I’ve met him before, this matinee idol; he was my brother’s girlfriend’s friend. We weren’t very close but the people we hanged out with were almost the same. He used to hang out with people you could consider jologs*, but they were the cool type, they loved to have fun.

Now, inside this group was a guy named Beng. Mr. Matinee Idol and Beng used to be very close friends. As a matter of fact, one still considers the other as such.

Well, it turns out he got famous. I have never known the extent of it until I re-met him at an after party here in San Francisco – shades at night, a huge smile plastered on his face, pricey clothes, and his own little famous circle (abscbn’s mighty morph’n power rangers).

I wanted to be a little indifferent when we met so I told him jokingly “You look familiar. Do I know you?” He answered politely, “I dont think we’ve met.” And then he introduced himself and I did the same. Quite the conio* small talk, huh?!

We met again outside the restaurant. This time he was with his friends.. yes, the power rangers. One of them was kind enough to offer me a cigarette. I obliged. After all, that was Panday. I guess they wanted to smoke while waiting for their sundo*.

So at one point I asked them, “How was life like before you got famous?

Each answered with their tell-tale stories about how life got better when they entered showbiz. Mr. Matinee idol talked about his pre-showbiz life exactly how it was – drinking with friends in some village in Quezon City. So I felt like mentioning “I know some people there. That’s where my brother’s ex-girlfriend lives.

He looked shocked. He must’ve not realized that there were people on the other side of the planet who knew where the projects were. (C’mon half the Philippine population lives in project 4.) Knowing full well what he was talking about, I asked him next “Do you know Beng?

The matinee idol’s eyes grew big. He definitely knew who I was talking about. He paused creating a weird tension among the group; like the past had come back to haunt him. Everybody’s eyes were begging for a response.

Finally, he answers “Beng? Wala… wala yata.” (Beng? No.. I dont think so)

End notes:
Their sundo came shortly after our little conversation.
Beng is not his real name.


Sundo – referring to a person or thing who picks people up. The sundo of these guys was a limo. My sundo was my mom.

Conio – upper class.

Jologs – poor. also used to describe ill-mannered people