Feb. 7, 2008, Mag:net Cafe Bonifacio High Street, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
I was not familiar with the place and had to ask some security guards where Mag:net Cafe was. It was just a little before 11:00 and thankfully, the place was not yet full. After registering at the entrance, I made my way into the cafe and reserved the nearest table I could get. Dine and Noemi were still at Krispy Kreme and they soon arrived together with Tin Mandigma of WikiPilipinas and that made up our table of 4.
Christine arrived promptly but to the disappointment of many of us bloggers, she was immediately whisked to an open area of the cafe for media interviews. Thankfully, lunch (FREE!!!!) was served so we had time to socialize and catch up among bloggers. I went around meeting those I knew virtually but was seeing in the flesh for the first time (people like Manuel and Angel Viloria, Anton, Jayvee, Juned and Ivan Henares).
After the media interviews, Christine’s also famous cousin, Josh Verdes, who composed many of the songs featured in her videos, sang 3 of the more popular ones on YouTube (Save Me, Home, and Love At First Sight). Then Christine gave her opening remarks, gamefully answered some questions (sometimes acting out her other family members — to everyone’s delight), and spent time with each and every one of us for a short chitchat, autograph signing, and pictures.
When I got to the front of the line, I told Christine that my 2 girls felt bad that they had to be in school and could not come with me. But she accommodated my request to personally write to them (and a niece) using stationery that I had brought along with me. She also autographed a picture of herself in Luneta which Yehey.com provided all of us.
Towards the end, as everyone got their moment with her, I was able to go back to her with my videocam to get a personal message for my girls (and she cheerfully did, to the delight of my girls). Josh was also able to give them his own message so I think my mission was more than accomplished that day.
We were one of the last to leave Mag:net. We watched from the 2nd floor as Christine was mobbed by adoring fans while she was in her coaster. This is what is amazing about this bubbly girl. She was all heart for everyone she met. Even while inside her vehicle, she went all the way to the back and continued smiling for the small crowd that had patiently waited for her on the street since they could not enter the venue. Waving, smiling, pretending to cry (to show them how she wished she had more time to meet them). And when her coaster sped away, she continued waving from the rear window of the coaster. Such a wonderful, beautiful person inside and out….
Now that she is back in the States, we sit back to wait eagerly for her to edit what must be volumes and volumes of footage from her trip to the Philippines. I am sure what will come out of that will be hilarious at times; but more than just funny, it will be videos filled with love, warmth and sunshine….because that is what we saw from the real Happy Slip.
Christine, no doubt about it…you are one heck of a Philippine Ambassadress. We hope you can come visit more often to get to know your heritage. You bring Philippine sunshine and warmth with you wherever you go and likewise, we will always carry you with us in our hearts.
I will upload YouTube videos of her opening remarks and Q & A portion soon. Watch out for it here.