Her story "A Wilderness of Sweets", a heartbreaking tale of a young girl's experience of war, blew me away when I read it back in college... been a fan ever since. I was really excited when she agreed to have her place photographed.
We spent an an entire rainy afternoon just talking about life, love, and art. She asked me if I can contribute a picture to support an article she was writing, of course I said yes! Check it out here. :) That afternoon was one of the most enlightening days of my life!
She's an award-winning writer, artist, cultural icon, and an inspiration. Enter the realm of the colorful, warm, and utterly hip Gilda Cordero-Fernando!
*Tita Gilda is so original that she created her own questions to answer in the blog! Hehe. ;)
(Quezon City, Philippines)
Age: 80 going on 30
Sex: Female (latent cougar)
Status: In antique relationship with same old boyfriend for 58 years
Occupation: Writer, late blooming artist, erstwhile publisher, and theater producer (lugi, of course)
Interests: The arts, Filipiniana in all forms, fashion, learning from young people
Favorite toy as a child: A teddy bear that we buried 30 years after because the stuffing was coming out
Favorite toy now: The boy-toy I married 59 years ago and still love above all
Aversion: Boxes and labels
Top 5 movies: La Strada (Fellini), Babette's Feast, Seven Samurai (Kurosawa), Ganito Kami Noon (Eddie Romeo), Andg Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros
Books presently on my bedside table: Rage by Alfredo Roces, Tagbanwa, Palaspas
Book read lately: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Pulitzer Prize), Reinventing the Body Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra, the trilogy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Music you listen to (and dance to): The classics, tangos, Phil. bands, Susan Boyle, Norah Jones
What frightens you most: Any machine!
Ambition: To join a cosplay
When you're not busy with work, what do you do? Hang out with young friends. Why? You learn so much from them as long as you know how to listen. I prefer them to old people whom I'll soon see anyway, while it will eons before I see my friends again in my next lifetime.
If you were to choose a different job, what would it be? I'd be a fashion designer of cuckoo clothes.
If you can have any super power, what would it be? I'd be a billionaire and fund all ground-breaking theater pieces and projects.
What's the most important life lesson you've learned so far? Not to follow everybody else's advice. To always be true to one's own self.
Most inspiring statement/moment (heard/said/read): "Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional."