20 years ago, a TV commercial for a milk brand featuring three gifted kids graced Philippine television. Sat in front of a black backdrop, you could see three youngsters with wide-eyed wonder—Francis (then known as Kiko) reciting a Tagalog poem, and James and Shaira talking about astronomy and human anatomy with passion well beyond their years.
This was the iconic Wyeth TV ad aired in 1995. If the 90’s was your era then there’s a good chance you remember this.
Three kids with incredibly gifted minds. With a talent like theirs, nurtured and further flourished with proper care and nutrition, it is likely that success has been carved in stone for their future. And so we’re curious, and we bet you are too—where are these Gifted Kids now?
When In Manila caught up with the Gifted Alumni to talk about their life now. All successful individuals in their own rights, Francis’, James’, and Shaira’s personal achievements perfectly showcase how innate talents, coupled with good nurture, goes a long, long way.
Francis, James, and Shaira on nurturing the gift
FRANCIS “KIKO” GALURA
His gift, as seen in the commercial: Reciting a profound Tagalog poem, a distinct talent in making words come to life.
Current success: A Publisher, giving voice to other storytellers like him.
Francis, from his younger years, has always been a creative and has stayed on that path from there on. He was even a Creative Officer for an ad agency before becoming a Publisher. When asked about his early influences, he shared, “I remember when I was a kid, my parents would always bring me and my brothers to museums, plays and musical performances. This type of exposure helped a lot in developing my creative spirit and honing my talents early on. It made me realize at an early age that I was someone who needed to be creative 24/7.”
“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard,” Francis quoted, as he stated his take on the importance of nurturing one’s gifts. “We’re all born with qualities that make us stand out. But to be the best versions of our selves, we have to work hard to nurture these unique qualities.”
His gift, as seen in the commercial: Amazed by the brilliance of the stars, eagerly discussing the solar system like a little professor.
Current success: Staying true to the potential academic he was 20 years ago—now completing his Masters in Clinical Psychology, and helping bring out the best in every child as an Advocate for Gifted Kids.
According to James, he wanted to teach at a collegiate level. His primary plan was to become a guidance counselor. “I felt like teaching is a great way to connect with students who may exhibit their own unique and special traits,” he said. “It’s also a great way to help influence and give back to society; by challenging students to think responsibly, critically and competently.”
Talking about the factors that honed him into the person he is today, James shared that it is his grandmother who took the lead in providing proper care for him—making sure that his physical, intellectual, and emotional needs were always met. He explained, “she always encouraged me to keep an open mind and fill it with knowledge and instilled values. She is the biggest factor that influenced all that I am today.”
James ended with a gripping statement: “Without nurture, whatever we get from nature goes to waste.”
Her gift, as seen in the commercial: Mastery of human anatomy.
Current Success: A celebrated fashion photographer, capturing the best in human form through her work.
It would seem odd that from science, Shaira made a jump to the creatives. When asked about it, she disclosed, “Photography was really just a hobby during college. My career developed very gradually and organically—I really went through everything before it even occurred to me that this was something that could be done for a living!”
Shaira is a hardworking young professional, always on the go. “I can’t help keeping busy. I always need to be doing something even when I’m not shooting.” This is what she said as she talked about the factors that helped her get to where she is now. Thankful for the values imparted by her family, she added, “I have work everyday, and these are usually very long and busy days that I can easily breeze through because I learned the importance of proper nutrition. Like my dad and my grandpa, I wake up anywhere between 4:30-5:30am, cook a nice big breakfast, and I’m all set!”
On the subject of her parents and how their legacy of care and proper nutrition played a role on her success, Shaira shared that her mom laid a very solid foundation for her. “Not just in terms of knowledge, but she instilled work ethics, discipline, and the importance of productivity early on,” she explained. Shaira continued to point out that her dad, on the other hand, was the cook in the family, and would always get up very early to get the freshest ingredients from the market. Clearly, nutrition was a key ingredient in Shaira’s years of development.
What we learned from the Gifted Kids
Francis, James, and Shaira—the gifted kids of Promil Pre-school. They are only few of millions of children with budding talents waiting to flourish. Every child is born with gifts and abilities unique to their own, but the real challenge here is nurturing that gift, through proper care and nutrition, bringing forth a new generation of thriving individuals. Creating a new chapter in the Gifted Movement.
When the trio was asked, “If you can sum it up in one line, what’s your best memory of doing the TVC 20 years ago?” Here is what they recall:
For Shaira: “Being spun around in a chair the whole day while reciting my lines for the camera!”
For Francis: “Sitting on that revolving chair while we recited our lines in the commercial was pretty cool, felt like WE were at the center of the solar system!”
And finally, for James: “Simply put? Kiko and Shaira. They are just as hilarious and witty today as they were ten years ago. Yeah, we kids are alright.”