Years and years ago Smoketh was feverishly highlighting her anatomy transcriptions with multiple colors while sipping some expensive coffee in Starbuko. That was in 2001, when there was no Wi-Fi yet and the only thing you could do in Starbuko was highlight your anatomy transcriptions, the goal being to color them all. Macchiato almost shot out of Smoketh’s nose when she realized that on the next table was B-movie superstar Jay Manalo. You might remember Jay Manalo as the star of movies that aim to titillate, those that usually end up years later in obscure Quiapo and Cubao theaters in seedy double-features. Smoketh was so titillatingly delighted that she contemplated for hours on end whether she should get his autograph on a Starbucks tissue, and she did.
In 2004 Smoketh had another brush in with fame. While eating a cup of isaw in Ilang-Ilang in Diliman she chanced upon Tiya Pusit. There was no sexual tension to hold her back, so she immediately approached her and asked if she could have a picture taken with her. “Pati ba naman ako pipicturan nyo pa?” Tiya Pusit self-patronizingly said in between giggles. And so she had their picture taken. And of course as I’ve already written about, in June 2007 Smoketh saw a former child star in Mc Donald’s in QC, for which she texted me: Sino yung former male child star na laging naka pekpek shorts?! Yung laging pulubi ang role?!? PJ or JP something?!
My personal brush with fame happened while I was in Powerbooks Alabang. I saw Bamboo of the band Bamboo perusing some books, and behind him were two girls giggling, panicking as they hurriedly searched for their camera in their humongous bag. I was the only other person in that area, and I immediately sensed doom, so I slowly slinked away. But even before I could turn invisible Giggly Girl grabbed my forearm and pleaded, “Picturan mo kami, please!!!” “Gusto ko kasama ako,”… is what I should have said to annoy her, but I quietly snapped them up anyway. I console myself at the still relatively behaved demeanor of these giggly girls towards their rock star, unlike my high school classmates Trainspotting and Marabou Stork Nightmare. Back in 1996 Trainspotting and Marabou Stork Nightmare decided to watch a Wolfgang concert the night before an exam. The next day—eye bags, bloodshot eyes and all—they bragged about their conquest: “It was great!!!!” Trainspotting shrieked. “Basti is soooo hot!!!!” Marabou Stork Nightmare gushed. “EEEEEEE!” Trainspotting shrieked again to drive home the point. “We stole his car’s windshield wipers!!!” Marabou Stork Nightmare proclaimed.
I mentioned these incidences with semi-fame to Mark V., who himself surprisingly possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of local showbiz. I have mentioned Mark V. two or three times in this blog, as the one who accidentally bumped me to ground and made me realize that I don’t have any muscle mass, and as the one who came back from his leave with a distinctively post-coital facial expression. Curiously enough, everyone calls him Mark V. even though nobody else in the present setting is also named Mark. Mark V. is not the stereotypical local showbiz geek, and he constantly surprises us with his extensive knowledge of ancient showbiz information.
“Jay Manalo was in Ang TV,” he informed us in baritone voice, not looking up from his Harrison’s. “But his breakthrough movie is Totoy Mola.” “Aaaaah,” everyone aaaah-ed at this new learning. “If I will ever have a photo taken with a showbiz star,” he continued, “I would like it to be with Lilia Contapay.” Looks of discombobulation. “What, you don’t know Lilia Contapay? Lilia Contapay is the white-haired old hag who always plays aswang in everything. She plays the old Alma Moreno in the classic Aswang starring Alma Moreno and Manilyn Reynes. Alma Moreno walks in the forest, and after she passes through the trees she morphs into Lilia Contapay. She also plays the aswang, white lady, and anything scary in the annual Magandang Gabi Bayan horror specials. And in all the Shake, Rattle, and Roll movies.”
You have a fan here, Lilia. Call us, we’d like to have coffee with you. And you need a new career agent.