In our heart of hearts, we are just genuine movie fans.
But people find it weird for two siblings, especially boys, to bond over films and gossip news about celebrities, whether local or foreign. So we tried to pursue this on our spare time, hidden from the world who frowns upon the shallowness of what we have grown to love. And with luck on our side, we were able to personally witness the 87th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California. All thanks to my brother!
My Brother’s Passion
Adam dedicates his life helping my parents run the family business while I manage my own small retail pharmacies. Usually on weekends or after office hours, my brother would attend the premiere nights of films or special events of celebrities he has become “closely-acquainted” with over the years, like Heart Evangelista who invited him to her wedding (yes invited siya!).
My brother would support their projects, and visit them in their film sets and shows (he catches ASAP or Sunday All-Stars live on Sundays after his church service). Meanwhile, I attend several writing workshops and directing classes here and there to hone whatever skills I thought I have, trying to pursue this thing I call “passion” which ironically, I don’t have enough time to commit to.
But my brother has a more positive demeanor on how he views his life choices. He has come to accept that his dedication to the family business has its merits. For him, God has his way of granting the deepest desires of one’s heart, for as long as you ask for it and be specific about it, and if you’re willing to work hard for it. He constantly reminds me to stop blaming our parents for not supporting my aforementioned film passion, and my desire/constant struggle to be accepted for who I really am, as their weird, gay son.
Hindi na raw kasi maganda na sa edad naming ito na sisihin pa namin sila sa mga repressions namin. May point naman siya.
Just two years ago, out of a thousand people who auditioned and hurdled grueling interviews, he became a studio contestant for Kapamilya’s Deal or No Deal. We weren’t exactly poor so we did not have a sob story to speak of, but for some reason, my brother charmed the staff into letting him get a shot at the two million jackpot prize. He didn’t win a sizeable amount of cash money after the contest though, but for him, it was never about the money. He was more fascinated at the idea of seeing himself beamed across the archipelago. He wanted to live his dream to become an instant celebrity and to enjoy the 15 or 30 minutes (duration kasi ng show, 30 minutes) of fame that comes with it.
Sa totoo lang, nakakapalan ako sa mukha ng kapatid ko. Hindi siya nahihiyang magtanong o makiusap o magbakasakali kahit na magmukhang katawa-tawa o tanga, at least sa paningin ko. But later on, I realized that he is just genuinely doing the things that he loves for the sacrifices he makes for our family. Maybe that’s why his wishes come true when he shouts them out to the universe!
Like this opportunity that came last year that we just recently enjoyed!
Adam won a contest sponsored by The Oscars ® and cable channel Lifestyle Network last year. Out of the 24 Oscar winners, he guessed 23 right! He ranked the highest among the contest participants, winning us our tickets to Hollywood. Call it fate. Before we knew it, we were whisked away to an all-expense paid trip, and with pocket money to catch the Oscars. Our tickets only allowed us by the bleachers as we watched the ceremony outside.
But we were just five feet away from the celebrities during one of the most anticipated events of the ceremony — the Red Carpet!
I wore what was advised in the packet memo: casual clothes and a hoodie in case it rains na parang maglalakad lang sa SM Megamall o magpupuyatan sa set as part of a film crew shooting in Baguio or Tagaytay.
But Adam dressed for the occasion — tuxedo and the works. My brother was elated to hear comments from the production staff how impeccably dressed he was. He told them he really prepared for the event. Maybe luck will smile at him again as he gets an opportunity to be a filler in the actual ceremony inside the Dolby Theatre. Or maybe he can mingle with the A-listers in the after party celebrations!
I sometimes catch myself in awe at how my brother conducts himself with confidence instead of caution. We were with strangers in a strange, foreign land. Yet all of it were so familiar. There was a fan (a hot woman in hetero standards, or so I think) who asked Adam if he watched Gossip Girl. My brother asked why. She said: “You look like an Asian Chuck Bass.”
Kalokah, ikaw na ikaw na talaga Adam Genato!
The whole time my brother was teaching me how to work the Red Carpet — or the bleachers by the Red Carpet. For the next few hours, I psyched myself up to just enjoy the moment and be grateful for the opportunity. I was clearly the lucky one because I did not lift any finger in making this all happen. So I figured that I have to pay it forward, or at least make my brother’s experience a better night to remember.
We were at the venue at 9:30 AM as advised and the celebrities started arriving at around 4:00 PM. Lunch was free and I chatted with some of the winners from India and Greece. Thank God too for the cool rainy weather which I will take at any given day compared to our tropical climate. (It has to do with my acne problems more than anything else. My brother agrees.) Eto rin naman talaga ang pinunta namin dito — ang climate difference!
The first important celebrity to cross the red carpet was Anna Kendrick. She was walking quickly and in a straight line, not minding to stop for photographers or for interviews with global TV correspondents across us. And I can’t understand, for some reason, why these people, composed mostly of Americans, aren’t shouting her name. So I did na parang nanonood ng ASAP taping sa ABS-CBN studio at lumabas si Papa Piolo Pascual: “ANNA! ANNA KENDRICK!!! I LOVE YOOOOOUUUU!”
She looked at me and smiled. Or at least she looked at my direction. But no one was shouting her name except for me, so I was 100% sure she was looking at me! THE GIRL FROM UP IN THE AIR AND PITCH PERFECT WHO SANG CUPS. IS. FREAKING. LOOKING. AT. MEEEEHH!
I wish I was included in this photo below as proof that she was looking at me. Who thought celebrities would even acknowledge the presence of mere mortals like me? I was like, five feet away from this 5-foot tall chanteuse!
The middle-aged women in our front row muttered as they brought out their phones and clicked away: “Oh that’s right, that’s Anna Kendrick!” Putsa! ‘Teh, tatanga-tanga lang? Ano nga ba ang pinunta mo ulit dito? Wala palang sinabi etong mga ‘Kano sa mga fans ng ASAP sa studio ng ABS!
Ngayon na-gets ko na. Hindi pala agad ma-recognize ng American crowd yung mga artista nila. Juice ko, hindi naman ako lumalaklak araw-araw ng People Magazine at E! News pero kilala ko siya, from afar! Partida, near-sighted pa ako niyan ha!
So I told my brother our game plan.
Ako ang sisigaw ng pangalan nila so they will look at our direction, and then he has to click away with his iPhone. Tutal magkatabi naman kasi pareho lang ang eyeline, titingin sila sa’tin. And so I spent the next hour screaming like a rabid movie fan all the names of the celebrities I spotted. “KERRY! KERRY WASHINGTOOOOOOONNNN!”
Sometimes, they were busy being interviewed and getting whisked away by their agents so you need to be more creative/provocative! “AMMERICA FERRERAAA! YOU’RE SO THIN IN PERSOOOONNN!” “OCTAVIA!!! OCTAVIA SPENCER!! GIVE ME SOME FRIED CHICKEEEEN!!”
The guys at our back had a laugh at how frantic we were at getting the attention of the stars. Guys, pasensya na, we travelled more than 12 hours just to get here, kaya sana maintindihan niyo. Ateng na nasa harapan ko, paki-translate naman! Tutal, nakikinabang ka naman sa tuwing sumisigaw ako sa mga pangalan ng celebrities na hindi niyo ma-recognize!
Chris! Chris PRAAAAATTT!!! JURASSSIIIC PARK!!! STARLOOOORDD!!!!
Ayaw tumingin. I noticed he was accompanied by his wife who goes-by-the-name-of-shet-nasa-dulo-na-ng-dila-ko and so I blurted out… “HOUSE BUUUNNNNYYYYY!!!!” Tumingin! At natawa si Anna Farris (ang dami kasing Anna, buti wala si Anne Hathaway, char!) Pati si Chris Pratt natawa kahit ini-interview ng media!
Some guy from behind learned the trick of being more creative in their spiels so he shouted: “I LOVE YOU IN EVERWOOOOOD!” Hindi ako nanonood ng show. Orange County ‘yung pinapanood ko nu’n, to which Chris acknowledged in the most funny-sarcastic-endearing “Aww, I’m touched you, guys” manner and then we were all just having a great laugh, and a great time!
The snobs were musical stars Adam Levine and John Legend. Also, Emma Stone (you break my heart!) and Scarlett Johansson (pinanood pa naman kita sa “Lucy” on the plane going here!). There were other celebrities who didn’t have a nominated film to brag about and had no other choice I guess but to walk past us. Or maybe they were under medication or something, or those pretending that they don’t have the time and day to acknowledge us. They were just talking to their agents and ushers while traversing the red carpet.
Some were understandable like directors Richard Linklater or Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu. The press was constantly interviewing them since they’re being tipped to win.
Proud moment! I got the attention of Paul Thomas Anderson by screaming for his equally talented and funny SNL alumnae wife Maya Rudoph and it worked! DIRK DIGGLER FOREEEEVVVEER!! PUNCH DRUNK LOVE FOREVERRRRR!!!!
Grabe, Meryl Streep consistently waved at all of us as she walked past the red carpet. At tama si Tiyang Amy Poelher: “SHE WAS AMAAAAAAZING AT IT.”
And J.Lo is the most beautiful woman ever. Good enough to turn every gay man into a lesbian, promise.
30 minutes before the show would commence, a meteor shower of stars would beckon at us. Sunod-sunod na sila: JULIANNE MOOOOORE!!
MARIONNN!! MARION COTILLARD!!
REESE! REESE WITHERSPOON!
After all the stars were safely inside the Dolby Theatre, it was our turn to troop towards the adjacent El Capitan Theatre to watch the show through the big screen. Even without the presence of the stars, just sharing the venue with a bunch of movie fans is quite an experience. (it also did not hurt to see Neil Patrick Harris in undies, on the BIG, GINORMOUS screen, hehe).
We were orderly as we got a tub of popcorn and a generous serving of greens, pasta, chicken, and ice cream cake dessert for our dinner. Everyone walked in and out leisurely, just being grateful for the opportunity. We rooted for our favorite entries as they were called by the presenters. Truth be told, this year’s ceremony focused on the underdogs compared to last year’s movie line-up. Neil Patrick Harris even joked that this year’s ceremony is likened to the Independent Spirits Awards where most of the nominated films were not really box-office hits.
But what made it very special and poignant was the simple brand of humor of Neil Patrick Harris and the authenticity of the speeches delivered by the winners — one of which struck a chord. I will definitely keep it stored forever in my mind (and in my iPhone video).
It was the speech of Graham Moore, winner of Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game and here is an excerpt of his touching speech: When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself, because I felt weird and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here, and so I would like this moment to be for that kid who’s out there who feels weird or feels different or feels she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Yes you do. I promise you do. Stay weird, stay different, and then when it’s your turn, and you are standing on the stage, please pass the same message to the next person who comes along.” And with that speech, I hope you can pass the message along to your friends or family members who may be going through a difficult time. Let them stay true to their truth and love them just the same.
Thank you very much Adam for this wonderful opportunity. I know we don’t talk to each other often back in Manila even if we live in the same house. But I’m glad that this experience made us feel like we were kids again, like when we were watching Kuya Germs and That’s Entertainment every afternoon in our sala and we just didn’t care.
[Entry 72, The SubSelfie Blog]
About the Brothers:
Ron Genato (right) is an aspiring (?) writer and filmmaker who is a movie fan at heart. Currently, he is trying to piece his life back together after a series of career setbacks, while looking for the right balance to manage his retail pharmacies until his film career can provide enough stability in a financial, mental, spiritual capacity to his well-being, lahat-lahat na!
Adam Genato (left) is a self-confessed celebrity aficionado. He won a TV contest and received two tickets to attend the 2015 Oscars (outside by the red carpet, at least). He has a Twitter following of 1,800 followers, which counts Sharon Cuneta, Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano, Derek Ramsay, KC Concepcion, Heart Evangelista, Lovi Poe, Daniel Matsunaga among others as some of his celebrity followers. Follow him in Twitter (@adam_genato) and Instagram (@adamgenato).