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.