Friday, September 18, 2009

Nine Hours with Kimmy Dora

Last Sunday the Manila airports were freaking out because of a power loss/radar shutdown/potential airport horror movie, and I was freaking out because we were flying back on Monday morning. I couldn't stress enough to the GMA Network people the importance of getting back on time the next day because I had a shoot and interview. I absolutely cannot miss that interview, even if I have to beg them to put me in a different airline. Thankfully the airport guys straightened up that mess on time because I was in Manila by 11am. I went to my sister's house to dump my bags and went straight to the studio.

Of course I got lost, and only found the right place because I saw our subject entering it. Who is the subject, you may wonder. Why, it's Kimmy Dora.

Now running on its third week (it opened on September 2), people just can't stop talking about the movie. It's about the twin heiresses Kimmy and Dora Go Dong Hae, who are different as night and day and played by Eugene Domingo. Kimmy is a right old bitch but brilliant at buying out companies and making the Go Dong Hae empire bigger. Dora is, well, not so right in the head. But what she lacks in IQ points she makes up for having a big heart. Dingdong Dantes nerdified himself in this movie, and quite effectively. Never once did he steal the spotlight from Eugene. Anyway, just watch it. Or at least the trailer.

Anywaaaay. So I saw Eugene enter the studio and I paused to take a deep breath because I didn't want to be all stuttery and nervous when I introduce myself. Pam still wasn't there because she had to pull out hats for the shoot. I know, I ignore presidential candidates and even roll my eyes at them but I'm starstruck with Eugene. Priorities, people.

We proceeded with the shoot and do you know what a shoot entails? Makeup. Then hair. Then clothes. Then more clothes until we find the right one. Then the actual taking of pictures. Then repeat the whole process until layouts are done. In between makeup and hair we all had lunch (Jollibee chicken barbecue rocks, try it try it try it) and the interview. She was so fun we wanted to keep her. She wasn't hard to bring out, one question from us generates three paragraphs of answers. Listening to the recording, about 30% of it were laughter, mostly mine and Pam's. She just cracks us up.

She was even generous enough to offer us Chris Martinez, the writer for Kimmy Dora. I don't know how to say this but, for me meeting him was a big deal. I loved him since Last Order sa Penguin, his one-act play that won a Palanca award. I've read all his works and watched the movies he wrote since Bridal Shower. He is the one-liner man. Some of the dialogues he wrote that is forever stuck in my brain.

"For one million pesos, anong kakainin mo, ubeng lasang tae o taeng lasang ube?"
"Ano daw pangalan? Jobert? Parang pangalan ng taxi."
"Ang askal crineate para magbantay ng house. Is this a house?"

Chris arrived in time for dinner, just when we were wrapping up the shoot. Over kebabs, ox brain, and keema, the real life Kimmy and Dora (except they don't want to kill each other) bantered in front of us, and with us. They told us secrets and trivia, and told us about their friendship that go way back.

We spent nine hours with them, nine fun and crazy hours. When I woke up the next day I thought I just dreamt it all, "Did I really hung out with Kimmy Dora and Chris Martinez?" It was that crazy, and until now that the pages had been closed we still can't get over Kimmy Droga. We even watched the movie again. Weird, it was funnier the second time around.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer Super Exclusive will be out on Saturday. Grab a copy. Meanwhile, some photos from the shoot.

Me and Pam standing in for lights check.

Prepping hair and make up

Jill in action

Reviewing the shots with Jill

Group picture!

With Kimmy Dora and Chris Martinez

I love my job.


I haven't gotten around to opening this blog o'mine for the past few days, and when I did there were comments and I was in the process of hitting the Approve button when something short-circuited in my brain that controls my motor skills and before you know it I accidentally clicked the Reject! button. I don't know how to undo it so for the commenters affected I am so sorry. I've read it though, and Claire, yuh-huh. And I Wei, I've read your Multiply entry. I'm flattered that you got inspired.

Next time I promise never to miss my meds again.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Spell Crazy With a K

Hello. I'm back from all the tree-planting goodness of the weekend. I was up at 6am and now it's 1am. I'm now feeling the delicious pull of unconsciousness.

But before I finally slam dunk my way to REM, I would just like to say that today has been a great and crazy day. Almost nothing went wrong, everyone had a great time, and I laughed like an idiot for the most parts of the conversation that took nine hours.

I am just so thrilled and giddy to be in their presence. Either that or the Jollibee chicken barbecue, the pizza, the keema, the ox brain, or the Nutella crepe are creating a dangerous chemical reaction in my brain. I'm going for the first theory.

Till tomorrow, bitches.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Problem

I have a flight in four hours, and I need to be out of the house in about...90 more minutes. And I haven't slept yet. Can't say I didn't try; I lay down in bed and hugged my sherpa blanket (it's a really thick furry one I bought at a home sale) and waited for unconsciousness. DID NOT HAPPEN.

I was feeling tired and yawning endlessly when I made contact with the pillow, so I thought I'd get at least four hours of shut eye before I get up like a bad drunk, hitting myself on every furniture on the way to the bathroom and grunting like a caveman. Nope, no shut eye. I tried every position imaginable (insert dirty joke here, here, and here) and I tried rubbing some Vicks on my temples but still no sleep.

If I'm supposed to last until 10 in the evening today, all I can hope for is sleep during the ride to the airport, while waiting for boarding, and on the plane. In short, anytime I'm in a sitting position. I hope they don't dub me as the Narcoleptic Girl.

I'm going to Cebu and I will make up for the lack of sleep by buying CNT lechon and Sunburst chicken skin. After making sure the trees are planted of course. And never make someone who hasn't slept yet write anything and expect it to make sense. I'll make sense on Sunday.

I totally feel like this right now. Me and Joaquin playing around with Photobooth.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Today's Lesson in Geography

It's freaking five in the morning and I can't sleep. My body clock is screwed up. No, it's smashed on the floor with its guts springing out. Either that or I live in Podgorica, Montenegro. Ha! I bet you don't know where that is. I didn't either, I looked up World Clock and that was most interesting city I saw. I had to google the country which is also known as Crna Gora and their website says it is a most interesting place. Sometimes you have to judge by the name.

I seriously thought that it's a new country somewhere in Central Asia or Africa, one of those newly liberated ones that keep throwing us off track. I'm just so glad I'm not in high school anymore. Turns out it's in Europe and is one of the oldest states. It "lies on the Balkan Peninsula at the very heart of Europe".

The Moscow Bridge at Podgorica. From

If you ever find yourself in Montenegro, what should you do? First, freak out and find out how you got there. Backtrack to your last memory -- did you ride a plane, teleport, or traveled by chimney? Was it against your will? Do you have your passport with you? Once that's sorted out and you were not kidnapped or anything (not that I'm insinuating that kidnappers would automatically fly you out there, or that Montenegro is a kidnapper's haven, not at all), might as well enjoy your stay.

If it's summer, hit the beach. Montenegro has countless beaches and rivers and lakes where you could spread your Spongebob beach towel and absorb some UVA and UVB rays. The Budva Riviera is where it's at, just ask your friendly Montenegrin to sketch you a map going there. In winter, enjoy the other side of Montenegro: the slippery slopes of white powder. Go skiing or snowboarding or whatever icy sport you want. The mountains will be covered in plenty of snow for your liking.

The Budva Riviera by Sveti Stefan courtesy of

How to get there: Ever since Lufthansa stopped operating in the Philippines, the most direct route I can recommend is Manila-Hong Kong-London-Podgorica, or substitute Hong Kong with Singapore. You can also go the budget airline route of Clark-Kuala Lumpur-London-Podgorica via Air Asia (Clark to London leg only). The seats are a bitch but what the hell, it's less than half the price. And they don't serve food, you either buy or bring your own.

If you have a Schengen visa, you can enter Montenegro hassle-free. If you don't, well, it's P3,500 if you apply at the German Embassy. I think it's more expensive at the French Embassy. Call for details, because I'm not sure.

Links (because I know you're just a teeny tiny bit interested in going):

Visit Montenegro
Air Asia
German Embassy
French Embassy
and the one that started this whole entry, which was so different in my head and I was totally going for something else entirely, The World Clock.

UPDATE: (This is why you have to read everything before writing anything.) The Republic of Montenegro was made an Independent State on May 2005. It was admitted to the United Nations on 28 June 2006. So I was right, the country, technically, is new-ish. The Republic just turned three!

P.S.: See what insomnia can do? They should make me a goodwill ambassador or something. OR GIVE ME A FREE TRIP. You know, something.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In a New York State of Mind

"Let's meet at 11pm. Dress up."

My knee-jerk reaction to this was: are you freaking kidding me? My second instinct was: no shit, it's raining and I'm not putting on a dress and heels and make up to get splashed on. Then I was outvoted.

So at ten in the evening I put on the simplest dress I have, some old high-heeled strappy sandals, and my ukay-ukay 30-peso trench coat. When I got in the cab I realized it was the first time I wore the coat, because usually it's not that cold to warrant the thick brown fabric. But then again, it's raining and it's night, so I guess it's ok.

Walking to the restaurant through the parking lot, in my trench coat and all, made me feel I'm in New York on a cold autumn night. Except I would be wearing high boots and not some strappy number that will probably encourage frostbite. Yes, I've been watching Sex and the City again for the past week. Before that, Friends. It has been my dream to live in Manhattan even for a year, just to see what it's like.

I know it's damn expensive and people are sarcastic (hi, have you met me?) and rude, I think it's a city that you could never be indifferent with. You either love it or hate it, and there are no in-betweens. Of course the TV shows glam it up so much that poverty seems romantic and there are loads and loads of beautiful men and women swarming the streets.

I know I'm being immature but if someday that dream comes true and it's nothing like Friends or Sex and the City I will hunt down the writers and kill them.

Times Square on LCA. Photo by Pammy.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Cryogenic Bacterial Fermentation of Milk, with Fruit

Lately I've been jumping on the fro-yo (that's frozen yogurt for you) bandwagon. When before I can't tolerate the taste of yogurt, now it's become a major food group. It's the latest food fad, if you haven't noticed yet the mushrooming of different fro-yo places everywhere, much like what hot pandesal, lechon manok, pearl drinks, and boxed rice and noodles did before.

Fro-yo is supposedly fat-free, and only 90 calories per serving. That which I desperately want to believe, because if they're lying then I'm doomed. One time I got a large cup of strawberry fro-yo at Yohgurt Froz at Morato and was eating it alone I texted Pam, "Totoo bang di nakakataba to? Kahit may cheesecake?" Talk about negating your points.

I'm on a testing phase -- I try to taste all brands whenever I see one. So far my top three, in no particular order, are Yohgurt Froz, Red Mango, and White Hat. Usually I have more than one topping, varying on the nuts and cereals but always consistent on mango. I never put choco balls or Oreos or sprinkles, I feel like I'm dishonoring the fat-free-ness of it but I just couldn't help myself on the New York cheesecake chunks. They are so divine. Anyway, they only put like four tiny squares on my cup. It's not like there was a whole slice of it there. Although, it's not a bad idea.

My most unforgettable fro-yo cup was the Yohgurt Froz strawberry flavor with cheesecake bits, Triple Berry cereal, and walnuts. I ate it so fast I got a tummyache. On Monday I tried White Hat for the first time, spooning it into my mouth just as people were having gory deaths in Final Destination 4 (don't watch it, it's crap). Good thing we didn't fork out 350 bucks to watch it in 3D.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Life, and Then Some

For the past week I have been on an introspective mode, you have no idea how much. Bad news after bad news kept hitting me and my friends within a ten-mile radius. Some gave us a major scare, and some, will change us forever. It was so bad for a few days that on some nights I wasn't able to sleep, only stared at the ceiling clutching a piece of paper and a printout.

I used to think I was invincible, that bad things happen, sure, but never to me and the people I love. All those things -- the war, the sickness, the crimes -- were so far away. One Thursday afternoon found me wandering aimlessly inside Megamall, entering stores but not seeing anything, going up escalators with no particular place in mind. I felt I was detached from everything and was just floating midair. Eventually I stopped and entered a coffee shop, sat alone at the secluded smoking section and cried.

I didn't bawl, I just stared at the notebook I got out for writing, and the tears just fell. I was scared. I wasn't ready and I wasn't equipped and I can't handle talking to anyone about it because I will bawl and that would be breaking my personal rule of Not Crying Visibly in Public Places Even If I Am Being Shredded to Bits Inside. So I didn't.

That night all coherent thoughts have left my brain and replaced by a single irrational statement, "It wouldn't matter anyway because we're all maggot food". I went to a hospital to visit a dengue-ridden friend, and although I disliked hospitals, I still went (with other friends) and kept him company. Not only do I hate the hospital scent, by going there I felt like I was being given a preview and I didn't want to think about it.

Alone in my room, I still didn't bawl. I don't know if it was from a prevailing virus, or from the stress of the day, but my temperature was high enough to warrant a BioFlu tablet. My mortality was being challenged and I am just not ready. I played a lot of would-be situations in my head, all of them tragic and sad and made me wish it wasn't all happening.

Thank God it was nothing. But on that small window of time between the finding out and the big relief, I realized how much I am loved. I appreciate all the thoughtful words and the assurances that it would all be just fine. I am fine, and there are no words to even begin to describe how thankful I am.