apo

celebrity status

i was walking on the black sand of bagasbas beach, my head bowed as i fought a stabbing headache. the previous night, i mixed red horse, smirnoff vodka, grand matador and coke, and san miguel pale pilsen. it was past 9am, and the beach was filled with people on their sunday break. moderate waves were crashing in, and i was about to fetch louella to tell her about our boat trip to manukan island. then a woman stopped me on my tracks and exclaimed: "alman!"

i looked at her, and quickly searched my memory for her name. i didn't find it. not wanting to pretend i knew her, risking the embarrassment of forgetting someone i knew, but with the perfect excuse that my brain was flooded with 4 kinds of alcohol, i cracked my silence with an uncertain "hi..." i cocked my head sideways, in a way that meant, do i know you from somewhere? then she said:

"i'm adelle, i'm a reader of your blog. i'm from daet. what are you doing here?"

so my brain wasn't after all addled by all the alcohol i wilingly imbibed the previous night. here was a genuine stranger, who happens to know more about me than some people i know but who don't happen to read my blog. it was a very flattering moment, particularly because i think that the readers of my blog are largely people i know personally. i was actually surprised by this statement of hers:

"when i saw you walking, i was starstruck. i wasn't sure if i should approach you."

starstruck! haha! the tables have been turned on the jolog who stares at celebrities. to be certain, adelle's statement last sunday was a huge compliment. but then again, i hope i don't run the risk of sounding arrogant by saying that i have had my own taste of celebrity since i began writing in college. when i first came out with a particularly controversial article, people i didn't know began to say that my name was someone else's pseudonym. i sat beside the ikot jeep with giggling girls talking excitedly about something i had written, their eyes the shape of the full moon. i would walk along the sunken garden and see people spending time reading my articles.

when i went on to law school, and was introduced to upper class men, the usual reaction would be: "ah, so you're alman" or "i read your articles" or "i've seen your by-line". i wrote many controversial articles in the collegian, and one day i'll reprint them here.

after law school, my next taste of celebrity was after i won the philippine star's travel essay competition. i didn't realize the impact of that piece until i actually met people, or at least heard from them, saying that they really liked it. one time, before i became so deeply involved in mountaineering, i joined a climb where i didn't know anyone, and later, during the trip, one of the girls told me that when she found out i'd join, she was excited to have a celebrity tag along. she of course referred to that winning article on abra, whose first paragraph she recited. wow. it feels good to make a positive impact on people. i hope that from what i've written, i've made them think differently about certain things, made them experience my adventures vicariously, and somehow provide them with some relaxation. i happen to know that i'm funny.

but me? celebrity? not certainly. i'm just a regular joe. if you happen to read my blog, and would want to experience all my crazy antics personally, let me know. if you see me walking down the mall, stop me and say hi. i'd probably be a little surprised, but you'd have to make a small explanation. you'd certainly make me very happy. and the same applies even if you think i'm bad at what i do and my blog is a big waste of time.
(Anonymous)
have u try climb the wall at ur back? I would, I would!!! hehe

andre
yeah. i've been wall climbing since the 90s. not regularly, but i've done it many times. i'll take you wall climbing on your next visit here! ;D
(Anonymous)
i agree, you really have made a positive impact on people with your blogs and writings. continue enriching lives!:)
wow, salamat! nakakataba ng puso! i think that the purpose of writing should be exactly that. i just do my part. :D
sure. gusto mo may picture pa? haha. congrats sa article mo. pabasa ha. at mahaba ang 3,000 plus words, let me tell you. newspapers only require about 1,400 words. ako nga na 2,000 words ang normal output, ini-edit pa! haha.
ang sama. those were my collegian days as well. walang tinitira yung editors ko. leche. e mas magaling naman ako sa kanila. haha.
The average person reads the title and, at most (!) the first two paragraphs (50++ words) of the news, so we dumb everything down to 300 words or less, ha ha. Makes sense, because TV is even more ruthless, 30secs or less. Three minutes for them would be a "special report".

The Internet generation, who knows? Maybe they don't even read.
(Anonymous)
weeeeh... nka climb na pla ako kasama isang celeb hahaha -emman