Mel and Joey features LOVE MADE IN HEAVEN
(this is part 1 of the M&J Valentine’s Episode, with an intro of our feature story. the actual recorded show is just below. get to read this behind-the-scenes story first…)
It was absolute hysteria yesterday night over at my aunt-in-law’s house, and practically in every household that was glued to their television sets watching Mel and Joey, as the dynamic duo of Mel Tiangco and Joey De Leon featured “Love Made In Heaven: The Love Story of RC and Cess” during their special Valentine’s Day Special Episode.
Just three Wednesdays ago, a comment was posted on one of the latest blog series I am now doing about my wedding last December 21. It was from Jeffrey “Jepoy” Canaria, a segment researcher and production crew for GMA 7. In the comment, Jepoy expressed his interest over our love story and asked if we were willing to have it featured on Mel and Joey on their Valentine’s Day Episode.
At first, I had this feeling of doubt that this might be a prank over online blogsites. But Jepoy left his cellphone number on the blog for me to contact. I called him up and confirmed that they were on the search for interesting love stories that they’d like to feature on the show. He said that our love story was a good material for the show’s segment and asked our permission to have it featured. I wanted to think this over very seriously before making any move, so I requested that he allow me to think things over, and asked if he could give me a call after 10 minutes.
Of course, everybody, if given such a break, would immediately grab it. But I was well aware of the fact that putting our love story up on primetime TV isn’t just as simple as posting it on blog. As a pastor, I have to be very careful with how I give of myself to people, especially in such a big scope as television. Also, this isn’t just about me—it’s about RC AND Cess. As a husband, my role is to protect Cess’ character and reputation—one that can easily go under scrutiny, even if it was just 15 minutes of fame.
So, I called up my Senior Pastor, Dr. Benny Abante, Jr. and asked his advice about it. To my delight, he approved of the idea of getting our love story on TV. His approval was my go signal for the story to go on air.
I next told Cess and a couple of her co-teachers about this latest development. Cess was just as delighted as me about the prospect of having our story put up on TV. Jepoy, a few minutes later, called up and asked what I thought about his request. I said yes to the proposal, and over the phone we made some arrangements in prepping up for the video feature they will be doing.
Between that Wednesday and the following Thursday, Jepoy and I exchanged e-mails and PM’s about the story feature being made on us. I sent him a summarized version of our love story, as well as a couple of old and new pictures of me and Cess.
Thursday, February 4, was the date that the production team set with us for the shooting. It was examination week over at the school, and so the schedules were a bit erratic. Anyways, we were able to set the sked for the shoot. At around 3PM, the production crew led by Ate Rowie and Jepoy, arrived at MICA for the shoot. They passed by the school office to make a courtesy call with our school directress, Mrs. Marie Paz Abante, before heading off to Cess’ class for the recordings. The team also took footages of Cess’ co-teachers and students for the next 45 minutes, before moving to the church sanctuary for my own footages.
After the interview at the MBBC Sanctuary, we went to the Roxas Blvd. Baywalk for another set of video shoots, before finally going to La Scala in Ermita for the last set of footages. The scheduled interview ended at around 7PM.
Even after the interview, I still had doubts if our story would really get featured at all. I was texting Jepoy, asking how was the taping and editing doing, as if really checking if this thing will really pull off. Jepoy assured me that things are turning out as planned, and in no time, the plugging will be up on TV days before the actual show. Taking his word, I started telling my friends and relatives about the show.
All the while, I really had mixed feelings if this was really going to happen. Until Friday night came, and a couple of friends texted me and Cess, saying they saw the Mel and Joey plugging already and they saw us there! Wow! This was really true! ‘This thing is finally going to happen on Valentine’s Day,’ I said to myself. I then doubled on my texting to everyone I knew to watch the show.
The funny thing about this was that we ourselves haven’t seen the plugging yet! A dozen friends have already seen the commercial, pero kami ni Cess hindi pa rin namin napapanood. We even tried waiting in front of the television the entire evening of Saturday, and the entire afternoon of Sunday, but we never caught the plugging. That was really an “ARGH” feeling. But, oh well, at least the show will finally go on air.
Finally, V-Day came. The evening worship service of the church ended quite earlier than usual, and everyone got the chance to rush to their homes and catch the show. Since we still didn’t have our own TV at home, Cess and I went to my aunt-in-law, Tita Sally Cristobal’s house and there watched the show. Just minutes before the show aired, we saw the plugging of the episode for that night.
Just like that, the whole house went berserk seeing me and Cess on TV—and this wasn’t the show yet! Everybody that was sitting on the dinner table suddenly unlocked themselves from their seats and congregated around the TV with their meal plates, waiting for the last five minutes of Starstruck V to expire.
I got my laptop and had the built-in webcam face the TV to have it recorded. Although I already asked a very good friend, fellow-Rusher, and fellow-believer ate Rhix “Purplerose” Yray to record the show, I just wanted to be doubly sure I have my own raw copy of it. Tita Sally had her digicam also ready. Cess and her sister Aya were busy texting their friends and relatives to watch the show. It was just crazy that time!
And finally, the show started:
And just like that, me and Cess had our own fifteen minutes of fame!
People from as far up as Cagayan and Isabela, all the way down to Cebu and Bacolod were texting me and congratulating me for the wonderful and inspiring love story we shared. The young people’s group from our work in Tarlac all watched the show together, and were themselves blessed by the story. Even our friends from abroad, Rich Abante (who’s getting married this year also), Mr. and Mrs. Victor and Taties Nazaret (from UAE), and Crisant Dema-ala (our best man, who is now in Malaysia with his big brother), all watched the show via youtube upload courtesy of ate Rhix, and were themselves delighted and happy for us and the love story.
A lot of folks from our church, our relatives in Batangas, Mindoro, and Laguna were just texting us like crazy. My parents and my siblings were all tearing up with joy after watching the show.
As for me and Cess, we just simply hugged each other, kissed and told each other “I sooooo love you!” as the special feature ended.
I had already written an epic-length acknowledgement for all the people who made this show a huge success. But, wait a minute, is this a blockbuster movie? Hindi naman! That’s why I deleted the two-page segment on credits, and reduced it into this list:
– God, of course, has to be number one;
– My pastor, Dr. Benny Abante, Jr., and his wife and MICA’s school Directress Ms. Marie;
– The Cayanan and Dizon Family, who were just frenzied and fanatical last night while watching the show!
– The GMA production staff of Ate Rowie, Jepoy and their team;
– Rhix “Purplerose” Yray for the recording and youtube uploads;
– The admin office of the MICA and MBBC;
– My fellow Morning Rushers’ Family;
– My fellow preachers: the Tropang Crosswind;
– Our MICA students, especially Deo and Jenny;
– All our churchmates, high school and college classmates, and friends who watched it and congratulated us last night;
– To Rich, Taties, Bitoy and Crisant, who are all abroad right now. They got to watch the show via youtube;
If ever I failed to mention anyone in particular, here’s the blank space __________, which means you are that person. Just put your name in there, my friend. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
To my Princess, thank you for sharing this love story with me. Our journey is just beginning. Let’s make every moment of it worth remembering, OK?
And, before I forget, have I told you lately that I love you so much?