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Whiskey and Cigars

In the symphony of life, we are all given different instruments to play, each uniquely shaping our melodies and harmonies. Like whiskey and cigars, each adding depth and flavor to our experiences, our journey is enriched by those who guide and love us unconditionally. I am blessed with two sets of parents - my Filipino roots and my spiritual parents, Ron and Kathy Strand, who have been my pillars of strength and guidance.

When this magazine issue was still in the making, I sent this photo of me holding a glass of whiskey and a cigar to my Mama Kathy, and when we saw each other over dinner, she was a little hesitant to see this picture included in the feature. I replied, “I am no longer a boy, I am now a man because you and Dad guided me.” (My wife was teary-eyed knowing that they played a huge part in reassuring me of my identity as a man.)

I came here to the US seven years ago with baggage from my past including childhood traumas and sexual abuse, however, the Strands took me in as their own son, and while I was living with them for five years, they sent me to counseling and showered me with love every day as I began making new memories, painting a new canvas. Uncle Kyle, Uncle Ed, and Pastor Kirk were a few of the men who forged me in the sword-smith’s room. I, with my wife, want to share this with the world soon.

I may not look like the ideal man, in fact, I don’t even drink or smoke cigars (only occasionally in the past) but I know now that I can only get better as a man defined by God’s word who proclaims His goodness and salvation continuously.

#Showbizmagazine Feb 2024 Issue

PLPG Global Media

Model: Felson Palad

Photographer: Vincent Gotti

Makeup Artist: Gina Faucher

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