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Who made Comerford interview difficult?

DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda () - August 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Sleep is a precious commodity to us who dazzle and frazzle all day long. To wake up at 9 a.m. is to wake up to the deluge. That’s what I did one morning last week.

Here’s the story:

I got a series of text messages inviting me to the BPInoy Awards Press Conference (Aug. 25) and the BPInoy Awarding Ceremonies (Aug. 26) where Ms. Cristeta Comerford, White House Executive Chef, was one of the awardees alongside world famous painter Anita Magsaysay-Ho and economist Dr. Eli Remolona.

It was a terrible dilemma. I don’t go to press conferences and awarding ceremonies unless I’m tasked to host the event. But to pass on the chance to interview Cris Comerford would be insane. Until the very last minute I was in a quandary. But in the morning of Aug. 26 at 9 a.m. after only having four hours of sleep, I crawled out of bed, woke up under the shower, grabbed the first garment in sight, sashayed into the car, cruised through Edsa via hell, arrived at the Shang Makati, gathered all the rusty x-factor in my belly, smiled, projected, glided my way to the Rizal Ballroom — ready for my interview with proudly Pinoy Executive Chef of three American Presidents — Clinton, Bush and Obama. I was glad I was there. What a regret that I didn’t wear a Valentino gown!

I stood and sat through the awarding ceremonies. The affair was sleek and straight forward. PETA’s Lola Basyang performance was fascinating. Overall the staging was simple and clean — the best way to do affairs like this one.

After the short speeches of the awardees, the kodakan, the VTRs — the awarding ceremony was over.

We had two borrowed empty lonely chairs from the Shang waiting in one corner outside the ballroom. I quietly catwalked out of the ballroom to our little corner where a lone camera was set up for my interview.

Inside, lunch was already being served. I was actually invited. I politely declined — “aliping sagigilid eat their first meals at around 2 p.m.” — I whispered to myself. Remember our bodies and mind wake up at 1 p.m. every day.

Seated in the most important table were the awardees and the bosses of BPI. It was sacred ground. I was told that if the interview were to happen it had to be done after lunch. “Sorry, but I might lose my job if I interrupt their lunch,” sweetly murmured a BPI officer. In other words, if I wanted to do my interview, I would have to wait until lunch was over and then, they would talk to Ms. Comerford — if she acceded — voila, we would have the chat. If she doesn’t — sorry, Tyra Riverbanks, you can disappear into the horried traffic at Edsa where you can melt in self pity without anyone giving a sh__________!

“Ok,” I smiled sweetly. But I could not wait until lunch was over as our crew had to go to two other press events — the Martin/Gary presscon and the Manny Pacquiao press lunch. I maintained my caramelized smile so hard that it must have looked like a grin, when you want to kill or you are about to be assassinated. In other words, we had no choice. Sorry, they’re eating na. You can’t disturb them. It seemed like the simple message that struck painfully straight into my being. BPI breeds some of the most polite disciples in this galaxy, I whispered to the spirits of the Shang, except to us impertinent intruders.

The Waray, masai-warrior in me was simply not going to surrender without a little scuffle. Armed with the most horrible smile that must have displayed my incongruent set of teeth, I argued my case. “I don’t come to events like this. I was requested to be here or so I thought. I was promised an interview right after the awards. It was going to be a casual interview which meant a lot to me. This woman makes me proud. She’s Filipina. She’s world class. Our public deserves to know her.”

What if someone goes to her or to Mr. Fernando Zobel and just ask if we could do this interview. (I got stares — blank ones — saying not me!) If they say yes — let’s do it. If they say no — I would understand. At least we tried.

Tsaris Salgado, a brave, petite girl from BrandSpeak Asia, Inc., made her way to Cris Comerford seated inside the sacred table. From a distance, I could see Tsaris whisper to Cris who instantaneously stood up and walked to our small corner outside the Shang ballroom. (Tsaris is a true blue PR girl and a beautiful human being!).

Cris Comerford is a magnificent lady. A woman of character. “In my life I have always been open to all the opportunities and the possibilities that come my way,” she declared. I was in awe. I was starstruck.

Thank you, Cris Comerford.

No thanks to those who made this interview difficult!

AMERICAN PRESIDENTS ANITA MAGSAYSAY-HO AWARDING CEREMONIES AWARDS PRESS CONFERENCE BUSH AND OBAMA BUT I CRIS COMERFORD INTERVIEW MDASH SHANG
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