Marissa’s Korean invasion
() - March 9, 2007 - 12:00am
Imagine this: two million lightbulbs of various sizes, hues and intensities illuminating your path. Look up and you’ll see the towering Tiananmen Lantern, which, at nine meters tall, is similar to the one found in Beijing’s Forbidden City. You ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until you see the nine-storey pagoda lanterns, a Taoist-inspired creation featuring several white cranes and eight Taoist hermits with supernatural powers. Or how about several Chinese ice sculptures from the renowned Harbin festival? Or the La Fayette, a castle and palace designed along Romanesque style. Not to be upstaged is a 50 meter water screen that shows a dazzling water laser display and a hologram projecting 3-D images. These and more are there for the ogling and gawking as the World Light Philippines 2007 takes center stage at the sprawling 13-hectare lot along the junction of Roxas Blvd. and NAIA Road (across Uniwide Coastal Mall) in Parañaque. Even Singapore’s The Straits Times captured the spectacle, ongoing until April 22 (6 p. m. to 2 a.m.) on one of its recent weekend pages. The colored photo, with the caption head Manila Adds Some Sparkle, is eye-catching in its sheer majesty and resplendence. Those of you who can’t see the expo first-hand can get a sneak peek at its unveiling when it is aired on Up Close and Personal on Wednesday, March 14, 10 p.m. on IBC 13. Host Marissa del Mar takes you around the place filled with eye-popping surprises and interviews Filipino and Korean officials behind the event (Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos and Education Department Secretary Jesli Lapus among them). The seasoned host and one-time actress (she used the name Nancy K. Lee in her Korean movies) is rightfully proud of the episodes. For one, the opportunity to tie up with our Asian neighbors came to her on a silver platter. The Korean organizers of the expo approached her and asked to be featured on her show after they saw one of its episodes. For another — and this is more important – this edition of Up Close and Personal will be aired in Korea. This will open a world of opportunities for exporting, not only Marissa’s show to Korea, but other Pinoy shows as well.Because she will carry the Pinoy image in Korea, Marissa made sure she did her homework. She took a crash course on the Korean language to make sure she pronounced the names and words right. Sure, she watches Koreanovelas Stairway to Heaven and Jewel in the Palace before that . But dealing with Korean businessmen who have put up similar shows in Seoul and Shanghai is different. "Koreans don’t speak English that much. You have to put them at ease," Marissa reveals some secrets of the trade.And she did. Her newfound Korean friends from Way Entertainment, E-Tec and Poong Ryu Tong Entertainment tell Marissa they love the signature Pinoy hospitality. Thanks to this, the Koreans, adds Marissa, go to the Philippines to study. They even want to put up a business here once they retire, she adds. Imagine what doors it can open for local tourism and the economy as well.

And, like a true blue Pinoy, Marissa is only too glad to be part of the action and see where it will bring her kababayan one fine day.

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