Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

This might be the quickest million that T has ever spent! :-)

Actually from the very start of Celebrity Duets, she had pledged the entire prize money, if she won, to charity. So it's nice to know that there will be ten charities getting some additional funding soon.

When the studio gives her the money, T and I agreed to have a small event where we can gather all the recipients and have them properly receive the money, and maybe even have a group photo. That will be a nice memento of the contest.

I got the above video thanks to a text tip from EB, a former colleague at the ill-fated who now works with GMA New Media. It's great to see that their Philippine Entertainment Portal website loads up all these quick little video bites. This where there are more PEP videos.

Meanwhile, here's a funny photo from one of the last few Saturday tapings at GMA, with Athena's hair seemingly electrically charged, but probably only unkempt from her removing her clips after an extra-long taping afternoon.

This coming weekend will be our first TV-free weekend. It's been months since we've been able to spend a quiet weekend in Tagaytay, so we're all eager to do just that.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

T wins!

Whodathunkit? From perennial "bottom two" to the Celebrity Duets champion?!?!? T and I are still in shock from last night.

Thanks again to nonshowbiz for loading these up so fast:

Before the winners were announced towards the end of the taping, a couple of production crew guys came over to Jessica's husband, Dave Bunevacz. We were actually seated near each other, so I could see that they were putting a lapel mike on him.

I thought, "Well I guess they want to get all three spouses' reactions." But after Dave was wired up, the crew left and didn't come over. I glanced at Vicky Belo, and she hadn't been wired either.

So I leaned over to Dave and said, "Hey Dave, that's a great sign, that they're wiring you up and not me." He replied, "No, no, this is for something else, an anniversary thing I'm doing for Jess. It's a surprise so I really can't explain."

"Really?" I felt that maybe he was just trying to make me feel good. I mumbled something about congratulations if/when Jessica wins and tried to re-focus on the stage.

Behind me, Alex P had also noticed that Dave had been wired and not me. Later Popsy told me that he started crying because he thought that T had certainly lost as the wiring must certainly be to get the reaction of the winner's husband.

So when Ogie called out T's name, I was all the more in shock. I really thought Jessica had won it. I actually thought that maybe the crew made a mistake and thought Dave was me. (Yeah, right, me plus 8 inches and 30 kilos of muscle.)

After the cut, we were all still on stage and the tabloid reporters and GMA crew were asking me what my "surprise gift" to T would be. Aside from a kiss, I really couldn't think. I mean, she just won a million pesos for charity. What was I supposed to give her?!?

When we got outside the studio, the haze was lifted.

Dave had just presented Jessica with a brand new BMW X5, complete with a big red bow tie on the hood. Now that is a statement!

Wired for sound, he could now explain to the TV crew how he was rewarding his wife for all her hard work on Celebrity Duets over the past three months, plus his anniversary gift to her.

AZ, the BMW Account Executive, came over to say hi. (Hoping to sell another, I suppose.) I said, "Wow, that's 5.5, isn't it?"

"No sir," she cheerfully explained, "5.6 ho."


P.S. Some websites that carried the Celebrity Duets news:
It’s Tessa in ‘Celebrity Duets’
by Bayani San Diego Jr.
MANILA, Philippines -- Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Inquirer columnist, still thought of herself last night as the underdog, even after winning “Celebrity Duets,” a reality singing contest among celebrity non-singers on GMA 7...

Philippine Entertainment Portal
Tessa Prieto-Valdes beats Dr. Hayden Kho Jr. and Jessica Bunevacz in "Celebrity Duets"
by Jocelyn Dimaculangan
The Social Butterfly outperforms the Kilabot ng mga Kolehiyala and the Statuesque Beauty...
[The reader comments on this site are particularly insightful.]

Tessa Prieto-Valdez: Celebrity Duets champion
by Loretta G. Ramirez, iGMA
It was an afternoon like no other. All the finalists came in prepared to sing their last songs, but one star shone brighter than the rest...

PEP goes behind the scenes of Celebrity Duets
by Jocelyn Dimaculangan, PEP
The finals night of Celebrity Duets aired last Saturday, October 20, concluding the 11-week competition that was shown weekly on GMA. It premiered on the Kapuso Network last August 11, hosted by Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

This is it!

Win or lose, T is having a Thanksgiving Party after the Celebrity Duets finale today. The season has been 14 weeks long and tomorrow, we get our lives back!

Josh Groban

Here are some uplifting videos from Josh Groban's recent concert. Something to put us all into a positive mood...

10.19 = 09.11 ???

Do terrorists think about dates?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

On to the Finals!

There are days when just the YouTube videos of nonshowbiz tell the entire story. He has all the episodes on his YouTube site. Here are the ones that tell everything about the final elimination that got Tessa, Hayden and Jessica into the finals:

This is Tessa's performance with Michael V. I didn't load them here but a click-through to nonshowbiz will show you Hayden's and Jessica's, which are worth watching too.

This last clip is the cliffhanger ending, when Regine came down to choosing between Tessa and Doc Manny. Naturally the tears were flowing from the get-go.

An interesting aside is that Doc Manny's wife Pie has not been to the past few Saturday tapings (as can be seen above). The official line is that "someone has to do the operations," but the scuttlebutt is that she got pissed when, a few episodes ago, part of the post-performance routine was to get comments from the celebrities' supporters and direk called on Doc Manny's Mom instead of her. Rumor is that her complaints went all the way to FLG's wife. To the CEO's credit, nothing came of the alleged complaint.

Here's my own version of Tessa and Michael V., using my Nokia E90 video camera:

The best part of the taping day is watching Athena get more and more comfortable being around people. Here she gets up on stage and starts dancing! I guess she wants to be like Mommy!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Three Amigos

JB, AL and I have been friends since grade school. Even now, when our scheds permit, we find time to renew hostilities on the golf course.

Today was perfect. A sudden holiday announced - the start end of Ramadan - and we all quickly re-arranged weekend plans to give us time off at Summit Point - to see who would get the bragging rights for the weekend.

On Hole 15, a short par 4, all of us hit spectacular iron shots, ending up all over the flagstick, PGA-style. We thought this sort of unplanned, coincidental excellence deserved a picture.

Of course, the knowing golfer will quickly ask - how many birdies did the group get out of this? Well, sadly the answer is none. (We don't have enough golf time to keep our putting skills honed.)

For the record, JB walked off the course with both AL's and my money. His 90 beat us hands down. Total take after 18 holes: P70.00.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Four to Go...

What a sad day on Celebrity Duets, as Wyngard Tracy, arguably the best singer of the group, was eliminated. Just another sign that text rules our lives.

Here's the video of T with singer Aia, doing her hit song "Taralets," which is almost a musical translation of "We got the beat!"

The "official" video is here. There are two performances on the clip, the first being Doc Manny, so viewers are free to decide which performance is the better one. Hopefully, those who choose T's routine are also texting in their votes! Otherwise, the Doc's blast-text voting for himself will rule the day.

After the emotion of the afternoon taping, it was great to relax and take Annika and her cousins to Billy Crawford's concert at the Araneta Coliseum. When Billy asked for a volunteer lady to come on stage though, he sighted T in the second row (we were right behind VSR, who was instrumental in selling out the Coliseum) and called her. This is part of his song with T:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ty's New Toy

Got Ty a new iMac for his birthday and Christmas. (Just so we can quickly defuse any comments that he's spoiled.)

Am glad we did, even though at this point the brushed-aluminum beauty is just being used as a dandified YM machine. He gets home and starts chatting with his friends, both boys and girls(!). Twelve seems a bit young but I guess that's just my age showing.

On the good side, the new Mac is sparking his interest in computers and the web. His other main interests now include YouTube and gaming sites.

I'm glad we didn't make a mistake and buy him a Window-based PC. I remember how we did that with B and within a year, he was screeching for a change. Speaking of which, here's a cool video about Vista that we can all appreciate:

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