I only had a few days to prepare for The Visit.
Our house isn’t that big, so I had to limit the number of guests to friends who really love Alden.
That would be Patty Betita and her friend Fay Lao, my videographer friend Jujiin Samonte and his partner, Paulo Castro. My colleague Dinna Vasquez. I also invited my nurse Wanda Espiritu and her sister Patty.
I told everyone to be at my house at 7 AM and not to mention the name Alden because the entire thing is a surprise for the maids.
I arranged for breakfast to be catered by Margarita Forés.
The day before, the maids and I cleaned up the house. It helped that I had something to do because it kept my mind off getting nervous.
I only told the maids I would be having guests over for a photo shoot, which they are quite used to. I didn’t even tell my kids, except for Ben, who was sworn to secrecy.
The night before, Margarita Forés staff came over to set up the tables (how professional!).
My kids said: “Mommy, why can’t we have this at home everyday?”
Me: “Because it’s expensive.”
Because I wasn’t able to sleep the night before we went to Eat Bulaga, I made sure to take a sleeping pill this time around. I must’ve slept three hours from 2-5 AM. I prayed to God to make everything be OK.
Jujiin and Paolo arrived first and on time. “He is so professional,” my husband Jeroen said.
The girls also arrived and my husband also waited with his BFF Joris, who asked to be briefed why #AlDub is so huge.
Waiting for Alden (from L-R) Jujiin Samonte and Paulo Castro, Fay Lao, Dinna Vasquez, Patty Betita, Wanda Espiritu and her sister Patty
Alden was supposed to be here from 8-10 AM before Eat Bulaga. But Dinna got a text that ETA would be 9-9:30 AM instead. I was getting nervous and paranoid that he might not arrive at all, until Mark Sablan and Ira Go of GMA Artist Center arrived.
Bu then I was still scared because Alden had to be at Eat Bulaga at a certain time. What if he were stuck in traffic and had to go straight to Broadway Centrum?
Then Sam Sanciangco arrived. He has been Alden’s handler for four years now. They go together everywhere—from Iloilo to Tokyo. If Sam is here, I am 99% sure Alden is going to appear.
I consider myself a very lucky girl.
In 2005, at the height of his fame, Piolo Pascual had lunch at our house in between shooting a print ad.
A couple of months later, Jericho Rosales also came over to shoot a magazine cover.
Because of its high ceiling and white walls, our house has hosted a lot of photo shoots.
But when Dinna told me Alden Richards was coming over to the house, I couldn’t believe it.
Dinna knows how much I love Aldub. Once she said, “I hope they invite us to Eat Bulaga,” which happened last week.
Then she said, “Sana we can interview Alden.”
Wishful thinking. But you know wishes do come true.
Last November 4, after Eat Bulaga, Dinna texted me that she had received a go-signal from Mark Sablan of GMA Artist Center.
Alden would be coming to the house to talk, eat, and meet our house help. It would be a special treat for the maids because they relate to Yaya Dub very much, and who doesn’t love Alden?
Alden would be coming on a Monday from 8-10 AM before Eat Bulaga.
You see, Eat Bulaga is kind of a big deal in our house. Ever since I discovered it (quite late) in mid-September, I’ve been hooked on the TV show, along with the nation. Basically the entire household stops working between 11:30 AM-2:30 AM. I even eat in front of the TV—you guys have no idea.
Basically my whole routine changed because of Aldub.
Gone are the days when guests received tiny Shu Uemura sachets as event giveaways.
Nothing beats Rimowa Philippines’ giveaway last Thursday during its store launch at the 2nd level of Shangri-La Plaza East Wing. I’m so glad I went because I would be so annoyed with myself if I hadn’t.
Because I receive a lot of invitations, I really choose which ones I attend. Aside from my backlog, my family needs/wants me at home. I once skipped an event where all the guests brought home an iPad. Never mind that I already owned an iPad—it made me feel bad anyway. But just because I love, use, and believe in Rimowa luggage, I made sure to block out November 5th on my calendar, and good thing I did.
It started with cocktails and a ceremonial unlocking of the door to the new Rimowa store led by Rimowa President and CEO Dieter Morszeck, Charles Yong (General Manager, Rimowa Far East) and German Ambassador Thomas Ossowski
Some of Manila’s loveliest: Heart Escudero, Rhian Ramos, Lovi Poe
Then guests were led a few steps away to the event space where a mock airplane tube had been set up.
When I peeked inside I immediately thought of three things:
1) May budget
2) How exciting!
3) Looks like my birthday
Guests lined up to have their pictures taken before entering the dinner venue, like Joey Mead King
Adora’s Erica Ilacad with Mr. Charles Yong
L-R: Mr. Susing Pineda, Jaime Pineda, Eddie Pineda
L-R: Mr. Tom Koenig (President, Rimowa Japan), German Ambassador Thomas Ossowski, and Masato Mizuo of Rimowa Japan
A few mall-goers were fascinated, watching the activities from the upper floors.
Here’s how it looked inside
Kelsey Merritt and Mark Nicdao
Lovi Poe and Heart Escudero
Mikaela Martinez and Joey Mead King
Stephanie Gonzalez and Amina Alunan
Margarita Fores catered for 60, and each guest received a little Rimowa clutch on the table setting.
Inside: a 16,000 mah power bank (may budget!) and a portable luggage scale.
So much food!
The crowd favorite was the Lamb Canneloni with Bone Marrow Bechamel, Kitayama Beef Crisps, and Sauerkraut Hay
I couldn’t even finish the fourth course (I was seriously full) when Tim Yap got onstage and talked about the Rimowa Salsa Sports Trunk, which happens to be my favorite luggage because of its shape (we have 6!)
A “flight attendant” came in and brought one to Tim. We seriously thought they were going to raffle it off.
But then something told me, no….That’s when Tim announced, “Everybody gets a trunk! Everybody gets a trunk!”
We all went nuts! It felt like an episode of Oprah’s Favorite Things. Everyone forgot dessert!
More “flight attendants” came in with stickers and decals for us to customize our luggage, pictured with Rimowa’s Dieter Morszeck, who also invented polycarbonate and multi-wheels
Rissa Mananquil, Amina Alunan and I were sticker happy
We lost no time posting Instragram photos with #RimowaPH. Because if it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen!
L-R: Maritess and Susing Pineda, Philippine Star’s Millet Mananquil, Kenneth and Cindy Yang, and Mr. Charles Yong (General Manager, Rimowa Far East)
Joey Mead King
Mark Nicdao, Miguel Mari, Pam Quiñones
So yes, it was worth going out for. Thank you Eman Pineda and Rimowa Philippines from all of us!
To find a Rimowa store nearest you, click HERE.
Posting this for my excited Twitter followers who asked me to write about yesterday, but I can’t tell you how super exhausted I am.
I am not a morning person so waking up early in the morning terrifies me. I will only do mornings for very special reasons.
Last Tuesday I had to get up at 7 AM for a 9:30 AM call time at Eat Bulaga because my friend Patty Betita invited us to watch the show live. I thought it would be fun.
On Monday night I tried to sleep early and even popped a Melatonin 3mg. to help me sleep. I didn’t want to take the 5mg. because I might have a hard time waking up.
It didn’t work.
I didn’t fall asleep. I was simply full of excitement, thinking of what to wear.
I invited Dinna, Jujiin and Paulo to come with us. Patty invited her friend Fay.
On Tuesday, 7:30 AM, Jujiin texted that he and Paulo were already at our meeting place in Greenhills.
“What are you wearing?” I asked Jujiin. I needed to know so I could dress similarly.
Okay. I decided to wear…..Comme des Garçons (duh!).
After a quick breakfast for me, our group headed to Broadway Centrum in Quezon City.
I’ve heard that some people line up as early as 3 AM to watch the live broadcast.
Our group arrived at 9:30 and joined the queue entering the studio. We were led to the front of the stage as guests of Direk Bert de Leon, Patty’s friend. You can see Direk Bert seated in front of the stage, while Ian Red (L) of Eat Bulaga preps the studio audience.
Unfortunately Jujiin and Paolo had to take off their hats because hats aren’t allowed, as well as food, drinks, pens, weapons, and cellphones, according to a sign. I had to give up my chocolate baon, but got my cellphone in.
When we got there the dancers were still rehearsing onstage
The staff handed out Eveready flashlights + whistle in case The Big One comes. They also showed a video of what to do in case of emergency and where to exit, sort of like an airline safety video. This made me extremely paranoid and terrified.
We were also given numbers in case of a lottery. LOL. I love Paulo and Jujiin.
I was so close to the stage, here’s what’s on my left
And in front of me. If you watch Eat Bulaga, you would know what the plastic bottles are for
The dancers rehearsed until 11:30 AM—with just 30 minutes for makeup and change of clothes.
A few minutes to go, Eat Bulaga’s mascot, Baeby Baste, arrived and was fawned over by the dancers.
I don’t normally get starstruck but Baste is really cute!!
Photo: Eat Bulaga
Oh, and I used to think Patricia Tumulak (R) was overdressed for the show, but she is really stunning in person.
Finally Alden Richards came out and the audience went wild
Video by Jujiin Samonte
In person, he looks really young, it made me feel old. He looks like a doll, not a hair strand out of place.
I wish he had less makeup and less hair product. He doesn’t need to look so perfect. There is charm in imperfection.
Also didn’t realize how long the commercial breaks are. In between broadcasts, the audience were allowed to take selfies with the stars. Entertainers would come up to Jujiin and Paulo and ask them what country they’re from (Pasong Tamo)
Next was the Juan For All segment hosted by Allan K, Tito/Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon where they give away lots of prizes to a lucky viewer
Vic Sotto calls the winner
And the most awaited part of the show is Kalyeserye with Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza, and the three lolas—Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo, and Paolo Ballesteros.
You can watch the segment here, and sorry if I look like a fool because I was trying to dodge the camera without being obnoxious. Basically I thought the cameraman would be focusing on smiling audience members so I tried very much not to laugh. (I haven’t watched this episode, so good luck
The show ended at 2:30 PM, so we were there for five hours. We were super hungry after the show.
My suggestions to Eat Bulaga:
1) Maybe they can offer non-transferable tyvek wristbands as tickets to the show so that people don’t have to stay in line at Broadway. After getting the wristband, the people can go home and freshen up before the doors open at 9:30 AM. Sort of how H&M does it when there’s a special event that requires queueing up.
2) Maybe allow a quick snack for the audience during the long commercial break? Allow water and a light snack, like Oreo cookies or even La Pacita biscuits?? Because the hunger games are a bit much. Just make sure the people really throw their trash on their way out. There must be a way to train them….
3) Wishful thinking for a larger and/or renovated studio and restrooms (can be done during Holy Week when all the stars are on holidays). Eat Bulaga is earning so much now!! Surely they can afford it and the audience deserves it.
PS. After the show our group headed out to Pepper Lunch at Robinson’s Magnolia. It was past 3 PM when Patty received the text from Direk Bert: “Where are you? Would you like to meet Alden backstage?”
Arrghh!!! How I wish we had been there when he texted. Oh well, maybe next time…
But everybody was so nice. Thanks for having us, Direk Bert and Eat Bulaga!!