After their eldest daughter, Zoey, was healed and triumphed against cancer, broadcaster Anthony Taberna and his wife Rossel realized that their faith is stronger than a storm and found a new purpose.
“Maraming salamat sa Panginoon. Manalangin po tayo sa kanya. Maaring may magaling na doctor at gamot pero ang Diyos talaga ang gumagawa niyan. Siya talaga ang magpapagaling sa atin,” says Anthony after his daughter was declared cancer-free, at the relaunch of the event entitled “Press Play” at the Elements Centris in Quezon City last July 31.
Rossel added: “Lahat po ng meron kami ngayon bonus na lamang po ito. Sobrang happy na po kami na nakikita namin si Zoey na bumabalik na yung dati niyang lakas.”
Prior, the couple recalled the tremendous challenges they encountered when Zoey suffered from leukemia. They thought Zoey had initially recovered following chemotherapy. However, the cancer cells came back. This prompted the couple to seek medication abroad for their daughter.
“Almost six months kami sa Singapore, halos kalahating taon. Nagstart ng December 2019. During that time ang nakikita namin gumagaling na si Zoey until dumating yung December 2021 nang nagkaroon siya ng mga symptoms. Hindi pala pangkaraniwan yung sakit niya,” says Anthony.
In spite of her condition, Zoey never gave up and showed strength, which inspired the couple to move on. “Yung bata ay napakatapang at may lakas ng loob. Yun naman ay bigay ng Diyos. Yung strength niya that inspired us more kaming mag-asawa. Yung anak nga namin lumalaban kami hindi? So napalakas din ni Zoey ang mga loob namin para harapin ito. Kung napapansin ninyo hindi kami nagpo-post ng malulungkot puro masaya lang.”
The couple revealed they were planning to sell their house in order to cope with the medical needs of Zoey. They thought of going back to their old home in Novaliches, Quezon City, near a cemetery, should they decide to sell their present house.
“Meron naman po kaming naipundar over the years. Bago po kami umalis kinausap ko po ang misis ko, kasi nagpadala na ng cost estimate yung doktor, so sabi ko sa misis ko, willing ka ba bumalik tayo sa Novaliches sa dati natin tinitirhan sa tabi ng sementeryo? Doon po kami dati nakatira na ginawa namin ngayong commissary ng tinapay. Willing ka bang bumalik doon? Sabi niya bakit. Sabi ko baka kailangan natin ipagbenta ang bahay natin ngayon. Ang sagot ng misis ko, kaya lalong lumakas ang loob ko, kahit saan tayo tumira basta kumpleto tayo,” he says.
At that time, Anthony says he was already looking for a prospective buyer for their home should “worse come to worst.” But it was at this point that help for Zoey started to pour in.
“Nagulat na lamang ako minsan may lumapit sa akin, abogado, naalala mo ba ako? Ako si ganito at tinulungan mo ako nun. Hindi ko na talaga maalala kung ano ang itinulong ko. Then hiningi niya sa akin yung bank account. Hindi lang po siya. Ang dami ko palang natulungan yung mga taong hindi ko naman inasahan na babalik pa. Ang bait talaga ng Diyos. Gagawa talaga siya ng paraan,” he says.
“Five or six years ago, may natulungan pala ako sa problema niya sa lupa. Ako po ang nakagawa ng paraan.Nag-message po siya at nagsabing nabalitaan ko ang nangyari sa’yo. Nahihiya pa ako. Sabi niya magtatampo ako. Ito naman ay hindi para sa’yo kundi para sa anak mo. Nagpadala sa akin ng kalahating milyon. Halos ganun din ang kuwento ko sa iba,” Anthony adds.
Anthony clarified that they never received any single centavo from the First Couple who really wanted to help them financially.
“Kaya raw ako nag-BBM dahil kapit daw ako sa patalim. As early as February, nasa Singapore na kami noon, tinawagan po ako ni First Lady Liza Marcos. Napakabait niya at sabi niya tutulong daw sila financially. Maya’t maya tawag ng tawag yung tao niya. Hindi ko po sinasagot. Hanggang ngayon wala po akong tinanggap na isang kusing mula kay President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. kahit sa asawa niya.
“Gusto kong pasalamatan ang kanilang gesture at kagandahang loob nila na nag-alok sila ng tulong para sa amin. Pinipilit talaga nila. Ang sabi ko ay nakakaraos naman po kami sa tulong ng Diyos at hayaan ninyo pagkami nangailangan kayo ang una kong tatawagan. Yan po ang official statement ko sa lahat. Marami po sila at ang iba ay politicians,” he says.
Anthony thanked the management of DzRH, friends, and the public for their prayers and support at the time of the medical ordeal.
“Sobrang bait ang DZRH. Noong nagpaalam ako noong January para tumingin ng ibang option abroad, sabi po sa akin ng management ng DzRH, huwag mong intindihin ang programa mo, pumasok ka man o hindi, babayaran namin yung talent fee mo. Kinilabutan ako roon kasi ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng ganun. Ang tagal ko na sa media, no offense sa ibang pinasukan ko, para magbigay sa akin ng ganung klaseng assurance, pano ko naman iiwanan ang DzRH,” he adds.
Anthony never went on leave from DzRH despite the problem. The management of DzRH allowed him to work from home via Zoom. “Pumayag po ang DzRH noon na magvirtual kami and thankful din ako sa partner ko kay Gerry Baja dahil siya lagi ang nasa studio at ako naman po ay remote.” By the way, Anthony and Gerry’s radio show “Dos Por Dos” has been moved to a new timeslot, Monday to Friday, 6-8 a.m.
Rossel also said the challenge brought their family closer together and their faith stronger.
“Ngayon naging closer kami. Sa Singapore wala po kaming kasamang househelp noon kaming dalawa lang ang nagluluto at naglalaba. Kumapit lang po talaga kami sa Panginoon. Lalong naging stronger yung faith namin lalo na po yung mga anak namin,” she says.
Also, the Taberna Group of Companies announced the reopening of well-loved Filipino restaurant Ka Tunying’s, premier events and multimedia company Outbox Media Powerhouse Corp., and Tune in Kay Tunying YouTube Channel.
In 2020, like the rest of the world, TGC may have paused, but it did not stop. Rising above the pandemic status quo, TGC pressed play and pushed on. Press Play aims to showcase the resurgence of the three brands by presenting their respective capabilities and celebrating their steady wins over the past couple of years.
Despite the decline of the events industry, Outbox Media successfully innovated and adapted as it shifted to hybrid events, content creation, and digital advertisements. With expertise remastered, Outbox, now in its 16th year, showcases its event management prowess by serving a fresh take and its signature work-play ethic to the significant occasion.
“Press Play” is made doubly festive with the grand launch of Catering by KT, the new catering line of Ka Tunying’s which provides delectable food, expanding from the savory Filipino “Panlasang Makabayan” favorites to an array of international cuisines that can tailor-fit any client’s preference.
As Ka Tunying’s hits its seventh anniversary next month, it carries on its new mission to bring its delectable baked goods closer to every Filipino. Over the past two years, it has forged partnerships with big names in food retail like All-Day Supermarkets, Divimarts, Puregold, and Mini Stop convenience stores making its bread and pastries available all-over Luzon. It also found its breakthrough in the corporate scene by striking more business-to-business accounts with the likes of Geely, Foton, and even government agencies.
With the event title “Press Play”, comes the launch of “the first PLAYing” of Tune In Kay Tunying’s jingle and music video. Specially composed by Youtube sensation Ben Barubal, Verse 1, and Evs, the jingle conveys significant facts about Mr. Anthony “Ka Tunying” Taberna and how his YouTube channel made an impact by imparting knowledge, information, and entertainment to his viewers.
In spite of his home network’s shutdown, Anthony found his second wind on digital as he started his career as a YouTuber in 2020. The digital space opened more opportunities for his kumbacheros to tune-in to him as his Facebook followers swelled to 2.2 Million, his YouTube Channel breached the 500k mark, and the birth of his TikTok account.