I am having the best time of my life when Miss Rachelle Ayala, the author of the beautiful book KNOWING VERA, give me the opportunity to interview Vera Custodio, the main character of the book. It was an honor interviewing Vera and get to know her better. I hope that you will have the fun reading my interview below. I want to say thank you to Miss Rachelle Ayala and Vera Custodio for this opportunity.
Character Interview with Vera Custodio, main character for Rachelle Ayala’s newest book: Knowing Vera
Vera, welcome to JessicaCassidy.com where being a woman is not easy. We’re so glad to have you visit with us. Before the interview, we asked Ms. Ayala to describe you in six words. She chose: vibrant, gutsy, sexy, caring, sentimental, tough. How do you see yourself?
Vera: I’ve had a tough life. That’s for sure. Ms. Ayala heaped all sorts of calamities on me and my family. My mother and I have had to stick together through the deaths of my two brothers, my father’s suicide, and losing custody of my niece who I raised from babyhood. I care a lot about my family. I don’t know if it makes me sentimental or not. But I definitely value my mother, my uncle and my niece’s happiness above my own.
Jessica: It must have been a big shock for you to find out your father was accused of murder. How did that happen?
Vera: Not only that. The victim was Zach’s mother. It happened when I as seven so I didn’t know the details and my mother refused to talk about it. After Zach’s injury, someone started sending me postcards and text messages to look into it.
Jessica: Is that why you broke up with Zach?
Vera: We weren’t in a relationship, so I don’t consider it a breakup.
Jessica: Not sure Zach would agree.
Vera: Actually he wasn’t that interested in a relationship at first. He was very popular with women, but his goals of being an Olympic triathlete kept him from commitment. That suited me fine. He was a fun date, easy on the eyes, and very talented.
Jessica: Ahem, yes, we’ve heard about his way with disintegrating panties. He changed after he lost his leg, didn’t he? How did that affect you?
Vera: I can’t imagine what he went through. He lost everything: his career, his fans, his future. I remember sitting with him after the surgery. He didn’t want to get out of bed and he refused to acknowledge me or any other visitor. He stared at the ceiling, wishing to die.
Jessica: What did you do?
Vera: Not much. I talked to him, told him Filipino fairy tales. There’s always some trick ending that’s somewhat funny. He didn’t even smile. So I sang songs my parents taught me, lullabies and nursery rhymes.
Jessica: You mean Filipino children’s songs? Give us some examples.
Vera: “Bahay Kubo,” “Leron, Leron Sinta.” My favorite one is “I Once Had a Ring” [lyrics below]. I also sang love songs, but not in English. [giggles]
I Once Had a Ring (Folk Song, English)
I once had a ring
That had a single gem
I inherited it
From my father.
I thought I hid it
In a chest
But it disappeared
Without my knowledge.
My despair was so great
It reached the heavens
I clasped my hands to pray
And placed them upon the table.
The ring I inherited,
My poor heart
Will love him forever.
Jessica: Why? Were you playing hard to get?
Vera: Maybe impossible to get. Ha, ha. I sang in Tagalog so he wouldn’t know what the words meant. Filipino love songs are always a little sad, a lot of unrequited love. You love someone from a distance and they don’t know you exist. That kind of thing.
Jessica: Kind of hard for him to not notice you when you were so devoted at his bedside.
Vera: I was just a friend.
Jessica: Sure, sure. We get you, secretly devoted. As part of your happily ever after, are you planning on taking Zach to the Philippines? Where would you go?
Vera: There are so many beautiful places to go. We’ll start at Manila, of course. There are so many places to show him and relatives to visit, now that my father and mother are back together. After Manila, we’ll head south to Tagaytay for the scenic views, the volcano in the middle of the lake and then onto Batangas where my parents bought a beach house. That’s just for the first trip. The Philippines is like the world in one place, so many plants, animals, scenic locations, people and cultures.
Jessica: So true. When you have children, will you teach them Filipino culture and values?
Vera: What kind of Pinay would I be if I didn’t? Or course Zach might influence them to be more boisterous and loud, but they’ll still be Filipino inside and out.
Jessica: Ha, ha, Aussie-Filipino, what a combination. G’Day, Po! Speaking of Zach. It must have been hard for him to lose a leg at the prime of his life. Is it safe to say you fell in love with him while watching him struggle?
Vera: Maybe I always felt something, but his injury made him more approachable.
Jessica: I know that feeling. What do you like most about him?
Vera: His optimism. He could have given up and turned bitter. But he tries so hard to look past his disability. He doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him. He’s always smiling and being positive, helping others, instead of dwelling on his own problems.
Jessica: He certainly proved it when he followed you to Australia.
Vera: He put himself in danger. He’s the type who’d risk his life for a stranger without thinking twice.
Jessica: You’re hardly a stranger. I can tell you’re very much in love with him. Why is it so hard for you to admit?
Vera: I’m not the mushy type. But yes, I’m very lucky. Zach is every kind of wonderful. A lifetime with him won’t be enough.
Jessica: I’m sure he feels the same way. Your story has me swooning with happiness. I’m Filipina too and love doesn’t come easily, but when it does, it’s forever. Thank you for chatting with us.
Vera: Thank you, Jessica. It’s been a real pleasure. I’m sure you also have your own special story to be cherished in your heart.
By the way, Miss Rachelle Ayala is giving away a paper copy of the book KNOWING VERA
a Rafflecopter giveaway
By the way, Miss Rachelle Ayala is donating her November sales of Knowing Vera to the Philippines Typhoon Relief through Baptist International Missions here. Isn’t that wonderful?
You could also help the Typhoon Haiyan survivors from the list of organizations here.
I wish everyone good luck and please do not forget to buy Miss Rachelle Ayala’s book KNOWING VERA. Trust me you will like the book and at the same time you can help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In behalf of Miss Rachelle Ayala, I want to say thank you all for your support.