Monday, January 23, 2006

KC: A Charmed Life

by Blaise C. Gacoscos, YES! Magazine, May 2002

Kristina Cassandra "KC" Concepcion, 16, says: "Life is not about myself. It's not about what I want. It's really about people who are very special to me." From there, she goes on to talk about their warm, traditional family reunions every Christmas, Mom Sharon Cuneta, Dad Kiko Pangilinan, and Papa Gabby Concepcion. Then she reveals her big new love: theater! Hmm, sounds like one really nice girl.

How do you spend Christmas?
Every Christmas we spend it in my grandmother's house in Makati. It's tradition. Of course all the Christmases we've spent were with the family. Even in the States, we spend Christmases with my grandmother, her sisters, their children, my extended family, and we're all very close. We're about 70 something but we know each other so well. Actually, for me, when you say Christmas, it really reminds me of the family coming together just enjoying the moment and the occasion. We pray among ourselves and we sleep over on Christmas Eve. [Sharon, Kiko, KC, and Frankie are all Evangelical Christians so they don't hear Mass in Catholic churches.] It's the time to repair broken relationships, have fun, catch up with the family, and then eat and eat and eat. It's kinda a really good way to prepare yourself for the next year.

What was your best Christmas present ever?
Oh wow, a lot of very beautiful gifts. A gift can be anything actually. A gift can be very meaningful because it's something you've always wanted or something you've really needed. Maybe it's a trip to another country where you've always wanted to go or maybe it's just the thought that, you know, maybe you haven't been talking to someone for so long and on Christmas day he will get in touch with you, you know. It's like, "Wow!" I've had that in the past years a lot.

What's the most memorable gift your mom gave you?
Her cards mean the best. There was one card, she just told me all the things that he really appreciated, the things that I would do that meant a lot to her, that kinda changed her. Every year she gives me a card. That's what I always look forward to every Christmas. It was the best present.

Any special someone to celebrate the,season with?
I have a lot of guy friends who are all cry special to me. But a special someone... everyone's a special someone.

There's so much love and sunshine between you and your mom, don't you agree?
Of course there's so much love because we're mother and daughter. I think every parent loves her child. And she's a very loving person. It's not always sunlight I though. These days we're adjusting to each other, you know. I'm growing up. When you grow up you just have a lot of hang-ups. But we pretty much get along except that I guess if you say that it's always sunlight, that's not so. I think that with every relationship there's always gonna be times of trouble, and it's normal. If people probably see my morn and I fighting they'd make a big deal out of it because they've never seen its like that. It's not all sunlight.

What qualities of your mom do you have?
She relates well with people. A lot of my friends come to me for advice. Older cousins, friends... I like talking to people and I like being open myself. Like, if I really know you and I really trust you, I mean, you'll know my life. When I talk about deep and serious things or when I'm not being superficial, I don't try to put a mask, I just let my guard down. I think that's what I got from my mom.

Does your mom scold you often?
There's always something, not everyday naman, that you have to learn no matter how little or how big. And of course she has to be the bad guy. My parents have to be the bad guy, you know, they always say that because if they don't tell me what's wrong who else will?

Of course, my mom taught me the values I had learned, she's always there to discipline me. But my dad showed me a part of life that I've never seen, like, just the way he lives his life. He would spend a lot of time with me. Really just talk to me about things happening in the world. He's experienced a lot of things and he knows how to discipline a child. His way of doing it is very different from my morn's. For how many years, you know, he wasn't in my life. And when he did come to my life I just realized the change that, "Wow, he was very concerned about what's going on." He gives meanings to things. He's basically the reason na I'm a very, very good girl. He brought the Christian lifestyle into the family and he showed me exactly what it meant to be Christian. He is a strict father and I think he's strict because I can be stubborn. I mean I'm 16!

What did you get from your dad?
I call him "Papa." I don't know him well except his love for the beach. I love the beach. I was exposed to it at a young age like he was. It's like, you just show me the beach and I just kinda go crazy. Also, my being sporty and my masculine touch. You'll see it in the sports I choose to do -- soccer. water sports, gyrnnastics, horseback riding.

Have you been talking to him?
We started talking just recently by phone. That's something very private to me so that's all I'm gonna say. We have been talking quite a bit... I can't really say much about Papa because I didn't see him in. I guess, five, six years. And really, if you don't see each other for so long and then you stop communicating, it's kinda rocky. I mean. I love him very much. He's my father. Maybe there are more things I can say about my step dad than my dad because I don't know him well enough. He doesn't know me well enough. He's just a public figure. I guess, the reason why more people are interested to know and think that I have a lot to say is because it's always been a public thing that he's my father. They expect me to know him well.

What did you learn from Little Mermaid?
These days I realized that musical theater is something that I really love to do. You get to do all three: sing, dance, act. And it's live! It's not like in showbiz where you get on magazines or with the movies. This one you really have to get in the theater, watch me on stage, and then if something happens on stage you have to know how to go about it. It was like that when I went on stage in the Little Mermaid. It was just an amazing feeling. I wanna do more of I this. I don't know. I don't wanna say I wanna be a serious thespian. But I'm taking it a step at a time.
I am hoping to do another production next year because they're gonna have another major play and I will audition and see if I get in, hopefully. Actually, I was just talking to one of my friends who's also in theater and I was saying how I want to do another one right now! But I can't, I have school! I have to focus on school because if I don't my grades are just really gonna fall. I can see it already because of the workload. If I neglect, like, even just a tiny bit of this, i it's just really gonna drop because theater demands so much from me.

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