Nora wants her voice back

Superstar is Boston-bound again for a long-overdue throat surgery


06:09 PM June 5th, 2012

By: Marinel R. Cruz, June 5th, 2012 06:09 PM

NORA Aunor at the press con in California.HYDEE ABRAHAN / CONTRIBUTOR

SAN FRANCISCO, California— Nora Aunor is bound for Boston, Massachusetts, to undergo a long-overdue throat operation, the award-winning actress told the Inquirer.

In February 2010, the concert, TV and movie artist dubbed the Philippines’

“Superstar”—who was based in the United States at the time—underwent cosmetic surgery in Japan that reportedly damaged her vocal chords.

Asked whether she was nervous about going under the knife once again, she replied: “Yes, a little, but I’m confident that the doctors there are very professional. They’ve done similar procedures with success.”


According to online reports, Nora was in Boston last January for a series of checkups.

She recalled her botched operation in Japan: “I was put to sleep for three days. When I woke up, I kept screaming but I couldn’t hear my voice. I realized that the doctors had punched a hole in my throat.”

She was forced to lip-synch her songs during a concert in Toronto in May 2010. Doctors told her not to use her voice, not even to speak, but she still recited her spiels. She hasn’t done another show since.

New movie

Nora will soon be seen in her first big film in eight years, Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb.” Shot entirely on the island province of Tawi-Tawi in Mindanao, the film is about a Badjao midwife struggling with her own infertility.

Nora said she worked on the film for two straight weeks: “The hardest part was being under the scorching sun for days while I learned to maneuver a boat and weave straw mats.”


She also had to learn to deliver babies: “That was scary. I never knew how fragile newborns were until then. I was afraid to hold them but when I finally did, I was so happy; it felt really good.”

Nora found Mendoza’s directing style unorthodox (for a start, he preferred working without a script), but said she was comfortable with it. She explained: “On the day of the shoot, we discussed the scenes. He explained what he wanted me to do. I liked it that way. Even in previous movies, I never memorized my lines. I like to be spontaneous.”

She was last seen in the award-wining Maryo J. de los Reyes film “Naglalayag,” which won for her the best actress award at the 2004 Brussels International Film Festival in Belgium.

No fear

Didn’t she fear for her life while working in Tawi-Tawi, which is reportedly rebel-infested? “Not at all,” Nora replied. “The people in Tawi-Tawi are very kind. We had security escorts but we felt so safe that we asked them to help in crowd control instead. Walang nanggugulo. Everyone was hospitable and very respectful of outsiders. That’s one reason that we finished shooting ahead of schedule.”

Nora was among a group of talents from TV5 who flew to San Francisco to attend the launch of the network’s two international channels—Kapatid TV5 and Aksyon TV International—at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on June 2.

‘Wil Time’ in SF

The game show “Wil Time Bigtime,” hosted by Willie Revillame, gave away big cash prizes to US-based Filipinos on that day. Also present were Kapatid talents Derek Ramsay, Aga Muhlach, Ruffa Guttierrez, Rufa Mae Quinto, Mariel Rodriguez and Camille Villar.

Top network executives led by chair Manny V. Pangilinan attended a press conference on June 1 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

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