Monday, June 12, 2006


For those who texted to ask, yes - that's me in the glasses in the new Unilever Close-Up to Fame 2 TV commercial. I was actually going to make a post about it last week when taping wrapped up, but due to secrecy clauses in the advertising world, I refrained until it actually aired. And what an advertising world it is. I have newfound respect for all those who work in this dog-eat-dog-eat-dog-drinkredbull-eat-dog-eat-dog field. It ain't easy and it ain't glamorous, let me tell you. Despite all the shiny lights and pretty colors, working conditions are ridiculously demanding. The locations can be hell and the hours are inhumane to say the least (this coming from a man who walks through rainy season Quiapo sludge for a living mind you). The floor behind me is light brown because there was a sheer film of the finest grade-A Paranaque dust coating everything. There was also pretty much no airconditioning on the set (We were sweating like pigs and I am wearing flip-flops under the table). But worst of all was the waiting that comes with the production of a TV commercial. Sometimes people could be called to come to a set twelve hours before their scenes could possibly be shot. I arrived on the set at twelve noon to film the scene pictured above. The actual shot was taken at 3:30am the next day. Mind blowing.

Photo: (l to r: Moi, Denise Laurel - the leading lady and neice to designer Rajo, Irene Celebre - intrepid insurance agent and mother to the actor Gabby Eigenmann, Sam Milby - leading man and Pinoy Big Brother Season I housemate, and Bart Guingona, Artistic Director of Actors Actor's Inc. and the guy in the latest Sky Cable TV spot.)

But crappy conditions and potential death from asthma aside, word on the set was that this particular shoot was a walk in the park. Some said that at least the food caterer of UNITEL did a kick-ass job, and the director, Martin Arnaldo, was a really nice guy. Some other shoots aren't as lucky they said. And I really must agree with them. The Lugaw in the catering tent was particularly memorable and no screaming nor catfights occured under Martin's watch within the 48 hours we were all together. The only thing that kinda-somewhat-maybe bothered me was that I couldn't help but make references between our roles as judges and the cast of critics on American Idol (above). And if this reference was deliberate, does that mean I am Randy Jackson? Just as well. Television wouldn't be ready for the vision of my body poured into a skintight black T-shirt anyway.

Thanks Market Manila for the lugaw link.