May 31, 2006

To accept or not to accept?

If  I were Ms. Susan Roces, I would definitely decline the National Artist Award for FPJ. I mean, how can you accept such a prestigious award from someone who stole your husband's presidency? Isn't it obvious that Mrs. Arroyo only wants the sympathy of FPJ's supporters? Isn't it obvious that this is one of her many political tactics? I know that FPJ's being the national artist shouldn't have anything to do with politics. But I just can't imagine seeing an award or plaque that has Mrs. Arroyo's signature on it. Weird.
Yes, FPJ deserves this award ---no doubt about it. But the thing is, with or without a plaque, FPJ would still be the greatest actor in the Philippine Cinema. In every Filipino's heart, he would still be the living legend.  His deeds are quite exceptional. In fact, one of the greatest people ever lived. He could have been a good President despite his lack of experience and college degree because he really has a good heart. He helped people without even declaring it to the public. His good deeds just came out from all the people he helped when he passed away. When I heard about his critical condition from the news, I was actually one of those who prayed for his recovery. Call me corny or "jologs" but yes, I was one of the many people who cried when I learned about his death. I was in the office then when an officemate sent an email blast to our entire team confirming that "The King is dead." My officemates even laughed at me because I cried for a few minutes and could not work. One of them even asked, "Kamag-anak ka ba ni FPJ?" (lol). I even dragged my husband to his wake in Sto. Domingo Church just to see even a glimpse of him. I just wanna make it clear that I was never his fan as an actor coz i don't watch his movies at all. i never admired him as a moviestar either...But I admire him as a person. The real FPJ off-cam.
Can you imagine how traffic it was in Quezon Avenue during his burial? And the number of people who went there? Oh boy, it was quite overwhelming! We went there at 11PM but I saw  not even a single hope that we could get in. The place was jam-packed. The lines were too long. We saw hundreds of people from different walks of life...There were rich and poor people, young and old, disabled, people who came from different provinces, etc...I learned that most of them had been there like forever! Patiently waiting for their turn.
So I prayed and waited...prayed and waited...until I lost hope and asked my husband to go home. (But I swear I looked like I lost a million bucks! Jologs talaga! hahaha!!! ) He probably saw how sad I was while walking away from the church so he convinced me to go back. And so we did. We did not fall in line, of course, because it's hopeless and depressing. So we just stood somewhere in the crowd infront of the VIP entrance. The only people that were allowed to enter that gate were FPJ's co-actors, his family, close relatives and friends. To cut the long story short, we managed to squeeze ourselves in the crowd until we reached the front gate. I just told myself,  "Honney, it's now or never!" A few minutes later, Some actors arrived (I just forgot who they were) and entered the VIP gate. we thought we could just squeeze ourselves inside and pass through the gate while some cars were going in but hell! the guards closed it as soon as the actors were inside. So once again, I got depressed but decided to wait for another opportunity anyway...
A few minutes of standing infront of the VIP gate, I found myself begging one of the guards to let us in. At first he kept on declining my plea. But I was so persistent that I managed to make him promise me that he would let me and my husband in when the gate opens again. So to cut the crap, we got ourselves in together with some actors. I think It was Tonton and Glydel together with Davao brothers. Feeling celebrities kami nun! lol...Daming artista sa loob ng garage ng church. We did not even know where to go. We keep opening the wrong doors! We couldn't even find the right door to FPJ's wake. So for some reason, I was really nervous that FPJ's family would think we were just gate-crashers or something! Thinking that we were FPJ's relatives, the guard that was assigned to keeping the lines organized guided us inside the church where FPJ's wake was located.(there were two lines and doors, by the way. one for the fans, one for the actors and his relatives). And to our surprise, we took the first door! Whoaaa...What an experience! I was shaking I couldn't even hold my camera phone properly. The line for the fans was very long so I thought we were joining them. But you know what the guard did? He gestured a "stop signal" to the fans just to give way to me and my husband! So we were able to view FPJ up-close without being stopped by the guards! What a luck! They really thought we were one of the relatives! I even took a video and pictures of him using my cellphone. I could have stayed longer if my husband was not pulling my arm! And due to so much tension, I couldn't cry anymore coz I was really trembling! Can you blame me? There's Susan and her daughter Grace, German Moreno and other actors sitting infront of FPJ's wake! They must be wonderin' who we were, right? Hahahaha. This experience never fails to put a smile on my face everytime I remember it. Just like now...:-)
Anyways, moving forward, I just feel sorry I never had the chance to shake FPJ's  hand when I had the opportunity. A year before he died, my husband (my bf then) and I saw him shooting "PAKNERS" (his movie with Efren "bata" Reyes and Lumen, the Surf lady) at a restaurant inside QC Memorial Cirle where we were eating. Sayang...I could've come up to him and shook his hands. Nahiya kasi ako. Haay, sayang talaga! Until now I regret it. Sana nagpaka-jologs na lang ako at nagpa-autograph sa kanya. :-(

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