A story guaranteed to make you giggle endlessly… if you’re old enough to remember…
The beautiful Italian actress “La Bellissima” Gina Lollobrigida [ aren’t all Italian actresses so beautiful??? ] came to Manila in the early 1970s. She had produced a very nice book on the Philippines.
In those days, foreign celebrities visiting Manila invariably became guests on Joe Quirino’s “Seeing Stars with JQ” on IBC Channel 13. Local celebrities also became guests, albeit weekly, on Joe Quirino’s show, probably because there was no other talk show to be a guest in. We children also watched it on the sly, not only because it was past our bedtime, but also because there was nothing else to watch at that ungodly hour [ 10:00 p.m.; during Martial Law, that was already an ungodly hour; these days, you’re just about to enter the bathroom to prepare yourself for “Embassy” at The Fort by 1:00 a.m.. ] The only show we children refused to watch was “Aawitan Kita”; that was strictly for Lola Charing, Ate Talia and the aged househelp. We children parodied “Ah-ah-weeh-tan Keeh-taaaah,” “tremolo,” at the beach, complete with “Tweety Bird” and “Bugs Bunny” beach towels for “kimonas” and “sayas,” replete with crashing waves and orange sunsets!!! On JQ’s show, we could imitate the high-energy dancing of Terry and Lally Aldeguer and their silent but full-mouthed “ah! eh! ih! oh! uh!,” and learn to sing “Besame Mucho” with a Cebuana accent from Pilita Corrales and her erstwhile beau Amado del Paraguay… “Bisami, Bisami Moot-soo…” *lolsz!*
“La Bellissima,” as expected of a foreign celebrity [ remember the Martial Law ban on imports??? ], became a guest on Joe Quirino’s show. And so, after the usual nonsensical interview, Joe Quirino presented a token of thanks to the evening’s guest of honor…
“Por our hunured gist “La Billissima” Geena Lullubreegida, I would now like to prisint the Pride op the Pilippines… ” *bated breath*
“La Bellissima” smiled graciously, and expectantly… As an honored guest, she would surely receive a considerable and elegant souvenir…
“‘Pamily Rabbing Alcuhol’!!!” *canned applause*
He ceremoniously handed her a green plastic bottle of “Family Rubbing Alcohol”…!!!
“La Bellissima” graciously bowed and accepted the bottle of rubbing alcohol like a bouquet of roses or a sceptre in a beauty pageant, “Grazie!!! Grazie!!! Grazie!!!”
But with the twitch of her eye, one could almost see a thought bubble in “La Bellissima’s” head: “Whatthehell is this???”
Martial Law under President Ferdinand Marcos was supposed to have been a difficult time, and yes, it really was. But some of the most ridiculous things happened at that point in time!!! 😛 😛 😛