The special kind of everyone

It's always weird seeing a famous person in your midst, doing normal people things. Simply put, he's a famous person, and he never does the same things as you, right?

A few years back a bunch of NBA players came to Manila to play. Somehow I got a ticket, despite not being a basketball person, or a sports person - but then again, my dad and my brother are; boys' night out, you could call it.

I was buying some hotdogs (as you do) before the game began, and on the same queue as me was Andrew E.

I didn't say hi. I mean, why would you say hi? Give him the peace he needs to buy his own hotdogs! He certainly wasn't drawing attention to himself. I just knew it was him because the way he looks hasn't changed. He's aged a bit, sure, but he still looks like the Andrew E. I've seen on television when I was a little boy with a remote-less black and white television. The only difference is, he was buying a hotdog, and he looked a bit dazed, if not tired. I can no longer remove that image of him when I hear his songs played somewhere, if at all.

Well, there's YouTube, but you get the idea.

Yesterday I was at a printer in Megamall, claiming a bunch of vinyl panels I had made for an upcoming exhibit. There was a lull - they were signing some tax certificates - so I looked around. Walking past me was a guy wearing an inconspicuous white barong top and shades. I recognized him nonetheless. It was Smokey Manaloto.

Yep, another guy from my childhood. I watched Home Along Da Riles a lot; it was a Wednesday night habit, although I spent most of the time figuring out every nook and cranny in the Cosme home rather than actually paying attention to the story. But I remember Smokey. Not his character's name, sadly, but I remember him. He always got in trouble.

And, of course, he was in 100 Days of Heaven too - the rare soap opera that I followed from day 1.

He was walking in peace, along with a couple of other guys and a kid. I don't know what exactly was going on, but whatever. I was waiting for my vinyl panels to arrive. And you do not just say hi to a famous person, unless you've been given the chance to, or unless you're utterly overwhelmed by your emotions and have to let it out somehow. A few years ago my mother saw Vic Sotto in a mall in Hong Kong, and she couldn't help herself. "Hi, bossing!" she went. Or did she say that? Because that doesn't sound like her. Anyway, he did say hi back, and so did his girlfriend back then, Pia Guanio.

I don't think I'll get myself to do that. Well, save for the time I took a photograph with Dick Gordon when he talked at one of the industry events I attended. Everybody else was doing that, so you don't look ridiculous. Same with that moment when I shook the hand of Mar Roxas. Yes, I shook the hand of Mar Roxas. And I shook the hand of Butch Abad. So much for what I have written on this space over the years.

Right behind Smokey, around fifteen paces behind him, was a woman, maybe in her late 20s or early 30s, squeezing her phone so hard, trying to take a video of him walking. It was, I have to say, a funny sight. And also a weird one. Why wasn't she being subtle? And what will she get with a video of a man, his back to the camera, walking away?

And your responses...

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