Despite the heavy rains, about 3.5 million Filipinos from different regions all over the Philippines stormed the streets of Cebu, and screamed those two words over and over. It was a mix of profiles:
Devout Catholics holding their Senor Sto. Niño statues in their hands, while dancing and praying (manangpit sa señor)
Men holding San Mig bottles on their hands; trigger-happy camera fanatics with their latest SLRs; children with painted faces
All had one common denominator: they were happy.
The Sinulog Festival is the biggest party that hit the Philippines. And of course, in every big party, there’s always a star that gets invited. So if you’re talking about the biggest party, you are most likely to get starstruck over and over.
The stars abound—from the floats to the malls, where they held shows, to the bars, where they just had a good time. Among the stars that got “sinulogized” were : Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Jericho Rosales, Jay Cuenca, Rhian Ramos, Yasmin Kurdi, Zaijan Jaranilla, Ehra Madrigal, Michelle Madrigal, John Hall, Solenn Heussaff, Sam Pinto, Jhong Hilario, Alyssa Alano, Chariz Solomon, Bubbles Paraiso, Julia Montes, Xyriel Anne Manabat, Barbie Forteza, Joshua Dionisio, Paul Jake Castillo, Joseph Cadayona, JM De Guzman, Fretzie Bercede, Mara Schnittka, and Jugs of Itchy worms.
Of course, I will focus on the stars that were with me in the 360 pharmacy float: Venus Raj, James Yap, Akihiro Sato, and Cristine Reyes.
If you noticed, I am writing in straight English for the benefit of Akihiro’s friends and relatives. I also realized that I have a big expat fan base that follows my blog. Some require a translator on their side while reading GSpot, others, a Tagalog-English dictionary. Since I can do my punchlines in English anyway—go, go, go! At kung mas nakakatawa sa Tagalog, e, di Tagalog. Nganong pa-budlaya nato ang atong kinabuhi! (Why do we have to make our lives more difficult. By the way, that was in Bisaya, and I am a pure bred.)
Lovely, statuesque and humble. I love her! I met this woman two years ago when she was a nobody who was just aspiring to become a beauty queen. She was still that same little girl when I saw her again in Sinulog. Unassuming is the word. Yes, she knew she has 500,000 fans in one of her fan pages in Facebook (she has five, by the way). She knew that she is the icon of all the Filipino gays that ever walked the earth, and she is the idol of every girly teenager who aspires to be a model or beauty queen someday (that’s every single girl in the Philippines sans the lesbians). But you can never see it in her face nor her actions nor her attitude. She was still this little girl who grew up in a small barrio in Bicol. It was quite unbelievable but I guess her parents raised her well.
I like being beside Venus Raj in the motorcade. I liked seeing the gay teens almost literally faint or scream like it was the end of the world or cry in tears after seeing Venus in the flesh. Sometimes, when I felt I needed to take the spotlight, I’d go to the other side of the float so that I could hear people screaming my name instead of Venus. Hahahaha. You see, after being in the business for eighteen years, there is still that need of feeling you’re still wanted and that you’re still hot inspite of the fact that you have two kids, therefore, insinuating that you have a big v*g*n*. Hahahaha!
Venus sat beside me in the van on the way to the motorcade site. I kept on saying how honored I was to have the 2010 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe sit beside me. She started to powder up saying, “Naku, kelangan maganda ako, susunduin natin si Akihiro.” (Oh my, I need to be pretty because we are picking up Akihiro.)
“Who?” I had to hear it again coz I might have been mistaken of what I heard.
“Akihiro Sato, the Brazilian-Japanese model you see in all the billboards in EDSA,” Venus said.
“Then what are you doing sitting beside me? Go sit in the back so Aki can sit beside me! Hahahaha!” I jokingly remarked. But I guess she didn’t realize that all jokes are half meant coz she did not move. Hehehe.
Ever since Aki reigned the billboards on EDSA, I have had a crush on this Brapanese. Take note, I hardly have crushes. I’m too busy to have one. Plus, I already have my hands full on one hunk I’m in love with—my husband! But when I saw Aki in the billboards, I just had an instantaneous attraction for him because he kinda looked like my husband when he was in his twenties.
When I finally saw Akihiro in the flesh, I told my husband, “Alam mo bebe, confirmed. You do look like Akihiro. He just has a smaller face, chinkier eyes, a higher nose, and thinner lips.”
“In short, hindi ko siya kamukha” (In short I don’t look like him), said my husband.
“Correct!” I told him. “But he’s still drop-dead-I’ll-drop-my-panties-for-him-gorgeous!”
“Too bad, he won’t drop his boxers for you,” Emil sarcastically remarked.
Yup, he won’t. Not for me, not for Venus nor any beautiful lady in showbusiness. He’s just totally in love with Anauwe, his Brazilian childhood sweetheart that transferred to Manila in order to be closer to him.
So to all aspiring ladies, just get your favorite toy and Aki’s pin-up picture and some privacy because that’s the closest you will ever get to Akihiro Sato.
When James Yap entered the van, he was wearing his shades. I totally did not recognize him. Guwapo pala siya sa personal.
He seems to have an exaggerated triangular nose on television, but in person, I realized why Kris fell in love and broke her heart for this dude.
The day before I saw James Yap, I bumped into Ogie Alcasid and interviewed him for my Manila Bulletin column on the three changes in his life now that he is married (again).
I gathered all my guts to get near James and ask him what are the three changes in his life now that he is single (again).
I will only share one of his answers since that interview was reserved for my Manila Bulletin Entertainment column that is published every Wednesday.
“Puwede na ‘ko pumunta kahit saan ko gusto, umuwi kahit anong oras ko gusto, sumama kahit sinong kaibigan ko gusto,” James answered fearlessly.
“In short, freedom? Sigurado ka ba gusto mo isulat ko ‘yan?” I suddenly started getting scared of his answers and felt the need to protect him.
“Oo, sulat mo ‘yan!” as he looked at me in the eye. I had to look back just to check if he was drunk or in drugs to be saying those things. But he was clean, sober, healthy and was serious.
So now I’m writing it—freedom daw. Sabagay he did answer my question correctly. What are changes in his life now that he’s single again…
In spite of his “I’m ok without Kris attitude,” I did feel that he still miss his wife Kris Aquino sometimes.” In the six hours that we were together at the float, we would sometimes get to sit beside each other to rest, and he would look at my arms and legs and ask me, “Sino mas maputi sa inyo ni Kris?”
I smiled and teased him, “Uyyy. na-mi-miss mo lang kaputian ni Kris noh?”
That was his cue to stand up and wave to his fans again.
This girl is the bomb!
If Venus would get screams, the presence of Cristine Reyes made men and women fall on their knees. She was the ultimate star of the float. This is where I realized that Kapamilya stars had more pull for the Cebuanos. She was wanted in any side of the float. Whenever she took a rest, the Cebuanos would call out her name for her to come out.
At first, Venus and I could not quite decipher what the people were screaming for. “Ano daw? Gretchen? Wala naman si Gretch dito. Ano daw? Helen?” We were asking each other. And then I realized they were screaming, “Kresten!” They were screaming for Cristine Reyes. So I pulled Cristine from her seat and gave her to the people asking for her. And they screamed and clapped their hands, and I was happy I was able to understand what they wanted—Kresten!
Giselle Sanchez is a pre bred Bisaya who had her roots in Basak Pardo. She is a comedienne so please do not take this blog seriously. We are just writing to inform and entertain.