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Monday, June 2, 2008

Untold Pinoy Story No, 6 and 7

Untold Pinoy Story No. 6

East and West

The Story of the Muslim Princess

Suppose that there was a Muslim princess from the flood capital of the Philippines, Malabon, who has just finished her degree in Mass Communications from the University of the Philippines with Latin honors (cum laude). Suppose that she decided to work for Discorama.

Remember the Saturday afternoon show on GMA Channel 7 with former Senator Tito Sotto, his brother Vic Sotto and comedian Joey de Leon as hosts? The Muslim princess was assigned to host the Tough Hits segment of the show. As Tough Hits girl, she did the weekly countdown of popular songs with bastardized lyrics to elicit cheap laughs. Her mother, who was an executive at the Philippine National Bank in Escolta, just shrugged her shoulders whenever her colleagues would ask about her favorite daughter's TV show.

Soon, a female newscaster of a major TV network introduced the Muslim princess to her brother, a flight steward. After a whirlwind
courtship, the Muslim princess married the flight steward who used to be a child actor whose only claim to fame was playing the role of a toddler Bongbong Marcos in a Marcos bio-flick. After a couple of months, the Muslim princess and the flight steward quietly separated.

But career-wise, lady luck smiled at the Muslim princess when she was given a big break by the major TV network. She bagged the plum assignment of delivering the evening news while at the same time hosting a successful TV magazine program which was pitted against a similar program in a rival TV network hosted by her former UP professor. However, the Muslim princess was such a perfectionist that it was reportedly not uncommon to see objects flying whenever she was unsatisfied with her TV staff's work.

Later, the Muslim princess got married again, this time to a well-
known local politician from a province south of Manila. The namesake of her father, her politician husband had grown-up children close to the Muslim princess' age and it was being talked about that his first wife lived in the same condominium building where the Muslim princess and her new husband occupied the penthouse. The Muslim princess' husband also reportedly decided to become a Muslim so that he could have more than one wife. They were blessed with two sons.

The Muslim princess' husband soon retired from politics and became contented with being a magician and a human toothpaste applier for his Muslim princess' toothbrush. (Incidentally, the Muslim princess once appeared in a Close-Up Toothpaste TV commercial.) Now, the Muslim princess and her magician husband (He could make a big Coke bottle disappear before your eyes.) are happily separated. Later, the Muslim princess' husband was accused of being responsible for the disappearance of his close friend.

The Story of the Black Nazarene Devotee Suppose that there was a Black Nazarene devotee from the tamaraw capital of the Philippines who claimed to have graduated with a business degree from the University of the East despite his critics' contention that he just bought his college diploma from the sidewalk of C. M. Recto Avenue. He worked as a radio reporter for a major
radio and TV network. With perseverance, he was given a Sunday morning radio show. Later, he would occasionally pinch-hit for

announcers whenever they would not show up for their radio program. He also hosted a daily radio serialization of movies for a program dubbed as Sineradyo.

His biggest TV break came when a TV network hired him for a top- rated showbiz-oriented TV show called See-Tru. The show was hosted by gossip queen, Lourdes Jimenez-Carvajal who was more popularly known as Inday Badiday or Ate Luds to her legions of fans. The Black Nazarene devotee's appearance was only through voice-over (and he was never really seen by the TV audience) and it was always preceded by his usual line: "Ate Luds, may phone-in question po tayo rito galing kay...". Yes, his job involved reading TV audience's phone-in questions to Inday Badiday's movie star guests. However, despite the TV show's enormous popularity, it was immediately cancelled after one
of the show's female guests hurled an ashtray at another female guest.

Later, the Black Nazarene devotee married a lady executive of the radio and TV network where he had moved up to become the host of its early morning radio show. They adopted a girl and had a younger son later.

Never The Twain Shall Meet

Suppose that the Muslim princess and the Black Nazarene devotee met in the same office where they both work. Suppose also that the Black Nazarene devotee personally chose the Muslim princess as one of the principal sponsors for his adopted daughter's wedding to one of the members of the staff of his widely popular TV program.

Suppose further that both the Muslim princess and the Black Nazarene devotee became elected government officials and they both decided to run for the same government office on the same year. They both run for say, the presidency of the Philippines. No, that's being too ambitious. Okay, suppose that they both run for the position of Vice President under opposing political parties. Who would you vote for?

The Muslim princess or the Black Nazarene devotee?

If you would vote for the Muslim princess, you just wasted your vote.

If you would vote for the Black Nazarene devotee, you are good at spotting a winner (but it does not mean that you did not also waste your vote).

Because the honorary Muslim princess is former Senator Loren Legarda who lost her bid for the Vice Presidency of the Philippines in the2002 national elections.

And yes, the Black Nazarene devotee who helps carry the replica of the Black Nazarene image barefoot and wearing only a white undershirt (sans bullet-proof vest) during the annual Quiapo procession as part of his religious devotion (yes, he still does it up to this day) is Noli de Castro, current Vice President of the Philippines.

Untold Pinoy Story No. 7

Pure Innuendoes

They were the best of friends. They were always seen together around the University of the Philippines (UP) campus in Diliman: one was undoubtedly a very good-looking guy and the other was unquestionably a plain-looking guy. Opposites really attract. Hey, but they're both brilliant students. Well, birds of the same feather also flock together. Indeed, they were very close to each other. Unusually close.

They were the perfect tandem. Like suman and ripe mango. Or nuts and bolts. Peg and a hole.

They were both prot
�g �es of then UP Student Council chairman Chito Gascon. Soon, the good-looking guy took the helm as UP Student Council chairman. But the best friends seem to follow each other's path. The plain-looking guy also ran for the same position with the all-out support of his good-looking friend. He won, of course.

The good-looking guy was the crush ng bayan of the iskolars ng bayan.

During lunchtime, students of all persuasions flocked to the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) cafeteria to catch a glimpse of the good- looking guy. Even singer-actress Regine Velasquez later admitted on national television that she had a big crush on the good-looking guy.

But loveless Regine's daring admission did not earn her even just a movie date invitation from the good-looking guy; instead, the good- looking guy merely flashed a demure smile in response to desperate Regine's thinly-veiled date invitation.

But after finishing college, the best friends went their separate
ways. (Or so it seemed). The plain-looking guy pursued his law
studies and later taught law courses. The good-looking guy delivered the evening news on TV, hosted a TV quiz show and wrote analytical articles on pop culture. His good looks, intelligence and impeccable manner endeared him to televiewers.

Despite their divergent career choices, the good-looking guy and the plain-looking guy really seemed to follow each other's path. But this time, their path led to a nice little apartment near the Ateneo de Manila campus. And they shared that nice little apartment. Just the two of them.

Yes, the plain-looking guy and the good-looking guy lived together.

Those gifted with wild imagination got titillated at the mere thought of these two young men sharing a lovely apartment. The moralists out there shook their heads at the mere thought of the goings-on beyond that innocent-looking apartment door amid rows of middle-class houses in Loyola Heights in Quezon City.

But the pair would not budge from their nest. Nor would they yield to any pressure. Not even from the plain-looking guy's bible-reading siblings who berated him for living with another guy. The plain- looking guy's own family started to cast doubt about his masculinity.

All telltale signs which have accumulated all those years could no
longer be ignored. People started talking openly about the two guys.

Speculations about the true nature of the pair's friendship became a daily fodder for gossip mongers. The academic freedom which alma mater UP's oblation symbolizes seemed to have gone beyond the duo's lust for knowledge.

In order to prove to his family that he was not what they thought he was, the plain-looking guy suddenly announced that he was getting married. His family jumped with joy.

But the plain-looking guy's marriage did not dispel wild speculations about his sexuality; instead, it only succeeded in erasing any remaining doubt about his alleged agenda of using his wife to finally succeed in his failed initial crack at pursuing his lifelong dream.

And it was well worth his efforts. Because this former loser's
desperate act finally triumphed. Thanks to his wife.

However, the plain-looking guy's deep friendship with his good-
looking friend took a backseat as a result of the former's new civil
status. The plain-looking guy did not want to hurt his new wife's
flourishing career nor spoil his newfound success. That's why he
played his role as a good family man to the hilt. However, he had not forgotten his good-looking best friend at all. As a token of their undying friendship, the good-looking guy stood as one of the godfathers of the plain-looking guy's first baby, together with Edu Manzano, Cesar Montano, Cherie Gil, Ciara Sotto, Angeli Valenciano, Fanny Serrano and a host of other household names. Of course, the plain-looking guy's wife was clueless about her husband's past.

But the plain-looking guy's wife had her share of dark past. She is a single mother who parted ways with her good-looking "first husband" after she discovered that her good-looking "first husband" was already married to another woman when she hastily married him after she got pregnant at a young age. This meant that her marriage to her good-looking "first husband" was not legally binding after all. Now, the plain-looking guy was her knight-in-shining- armor who rescued her from the stigma of being an unmarried mother.

Ironically, while her non-binding marriage with her good-
looking "first husband" was solemnized by several high-ranking
priests at the cavernous Manila Cathedral amid countless clicking
cameras and thousands of shrieking admirers several years ago, her supposedly legitimate marriage with the plain-looking guy was
officiated not by a Catholic priest but by a pastor in a cramped
living room, with only few relatives and friends as witne
Later, the good-looking guy reportedly got married also without
fanfare. They said that his bride was a creative consultant for ABS- CBN Interactive. However, some women still believe and hope that he is still unmarried to this day.

The good-looking guy soon rose to become ABS-CBN News Channel's (ANC) Director for Current Affairs. He has been circling the globe as host of ANC's weekly travel show, Executive Class.

Yes, the good-looking guy is David Celdran.

And the plain-looking guy is megastar Sharon Cuneta's husband,
Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan.