I hate going out on a Saturday—even if it’s for work—because traffic is always extra horrendous on Saturdays. But I had no choice last February 11; I had already said yes to both the Bench and Close Up PR people.

To make sure I would make it in time for the events (both of which were at the SM Mall of Asia), I left the house two hours before the call time. Thankfully, I reached MOA an hour before the start of my first event, which gave me and my photographer enough time to enjoy our fried vegetable rolls and chicken pad thai from Jatujak.

My first event was the Bench OJ Americana fashion show, and before watching it, I got to do a one-on-one interview with Lucy Hale, the newest member of the Bench family. Pretty and petite, the Pretty Little Liars star was a joy to interview; she was animated, spontaneous, and sincere—asking for some more time when it came to challenging questions she didn’t have instant answers for. I’d love to share more, but for the whole story, you have to wait for my article in Inquirer Super really soon.

I got to bump heads with Cecile Van Straten (she interviewed Lucy first), and she ended up as my seatmate. The fashion show was fun and it wasn’t just because Cecile and I had some interesting comments on the models. I really enjoyed watching Pauline Prieto, Grendel Alvarado, and Samantha Gomez walk.

As for Lucy Hale, the crowd went wild every time she appeared. She’s such a sweetheart. She looked very surprised and touched while she was on the runway, mouthing her gratitude and how she felt like crying. And she made sure she pleased the fans by trying to shake some hands.

I didn’t get to finish the whole show; I left during the Q&A so I could catch David Archuleta, who was part of the Close Up Pyromusical event. I wasn’t late. In fact, I had enough time to chat with some people and even have dinner (which I skipped). I also had enough time to list down questions for David, because his agent wanted to screen them first. When I got my list back, I discovered that anything and everything related to love and romance were crossed off my list. Okay, let’s focus on career and family then, I thought to myself.

I had 10 minutes with the American Idol alum, who looked/sounded shy/tired, but maybe that’s really how he is. He seemed lost, the poor guy, like he needed sleep. Good news to his fans: he’s extending his stay in the country for a week, but he kind of didn’t know much about what he’ll be doing so he had to ask his manager for help when I inquired. The singer was kind enough to look into my camera and greet Inside Pinoy Showbiz visitors. It actually took him four tries before he finally got it. He also did a video greeting for my daughter, Sadako. Check out Inside Pinoy Showbiz soon for more David Archuleta news, okay?

After my interview with David, I had to rush back home coz I was already missing Sadako, but I was still able to catch the fireworks display. It was breath-taking.

On my way home, I realized how exciting my day was, meeting Hollywood stars Lucy and David. But in all honesty, I enjoyed my chitchat with Chuvaness and The Ben Chan (who gave me a better seat and complimented my hair) more.

Photos by Roger Tingle