A Look Back at the Gifted Alumni: Inspiring a New Generation of Giftedness (A Promil Pre-School Event)

By Mommy Donna and Kib - February 02, 2015

When I saw the Promil TV commercial about the gifted kids twenty years ago, I also wished for myself that I'd be known as a gifted child.  Now that I’m already a mom, I also wished that my son will join the roster of gifted kids.  I’m so happy that my son has a gift in interacting with other people (interpersonal intelligence according to Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences).  I never had any problems with him socializing with both adults and kids.  He can easily adapt to the situation and makes himself comfortable with it.  

I admired the three kids (Shaira Luna, Kiko Galura, and James Flores) from the Promil TV commercial in 1995 because of their immense knowledge and ability.  Their commercial became popular and people really remembered the lines they have said (“the cardiovascular system is the system which circulates around our body…”, “the sun is the center of the solar system, moving around them are the planets…”, “saan man ibaling ang aking paningin, kamay ni Bathala ang siyang malikhain…”).   When they are already out of the limelight, people can still remember them until now
.  Now, twenty years after, people are wondering: where are they now?

I was blessed to be part of the Promil event last January 28th, 2014 at Shangri-La Makati.  I was excited to know more about the three child prodigies and to know who are the new generation of child prodigies in the country. 

As we enter the function room, there was a small exhibit about Shaira Luna, James Flores, and Kiko Galura.  It showcased their past achievements and their present status.  Shaira Luna is now a fashion photographer, James Flores is currently taking post-graduate studies in clinical psychology and doing outreach programs in music for children, and Kiko Galura is now a publisher in one of the country’s biggest publishing firms.

Kib checking all the displays on the exhibit 

During the event, these three gifted alumni shared their experiences and struggles as they grow old, being considered as one of the gifted children in the Philippines.    True enough, there was a bit of pressure that they need to always perform at their best on which failure is not an option for them.  However, they didn’t let pressure rule over them, and right now we can see that they are now successful in their respective fields.

Issa Litton, the host of the event, interviewing the gifted alumni

Joey Ayala, a renowned musician, also shared his experiences on being a gifted child.  He does not want to go with the norm; most of the time, he goes against it.  For him, being gifted is standing above the rest.  It is also important to make people feel a little bit of insecurity about their abilities so that they will push themselves to strive for success and go out of their comfort zones. 

Joey Ayala rendered a special number and shared his thoughts about giftedness

Three generations of giftedness showcasing their talent

During the event, the correlation between Nurture and Nature was stressed.  If one has a gift but didn’t nurture it, the gift will not develop at its fullest. 

This year, Promil Pre-School will launch the Gifted Movement campaign, which is a movement to support and celebrate giftedness in the Philippines.  Promil aims to spark interest and gain the commitment of parents and consumers to take an active role in advocating giftedness and nurturing it. 

Promil also introduced to the media the new breed of gifted children: Hamzah Marbella (visual arts—painting), Sage Araneta (piano), EJ Villarin (Violin), and Hansel Ang (piano).

The new generation of gifted kids together with their parents (L-R: Hamzah Marbella, EJ Villarin, Sage Araneta, Hansel Ang)

Then and now: Promil Gifted Alumni and the New Generation together with Wyeth executives

To close the event, everybody in the room recited this pact:

“The Gifted Movement takes us from our past—
through our present…All the way to our future—
with the introduction of our new Gifted Kids—
talented young masters in the making,
Picassos in progress
and virtuosos yet to be unveiled.
It is a movement we continue toay
through Promil Pre-School
and our collective crusade
to discover, encourage, and nurture
the gift of Filipino kids.
Together, we are all part of the Gifted Movement!”

Clockwise: Shaira Luna, Kiko Galura and James Flores

To know more about Promil Pre-School and the Gifted Movement, you can check their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/promilpreschool

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