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  • kapusoAs thousands of Filipino-Canadians flocked to the Plaza of Nations in Van­couver to see Jaya perform at the third Vancouver OPM Fes­tival, two special guests drove 13 hours from Edmonton, Al­berta just to see the Kapuso Soul Diva. They were Rey Kaga­hastian, Jaya’s father whom she had not seen in almost 20 years, and Joshua Kagahas­tian, her half-brother whom  she met for the first time.

    “My father left when I was three years old, I think,” Jaya recalls. “But I can re­member seeing him again in 1980 when he met up with me in Fiesta Carnival in Cubao.”

    “That was also the day he bought me my first pair of eyeglasses,” Jaya fondly re­members of that meeting. Rey, who now resides in Canada, last saw his daugh­ter in 1997 when she was on tour with Asia’s Queen of Songs Pilita Corrales.

    The opportunity for their long-awaited reunion came when the Kapuso singer, who is currently a main host of GMA’s variety program, Sunday All-Stars, headlined the Vancouver OPM Festival last July, which was organized by GMA Pinoy TV in partner­ship with the Filipino Cana­dian Marketing Group, Inc.

    “My father and I talked about everything,” she shares. “From how he met my mother, to the time I was conceived and why he left. We talked about our future together.”

    Meeting her half- brother was also a special moment for Jaya and she was grateful for the opportunity to visit Canada, through the ef­forts of GMA Pinoy TV, which led to this significant mile­stone. “I felt so happy and blessed to have had a chance to get to know him even for a short time,” she says. “I can’t wait to spend more time with him so I can get to know him further.”

    Going beyond giving her kababay­ans abroad a taste of home through a night of origi­nal Pilipino music, Jaya’s trip to Van­couver proved to be a mem­orable one as she herself was able to find a sense of home in reuniting with her family.

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