Monday, January 30, 2006
Para sa yo, Manny!
I have two left feet. I'm in the middle of Roxas Boulevard among crowds of people and my feet are killing me. My only consolation is that the rain turned into a drizzle but that doesn't change the fact that I'm wearing 3-inch boots, both intended for my left feet! Oo na, parehong kaliwa ang sapatos ko! But before you think I'm odd.. hear me out.
I actually came from my friend's wedding in Calaruega, Tagaytay and took the day off. The wedding was held in the morning, so it ended after lunch. Since I was already in Tagaytay, my friend and I decided to seize this opportunity and visit the much talked about Italian restaurant called Massimo's for coffee and gelato. We were the only ones in the restaurant except for the waiters and Massimo himself, a cute little boy who was playing chess with his English-speaking yaya. Since he's older than the restaurant, I suppose the place was named after him.
So there I was, enjoying the cool breeze, good food and having a nice conversation. Ahh, this is the life! But when the clock struck 12...err...in my case 4pm...I turned into the tazmanian devil! In a split-second I was running to the car like a lunatic, huffing and puffing and saying sh-t to the world. Heck, I even forgot my silver bag (that went nicely with my silver gray and pink dress) until the yaya thankfully came running towards the car to hand it to me. The text message that I got said it all, "Live report ka sa Roxas Boulevard for Manny Pacquiao victory party." TV Patrol World starts at 6:30 p.m. and I didn't know how the hell I was going to make it. But orders are orders, and I HAD to make it.
I told my crew to get clothes and shoes that I asked somebody in the house to prepare. Well that somebody handed them two left pairs of 3-inch black boots! I have two almost identical ankle length boots and the time had come for me to suffer for it.
It couldn't have come at a better time. I arrived at Roxas Boulevard at 6:30 pm! TV Patrol had already started but thanks to DZMM's Nedy Tantoco, I pretty much knew what was happening. I just had to double check some facts with a few quick interviews and phone calls here and there. Security. Check. Crowd estimate. Check. Who performed. Check. Who's coming. Check. What to expect. Check. Argh! These killer boots are really a killer! My right foot felt like it was swollen. I looked down at my funny looking shoes and realized it wasn't funny.
7:20 p.m. I was just waiting for my cue to start my live report. I thought I heard Julius Babao introduce me for my report, but I wasn't sure. My TV monitor and my earphone - where I get instructions from the field producer - died (why am I so lucky?) Julius was also at the Pacquiao victory party, just across the street, so I looked to my right hoping to get my cue from the real Julius and not rely on the unreliable. Too late. I was caught on-cam, wasting about 5 valuable seconds of airtime, looking away and for 5 looong seconds I was just nakatanga or mukhang tanga more like it until the monitor suddenly re-appeared and I could hear the camera man shouting, "CUE! CUE!" And off I went with my live report as if nothing happened.
After my TV Patrol stint I was told I would do more updates for Studio 23, ANC and Insider. Even if Insider came in after midnight, I was on a roll, my adrenaline was up and I was even excited to do more reports on Manny's Victory Party. Basta para kay Idol, go! I guess all of us reporters that day felt it too.
Earlier in the evening, Manny sang his hit single, "Para Sa Yo (ang laban na to)" with Nora Aunor, err, President Arroyo. He also sang the Big Brother song, "Pinoy Ako" with Sarah Geronimo and the President. He then left at 6:00 p.m., but the thousands of people who came didn't mind since there were other bands and celebrities who filled in for him.
11:30 p.m. I was done with my Insider script and just when we were about to edit the video, I heard louder screams and people chanting "Manny! Manny!" Oh no, did he come back? My question was answered when I heard the song again, "Para sa yo, ang laban na to. Para sa yo, ang laban na tohhh...." I went out of the OB Van and sure enough it was Manny. He came back! Minutes later he was dancing with Pops Fernandez. The guy is amazing. He arrived very early in the morning from Las Vegas and since then, he was just, to borrow Gary V's title, Mr. Pure Energy. Because of Manny's tenacity, I had to redo my script at the last minute. Again, basta ikaw Idol!
That's Manny. Last year I interviewed him when he returned to the country after losing to Morales. Even then, he had so many fans and I noticed he just wanted to please them all, gamely posing for pictures and signing autographs even as his companions urged him to get going. If he could just shake hands with each of the thousands of people present during his victory party, I bet you he would.
Just like this year, Manny opened his house last year to anybody who wanted to watch his fight. He told his relatives to bring out the TV set so that their neighbors could watch. I know because I was sent to General Santos City to cover his family and relatives during his first fight with Morales. I remember his two cute boys running around the house oblivious to their father's fight. I remember his brother who was practically stuck to the radio as he listened to the live report on Manny's fight and I remember him being so upset when his brother lost. He was convinced Manny was cheated. Manny's mother was also something else. She was praying the rosary in front of a Virgin Mary statue in a corner while everyone gathered in the living room to watch the super duper commercial-ridden fight which was then shown on RPN 9. At first she tried to watch, but when Manny was hit the first or second time, she couldn't bear it and just went on praying and crying with her eyes closed until the fight ended. When I talked to her afterwards, she said she couldn't bear seeing her son hurt. She also told me she doesn't really like watching his son's fights because it just might give her a heart attack.
This year was different though. I saw Manny's mother being interviewed on Rated K and she was all-smiles. There were also clips of her watching Manny's fight. During an interview, she said she had a good feeling Manny would win. Wow, mother's instincts. Maybe last year she had a feeling Manny could lose? Because last year she was a nervous wreck and looked ten years older compared to this time.
I guess in Manny's next fight, it would be a good idea to observe his mom closely.
In the meantime, while the overly played "Para sa yo, ang labang itohh..." drive us nuts, I wonder how his duet with his wife, Jinky, sounds. I heard Manny's wife is a good singer and they have a duet in Manny's new CD.
Next question. Will Manny enter showbiz? Didn't he host "Kamao" with Robin Padilla and Vina Morales last year? I really wish he won't follow Onyok Velasco's footsteps. But I would rather have Manny become an artista than a gambler or politician, I don't know which is worse.
All I know is that I will never ever NEVER wear my shoes this way again.