The Waiting Game.
The tables were set, the food was ready. Just a little more patience before Alden Richards arrives.
To those asking, here’s what’s on the menu:
After what seemed like an eternity (to my heart and to my stomach) we received word that Alden was already at the gate of our village. We waited by the window
While Dinna and the people from GMA went down to meet Alden. All the drivers were briefed not to make a sound or call the maids who were cleaning upstairs, because it was a surprise for them.
A car pulled over and parked, and in a blink of an eye, I had this vision. I saw the Adidas shoes…
And then the unmistakable PLAY shirt. It felt like a dream!
Until that time, I didn’t know how I would feel, but I heard myself scream. Luckily the windows were closed.
I was frozen and didn’t know what to do until Dinna motioned for me to go out and welcome him.
Then I saw him coming up the stairs. Our stairs
This is what happened: (Video: Jujiin Samonte & Paulo Castro)
Next: What happened at breakfast and what we talked about (To be continued)
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.