Hello, dear friends! I’m sorry for not updating all of you with a new entry. I just got so busy…Now, I have so many stories to tell you that I don’t know if I can actually compress everything into one entry.
Too many things happened to me these past three weeks. After my Wu Chun and Calvin Chen experience, life has become more exciting. Sign na kaya yun ng Diyos na umayos ako sa acting ko at nang maging ka-level ng age ko? Whatever…
This is going to be a long story. Brace yourselves…
I went to Greece for the filming of KC Concepcion and Richard Gutierrez’s movie, For the First Time. And yes, for the first time I traveled alone.” All By Myself”, ang theme song ko these past 3 weeks. I may be projecting a strong and very independent personality, but in reality, pa-baby po ako. I don’t know how to check in my things and where to go, even if I have been always traveling. There’s always been somebody doing things for me.
Pero ito ay Greece kaya iba ito. Gagawin ko ang lahat makita ko lang ang Greece. Ito ay pinag-aralan ko as a theater arts student. Greece is where most things sprouted—drama, literature, architecture, dance, sports, the gods, pati yata horoscope galing sa kanila. Since Greece is an old nation that had a rich culture, that influenced nations and famous people, why have second thoughts about visiting the place? Dedma sa thought of traveling alone. Wala pa naman akong nababasa na sumakay sa eroplano mag-isa at hindi nakarating sa destination. For sure, talagang doon pupunta ang plane na naka-schedule.
While inside the plane that will bring me to Greece, I was seated beside this 26-year old girl who has been married for a year to a German guy. She told me that it had been her wish to marry a foreigner. Her husband is a very nice and understanding guy. Kaya lang, she doesn’t feel like going back to Netherlands because life there is lonely. She actually gave me a litany about her life there, and I actually suggested that she tries planting, crocheting, painting, and etc., just to keep her busy. Ayaw niya. Until I told her, nakakatawa ka, kapatid. Sabi mo sa akin kanina, ipinagdasal mo itong mapapangasawa mo ng bonggang-bongga. Ngayon naman na binigay sa iyo, reklamo ka ng reklamo. Kahahaha! Ganun din kaya ako. I wanted to visit Greece, then after finally having that chance to go there, I kept on whining why I had to travel alone. Nakakaloka din naman ang tao. Kung ako si Lord, iinit siguro ulo ko sa pagka-fickle-minded ng human beings.
Going to Santorini Island of Greece, ang daming stop-over. First was in Amsterdam, where I was amazed by their huge, beautiful, well-kept, and very busy airport. Oh…so this is what you call first world country. Three hours yata ang stop-over ko. I went straight to the business lounge. Wow! Yung business lounge nila parang pang-conference room na. Pwede nga ako mag-show tapos pass the basket, kasi mukhang stressed na stressed ang mga tao doon. Walang nag-uusap. Walang lumilingon. Wala akong maka-eye contact at mangitian. Hindi naman kaya Library itong napasukan ko? Ang Business Class lounge ng Amsterdam, dapat palitan nila ng name into “mind your own business class lounge.”
Bigla akong may narinig na tumawa sa likod ko at nagsalita, “Sir, would you like me to change your coffee. You haven’t drank your coffee and it’s already cold.” Paglingon ko. Pinoy ito. Alam ko, eh. Sagot yung puti, “Thanks.” “No problem sir, Nene is my name, service is my game.” Tumawa ulit yung puti. Nene?! Pinoy nga. At Pinoy lang ang hihirit ng ganun. Laking TVJ siguro ito.
My next stop was in Athens, where I wrote my last entry about Wu Chun. Ang guwapo naman ng tao dito sa Athens. I had like six hours of stop over in Athens alone. Guess what? I enjoyed the independence and freedom. Hindi ako nape-presure kumain kahit busog ako kasi sarili ko lang naman ang iniintindi ko.
Ang mahirap lang talaga sa pag-travel mag-isa ay ang picture taking. Mahirap kunan ang sarili with matching background. Kakaibang talent na yun. Pero mas nagiging observant lang ako, kasi hindi ako busy chumika. Ang signage ng HSBC card ay napansin ko na mas maraming letra ang gamit sa Greek Alphabet compared to the four-letter used in the English Alphabet.
Santorini Island, here I come. Ate Zel of Star Cinema picked me up with Nickolai, a Greek guy, who was as our locations manager/ connection/ mediator/ talent/ problem solver/ runner/ driver…kulang na lang siya na ang maging ka-partner ni KC.
The first thing we did after they picked me up was to buy bread at the bakery. What a wide variety of bread—all shapes, sizes, and flavor. They told me to try on Greek coffee because it’s really good. We decided to look for coffee. We had to transfer to another bakery because they had no coffee there. But…they had a hot “panadero.”
Santorini is all white with a touch of blue. ‘Pag nagtayo ka ng bahay na orange, out of place ka. The colors maybe dull but the place is full of energy and passion.
I had that day-off before the shoot. I rented an ATV. It’s a four-wheel motorcycle. Opo, mahal! Bilang Euro ang bayaran at malayo sa exchange rate ng pera natin.
Pati mga nagpapahiram ng motor ay guwapo. Nagbebenta ng “suklavi,” Greek’s street food, ay kay guwa-guwapo. Pati mga police doon, guwapo at ang babata, walang malaki ang tiyan. Nagbebenta sa grocery ay guwapo. Lahat ay well-built and well-mannered. We were staying at Oia, it’s near the beach, the port, and the donkey trail. It’s a place filled with tourists, and July is their peak season. Ang daming guwapo at magagandang tao.
Nagbe-blend sina KC at Richard sa mga locals. Bilang magkakakulay at magkakapareho ang itsura nila. Ako, turistang-turista ang itsura ko, bilang kitang-kita naman sa kulay, height, at tangos ng ilong ko.
Santorini is a place that you will fall in love with. The air, the aura, the scenery are so romantic. There I saw KC and Richard. Their looks blended with the place, but their closeness was evident and outstanding. I couln’t help but sigh when I look at them. It was obvious that they care for each other. Their action said more than anything else. I wasn’t really envious of what they have because they never alienated any of us. They simply looked good together. Hindi ako naiinggit! Hindi! Hindi! Hindi ko na kaya ang sweetness nila.
Sa totoo lang, there were moments that I had to stay away from them because…because…because…(Breakdown in tears) huhuhu! Ang ganda ng lugar, ang sweet nila, bagay sila, konti na lang puwede ako masaktan sa inggit. Haaaay!
Direk Joyce Bernal, Shayne Sarte (our director of photography), Irene (our assistant director), Jerry (our production designer), Ms. Beng (make-up artist) and the whole crew really bonded with each other. Walang primadonna sa mga artista. Lahat nagbubuhat at tumutulong. Yes, pati si KC and Richard, on the go sila. Pati nga si Richard Paul na kapatid ni Richard ay tumutulong ng bonggang-bongga.
Marami akong FTFT na experience dito sa shooting na ito.
1. For the first time, naglamyerda ako mag-isa ng isang gabi and made new friends.
2. For the first time, parang mas maganda ako sa paningin ng mga Greko keysa kay KC. Di ko nga alam kung masasaktan ako, bilang exotic beauty ang type nila.
3. For the first time, bibihira ang Pinoy sa lugar na ito. Marami daw Pinoy sa Athens. Pero dito sa Santorini:
a. Si Ate Grace lang ang registered Pinoy in Santorini, who owns Grace Villa located at an archeological site. The house is ten meters away from a live volcano and it’s mouth is 15 meters under sea level. The only establishment within the area.
b. May nakilala kami, mag-asawang household help ng isang shipping magnate family who lives beside the tavern, where we held the shoot. The family just adores the Filipino couple. They have entrusted their children and treasure to the couple. Iba talaga ang Pinoy!
4. For the first time I got the chance to work with KC Concepcion, Richard Gutierez, Direk Joyce Bernal, and the staff. I was so blessed to be with them.
5. For the first time, I was able to appreciate such a beautiful horizon. Kitang-kita ang color scales. Bakit ganun, pati ang horizon nila pang first world?
6. For the first time, totoong kinukulot ang buhok ko para sa pelikula na ito.
7. For the first time, totoong kinikilig ako sa leads ng movie, KC and Richard.
8. For the first time, I left a shoot with a heavy heart. I went home earlier because I had a prior commitment. I left feeling bad, wishing I could bond more with everyone. It won’t be the same when we’re back home. Hopefully not.
9. For the first time, ako nakakita ng basurahan na nag-blend sa lugar kaya hindi ito mukhang basurahan. It was artistically designed to enhance the place.
10. For the first time, starring KC Concepcion, Richard Gutierrez, Nor, Candy Pangilinan, and many more. Directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal under Star Cinema. Showing na ito sa August 27.
Sa totoo lang, my Greece experience wouldn’t be as memorable if it wasn’t with the same group. It was meant to be with them. It was meant to happen, as it happened. And I just felt so blessed.