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Candidly

The certified fans

Filed under: Features — admin at 7:30 pm on Monday, July 21, 2008

As I was writing this entry, I was at Athens Airport killing time, waiting for the flight that will take me to Thira Airport, Santorini in Greece. I was traveling alone. My itinerary was different from the group due to a prior commitment with Avon on the 20th.

I surveyed the airport. It was filled with good looking European-looking men. But they’re ordinary if I compare them to the Asian celebrities. I really couldn’t help but smile every time I remember my “meet and greet” experience with Wu Chun and Calvin Chen, the handsome lead actors in ABS-CBN TV series Romantic Princess.

I am a confessed Asian drama fan. Not merely a Koreanovela addict. I also watch Taiwanese, Japanese, Hong Kong, and Thai series and movies. I also check out their other show formats. I go online through mysoju, crunchyroll, etc. I have infected Gelli de Belen with this addiction.

I never knew that being a “fan” can actually give one that roller coaster of fleeting, extreme, mixed emotions.

It was a perfect rainy Saturday afternoon for a hair-pampering session in a salon. I was in the middle of a relaxing massage, while my nails were being sculptured and hair being treated…SMS tone.

Message from Gelli De Belen: Candy, Wu Chun is on TV now. Entertainment Live being interviewed by Toni now. Meron sila bukas sa ASAP and The Buzz. You have to do something…go!

I called Ian Reyno of The Buzz and asked him if we could go near Wu Chun and Calvin Chen. I also called Kate of ASAP so a photo-op with the two Asian stars could be arranged. Kate told me that their rehearsal schedule was at 10:00 a.m.

It’s settled. Gelli and I would have a date. I’d pick her up before 10:00 a.m. We were just too excited. We didn’t know what to wear. We even discussed the colors of our shirts and what type of outfits. We agreed not to be overdressed.

7:00 p.m. Saturday: Gelli called again. “Candy, watch PDA now. Bilis, guest na naman sila. Hindi mo pa sila nakikita.”

Whew! I was about to start this show I was hosting, and there was no TV around. “Calm down, Candy,” I told myself. “I’m going to see them tom.” The face of Wu Chun was plastered on my mind. Gosh! I felt stupidly funny but happy at the same time. I haven’t really felt this “kilig” for the longest time. I haven’t really been a fan to anyone at this level. That moment I declared that I like guys with chinky eyes or the Chinese mestizo type.

It’s show time! As I was entering the intimate party of Mrs. Adelle Sy, I looked around and the room was filled with Chinese mestizos. Gosh! God really loves me. They all looked so interesting and cute to me. My heart was flipping with exchanging images of Wu Chun and the audience in front of me. Hahahahaha! Pa-bagets naman ako masyado. Nakakahiya, para akong nagmumurang kamatis. To think that Wu Chun is only 30 years old.

7:00 a.m. Sunday: Gelli’s alarm woke me up. Ang aga ha. Aminin natin na parang OA din naman itong friend ko. So matching type lang naman pala kami sa emotions.

Heto na! Just before 10:00 a.m., we were nearing ABS-CBN. Gelli called Winnie Mariano of ASAP and found out that the two guys ain’t rehearsing anymore. Whaaaaat?!?! I called Kate to reconfirm. True enough the dancers were asked to go to the hotel. Now, we were asked to go to ABS-CBN at 12:45 p.m.

Gelli: Paano na? Kain na muna tayo.

Candy: Saan?

Gelli: kahit Saan?

Candy: Kahit kumain tayo sa Bulacan, aabot pa rin tayo kasi ang aga pa, sobra!

Gelli: Let’s buy some DVD or go to National Bookstore.

We discussed for about 30 minutes, while circling around Tomas Morato and Timog. We ended up killing time at Starbucks (Tomas Morato). Let’s have some bonding time.

Our bonding time was an exchange of what we know about Wu Chun. Gosh! Nag-research nga naman talaga kaming dalawa. Nakakahiya naman na we don’t know much about Calvin Chen. Tara, Let’s open the net and check him out.

Looking back, I can’t help but laugh at ourselves. We were truly avid fans…to the highest level. We spent two hours and a half exchanging notes and observations about the Asian novelas, movies. and actors…Mali…Mga 45 minutes lang. Kasi the rest was spent solely on Wu Chun.

ABS-CBN Lobby main entrance: Good and reliable Kate was waiting for us. Then we saw Tita Milette Santos who also helped us. She asked us to join her and the Wu Chun and Calvin Chen team, all waiting at the Lobby. Gosh! Welcome committee kami. Todo na ito. At ang konti lang namin doon. Todo na talaga ito. Hindi na namin alam ni Gelli kung ano ang gagawin namin.

Wait! I told her. We prepared for this moment to happen but when the security advised us that they were already at the gate…one minute away…I sort of lost my focus. I suddenly got thirsty…No, I felt like peeing…No, I wanted to jump…No, I wanted to become invisible. It just felt really weird.

(Read more… )

Ano’ng balita?

Filed under: Features — admin at 7:47 pm on Friday, July 11, 2008

At 7:00 pm, everyone sits in front of TV to watch the news.

Everyday news has been part of my family’s daily TV schedule. Even the household help waits for it.

Until one day, I got home early and noticed the an eerie silence hovering our home. The TV is off. But it’s already 7:00 pm???!!! I went to the kitchen and saw the helpers there. “O, bakit sarado ang TV at nandito pa kayo?” I asked. “News pa eh,” my yaya answered.

News pa? I thought watching the news and getting updated have been part of our daily habit?

That day, the routine had stopped. “Ayaw na namin manood ng news, nakakasikip ng dibdib,” blurted the other. I stared at them in awe. I couldn’t believe that people in my home have stopped watching the news.

Big deal ba?!

Oo naman! Sa akin big deal ito kasi parang sinira ang tradisyon na pagkatapos manood ng news ay topic ang napanood sa news. Ihahatid nila ang balita sa akin pag-uwi ko with matching opinions pa yun. Hindi ko napigilan at nagtanong ako, “Bakit?”

Halos sabay-sabay silang sumagot, “Eh, bad news naman parati. Saka wala naman silang binabalita na nakakatuwa. Lahat naman tumataas at alam na natin yun. Wala naman kaming magagawa. Saka nag-aaway-away lang dito sa bahay sa kanya-kanyang mga opinyon.”

I smiled back and said, “Sinasadya nila yun as conditioning para sa mga drama na palabas na kasunod, at least kargado na kayo.”

Napaisip ako bigla.

Sino kaya ang mas nakakaawa? Yung mga nanonood at nagbabasa ng news? Siyempre, Pilipino din siya at wala siyang choice kung hindi mabasa at malaman ang balita. O nakakaawa ba yung binabalita o dahilan ng balita? Bilang buong Pilipinas ay nakatutok sa kanya o kanila at meron din iba’t-ibang opinyon ang tao. O baka mas nakakaawa yung nakikibalita, kasi minsan sobra, kulang o may kargang emosyon na ang balita.

Naging national past time na yata ng Pinoy ang pag-usapan ang balita ukol sa bansa, tao, hayop, at sitwasyon. In other words, yung legit news at times pwede rin namang maging chismis. But for people to stop wanting to hear the legit news saddens me because it clearly shows that they have lost hope for this country.

I had a monologue before about where to give birth. It was written by Ricky. It went something like this:

“Kung sa Pilipinas ko ipapanganak ang anak ko, maari ko siyang pagalitan, paluin at tatawagin yung Care. Pero pag sa Amerika, maaring siya magalit sa akin at ako ang kanyang paluin dahil ang tawag doon ay Child protection.”

Sa Amerika, ang mga innaapi, mayaman o mahirap man, pag lumaban para ipagtanggol ang kanyang karapatan, ang tawag doon ay Justice. Sa Pilipinas, pag mahirap ang lumaban at ipinagtanggol ang karapatan niya, ang tawag sa proseso na ito ay Jus-tiis.

Sa Amerika ko pinalaki ang anak ko, malalaman niya na ang kalayaan at demokrasya ay freedom. Pero pag sa Pilipinas ko pinalaki ang anak ko, malalaman niya na ang Freedom ay isang pasador.

Nakakaloka! Ganun na ba kalala?

I recently did a show for some lawyers and supreme court justices. It’s a hand-over ceremony. The Canadian government donated 5-million canadian dollars to the Philippine Judicial System. The money aims to help in promoting mediation. Sabi nga nila, wala naman daw hindi nakukuha sa magandang usapan.

Mediation is legit process of solving disputes out of court. There are two kinds: ADR, wherein any authority/elder be present to witness and resolve the grievances of both parties. The other is JDR, wherein a judge must be present to mediate, still out of court.

Bakit ko sinasabi ito? Para naman meron good news about our system. Masarap lang kasi minsan pag-usapan ang nakakainis pero yung good news, hindi na-highlight kasi hindi news material. Walang drama involved. Walang excitement. Baka masyado na tayo lahat nasasanay sa bad news. At nabo-bore na tayo pag-usapan ang good news. Huwag naman sana.

Kasi tatlong araw na ang nakakalipas mula nung nag-show ako para dito at ni wala namang nagbalita ng good news na ito. Tsk! tsk! tsk! Siguro kung habang hand-over ceremony ay may inatake na judge, or nasunog ang Mandarin, malamang naibalita ito. (Buntong hininga.)

Say ko na naman sa finale ng monologue na ginawa ko para sa kanila: “Bury the past and Live for today. Because your today will be a carry on to your tomorrow. Bwisit ka today, naku, hanggang tomorrow bwisit ka. In mediation, there’s conversation that may lead to reconciliation. Without much aggravation and humiliation, one must take this without hesitation to get a better solution, without undergoing emotional combustion and high lawyers fees compensation. It could also be the solution for this nation and even more for the problem of dollar inflation.”

O, sa inyo, anong balita? Pasahan mo naman ako ng good news para positive energy ang napapasa natin sa lahat. Try mo. Try ko talaga.

Age, aging, and aged

Filed under: Events — admin at 2:04 am on Sunday, July 6, 2008

I haven’t really been going out.

My usual days are filled with work, taping, meetings, brainstorming sessions, visiting my counselor, spending time with family and Quentin, my son. I do see some friends, once in a while. Or, oftentimes they come over to my house for a chat. It’s the same people that I get see and go out with.

I did a show to celebrate UP’s 100 years with UP alumni, UP Singing Ambassadors, UP Madrigal Singers, UP Concert Chorus, UP Chorale, and UP Orchestra headed by Sir Chino. Lahat na yata ng chorale groups ng UP all over the Philippines ay involved sa show na ito maliban sa mga choirs na kumakanta sa UP chapel for Sunday mass.

The celebration was held at CCP and was titled Pamantasang Hirang with Alex Cortez as director and Floy Quintos, who took charge of the concept and scripts.

Wow! Dito, ang daming ka-join at ang daming bagets. In fairness, maraming cute. Yes, in the midst of all these ay nakikita ko pa ang cute. Yes, tama ka ulit, bagets nga sila.

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Honestly, most guys my age are either married, taken, or they like guys as I do. The others that don’t fall into these categories usually get intimidated with my strong personality, and then, there comes the younger men.

Meeting new people had always given me some sort of excitement as I want to widen my horizons. The CCP event was a great opportunity because people of different kinds, shapes, and age come together in one venue. Though most of them were younger, I was glad that I could blend in naturally. Aba! Importante na updated ako sa mga uso and happenings ng mga bagets.

So heto na ako, join ako sa isang group ng bagets na nasa backstage. Pag-upo na pag-upo ko, bigla silang tumigil sa kanilang chikahan. Dahan-dahan silang tumingin sa akin habang ako naman ay nakatingin din sa kanila. So eye to eye na kami…Parang hinihintay nila akong magsalita. Ano naman ang sasabihin ko? Hindi ko nga alam ang pinag-uusapan nila.

Kaya with a nervous smile ay nagsalita ako, “Secret ba pinag-uusapan niyo? Sorry ha. Sige mauuna na ako.” Sagot naman nila ay “Hindi po secret, ano po ang gusto niyong pag-usapan?” Aray naman! Po? Umulan ng po ang sagot nila sa akin with matching pressure about a topic. Siyempre, nagbibo-bibohan ako as they were expecting that.

Nagpasimpleng exit na lang ako. “Naku! Excuse me at hahanapin ko lang si Tandang Sora para chumika.” Paalis na nga lang ako ay may humabol pa ng hirit “Ms. Candy, kuwentuhan tayo ulit.” Ms. Candy? Naging estudyante ko ba ang mga ito?

Buong ningning ang paghanga sa UP Pep Squad sa husay ng kanilang galaw at sa mga balingkinitan nilang mga katawan. Naalala ko tuloy nung nag-taping ako sa Tasya Pantasya at ang costume ko ay Korean outfit.

Kaya naman bilang Asian drama fanatic ay happy ako. Kaso iisa lang ang nagkasya sa akin. Yung iba, maliit sa braso o sa hips. O di kaya, kaya ko na pagtiyagaan ngunit maaring maging mitsa ng buhay ko dahil hindi ako humihinga. Ilang araw din akong di kumain after that taping. Pero nung nakita ko yung mga UP Pep Squad, nanlumo ako. Ang hirap yata ibalik ang frame na yun ng katawan ko. Frankly, parang hindi na babalik.

Nagpunta din ako ng Puerto Prinsesa, Ormoc City at Bacolod. Nag-corporate shows din naman ako here in Manila. O, ayan, maraming lugar na akong nabanggit kaya hindi na ninyo mahuhulaan kung sino itong bagets na nakita ko at ang cute naman talaga. Siyempre pungay mata na ako. Nag-chichikahan na kami. O, di ba?! Taray noh! Bigla itong humirit ng, ” Tita, do you want more water?” Tita?!?! Tita?!? Tinawag akong “tita” ng isang cute na guy. Hindi naman kalayuan ang age namin.

Because of this event, bumalik ako sa pagtakbo para mawala ang toxins sa katawan ko. Saka baka pag pinawisan ako, sumama ang ibang years ng tanda ko. Hahahahaha!

Meron akong nakasabay na mga college students na tumatakbo rin. Aba! ang bibilis ng pacing. Saka, walang stretching, takbo agad. Aba, kaya ko yun sa isip-isip ko. Ginagawa ko naman yun dati. Kaya naman, sinubukan ko makipagsabayan at true enough para akong monumento sa pagkakatulala ko pagkatapos. Mga dalawang araw na pipilay-pilay ako at masakit ang binti’t hirap umakyat ng hagdanan.

Heto na ako. Napapatingin na ako sa salamin nang mas matagal. Mas matagal na rin akong maligo dahil sa kaka-scrub. Age. Age comes like a thief in the night. The truth is, there are some things that I have to admit, like I have to be more cautious with what I do. Sudden movements may cause me injury. I have to accept the fact that I am quite worthy of being called “tita” and “ma’am.” Whew!

Now I understand why there are so many whitening, anti-aging, and cleansing products. And they are sprawling all over the billboards along Edsa. Now, I understand why Pantene, with anti-aging formula, has a great following.

Kaya pala ang daming mommy ang nage-aerobics sa circle every morning.

Kaya pala ang daming nilalagay ng ate ko sa mukha niya na mamahalin cream…

Kaya pala halos maubos na ang stock ng Oil of Olay sa pagkasugapa ng mommy ko.

Kaya pala mas madalas pa sila sa salon kaysa sa akin.

Kaya pala madalas sila maiinggit sa energy level ko.

kaya pala madalas din nila ako pagsabihan to take things slowly because everything will have its effect when I’m older.

Kaya pala it has been impolite to ask a woman’s age.

I’m getting old. Well, not that old…Beyond calendar numbers. The truth hurts when you let the small stuff bothers us. The fact is everybody will age. But not everybody will age gracefully. The truth hurts and will also set one free. Accepting and cherishing the wonderful years of life, knowing that with age comes wisdom and authority. Life ain’t really that bad after a few deep breaths, it feels much better.

Ang masasabi ko lang sa mga batang banat na banat pa ang skin ng bonggang-bongga, balingkinitan kahit parang nagtatayo ng building alone kung kumain at hindi napapagod kahit lakarin ang buong Megamall nang pabalik-balik, tatanda rin kayo. Kaya pagbutihan niyo ang mga araw na bata pa kayo para pag tumanda na kayo, meron kayong pinagkatandaan. Hindi nga ba? Yun lang.

Age is something that is beyond our control. Whether you like it or not, tatanda ka.

Aging is inevitable. Magpunta ka man sa iyong beauty doctor araw-araw, hindi mo ito mababago o mapapalitan. You just have to make the most out of it.

Aged…It is a way of life. You will grow old. Cosmetic doctors can only do so much. The important thing is, you lead a life well-lived.

P.S. Pupunta nga pala ako sa Greece sa 13th of July, meron bang Filipino community there?