Abby’s Diary: Popstars

This weekend I had the double and very rare pleasure to not only have my daughter Alexis and her husband Travis, but also my baby sister Alicia, and five of her six children here, with me in Ponte Vedra Beach to spend Easter together.

First let me state that my sister is a remarkable woman! Raising six children, home schooling them, feeding them, doing laundry for them, while running a family business with her husband, and traveling the world with them trying to launch their musical careers as popstars requires more energy than I could ever muster. She is most definitely an excellent candidate for Mother of the Year every year but especially this one since she is just turning 50 this June!

The musical group I am referring to is called JAGMAC. Each letter stands for the first initial of their names Jared, Angelique, Gabriel, Manjo, Alyssa, and CJ but I prefer to think that in spite of living in Baltimore, I believe that deep in their hearts they are really Jaguar fans!!

This amazing group of six siblings, have performed together since Jared was four. He’s sixteen now! While he holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do my name for him is still “Dimples”! We share the love of writing in common but that’s where my talent stops and his kicks in.

Angelique who I refer to as “Missy Mam” is also a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and an Eskrimador. I am not really sure what that is but it sounds like it would hurt if she had to use it on you. No worries! Her weakness I came to find out is food especially homemade cookies so I was safe once the dough was in the oven. This girl has a set of lungs that will make the hair on your arms and the back of your neck stand up and give you goose bumps all over.

Gabriel or “Mr. G” is the resident sports addict. He loves the Ravens and the Orioles. He is a male rapper, plays drums, electric bass, and holds a 2nd degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and is a World Champion Gold Medalist Eskrimador. Lucky for him he is one of the three card carrying members to his Aunt Abby’s distinguished club called “The Middle Child’s Club”. Last time we celebrated in Hershey, Pa!

Manjo, who at a younger age I referred to him as “Malcolm in the Middle” has just been promoted to “Handsome in the Middle”. He is the group’s lead male vocalist, a two time World Champion Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and a Black Sash Eskrimador. Be not afraid though his real passion after singing, is cooking, and if this music gig doesn’t work out we may see him in Jacksonville one day with a Food Truck or

restaurant. He is the other card carrying member of “The Middle Child’s Club”

Alyssa aka “J-Lo” is a true beauty inside and out. As the groups prominent lead female singer, she is also a songwriter, plays piano, fluent in sign language, a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and a two time World Champion Eskrimador. She is my only Godchild so I treasure every moment and experience I get to share with her. Both Alyssa and Manjo sang “The Prayer” magnificently at our daughter’s wedding 3 years ago.

CJ aka “Astro” due to an untimely really bad haircut he had on the visit when I assigned them their nicknames, has been promoted to “GQ” now. CJ is about to marry the love of his life, May 20, Paola Massa so he did not make the trip this time. He is the oldest sibling the primary songwriter for the group having written his first song at age 8. CJ also sings, raps, dances, and choreographs the moves for the whole group. As for his biggest claims to fame in martial arts he is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and a two time Black Sash in Eskrimador. But to me his greatest accomplishment to date was teaching his Uncle Juan, the only Cuban I know with absolutely no rhythm, to dance with our daughter to a medley of songs spanning the last 40 years almost flawlessly at her wedding. Bravo! Well done!

The whole family also entertained the wedding guests by singing Pharrell’s song “Happy” as it was the one most requested for the event.

It meant the world to me to spend this time with them. I admire their goodness, work ethic, gentleness, and willingness to bring joy through their music to the world.

Please go to their website like their page, download their songs, and say a prayer their dreams come true. I can’t think of a more deserving group of young people and their parents to achieve success. If you have satellite radio you may hear their song “So Good” which is currently #11 on the Radio Disney Chart.

But if in the future their first #1 is “Popstar”, Aunt Abby wrote that one just for them!

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