ALLOW us to timeline a series of recent events before Vignettes culminates in its main subject: Maine Mendoza, otherwise known as Yaya Dub of Eat Bulaga fame.
The night before veteran entertainment columnist and radio anchor Cristy Fermin was to celebrate her 60th birthday on July 23, her friend, businesswoman Lily Chua, hosted a dinner in Tomas Morato, Quezon City with a handful of guests in attendance, this writer included.
Little did Fermin know that there had been a clandestine arrangement between her secretary Japs Gersin and colleague-publicist Roldan Castro for the surprise arrival of—hold your breath—Alden Richards. The actor, who had just finished his recording session after his regular Bulaga stint, arrived with three other guests bringing with him neatly arranged flowers for the birthday girl.
While she acknowledges the fact that Alden has become a superstar, Fermin—a self-confessed fan of Bulaga’s “Kalyeserye”—would occasionally pick on him in her tabloid columns.
Having skipped meals until late afternoon, the famished-looking Alden joined our table. He stayed for at least one hour, gamely posing with Fermin and her well-wishers as cellphone cameras clicked to no end. Within minutes, those photos landed on social media.
Come Monday, July 25–the start of another week of doing radio program Cristy Ferminute. Sandwiched between weekends, we gathered that Maine reportedly didn’t take Alden’s surprise appearance at Fermin’s dinner well. It turns out that Maine even confronted her on-screen partner, asking Alden if he knew that Fermin was her No. 1 basher.
Alden, however, told Maine that taking time to greet those who had come before them in the business during their birthdays such as this was the proper—if not respectfu—thing to do.
The following day, a widely circulated tabloid carried a “blind item” obviously ascribed to Maine as having apprehended her love team mate for dropping by an occasion.
That same day, Maine’s blog article, which she herself writes grabbed social media headlines. Titled “That’s How It Works,” the piece written in English echoed Maine’s sheer disgust of trying to please people when she’s “neither the type, nor born” to do just that.
Furnished with a copy of the blog, we read it en toto on Fermin’s radio program putting emphasis on such lines as, “We are in a world full of pretentious beings. Especially in my case, I am living in a world full of barbies;” “I do not need and want to pretend to be someone I am not and do something I am not willing to do just to be loved and accepted by the people in this barbie world;” and “I would never change who I am just to conform to the norms of this industry.”
Come Tuesday, July 26. On such short notice following Maine’s “c’est la vie” blog, GMA’s Corporate Communications Division held a thanksgiving party for the press (this writer excluded) sponsored by Alden.
On Wednesday, July 27, Fermin’s radio program aired a live phone patch interview with lawyer Ferdie Topacio who rang her up the night before saying that a small group of Maine’s supporters were gearing up for a signature campaign urging the KBP and the MTRCB to effect sanctions against Fermin through his legal representation.
With a string of high-profile cases up his sleeve, Topacio politely declined lawyering for the group, flatly telling its members—believed to be non-existent anyway—that, “You know, we have freedom of expression, and it’s also your constitutional right to take your agenda to the proper courts of law. But I cannot and will never compromise my friendship with Ms. Cristy Fermin.”
But if and when Atty. Topacio decides to back up the group, it would sure be nice to witness a Maine vs. Fermin court battle.