Monday, August 27, 2007

And now ... Billy Crawford!

These last two weekends have been a blast. First off, both have been long weekends, thanks to GMA's "holiday economics" that moved mid-week holidays to Mondays, thus creating successive three-day holidays.

Also, another GMA, not the president but the network, has been taping Celebrity Duets on Saturday afternoons. It's been tremendous fun watching T sing and dance with various professionals, and just this last Saturday was the hip-hop artist Billy Crawford.

Here's the short video of their performance that I took from my front row seat using my Treo 650. (Blogger has a new video upload feature, which I'm trying out.) The video is also on YouTube and I'm sure someone will eventually load up the TV version itself.

The inside scoop is that three of these contestants wanted to perform with Billy but T got the nod after some finagling between his manager and VSR, the owner of Gift Gate. Tita V, as we call her, is someone who really knows how to make things happen - at least in the showbiz world.

The whole weekend turned out to be a Celebrity Duets weekend because earlier this evening was the 40th birthday party of the show's host Ogie Alcasid.

GMA glitterati were in full force at the Polo Club for the affair. T and I turned up late but in good time to scout for possible future partners for her succeeding stints on C.D., assuming, of course, that she doesn't get axed.

Naturally, I also took the opportunity to have my own photos taken. After all, if the wife can sing with the stars, then the husband should at least get to pose with some heavenly bodies.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Spokesbaby?!?

What a pleasant surprise - I was flipping through the Inquirer over breakfast when I saw this article, "Motherhood becomes her," starring T and Athena.

MANILA, Philippines -- Lifestyle icon Tessa Prieto-Valdes, heretofore known to many for her colorful outfits, is now getting much-deserved attention for her mothering style and skills, too.

After being conferred the title “Idol ng Breastfeeding” by the Department of Health, she is now championing healthy baby skin as endorser of the new Nivea Baby line.

Valdes was chosen because she exemplifies the modern mother and she is a staunch advocate of proper infant care.

The accompanying picture had this caption: NIVEA Baby spokesperson for healthy skin, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, with 2-year-old daughter Athena.

It's a terrifically winsome picture, of course. Too bad Athena's vocabulary is limited at this time, otherwise she could have been the spokesbaby!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Even the Caddies are Voting

T and I played in Canlubang South today and even our caddies have been texting their votes to Celebrity Duets. I just know this show will be central to our lives for the next few weeks...

Meanwhile, someone finally loaded up the YouTube video of T and Jolina. When Athens was watching the video, she recognized herself when the camera panned to us, and she said, "Dad" and "me."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

... but not everyone will ...

Today was the first elimination round on Celebrity Duets and T survived the first cut. YouTube has the playlist of all the shows, easily found by doing a search for "celebrity duets tessa."

The first victim was Bb. Pilipinas Universe Ana Theresa Licaros, which is too bad since the show lost some valuable eye candy. It's a text elimination process, which simply says Theresa wasn't able to attract as many votes as, say, one of the guys who gave his driver P20,000 of load to use on texting in his name. Well, some guys need to win more than others, I guess.

Here's what the U.S. version of the show looks like:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Anyone can ... sing!"

T is now on the Kapuso network's new show, Celebrity Duets. Here she is, thanks to YouTube:

Part 1: Intro

Part 2: Performance with Kyla

Our good friend Rosan also blogged about Tessa's performance here and T herself wrote about the show in her Sunday column.

To support Tessa and get her to avoid elimination, text "Duets Tessa" to 367 (Smart/TalkNText) and 2344 (Globle/Sun/Touch Mobile).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Where's Macau?

"It's in the bahn beside mah hoahse."

"Where's Macau?" used to be the kids' old joke. After all, who knew where this sleepy backwater of Hong Kong was?

When I lived in HK in the early '90's, I can still remember periodically taking the ferry to the Portugese enclave, lounging on the beach at the far end of Coloane island, shopping for bacalao and port wine, dining on Macanese food and even spending the odd dollar or two in one of the casinos.

How times have changed.

The Lisboa casino is a small indicator who how everything has changed. The old casino is now ringed with color-changing neon lights. Its most prominent feature, the wavy roof that was like a dragon's mouth that ate the gamblers as they walked in (the savvy ones took a side entrance to avoid the bad feng shui), is hardly noticeable.

Behind has mushroomed the Grand Lisboa, a giant soccer ball in front of a towering flame of glass. The soccer ball is coated with high tech, computer-controlled neon that can flash advertising messages as well as change colors and patterns.

And that's just the one, old, Stanley Ho-owned casino.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Star Magic Ball

Annika would have loved to come with T and I tonight. We saw her favorite Kampanerang Kuba, Anne Curtis, together with PBB heartthrob Sam Milby at the Star Magic Circle Ball.

After 15 years of developing stars, TV giant ABS decided to throw a dress-up ball for all its batches of talents. The idea came from PR guru Keren Pascual. There were so many glitterati around that we said the question of the night was probably, "Anong batch ka?"

Naturally all the star(lets) had to sing and dance as part of the show. The most notable dance for me was the tango danced to Norah Jones' Come Away With Me, which featured a wardrobe malfunction of sorts. I guess the starlets don't really practice with their gowns, so who can tell what colors of pantyhose might be inadvertently exposed by the odd dance lift or two?

I'm sure the paparazzi photos/video are already on the web somewhere, probably right next to the current YouTube hit of the Cebuano prison inmates dancing to Thriller. It's too bad we don't have a local version of to chronicle the miscues of our stars. Then again, maybe we're better off unchronicled.

Ironically, the scene stealer of the evening was an older talent whom I've never seen or heard of, a comic lady called Pokwang. Among her memorable lines was about how she had to earn money, "kasi may pinapaaral pa ako sa IS ... sa ilimintary school."

Kellogg 90 Reunion

Way back in 1990, seven Pinoys graduated from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Four of us got together for coffee early this morning.

(R-L) Anthony Ty was back in town for a four-day visit. He currently lives in Southern Cal, working for Honda USA. Aleli Morales is working with Kellogg 89 alum Carol Dominguez of John Clements on an e-learning project. Giles Puno is CFO of First Gen and is staving off male meno-Porsche through early morning drives in his black 911 Carrera.

It was great catching up and seeing how life's journey has brought us all along these past 17 years.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Return of the Natives

August 1 was a complicated day.

Number 1 son, Bryan, left for the U.S. on the late PAL flight. His short, post-graduation summer is done and he is heading back to look for a job and enter the proverbial "real world." It's been a poignant last few days thinking about him, all poised for this next stage of life.

Of course, upon arrival in SFO, his first e-mail was somewhat more prosaic: "As usual, the house needs to be cleaned so for the most part of today will be spent cleaning."

Meanwhile, Number 2 son, Tyrone, arrived at 8 P.M. from his CISV summer camp in Florence. It seems our 11-year-old has grown up, evidenced by this text message from the mom of one of his companions:

From J: Super thanks! Apparently Tyrone has a girlfriend from France and Steffi has a boyfriend from London. Can we just kill the two of them. :-)

Well, at least she put a smiley emoticon at the end of it.

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