I remember sitting in the audience at the VJ Hunt, Luis, and you coming over once in a while to visit. I peeked at your script and was amazed to see how the words you wrote would actually come out (in slightly mangled form) of people's mouths onstage. Imagine--being able to get Sarah Meier to say a whole line about Wittgenstein.
Fortunately, I was able to share this power with you this year at the boxing-themed P ilipinas Awards. We were able to sneak in at least one Monty Python tribute (the other got cut), and got KC and Epy to poke fun at their receding hairlines. "If I've got a forehead, you've got a five-head! Or even a six-head!" I went to bed, about twenty minutes away from having my head explode from lack of sleep, still chuckling about the funniest parts of the awards script--which of course, never made it onstage. Why? Well, for common human decency, for one thing:
"For creating an entire career's worth of pop songs that stays in the heart of every Filipino; for his energy; for his integrity; for being an inspiration for us all, we present Mr. Gary V alenciano with...a cure for his diabetes! Just kidding. There's no cure for diabetes. We just have an award.
And speaking of diabetes, here to perform in a special tribute number for Gary--Sugarfree!"
We're kidding, of course. But you knew that, didn't you, discerning readers of this blog? The biggest frustration of the whole thing was having the cleavage-baring marketing team take a hatchet to our original script and fill it up with such helpful comments as "We're not sure what 'face-melting'means" or "****WHY ARE WE WASTING TIME ON SUCH THINGS AS TOILET TRAINING AND FAKE MTV CERTIFICATES? THIS IS AN AWARDS SHOW, GODDAMMIT!!!!! LET'S FOCUS ON THE AWARDS!!!!" and , (Come to think of it, it wasn't phrased like that. The original was much nastier, and had a few mistakes in grammar and spelling.)
I knew that we were going to have to compromise to make way for MTV marketing's wishes, of course, but I think things would have been much more pleasant had they just stuck to their jobs and left us to ours. Tell us what you want to achieve, and we'll do the writing for you, kiddies. That's why you hired us. When you try to rewrite entire parts of the script for us, the director just sends it back and tells us to put in the original. Look at all that wasted computer time and printer ink. Tsk-tsk.
Other than that, it was a great experience. It was wonderful to work with a talented professional like Kokoy Jimenez and his staff, and be able to sit backstage and see the entire crazy carnival before it goes and puts its makeup on. It was absolutely mindbending to see Champ of Hale conferring with Pepe Smith ("Tell me, Pepe, how do I get rid of my good looks and end up looking like a dessicated corpse like you to earn respect in this industry?"), or Francis Reyes standing straddle over Marc Abaya lying prone on the ground, or Radioactive Sago Project's brass section playing sexy-comedy music when Francine Prieto and Juliana Palermo walked by. Onstage, more presentors surprised us pleasantly than those who disappointed us. Hats off, in particular, to Phoemela Barranda for talking the entire national boxing team into doffing their shirts and training jackets; to The Late Isabel, for injecting so much sincerity into their presentation that what I feared would be an overly serious portion of the script became touching and memorable; to Parokya ni Edgar, for being able to pull it together despite being (as far as I could tell) very, very drunk.
On a more personal note, Lourd de Veyra came over to apologize for a little email tiff we had years ago (already forgotten, but it was classy of him to apologize anyway), Kitchie Nadal expressed surprise that I wasn't taller and more-evil looking than she envisioned, and Lizza N and Rico Blancoldplay exchanged a few words with me before they remembered that they hated me. In all, a good night.
Of course, like any great god-like power, it was not without its share of responsibilities and frustrations, but on the whole it was at least very interesting, if not 100% percent fun. Would I do that again? Hell, yeah. But only if you were there, too, Luis! YAY!
 A well-known term applied to really good rock guitarists, unknown only to people who don't know anything about rock. For example, the marketing people at M T V.
 Part of the beginning spiel, with a tiny bit stolen from Monty Python's "Fish License" skit. Apparently not funny, since, you know, what the hell do Monty Python know about funny?
"Okay," I said, ever helpfully. "What do you want me to write in about the awards?"
Replied marketing woman, "That it's the coolest, hippest, biggest."
"Hm. How about something quantifiable? Do we give out the most number of awards? Is this the oldest awards show? Broadest?"
"Just write, 'coolest, hippest, biggest.'"
and the follow-up:
"We're the only awards show to honor music videos. Focus on that."
"I've been requesting a copy of the nominees reel. Can we have that? So we can write in a bit about the nominees?"
"That won't be necessary."
YAY! My brain hurts.