When the famed rock band Journey needed a new vocalist to replace the legendary Steve Perry, they turned to You Tube, where they found various clips of an unknown 40-year-old band singer from the Philippines. Then, Arnel Pineda was simply just a small-town boy, living in a lonely world, covering different rock songs that included those of Journey. But fate was kind and he had the phenomenal voice, stage presence and the bearing of a natural-born rock star. Now he is living a dream that goes on, and on, and on, and on.
Arnel Pineda didn’t stop believing and his amazing journey keeps reaching unbelievable new heights. His mythical rise from the slums of Manila, to being a pizza joint singer and conquering the international music scene is nothing short of breathtaking.
Who would have known, that with every heart-pounding performance he gives, Arnel suffers from a real and literally breath-taking condition called asthma.
Asthma didn’t come ‘til later in Arnel’s life. He recalls one morning in the year 2000, while cleaning their room in their old house in Kamuning, he felt an onset of colds which he thought was just a normal thing until it got worse in just about 30 minutes. ‘Bigla nalang maga na yung ilong ko at merong shortness of breath,’ he shared. ‘Nagpahinga ako sandali pero after awhile, ayan na naman.’
Arnel found his first time condition odd and having no budget for consultation, sought the advice of a doctor-friend who discovered that his larynx was inflamed due to dust. Apparently it was a case of asthma triggered by allergies. ‘Nung una nga, eh, mahirap paniwalaan kasi malakas naman ako at hindi naman ako naninigarilyo.’ The doctor questioned Arnel about his exposure to smoke and apparently another major trigger was inhaling 2nd hand smoke from the bars and venues where he’d performed in Manila.
Eventually the triggers also came from vehicle smoke when he’d commute and ride the jeep, tricycle or taxi. ‘Parang nagsisikip na ung dibdib ko, faint and shallow na yung breath ko na parang kulang yung oxygen intake.’ This went on for years and even worsened around the time he was discovered to be Journey’s lead singer in 2008. It was also around this time when doctors diagnosed his sickness as allergy-induced asthma.
But of course, Arnel, being the believer that he is, couldn’t just let his sickness topple the wonderful opportunity of raising the Filipino flag in the world of music and took everything as a challenge. ‘After every performance, sobrang bigat ng pakiramdam ko, hindi ako makahinga and may wheezing sound dahil nga wala ng oxygen na pumapasok. Hindi naging madali nung una pero kailangan labanan,’ he explained.
If Kim can win, you can too!
Kim Chiu has come a long way from her Pinoy Big Brother days. From the bashful, chinky-eyed Cebuana teenager, she is now one of the most sought after actresses in local showbusiness.
Hailed as the country’s Teleserye Princess, a box-office queen, and one of the most pleasant and wholesome girls in the industry, one may think that Kim Chiu has had it easy.
Not many know that Kim also suffers from asthma. Kim shares that she has suffered from asthma since high school and has been dealing with it it for over 5 years now.
‘Eversince masyado na akong active. Back in high school, I played volleyball, basketball and even sipa,’ she quipped. One day, Kim shares that she just coughed non-stop and experienced unexplained shortness of breath accompanied by rapid heartbeat. She was rushed to the hospital and was eventually diagnosed with asthma. Entering showbusiness made it more challenging to manage her asthma as it entailed a lot of hours of taping and working overtime, not to mention the constant lack of sleep.
‘Sa work naming mga artista,kasama namin ang pagod at puyat pero syempre hindi
naman talaga maiiwasan yun para makapagbigay saya sa iba,’ she shared. And for Kim, it is no question that the saying ‘the show must go on’ holds true even with her condition.
Kim says she heeds the advice of her doctor but doesn’t ‘baby’ her sickness to the point of limiting herself. ‘Kung lahat nalang ng bawal, eh, sereyosohin ko ng grabe, I will miss half of my life kaya naman ready lang parati ang gamot ko at in moderation lang ang pagka-active as much as possible.’
When she feels an attack coming, she gets as much air and water as possible. She has also learned to manage her sickness by being ready and having her medications handy at all times – in her bag, her car, etc. Kim recognizes that being an asthmatic comes with a lot of restrictions; however, she does not allow her asthma to stop her from doing what she wants and loves to do. ‘Pag artista ka, hindi naman puro acting, shows, TV and movies na lang. Syempre, may gagawin ka ring iba para malibang at maging normal. Kaya nagsimula na rin akong mag-gym para mag gain ng weight, tumakbo, mag-badminton at paminsan-minsan, mag-swim.’
Kim is also a certified dog-lover and many are aware that pets can trigger asthma. She also has a niece living with her and together, they share their love for dogs. ‘Meron kaming tatlong Pomeranian at para silang mga furball. One white, one chocolate brown and the other, light