Gleaning the Future with Glenah Slaton, Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia 1986!!!
I was the first to arrive at Mesa, a Filipino restaurant in Greenbelt 5, for my slated interview with Glenah Slaton. (Thanks to Izza Gonzalez for setting it up and joining us!) Well, it wasn’t really a formal interview with Glenah; the three of us just wanted to get together to catch up on life.
To refresh your memory, Glenah Marie Valmonte Slaton (pronounced SLAY-tun) was in my Bb. Pilipinas batch in 1985. She won the coveted Miss Photogenic award and placed 1st Runner-up. The following year, Glenah joined Mutya ng Pilipinas and was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia 1986. She represented the Philippines in the Miss Asia Pacific 1986 and did the nation proud by entering the semi-finals.
Glenah Slaton is also remembered for what is believed to be the first ever kissing scene in a TV commercial in the Philippines (please correct me if I’m wrong) for White Castle Whiskey.
And now, my impression of Glenah Slaton after 26 years of not seeing her…
Ahhh… colorful, flowing top. A designer bag gently plopped on the seat next to her. Light make up with no eye-liner. Bright red dragon-lady nails that look like an arsenal of deadly weapons. Her eyes? Still the same deep-set pair that I knew long ago and her nose is still cutely tilted up in a snobbish way. No, she’s not snobbish but her nose is. As the lunch wore on, I became mesmerized by the myriad expressions on her face as she told us about all the things that happened to her since her days in Bb. Pilipinas and Mutya.
Ah yes, this story begins with a tale of bitterness. Glenah says that both the Bb. Pilipinas and Mutya pageants left her feeling like the ‘odd-girl-out’. She admitted not being able to bond well with her co-contestants, including me. I was just too talkative, she said, and a little over-bearing. (I must say that I am guilty as charged!)
The province lass from Bacnotan, La Union was painfully shy and not used to the ‘teasing’ culture that city girls seemed to thrive on. Glenah added that even the older beauty queens would laugh at her because she was ‘promdi’. Even more hurtful was how some pageant organizers treated her Mom. “I won’t go into details but they were so bastos to my Mom. And that was so painful for me then,” she said.
“To make matters worse, I fell in love with a man who was so abusive. I was turned into a house helper for him AND his family. But I was so in love then; I was even pregnant with his child when I crowned my successor in Mutya ng Pilipinas!” The fruit of that relationship was a daughter named Kathleen. Glenah says, “Kathleen is now 25 years old. I know where she lives and works but unfortunately we don’t talk. There are issues here but I hope one day it will be fixed.”
Living through all that hurt and pain only served to make Glenah Slaton stronger. “It reached a point where I was depressed and suicidal but I thankfully I was able to leave that relationship and move on with my life. I learned how to fight back. Ngayon, wala na akong pakialam; I don’t care what people say about me anymore.” She laughed and said, “Yes, I was hurt but that’s the past. I am now content and peaceful in my heart. I can’t ask for more because now I have a perfect husband and great kids!”
FAMILY BRINGS HEALING
Glenah Slaton can’t help but gush about her family. “Kenneth is already 21, Abigail is 18 and Francesca is my youngest at 7. I’m a hands-on Mom so they all keep me busy!”
All three of them live with her in Los Angeles where has been based for many years now. As for her husband Gus Azurin, Glenah coyly describes him as, ‘romantico.’
“Gus is a purser for Philippine Airlines so he travels a lot but every time he’s back home in LA, loving-loving na kami!” Parang honeymoon nanaman! He leaves roses for me on the bed, sweet notes in the bathroom and makes breakfast for me in the morning.” The two met on a PAL flight from Tokyo to Manila more than 2 decades ago. Gus was a steward on the flight and she was a passenger. “I was only 24 years old then! Pareho kaming broken-hearted, but somehow we both found love again.”
I sat there thinking how happy she looked just talking about Gus and the kids. Perhaps they are the real secret to her untarnished beauty.
Even if Glenah has her plate full with family matters, she still has time for her business (she sells second-hand designer bags) and her career as a Spiritual Adviser. Indeed, that title made me raise more than just one eyebrow but she explained, “The company I work for in the US believes in my abilities to discern the true nature of the groups they plan to do business with. In other words, I tell my employers whom they can trust. I have this gift of ‘reading’ people, situations, documents and other things. I can even see the future, 20 to 50 years from now.”
This revelation spooked me a bit so I asked if she was ‘reading’ me at the moment. “Well, my gift is on 24/7,” Glenah said, “but I don’t indulge in reading someone without their permission. It’s too personal. However, if something is bothering me, I will take a ‘look’ and give unsolicited advice. People always thank me because my readings are accurate.”
At this point, Izza Gonzales asks for a reading while I watch on. Then Glenah turns to hold my hand as if to ‘read’ me but I freeze and tell her that I’d rather take my punches and prizes as life gives them. Awkward moment. But Glenah was so gracious and said that it was alright, she understood how I felt. I was so relieved that she didn’t take offense but I just didn’t want to stay up all night because of something she said.
But that didn’t stop me from asking more questions about her gift. Did she ever use it to help solve a crime? “Oh yes, I’ve worked with authorities here in the Philippines. I sometimes help them with profiling criminals. ” Then she went on to share some of the lurid details of investigations that she was involved in. Glenah says some of these heinous crimes could have been solved if not for politics.
Out of everything Glenah told us that day, there was one thing that I quietly tucked into my heart. She said, “What hurts me the most is when people forget God. I can sense it when I do readings. And for me, the biggest failing people have is they leave their faith behind. So I tell them, ‘Go back to your faith! Pray! Love God! Because ultimately, He holds your future.'” I nodded my head at these words and reminded myself to get on my knees before hitting the sack that night.
Before long, it was time to say goodbye. I hugged Glenah and said sorry for being a brat during our Bb. Pilipinas pageant. She brushed it off and said, “Don’t apologize, it’s nothing. Anukaba?” I laughed at that. Then suddenly, she blurted out, “I just have to tell you that all I can see is good things happening to you. And an award. You’ll be receiving an award.” Glenah gives me one more hug and we part ways.
And as she walked off into the distance I wondered if that award was the renewed friendship between me and Glenah.