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Meeting Maja

It was definitely one of the things I never really expected to happen or experience in my life—that is, meeting a celebrity face-to-face, especially Maja Salvador. I have a huge crush on John Lloyd since I can remember, and I know I’ll be thick faced enough to approach him for a photograph. I also know that I’ll give up rice indefinitely if it means I’ll get a nice close-up of Leonardo diCaprio. I once stalked Enchong Dee in a bookstore in Manila and waited for hours just to see Bea Alonzo on stage. And I’ve definitely seen a lot of celebrities in all of my 29 years.

But they were merely glances, smiles, giggles, and perhaps occasional aha moments, like “Isn’t that Christine Reyes?” Nothing more personal, more intimate. Until Cebu Bloggers Society got invited by Star Magic not just to watch but also meet Maja Salvador backstage.

I grabbed the opportunity for a variety of reasons. One, as I mentioned, I don’t have the faintest idea about meet and greet, or how “backstage” looks like and works. Second, it’s been such a long time since I catch a live performance, and third, who wouldn’t really want to see Maja Salvador these days? The girl is basically all over the news for the past few months.

So What Happened Before Maja Arrived?

The concert—which was her thanksgiving tour after celebrating her 10th year in show business—was scheduled on June 15, 6:30 p.m., at Gaisano Metro’s Car Park. These details had also been forwarded to me by Paolo, our main contact person. I was already in the city by about 4:00 p.m. I was somehow bored at home, and I wished to see Gaisano Metro once again. It has been such a long time since I stepped foot in Colon.

Nearing 6:00 p.m., Bernard and I decided to proceed to the car park. We anticipated there will be a lot of people, and we didn’t want to literally fight our way in. But even if he was quite smart in geography, we never figured out that the car park was far from the actual mall. After failing to locate it by walking in the opposite direction, we arrived at the gate at about six and wondered how we can ever get through. Swarms of fans and curious onlookers had already determined their own places outside the small gate. I contacted Paolo, thinking he was already inside, but was told they were still in the hotel and I needed to contact someone who’s already there. I was relaxed. I opted to forgo it later and window-shopped instead at Unitop, which was across the venue.

My Big Mistake at Maja’s Concert

By the time we went out, the number swelled, and I could no longer figure out any of the way in. Worse, music was already blaring, and my phone had already run out its battery I could no longer make proper communication with the other contact person. So what I did was to sum up all my courage and went straight to guards who, as expected, were suspicious that I didn’t have any proof that I should be in there other than my honest story. Fortunately, I might have come across as harmless and true they allowed me to go in there. Bernard, on the other hand, had to go against his principles and buy tickets worth 150 pesos.

It took me more than an hour before I was ushered into the VIP section—Bernard was left among the crowd—along with my other CBS fellows, Rodel Montebon and Chanel Marie Imperial. Gladly people there were warm. We were trying to determine what exactly we’re going to do there when somebody mentioned we’re going to interview Maja. I was anxious and excited at the same time. What exactly am I going to ask? I think I should avoid asking her about her personal life. But how will Maja entertain us?

Cebu Bloggers Society's Rodel Montebon and Milafel Hope Awe-Dacanay met Maja Salvador backstage!
Cebu Bloggers Society’s Rodel Montebon and Milafel Hope Awe-Dacanay met Maja Salvador backstage!

The Maja Interview

We waited until her concert—which was awesome, by the way; she’s not called Dance Princess for nothing—was over before we were allowed to sit in the Interview Area. Because there were several other VIPs, we’re grouped into categories, and Rodel and I (Chanel had already left by then), were included in the Media.

Guess what, though. While Rodel and I waited silently in the background, Paolo called us for our turn. We’re basically the first one to see her backstage! In fact, she was not yet completely made over for the interview when we came in. For a split second, I found myself being in total awe of the opportunity, experience, and her. She was petite, sexy, very pretty. She has a beautiful pair of eyes.

But what made everything so comfortable and easy was her warmth. The interview lasted for around 10 minutes, and all throughout she was accommodating, smiling, and sometimes laughing. She came across as someone genuine. She talked about how grateful she was for being able to last a decade, considering competition is tough in her field. She also mentioned about how she had told her management of her desire to stage a concert. Thus, Maja at 10 came about.

When another reporter asked her about her love life, she hesitated and opted to ask for some support or heads-up from friends and people around her, expectedly. Yet she was always polite.

Maja was also gracious enough to admit she feels a lot of pressure every day being part of the huge Salvador clan, composed of critically acclaimed thespians and directors, among others. However, she received regular pieces of advice from them, as well as from her late father (and I can sense how her tone subtly changed, becoming more somber, when she mentioned her dad).

Sadly, Rodel’s memory card had a problem, and the entire interview was wiped out. Needless to say, the entire experience was wild and, now that I think of it, beyond me. I guess, however, it wouldn’t have been that wonderful if I didn’t go out with Chanel and Rodel and Bernard—or if it wasn’t for the great personality of Maja.

[author image=”http://domesticatedcebuana.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/profile-photo.jpg?w=630″ ]She’s a laid back homebody, lover of beautiful conversations, awesome weather, movies, chocolates, and admirer of her cat Chuck! Most of all, she is the loving wife of Bernard and word-savvy author of Domesticated Cebuana and Lemonsito (www.domesticatedcebuana.wordpress.com + www.lemonsito.wordpress.com).[/author]

Meeting Maja by Milafel Hope Awe-Dacanay

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