Friday, August 30, 2002

Meeting Famous People

This anecdote isn't really about meeting famous people. It's about how I didn't get to meet them, how I missed seeing them, and how I didn't know they were famous in the first place.

Perhaps the first story would involve one day during the summer of 2000. I was working in Comic Alley, waiting for the day to end so that I could go to a play where my friend, Jake, would star in. I was by the counter, leaning on it, when a guy came in. He had a flashy smile and was inquiring about the display of vintage toys like Transformers, Macross, and Super Robots. Despite the sign written on pink neon paper that said something like ?toys in this window are not for sale?, people still continued to inquire about it. The guy was no different. I flatly said no. He then left, still retaining that photogenic smile of his. Of course when he finally left, the other salesladies started giggling and a friend of mine, Dennis, who was waiting for my shift to end, approached me and told me that the guy who just came in was one of the heartthrobs from a variety show on GMA 7.

Later that evening, Dennis and I went to Shangri-la to watch the play. Since we were early, I decided to go to National Bookstore. Of course, Dennis was tagging along and I went to the fantasy section. I was squatting, browsing through some of the books. I inadvertently blocked the way and a girl who was passing through was forced to ask excuse me from me. I adjusted myself so that she could pass but never took the moment to get a glimpse of her. When she was at the other side, Dennis was tapping my shoulder and told me that I had just run into Ina Raymundo. I quickly stood up and look to where she was supposed to be. I only caught a glimpse of her hair by that time.

Dennis was chuckling at the occurrences that have happened so far. He joked that he would believe in my luck if we met a celebrity once more during the day. We went to McDonalds to buy a burger before we watched the play. Sure enough, a celebrity was there. It's not one I know but it was female and was a star in the early 80s. Her name has faded from my memory but I distinctly remember seeing her on television. Dennis was laughing.

Encountering Quark Henares, director of Gamitan, was also a similar matter. During my freshman year, I tried out for Heights, Ateneo's literary publication. It involved a screening process and who else to screen me but Quark? He was already famous by then since he was the manager of some famous bands and a gifted person in his own right. Of course, I didn't know that (especially since I'm not exactly a fan of music). To simply put, I embarrassed myself in the screening process since I didn't know the difference between prose and poetry. It's probably a good thing I didn't know Quark was a minor celebrity. It would have made the embarrassment worse.

Ten months later, I started working at Pulp Magazine/Philippines Yearbook/MTV Ink. I was browsing through their old magazines when I saw articles written by Quark and photographs of him and his band. It then hit me. The guy who interviewed me was The Quark. I found his articles witty and funny. That's all I can say. A month later, he did drop by the office but I was facing a computer monitor at the time so he barely noticed me. Besides, what would I have said?

Several days ago, I did see Quark at Central Comic Headquarters (CCHQ). He was browsing and talking to the proprietors. While I am arrogant, I am not that arrogant to introduce myself. For one, I'm not exactly a big fan of his. I don't even know what bands he manages. The only fact I knew then was that his movie was going to premiere in a few days. I just kept to myself.

And of course, there's also TV celebrities who are studying in Ateneo. I mean there's Patty, the girl who speaks for Ateneo during the UA&P games. She was my classmate for PE101. I've seen her years before at church. We've never been introduced though.

Then there's Dingdong Dantes, an actor whom some of my female classmates are falling heads over heels for. He's been my classmate in Filipino and for Sociology and Anthropology. I think the closest conversation I got was mentioning that we didn't have classes for the next meeting.

I really don't mind not knowing these people. It's just strange at how people's behavior change when meeting someone who's considered a celebrity. And how it makes a mundane encounter a strange narrative.