

According to David M. Perry, a journalist who advocates disability rights in the U.S., it is important to know where the "pananakit" stems from.

He pointed out, "Does it come from anger? Aggression? Confusion? Fear?

"Sometimes it's from over-stimulation. Or, and this is pretty common, people with Down syndrome use physical responses as an alternate form of communication.

"When you don't have words, hitting or hugging communicates perfectly well from the perspective of the child, and it might not even communicate what you think it does.

"People with Down syndrome are not any more likely to be violent by nature than anyone else, in fact probably less so, but they do often have boundary issues."

Back to Ara, she admitted that her mom is sometimes wary about Batching's tantrums.

She recalled, “Actually, nung isang araw umiiyak na ang mommy ko.

“Baka mamatay raw siya kapag nagta-tantrums ito. Kinakagat siya, ganun.

“Sabi niya, 'Hindi ko na kaya. Baka ito ang ikamatay ko. Maaga akong mamatay.'

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“Kaya kailangan palagi siyang ini-expose. Naging busy ako kaya doon muna siya sa mommy ko.

“Kasi pag sa akin, tumataba siya. Kasi meron siyang parang diabetes.

“Hindi siya puwedeng tumaba nang husto kasi pag nagkasugat, kaya dini-dyeta siya ng mommy ko.

“Minsan pag nagta-tantrums hindi mo siya mabuhat kahit ilang tao pa kayo.

“Kahit ganyan ang katawan niya, parang bumibigat sila pag nagta-tantrums.”

On the one hand, she is Ara's suwerte.

“Naniniwala ako," she quickly said.

“Kasi sa pagkakatanda ko, kahit Christian ako, narinig ko na pag nag-alaga ka ng mga special child, parang masi-save ka na.

“Pero malambing sila, pag birthday ko, kinakantahan ako, 'Ate, Happy Birthday! I love you,' 'tapos, iha-hug ka.”


LUCKY CHARM. Ara got the inspiration to organize a fund-raising sports event, scheduled for May 27, at the Philippine Arena, from Batching.

Dubbed TARA na sa ARenA 2018, the proceeds will go to kids with Down Syndrome.

During the prescon for the fun run held last Thursday, May 17, at the Philippine Arena's Embrace Cafe, Ara said it's her way of showing appreciation to her sister, her "lucky charm."

Ara reminisced, “This year, 25 years na ako sa industry.

“Nung pinanganak siya, doon ako natanggap sa pag-aartista.

“I think she’s my lucky charm.

“Kasi nung wala pa siya sa buhay namin, ilang audition ako hindi ako natatangap.

“Nag-audition ako sa Ang TV, hindi ako natanggap kasi wala pa siya.

“'Tapos, nung pinanganak na siya, nag-audition ako sa That’s Entertainment, pumasa ako.

“Grabe, sa Ang TV pumila pa ako ha? Nahimatay ako.

“Paggising ko, nandun na ako sa loob ng studio at ang humarap sa akin si Johnny Manahan.

“Sabi niya, 'Are you ok? Are you ok?'

“Hindi rin ako natanggap. At least nakapasok ako.

“As in grabe talaga yung..iba pa yung audience entrance doon pa sa kabila.

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“So, nung pinanganak siya, sunud-sunod na, natanggap na ako sa That’s Entertainment. I think she’s my lucky charm."

ADVANCE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION. According to Ara, the event is supposed to be an advance birthday celebration for Batching.

She explained, “Kasi nga June 1 ang birthday niya.

“'Tapos, yung event May 27, so parang advance celebration na rin.

“Saka nag-birthday ako nung May 9, 'tapos siya. Yung fun run, May 27.

“Parang sandwich ng birthdays namin yung event.

“Medyo nag-alanganin ako kung itutuloy ko o hindi. So nung na-present ko ito sa Arena, napa-block off na nila.

“So parang nahiya akong mag-back out. Saka baka hindi ako makakuha ulit ng sked.”


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