From the EDITOR
Empoy is on our cover this month, and we can’t be more thrilled. We trooped to his home in Baliuag, Bulacan, a modest one with not enough open space to let the breeze in, but one with enough shy-but-helpful siblings to smoothen the wait in the heat. The new big star is running late. He has stayed overnight in the big city to shoot for a music channel as celebrity VJ for September, just weeks after his indie starrer, Kita Kita, made its mark as the highest-grossing local indie film of all time. When the man finally makes his entrance, he attempts to walk past 15 people—us, actually—all blocking his way. He keeps his head down, his shoulders tight and, hands clasped before him, asks permission to enter his own home. “Sandali lang po, sandali lang po,” he says, inching his way to his room upstairs. In the next three hours, we have him. In the end we want more, but the now in-demand fellow is already needed in Cavite, so we all pack up. But we leave Baliuag feeling good anyway. And why not? We have his mother’s stories (of a six-year-old bravely taking the tricycle alone to go off and sell the peanuts she had cooked in a vat; of a teenager getting the six young ones washed and ready for bed every night) and his own stories (of working all night as a band roadie and keeping awake all day in a strict classroom)—and we cry on the inside and laugh on the outside throughout. Then, in all that rush to Cavite, he actually stops and asks for a group picture, and as we smile for the camera, we forget that here is the hottest comedian of the moment in what is possibly the hottest day of the month. We just know that here is a good man.