Monday, December 18, 2000

'Traffic' Premiere

It’s Monday morning and I have 15 mails. Hahaha.

Life’s cheap thrills.

My weekend report: It was fun as in capital F-U-N.

Friday night. World premiere of Traffic at the AMPAS Theater (Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, the Oscar body) in Beverly Hills. I was invited by a friend of mine. Andun na kami by 6:00 pm. He stayed at the photographer’s line and I was whisked inside to stay at the print line.

It was everything that I imagined a Hollywood premiere is made of, and more. By 6:30, dumadating na yung mga tao. I was with 4 other print people, writing for W, In Style, US and Entertainment Weekly. Golly, nanliit ako.

We were given “tip sheets” (like who’s expected to attend). Then the stars started arriving, Since I am a couch potato, it was heaven for me. I didn’t exactly know their names but I knew their characters’ names. The stars of That 70’s Show came in first. They attended to show support to Topher Grace who is in the film. Then yung mga taga-Roswell. Then my jaw dropped, Antonio Sabato, Jr. came in with a pretty date. Tapos, si Winona Ryder. Gosh, she’s so cute. Reclusive siya, she wasn’t “friendly” at all sa press. She told her publicist that she didn’t want to do interviews, wala naman kasi daw siya sa movie. Fine. I remember her vividly with her “doily” outfit sa Reality Bites.

Minnie Driver. Andie McDowell. Highlander guy. Steven Sodebergh, the film’s director, who also directed Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight and sex, lies and videotape. Jerry O Connell. Salma Hayek. Tom Sizemore. Michael Rapaport. Colin Farrell.

Then the cast started coming in. Dennis Quaid, Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle. Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones. My golly, I was so amazed. Cheap thrill.

Tapos, screening na. Medyo mahaba yung film – 2 hrs 15 minutes – and after that, akala ko tapos na. Pagbaba naming from the theater, hayun may after-party sa lobby mismo ng AMPAS. Then yung friend ng friend ko approached me, and asked me if I wanted to interview the stars. I pinched myself, sabi ko sa sarili ko, “me? Interview the stars?” so I said yes. Akala ko sa supporting cast lang. Hinila ako. First interviewee of the night – Michael Douglas. Wow.

I wasn’t prepared. I was “allowed” to asked 2 to 3 questions lang, kasi ang dami dami ngang tao.

Momar: Mr. Douglas, Hi! Congratulations, that was a great performance. How was the role different from your role in Wonder Boys?

[Stupid question, but what can I do? Wala akong prepared question. I wasn’t prepared.]

Michael Douglas: Ahmmmm (as if looking for a nice way to tell me: Go away, I am not here to promote Wonder Boys.]

[Bawi ako bigla…]

Momar: I mean, how is this role special from the past roles you have portrayed?

Michael Douglas: Oh. Blah blah blah. Yada yada yada Di ko pa nata transcribe yung tape and I wasn’t giving attention to what he was saying. I was just maintaining eye contact with him.

Yun, natapos si Michael Douglas. Then hinila ako sa supporting cast – Benicio Del Toro (this guy is so good in the movie, he practically stole the film from Michael), Don Cheadle (he was the second most applauded after the screening), mga up and comers (the young members of the cast)…and ta-da! Catherine Zeta-Jones.

I was so transfixed. She looked so pretty. My golly. Her face is so cute. And she was wearing this red top na halos puro strings lang yung nasa likod. I was staying at first by her side and deadma siya if people can see (and ogle) at the side of her left boobie. She’s so pretty. Nakatatak sa utak ko yung scene niya sa Entrapment where she slithers like a snake. Ang sexy niya.

I got home around 12:30 in the morning. Di ako nakatulog agad. I couldn’t believe what just happened happened. My only regret was that I didn’t have my camera with me. Okay lang because my friend told me that “unauthorized” photographers could easily be taken out. Nakakahiya, di ba? I also controlled myself from asking for the stars’ autographs, and I succeeded.

Star-struck, that’s me.


Thursday, December 07, 2000

moving out

it’s thursday morning here and i am very sleepy. i just had a three-hour sleep last night. finally, naka move out na ako from my cousin’s place. freedom. ang sarap ng feeling because now I am finally on my own.

mixed emotions din because i have gorwn to love the kids. the younger one, barely five years old, asked me on the day i was packing. “why are you leaving us kuya mark?” she doesn’ call me tito, kuya na lang daw. and she can’t say momar, kaya mark na lang.

then she remembered her friends, neighbors namin dati. “are you coming back? are you going to visit us? because ernie and jenny (names ng friends niya) left and they promised to return but they have not returned yet.”

yun. medyo na sad lang ng konti.

Type rest of the post here


Tuesday, November 28, 2000

thanksgiving holidays

people here are already greeting each other happy holidays, and i don’t mean the yuletide season coming in three weeks. thanksgiving is a big deal here. thanksgiving parties, thanksgiving lunches, thanksgiving dinners, you get the idea. but for me, it is way too over-rated.

dapat long week-end ako, pero dahil nasa diyaryo biz ako, hindi puwede. thanksgiving was thursday, so automatic na yun, walang pasok. but we had to work on friday.

anyway, eto ang mga kaganapan ko the past three days, blow by blow—

thursday—thanksgiving mismo. lunch to death— turkey, ham and all those stuff, parang noche buena, only, we partook the food during lunch time. nabato ako sa bahay so i went to the cineplex. watched two movies—unbreakable, saka 102 dalmatians—okay lang. may surprise ending sa dulo ng unbreakable.

friday—work to death, then sa gabi, my friends and i went out and painted the town read. as in. had three rounds of drinks—apple martini, cherry margarita, miller lite—at pagdating pa sa bahay nung isang friend, nag share pa kami (five of us) ng isang malaking bote ng bailey’s. not a good idea. hahaha. while i didn’t get drunk, i almost puked my intestines out. no hang-overs. we slept around 3 am, set the alarm for 6:30 -- because we had to leave by 7:30 to go shopping. by 5 am, i had a nasty dream, i was relieving myself inside this bathroom when i noticed puke all over (not the puke that you know, lol, which makes me puke, too. hahaha) so parang na-induce. i went to the bathroom, and pagtapat ko pa lang sa sink, boom! yun na, suka to death.

anyway, obviously, hindi kami nagising ng 6:30, so nakaalis kami sa bahay, mga 9:30 na. we planned this trip a week before pa. our destination was 10 miles east of palm springs where there is an outlet mall with more than 120 stores. super sale talaga at pagdating ng gabi, medyo pagod na pagod na talaga ang katawang lupa ko kalalakad.

sunday—birthday ng pamangkin ko. we went to church, then had lunch at a chinese resto in chinatown (saan pa?) after that, drive to my other cousin’s house because two of my titas visited, one from toronto, and one from tucson, arizona. as usual, i dodged the same old question— “Wala ka pang planong mag-asawa?” with such finesse and mastery. Deadma, sabay smile. hahaha.

at ngayong lunes, andito na ako sa work, back aches and all. i had the itch to write kaya heto, nagsusulat.


Thursday, November 09, 2000


i was up until about 4 am this morning—redundant ba? -- wating for the final results of the us elections yesterday. wala. it has been a roller-coaster ride. i don’t even know why the hell i am so much fixated with american politics. so much so that this fixation miserably fails in comparison with my cousins’ (well at least some of them).

i don’t like george dubya. i hate him even. no particular reason. hahaha. call me biased. had i been a us citizen already, i’d be a full-blooded democrat. god, i hate republicans and everything (okay, hasty generalization there. NOT everything) they believe in.

florida is too close to call. geez, this is so historic. the americans elect their president thru the electoral college. salamat sa mga founding fathers nila. this makes the popular vote moot and academic. as one broadcaster said, it’s like the appendix. it’s there but you don’t need it.

florida’s governor is dubya’s brother. i just hope that they’re not stopping at everything to deliver florida to bush.

boo-boos galore. media networks here committed booboos. twice. first they predicted that florida went to gore, and a couple of hours later, they recanted their claim and put florida in the too close column. florida carries 25 electoral votes. as it stands, gore leads, 260 to bush’ 246. the magic number to win the presidency is 270. whoever wins florida wins it. there’s one more state—oregon, with 7 votes—that hasn’t finished counting.

for almost an hour last night, i was crest-fallen, down-trodden even. when the networks declared george walker bush as the 43rd president of the united states. it was so heart-breaking. again, i have no idea why i was this affected. i called my a friend of mine and we discussed. he’s also a gore fanatic and we were both feeling so down. that was the networks’ -- abc, cbs, nbc, i think even cnn—major booboo. turns out that the counting in florida isn’t over yet.

when gore saw on tv that bush has been declared as the president-elect, he called dubya to congratulate him. on his way to speak to his supporters, he was advised that florida was too close to call. he called up dubya again and withdrew his congratulations, and the concession.

and that’s where it all stands now. florida has laws that make recounts automatic if there is ½ of 1% separating the candidates. oh well. at least, there is still glimmer of hope for a gore presidency. in the meantime, new york elected hillary clinton as their senator. okay lang. i find rick lazio so snotty and cocky. and of course, he’s a republican, so good for him. hahaha.

that ladies and gentlemen, is what’s happening here.


Monday, September 11, 2000

Bleeding...for Sampras

its 535 pm here, sunday and i have nothing to do. hahaha. i already had my two hour afternoon nap, right after the finals of the us open. gosh, i feel so bad for pete sampras. he lost. :(

but the russian guy -- marat safin -- is really good. he's only 20 years old pero halos lahat ng serves ni pete, naibalik niya. hay naku. i really, really feel
bad. mas worse pa siguro ang nararamdaman ko than bridgette something, yung girlfriend niya or his familia. hahaha. i'm such a fanatic.

8 pm mamaya is the emmys awards. man, i am really a couch potato. tv junkie, big time. specially at mag-i-start na uli ang mga seasons. goodbye summer

Type rest of the post here


Tuesday, August 15, 2000

Brush with Bill & Hillary

it wasn't really a brush brush but i just kinda liked the way it sounded.

11:30 pm and i just got home. it was a long and tiring day but i had great, great fun. now i know i wanted to be a journalist. hahaha.

i covered two major events today -- the one sponsored by women for gore, which had hillary as a guest speaker and the actual opening of the 2000 democratic national convention. the first one was held at the wilshire grand hotel which is just two blocks away from my office.

hillary had charisma. she's so pretty pala up close. and she knows what she's talking about as well. never mind the bad press (there are news reports that he and bill are "stealing" the limelight away from al gore) hillary is hillary. she had composure, she looked like a tough woman with a heart. while she was speaking, my cell rang. it was d. sorry po at di tayo nakapag-usap po. mas mahalaga po kasi si hillary kaysa sa iyo. hahaha.

after that i proceeded to the staples center where the convention was happening. it was a long walk, i didn't want to take the shuttle because i wanted to walk. hahaha. para daw maka-burn ako ng calories. i had enough time to spare so i looked around. the staples center is a huge huge place, and it took me a while to finish looking. then i went to the media headquarters at the la convention center which is a stone's throw away from the staples.

by 4:30 pm, i started going back so i can catch the big opening.

i saw dylan mcdermott. hahaha. he delivered the declaration of independence with three kids. and that was just the start. then, melissa etheridge sang an america the beautiful medley. golly, malapit ko nang ma-memorize ang star-spangled banner. hahaha. [major aside: when i covered the two official events here in los angeles when estrada went here, the ladies [louie reyes during the dinner and a lady-whose-name-i-forgot during the vets bill signing] who sang the philippine national anthem actually BUNGLED and forgot some lines of our dear lupang hinirang? it was so embarrassing. back to the story...

then there were speeches blah-blah-blah yada-yada-yada. then they presented the six women democrat senators -- two of whom are from california.

then segue to the seventh, the future senator from the state of new york, hillary rodham clinton.

there i was again, transfixed. hahaha. i dunno, she must have cast a spell. then the usual speech. after her speech, there was a video of bill. then, the dramatic entrance. the giant screen had bill walking to the stage, while flashing his administration's achievements for the past eight years.

then the crowd went wild when he appeared on stage. the cheers were deafening. then he spoke. bill clinton is a good speaker, there's no doubt about that. the only thing i noticed was his hair. halos puro gray na. and he joked about it too. he looked kinda older than his pictures. he was so eloquent, nakakabilib.

in between pala, i had to go out to go to the bathroom. and in one of my trips (actually, only one pala) i bumped into martin sheen. then i blurted
out "mr. president!" and he stopped and smiled. hahaha.

cheap thrill lang. i whipped out my media credentials and asked for his autograph. then this woman from the million moms march asked to borrow my pen kasi wala siyang pen. so sinamantala ko na, and i asked if she could take my picture with martin sheen. bobita't kalahati, sabi niya na-press niya. when i checked it out, wa. wash. wala. nainis lang tuloy ako.

as i was about to get in, richard dreyfuss and john lithgow (made me wonder, where are the young hollywood turks. hahaha). i looked at them and went straight inside, mas importante yung slot ko sa loob.

oh well, that concludes my report for monday, august 14, 2000.

reporting lve from the staples center in downtown los angeles, this is momar... ay sa print pala ako. dapat byline lang saka dateline. hahaha.


Saturday, August 05, 2000

birthday blues

saturday morning, 10:00 am and i just woke up.

the past week has been particularly busy, it being my birthday week and all. my birthday was okay, i had fun. better than lat year’s.

i was supposed to take my birthday leave but i was assigned to cover estrada’s dinner with the fil-am community in LA. so it was a working birthday. it was my first time to see erap up close and personal and i was like charmed? no, too strong a word. he didn’t transform me into an instant fan or anything like that.

he had a long and funny speech. funny because the guy has a sense of humor. if only he knew what he was talking about, it would have been a hell lot better. the speech was informal, a radical departure from the stern Marcos speeches I grew up listening to or the emotional yet anger-laden Cory speeches in the late 80s.

Erap’s was conversational in some portions and a stand-up-comic-very-much-like-Seinfeld stance. in fact, when i was transcribing the tape, I could hear boisterous laughter every fifteen seconds. I am not kidding, it was crazy. he made the people laugh but did they believe everything he said?

he was so comical and he had me in stitches. his humor was self-deprecating and he seemed to enjoy every clap and adulation thrown at him. what an actor.

lani misalucha was there. the girl can sing but she’s not a diva. not yet, at least. boots anson roa acted as the mistress of ceremonies. how pc can you get? then for more entertainment numbers, theey introduced the platters. yes, the group that our parents love. they sang three songs—only you, dahil sa iyo (!!!) and one more. then for the biggest surprise of the night—which almost brought the house down—ang nag-iisang superstar—miss nora aunor!!!

cheesy, damn it. people in barong tagalogs, coat and tie, and even ternos were screaming like fans. i could not believe my eyes. the cheesier part—ate guy went upstage and gave the mic to erap, and the president obliged her with four lines from the song kahit na magtiis. dr. loi wasn’t smiling.

and the official entourage. my goodness. who are these people? did the pinoy taxpayers pay for their trip? dong puno was okay, so was blas ople. noynoy aquino? okay. mar roxas? definitely. but some congressmen from unknown islands? what were they doing? what were they trying to accomplish? and the consultants? [ting paterno, et al]. give me a break.

oh well. that was how i celebrated my birthday. fun but it could have been better.
thursday was more fun. i covered the ceremonial signing of the bill for filam veterans. erap attended the affair as well so it was like two days in a row. the speech? same stuff. in fact, both speeches were strangely similar to his SONA.

the coverage was more fun though because i had a chance to interact with lou diamond phillips, rob schneider, tamlyn tomita, jennifer paz and paolo montalban. california governor gray davis was there, and some of the other who’s who in local politics.


Thursday, July 06, 2000

4th of July and Other Stories

the 4th of july has come to pass again. actually, kahapon siya and i was hoping against hope that the office would declare the 3rd (monday) a holiday as
well pero deadma.

so i actually went to work on monday. to compound my woes, my co-editor went on leave for two weeks starting july 1. which means that ako lang ang magsasara ng diyaryo for two effing weeks. tama ba yun? anyway, at least someday, magagamit ko rin itong
leverage when i ask for my leave in the future.

so how was my 4th of july? it was generally okay.

went to the grocery and bought some stuff. then went to some house. long story -- the family of my cousin's husband all live here. so ang laki talaga ng angkan nila. like 6 brothers and sisters with their whole families in tow. i just don't like the feeling of socializing with them but i don't have a choice. baka akalain naman nilang supladito ako't kalahati.

so iyon. bbq dito, bbq dun. eh may swimming pool sila. gusto ko sanang lumangoy langoy pro di ako nakapagdala ng swimwear. lol. alangan namang birthday
suit. ayaw ng pulis.

i just watched TV and played games with the kids. then nung mga 4 pm, some of them left and bought a bingo game. hayun, afterwards eh bingo bingo na until
8 pm. nanalo ako ng ten dollars. hahaha.

afterwards, off to the fireworks show. nakauwi kami sa bahay mga 12 midnight na.

i had lots of free time nung weekend so nagbabad ako sa cineplex. opening weekend ng the perfect storm ni george clooney saka yung the patriot ni mel gibson.
watched them both. okay lang. i liked the patriot a bit better, tho it was a longer. tatlong oras yata siya. eh yung perfect storm eh 2 hrs 10 minutes. hayun, halos mag pop na naman ang contacts ko.

am following this season's real world on mtv. kasi may pinay na nakapasok. actually, black pinay because mixed siya -- dad's black and mom's pinay; from florida. guilty pleasure.


Tuesday, June 20, 2000

lakers fever

I am not really a big NBA fan, although I used to
cheer for the Chicago Bulls -- the reason why I had to
ask Don & sassy to bring me to the United Center (Home
of the Chicago Bulls) to have my picture taken with
Michael Jordan's replica.

The LA Lakers fever though have totally caught me and
I just couldn't help it. Specially now that they have
just won the championship against the Indiana Pacers.

I stayed home. Even if I wanted to go to the Staples
Center -- a couple of blocks from where my office is
--and watch the game, no can do (read: wala akong
magagawa. hahaha) the tickets have been sold out since
God knows when.

I am still home alone. My cousin and her husband are
still in the hospital. Their son -- my 10-year-old
nephew -- fell off a 60-foot cliff last saturday. It
was a really, really tragic and freak accident.

Francis, my nephew is a member of the Rockies, a
Little League baseball team. They were the champions
for this season and they planned a potluck party /
celebration which was held at the San Gabriel Canyon.
There was a river there and my nephew was going there
but he became off-balanced and he tripped and he fell.
The paramedicas later told my cousin that my nephew
was lucky he was still alive.

They told her that the height of the cliff that he
fell from was 60 feet. He didn't have any broken
bones nor major bruises. He had an 8-stitch wound on
his chest and the only major problem was the
lacerations on his liver. He's so skinny so his
internal organs were the most hurt after falling off
from the ravine. He stayed at the ICU of the LA
Children's Hospital for almost 36 hours.

It's 12:00 midnight and I just turned off the TV. The
celebrations around the Staples Center just became
violent. Unruly fans just torched two police cars and
two SUVs. Golly, how crazy can you get. It's very
embarrassing especially when the foreign and
international press pick that up.

The police seemd to be not doing their job but as I
found later, it was a strategy. They didn't want to
be confrontational. They didn't want the LA Riots in
1992 happen all over again. But as some newscasters
mentioned, what image is the city of LA projecting
then, specially now that the Democratic National
Convention -- which will be held at the Staples
Center... which I will cover, thank you very much --
is just two months away.

Oh well, that's their problem.

Looking Forward to the Lakers' Parade on Wednesday