Wedding Bells for Cher Calvin

- Baby K. Jimenez L.A. Correspondent () - December 10, 2006 - 12:00am
In front of the plushy Los Angeles Museum Terraces condos on 6th and Curson Ave., a familiar dashing figure stands to welcome me. He’s Roger Calvin, one-time Pinoy flickerville’s glamstar of the ’60s, looking good, fit and trim, who now enjoys the favorite role in his lifetime: playing dad to no less than the popular morning newscaster in the film capital of the world, Cher Calvin.

"She may be a big name now but we have remained close and tight, just like we were when she was growing up in New York," Roger quips. Leading me to a private parking space, he adds, "Your presence makes me remember the good ol’ days in Pinas; we used to do this during our LEA days with Aling Miling and Aling Toreng (then the LEA executive sisters who had produced all-time blockbusters). Now, the setting has moved to America, the much greater bida this time is my daughter. I am still overwhelmed by her winning but I warned Cher, don’t tell anyone yet about your Emmy until you are absolutely certain you won it!"

We both take an elevator and a unit door opens to a towering Christmas Tree with pure red decors. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas indeed but all this scenario turns into a blurry backdrop as Cher emerges with funfare, pretty as a picture, giving us a peck and a tight hug. "Am so glad you made it," her twangy tone is flippant, indicative of a recently-earned victory but seemingly unaffected by it all as we catch the contagious triumphant fever. "Later, I have a scoop for you!" I wonder what could be bigger than an Emmy.

She hands us some variedly shaped ornaments, "Come on, help us finish trim the tree!" My focus zooms in on a statuette on display near some personal pictures, one showing Cher with a handsome Caucasian. Cher gets the Emmy, cradles it in her arms. An Emmy after two years of LA broadcasting – not bad. (Why Emmy? A television engineer named Louis McManus designed the statuette, using his wife as a model. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences [ATAS] says that the statuette represents the arts [a winged woman] and the sciences [an atom]. The original name for the award was the Immy, a nickname for the image orthicon tube, part of an early type of camera; but the Academy began referring to it as the Emmy because that more feminine name suited the statuette. The Emmy is the Oscar for television)

Now Cher reads the inscription, savoring each word: "2005 Los Angeles Area, Emmy Awards Regularly Scheduled Daily News Daytime Newscast, KTLA Morning May 24, 2005, Cher Calvin, Talent KTLA 5." The 58th Prime Time Emmy Awards took place at the Shrine auditorium, Aug. 27 but the 58th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards (for newscast, etc.) was held on Aug. 12, 2006 at the Leonard H, Goldensen Theatre, North Hollywood.

"I was not able to go to the awards ceremony then," Cher explains. Jerry Wald, KTLA’s news director handed the Emmy to Cher at their KTLA offices recently, on the eve of Thanksgiving, last Nov. 22. "It was in a black box. I opened it slowly as my nerves jarred. I had to search for my name, and there it was! I clasped it and kissed it and, wow, incredible!" The first thing Cher did was call her Dad (who’s here on vacation). "Dad, I got it. I really won, I see my name, it’s here!" Roger was speechless.

There was a situation involved here: the Emmy people had informed all networks (CBS, Channel 2; NBC, Channel 4, ABC, Channel 7, FOX – Channel 11 and KTLA, Channel 5) that the winning newscast would be based on the morning news broadcast on May 24, 2005. Cher hosts the KTLA weekday morning news, first edition, 5 to 7 a.m. with co-host Emmett Miller; from 7 to 9 a.m. a new crew takes over – with anchors Michaela Pereira and Carlos Amezcua. But on May 24, Michaela called in sick and Cher had to extend her anchoring from her usual 5 to 7 shift to its second morning edition, 7 to 9. The 7 to 9 a.m. was the time slot on the fateful day of May 24 that won the Emmy. (Cher is also a recipient of the prestigious Golden Mike Award from the Radio & Television News Association for the KTLA News special Access Asia. Prior to KTLA, Cher had briefly co-anchored FOX5 News This Morning in Vegas where Cher was picked as the Best Local TV anchor by the prestigious Las Vegas Review Journal.)

"This is really awesome, I am so proud of her," Roger joins in and recalls it was his erstwhile leading lady Amalia Fuentes who had encouraged him and Cher to try broadcasting while on a visit to Manila. From GMA to ABS-CBN. I remember Charo Santos-Concio telling me that "One day, Cher came in with publicist Chit Ramos. I was very, very impressed with Cher during the interview that I immediately referred Cher to Dong Puno in the news department." The rest is history.

From her posh pad, Cher invites us for a ride in her convertible BMW to The Grove near the famous Farmer’s Market, only 1.5 miles away, where she offers to treat us to an authentic Italian cuisine, early dining al fresco at LaPiazza Ristorante. An extended celebration. This is where she breaks the scoop.

"Are you ready to hear the next good news?," Cher asks and breaks into an emotional outburst, "I am in love! Truly in love! Crazy in love! What’s foremost in my mind now is having a family. I am ready to have children, I finally found the guy. It’s taken a while but I finally found him." The heartthrob is Swedish and a distinguished corporate banker. "A year younger than me, but very, very mature! He came into my life a few months before the Emmy, and I can’t make a mistake, he’s the right guy for me!" How does he look? Hmm... Yeah, he’s that guy I saw in the pic with her in the condo, looks like the younger version of Daniel Craig, the new James Bond. The romantic duo met at a mutual friend’s wedding in Grand Canyon and have been inseparable since then.

I glance now at Roger to seek approval of Cher’s pulsating confession. "Cher makes her own decisions and I trust her, she’s a smart woman. This guy that she met sounds good. I have talked to him on the phone. We will all be together this Christmas."

"He even speaks Tagalog, he grew up in Hong Kong." Cher adds with a sparkle in her eyes. "This is the first Christmas in a long time that I have this Christmas spirit. Because I have been so lucky this year. I won an Emmy, my dad is here, am happy at my work, and extremely happy in my lovelife, I even cooked thanksgiving dinner, have been cooking a lot – feels like I am making home and yesterday I told dad, let’s go get a tree. It’s my first own Christmas Tree as an adult, first time I bought the ornaments. First time I am putting them together and last night before I went to bed I prayed and I said thank you dear Lord because it made me want to cry. Since my mom passed away we’ve been kind of nomadic as a family on our Christmases. We would be in the Philippines or somewhere else, but now it’s the first time I feel like we’re home together in our hearts and in our minds. It’s really wonderful. There are so many things I missed about my mom (her mom Delia, a psychiatrist, died of cancer). My mom loved to shop on the 24th, we’d wake up so early and go to Bloomingdales, you know, the mother-daughter shopping frenzies. Now this is the best Christmas in 13 years. I had serious boyfriends before, and I thought I was in love but I never really thought anyone was perfect enough for me…But now I am absolutely sure, I can say to him, let’s do this now, I am ready to have a family. I am ready."

She had two proposals before, engagement rings and all that. "But I just couldn’t do it until now. He is so excited for me and his family too is fantastic, he’s very supportive of my career and I am also supportive of his. As you know, my work schedule is not easy, I need to wake up 3 in the morning and go to bed at 9 p.m., I need to have someone to understand all this. But he does and he takes care of me!" She and her boyfriend will visit Europe for a few days before Christmas, "I will get to meet the other members of his family."

As we conclude our pasta interlude and walk around the ritzy open mall, we are greeted by a myriad of colorful holiday bulbs and a dancing fountain that comes alive with songs in which the water dances in rhythmic patterns. Now a tune is playing. Cher pauses, closes her eyes as she sings the waltz along:

"…Santa, make me his bride for Christmas, Santa, it wouldn’t cost very much

Just a sprinkle of reindeer dust, a spring of mistle toe and the sound of your laughter as you fly above the snow

Santa if you will use your magic, this Christmas eve while I’m holding her tight

Then we’ll whisper the proper thing, and wear each other’s ring

Santa, make her my Christmas bride…"

(You can reach BKJ at beekayjay@aol.com)

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with