The Great Supermarket Raid

Jollibee on the foreground, Red Ribbon Bake Shop on the far end and bandelitas dangling the ceiling. One glimpse at this photograph and you’d think this was taken in Manila. If not for the occasional Caucasian customer, you would even think that this was on our end of the Pacific.

But actually, this is Seafood City, Concord, California,  the second of two stops of the Supermarket Tour held earlier this afternoon.  With Derek, Ruffa, Nora and the Big Time Girls in tow, we surprised the unsuspecting Filipino shoppers of two supermarkets (The other one being Island Pacific Supermarket in Vallejo) to promote Saturday’s show. At the end of each stop, the Kapatid stars signed autographs while giving away free tickets.

All that under 4 hours. Talk about adrenaline rush.


Work (semi-)officially resumes today

Welcome to SFO! 😉

I’ve been on standby here at the lobby the whole day waiting for the Kapatid stars to arrive from Las Vegas. Derek Ramsay was the first to arrive. Superstar Nora Aunor is also already here, but preferred to keep it low profile. We’re still waiting for Ruffa Gutierrez and the Wil Time Big Time posse. Our estimate is that they’ll be here by 11. One thing’s for sure, they’re all going to need rest before tomorrow’s mall tour.


Back to Masonic

Curse my unpredictable sleeping patterns. I woke up past noon today and discovered that everyone had gone to lunch at the Fisherman’s Wharf.  Apparently, they were trying to call me up, but I was probably sleeping like a log. Once again: Free Day Fail.

So, I spent the early afternoon making additional updates on the TV5 International Facebook page. Luckily, I eventually got in touch with my cousin Andrea, who picked me up from the hotel lobby after learning about my predicament. After wrapping up on the day’s work, we boarded the bus to their apartment in Masonic. Which is great. Because I didn’t expect I’d be able to visit Tita Miday this early. And apparently, neither did they. I felt like they were going to squeeze my soul out when they hugged me earlier! Haha!

Love this apartment…

…Love the people in it even more! (From L to R: Tito Franklin, Andrea, who saved my day, Tita Miday, and Tita Lani, who’s here on a 2-month visit) 

I can’t wait to spend more time with them after the show!

Return to Frisco

Hello again, San Francisco! Told you I’d be back!

This is only my third time in the city, but I’ve always felt some sort kinship with it. If Frisco were a person, it’d be like that really close friend or relative I don’t see often, but whenever we meet, it’s like we’re always together.  That’s what I feel about San Francisco. And that’s why I’m so thrilled it’s part of the Big Launch itinerary.

We arrived in the city at around 2:30 this afternoon. Upon leaving the airport, the entire TV5 contingent (sans Willie and his crew, who went on a detour trip to Vegas) stopped by for a leisurely Vietnamese lunch.  So leisurely, in fact, that some of us literally took time to smell the roses:

WTBT choreographer and dancing legend Anna Feliciano 

I’m also digging our hotel thus far.  Aside from having a huge lobby with free wi-fi, the Hilton Hotel is also situated near a lot of neat stores and sights. So it’s quite convenient, actually.

This scenic track is just a couple of blocks away from our hotel!

I’m guessing our schedule will be quite loose for the next two days, since the celebrities won’t be arriving until Wednesday at the earliest. So, until then, I’ll be posting all my updates from here: 

Not too shabby!

Mission Accomplished in LA

1 down, 1 more to go. Thank you so much to our Kapatids who graced the venue with their presence last night. The reception was quite overwhelming, actually.

Everything’s been quite a blur after the first show. From the Shrine, we went straight to our hotel to have a mini victory celebration. I say “mini” because it was quite subdued and relax on account of the collective post-event exhaustion. But despite the lack of energy, everyone was happy.

Here are some post-event shots I took:

Fernando Carrillo of “Rosalinda” fame flanked by Ms. Jane Walker of TV5 Marketing and Ms. Divine Yap of TV5 International. 

Fernando with TV5 International VP-Operations Jeff Remigio 

Me with Aga Muhlach

Me with Ruffa Gutierrez

Ciggie break with Astroboy who finally showed up after spending 2 hours removing his body paint. 

And talk about Free Day Fail. We were supposed to have lunch  with the International team at the Sunset Strip earlier. But jet lag and exhaustion took their toll and everyone in my room woke up past 1:30pm. 😐 So, instead, we ended up having lunch at an outlet mall and dinner in my roommate Sandy’s favorite restaurant in LA:

For what’s it worth though, at least I found the time to buy some new garments.

Until next time, LA. As much as I wish to stay and visit some of my relatives (most of whom live 3 hours away from our hotel), I still have another leg to cover. Goodbye for now!

Early at the Shrine

This is the Shrine Auditorium where tonight’s show will be held. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because ten (10) Academy Award ceremonies were held here – the most recent one being 2001 before they made the big move to the Dolby (Formerly KodakTheatre. Knowing that the likes of Russell CroweJulia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, and Hilary Swank once set foot in this 86-year-old structure already makes me star-struck.

While taking a break from the set-up, the caretaker took me and Ms. Georgette on a quick tour of the basement (or shall we say, it’s own version of the Walk of Fame) where I learned more about the venue’s impressive and extensive pedigree. Displayed along the basement’s hallowed corridors are posters of events that were held here.

The Oscars were held here in the following years: 1947, 1948, 1988, 1989,  1991, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001. Best Picture awardees that were honored here include: The Best Years of Our LivesDances with WolvesForrest GumpTitanicGladiator and A Beautiful Mind.

Apart from the Oscars, the Shrine also hosted music’s biggest night 16 times. Among the most famous Grammy winners for Album of the Year honored in this venue were Michael Jackson‘s Thriller and Alanis Morissette‘s Jagged Little Pill.

There’s a story behind this blank space. This spot used to be occupied by a Michael Jackson concert poster. It was stolen by a random fan when the King of Pop passed away in 2009.

Now, this is interesting. I didn’t know Megastar Sharon Cuneta also performed here. Come to think of it, it shouldn’t really be surprising given California’s huge Filipino population.

In a few hours, this historic venue will once again be a monumental part of an Filipino entertainment milestone. Because tonight Willie Revillame will hold his first U.S. show as a Kapatid in celebration of TV5’s grand North American launch here in this auditorium.


For more exclusive real time updates, please like the TV5 International official Facebook Fan Page.

So what’s the dish?

After only 12 hours in the city, we already set out to an 8:00am call time at the Celebrity Centre. Waking up was not much of a hassle since my body is still operating on Manila time. I did manage to salvage some shut-eye on the way to the venue; turns out it was at least 2 hours away from where we’re staying.

First in our agenda today was a press conference with TV5‘s official direct-to-home satellite partner in North America, Dish Network. There, Jennifer Leslie, Dish’s General Manager for International Marketing spoke about their recently-launched brand exclusive for the Filipino market called “Dish Ko ‘To”.

Also present at the conference were TV5 stars Willie Revillame, Derek Ramsay, Nora Aunor, Mariel Rodriguez and Camille Villar, who shared how happy they are to work for their current network.

Watch some of the highlights in this short recap video:

Told you it’s going to be jam-packed.

A few scenes before boarding the plane back in Manila:

 Big Time Girls Bea (left) and Lovely (right) snuggling in the boarding area. 

Talentadong Pinoy’s Daniel Darwin (AKA “Astroboy”), low profile without his hula-hoops. 

Halfway through the 12-hour flight, Willie took a stroll around the plane and surprised the passengers in our area:

Upon our arrival at the Hyatt House in El Segundo, Willie wasted no time briefing the entire production team on everything that will happen within the next two weeks.

Also managed to shoot a couple of quick video greetings before heading to our room:

Derek Ramsay


So, there you go. First few hours in a nutshell.

Welcome drink!!!

Gotta sleep. Early call time tomorrow, err, later.

In the words of LL Cool J…

…I’m Going Back to Cali! 

More specifically, in less than 12 hours.

And as I want to join majority of the Filipino community in lamenting Jessica Sanchez‘ defeat. (Augh, might as well rename that show White Dude with Guitar Idol), I am way too overcome with excitement to focus on that topic.

It was only last week when my friend Krizzia informed me that I’m joining the TV5 International team for the grand U.S. launch. Yes, after the long wait, the Kapatid network is now ready to make its presence felt in North American shores and this will be highlighted with a couple of main shows, both in California. The first leg will be in Los Angeles on May 26, while the second will be in San Francisco on June 2.  I’ll be posting live Facebook updates of every single thing that happens throughout the launch, and you’ll be seeing them all in the TV5 International Facebook Page. I will try my best to update this blog while I’m at it, but the operative word is “try” since our itinerary will be very jam-packed.

After only 10 months (and 3 designations) in this job so far, I’m no longer a stranger to these short-notice out-of-town assignments. I’ve been through instances where I was sent to Cebu and Davao with 3 days notice. But this. This, so far, already trumps everything!  This promises to be my most exciting and exhilarating coverage assignment yet.

The Bride Wears Chucks

My film school batchmate Miray got married yesterday. Thus begins another colorful chapter in her life with Maki. *Insert additional marriage-related cliches here* Apart from being a perfect testament to “opposites attract”, their love story is quite an interesting one.

Let me sum it up this way:

  • SEQUENCE 1 – Girl meets boy
  • SEQUENCE 2 – Girl loses boy (He got assigned to Taiwan for 5 years)
  • SEQUENCE 3 – Girl meets boy again in an outrageously random chance encounter.
  • SEQUENCE 4 – Girl remains oblivious to boy’s unorthodox courting techniques, much to the chagrin of her friends.
  • SEQUENCE 5 – Girl finally yields.
  • SEQUENCE 6 – Girl loses boy every now and then. (Multiple overseas work assignments, this time in the U.S.)
  • SEQUENCE 7 – Girl and boy reunite for good.
  • SEQUENCE 8 – Boy proposes.

Well, by now, we all know how that went. Let’s see how they fill up the following sequences 😉

So, here’s a toast to these newlyweds, a perfect example of two different people crossing paths and finding love in their common ground. In their case: Their unexplainable fixation with Chucks.

Congratulations, Maki and Miray!

The stars have finally aligned!