I was never one to publicly swoon over celebrities. Whenever I encountered actors or singers or other celebrities, I do not lose my composure, no matter how much I like them. I will not run after them, shrieking or in tears; I let them be. Also, I would never ask to have my picture taken with them.
Until recently, the only time it happened was when I was still in Cambodia. My friends and I were having coffee in one of Phnom Penh’s bigger hotels. We heard from the hotel staff that a Filipino film crew was billeted in the hotel. We resumed our banter, which stopped promptly when we saw Judy Ann Santos walk past the plate glass window, carrying what looked to be a couple of bags of grilled chicken–a popular street food in Cambodia. My friends wasted no time and almost ran out of the coffee shop after her. In fairness to Judy Ann, she was very accommodating; she agreed to pose for us. The only person who appeared irritated by our intrusion was her assistant, who glared at us.
Now, I’d been working as a trainee-writer for a celebrity talk show in the country’s biggest TV network for two months now. In this time, I have been regularly exposed at the sight of celebrities every time I report for work. Many of my colleagues–who are younger than I am, are quite vigilant about having their photos taken with our celebrity guests. I guess this is largely because of the technology these days, which has put the camera in the hands of many people.
This week, I sort of joined the fray. Miss Universe First Runner-up Janine Tugonon was one of our celebrity guests. Prior to the Miss Universe pageant in the States, she had appeared in our show with previous MU runners-up Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup. I knew she was going to do well even then–when many were basically bashing her beauty and intellect. In the end, she did really well with her 1st runner-up finish, which was last achieved by Miriam Quiambao in 1999. After our pre-interview, I didn’t resist the urge to have a souvenir photo with her. As always, she was gracious and accommodating. Our photo, which I shared in Instagram, caught the attention of my friends.
Is this the start of a new habit? Will my friends be seeing more photos of me with celebrities I genuinely like? I don’t know. Maybe. We’ll see.