Young Empoy

YES! (Philippines) - - COVER STORY -

these child­hood pho­tos, stained by wa­ter from ty­phoons past, are only some of the pic­tures empoy has kept for pos­ter­ity. “Kinder ako diyan,” empoy says of the photo (above) show­ing him in grad­u­a­tion cap and toga.

Mommy ce­cil has a mem­ory of the young empoy dis­play­ing his wit and can­dor dur­ing his kinder­garten grad­u­a­tion: “Tawag nang tawag ’yong teacher, kasi meron siyang award. Anim na taon or five and a half siya. Sabing gano’n, ‘Julius er­man Mar­quez, best in So­cial Stud­ies.’ Nakatayo ako, hanap ako nang hanap. Kasi nga, la­hat sila naka-white, naka-toga. Eka sa akin, ‘Ay, ano’ng hini­hin­tay mo? Pasko? Ha­lika na, kan­ina pa ako tinatawag ng teacher ko.’ Tawanan ’yong mga mommy. Ngayon ko naisip ’yong mga gano’n, kasi di ba, e, kaliit pa lang, matatawa ka na.”

“Grade four ata ako nito,” empoy says of a 1992 photo (be­low) that shows him walk­ing in pro­ces­sion in front of a karosa of Santo Niño stat­ues. empoy ad­mits to be­ing prayer­ful and re­li­gious even as a child.

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