The best of times

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE -

WEDUGdeep into 20 years worth of in­ter­viewsand en­coun­ters with se­lect news mak­ers and celebri­ties and how our con­ver­sa­tions with them —whether for a fea­ture, a fash­ion ed­i­to­rial, or our Sunday sec­tion called Play!—made an im­pact on us and the read­ers.

Here are the sto­ries our hearts will al­ways re­mem­ber:

Ja­son Baguia

“Nor th­ern Min­danao trip. Circa late 2000s. We vis­ited Siar­gao, Legazpi, Bu­tuan, Zam­boanga. It showed me the pre­cious beauty of Min­danao na­ture and cul­ture. Also my in­ter­views with mu­si­cians

like Bi­tuin Es­calante and Switch­foot. Noth­ing beats get­ting up close and per­sonal with artists whose works have be­come sound­tracks to one’s life.”

Regina Aguilar

“ABS-CBN’s Cebu me­dia tour in 2005 was the first time I got my­self sur­rounded with the net­work’s big stars, chat­ting and eat­ing with them as if we were close friends!

What made the cov­er­age even more mem­o­rable was I got my five min­utes of fame on then very pop­u­lar talk show, “The Buzz,” in­ter­view­ing San­dara Park who just came back from Ko­rea. This was her first Philip­pine come­back be­fore be­com­ing a K-Pop star. “The Buzz” was the num­ber 1 showbiz talk show that time so most peo­ple I know, es­pe­cially my fam­ily and rel­a­tives, would watch the show. Imag­ine their sur­prise when they saw me on TV!

Look­ing back, it didn’t feel like a big deal then be­cause it was part of my work as a re­porter but I feel grate­ful for that once-in-a-life­time ex­pe­ri­ence to travel and rub el­bows with the stars. All thanks to my gen­er­ous ed­i­tors, Mimi Li­jauco and Niza Mar­iñas who’ve al­ways given bud­ding re­porters a chance to shine and to truly ex­pe­ri­ence Life!”

Niza Mar­iñas

“Our very brief in­ter­view with Lea Sa­longa for her 2005 con­cert here in Cebu was one for the books. Each me­dia out­fit was given only two min­utes to ask ques­tions. I re­mem­ber two things: Her preg­nancy glow and her firm hand­shake.

I was root­ing for singer-song­writer David Cook the en­tire sev­enth sea­son of “Amer­i­can Idol” in 2008. Who would have thought he’d hold a con­cert in Cebu and I’d get to see him up close four years af­ter? My ul­ti­mate fan­girling mo­ment.

A high­light of my years with Life! is the chance to be able to in­ter­view in­ter­na­tional au­thors sent by Na­tional Book Store to Cebu for their meet-and-greet and book sign­ing events. Some of these lit­er­ary “rock stars” in my list are Marie Lu, Jen­nifer Niven, Jen­nifer Smith, Ran­som Riggs and Mitch Al­bom.

Neil Iosif Ila­gan

“House was the mu­sic of the dance floor dur­ing my time, be­fore the in­va­sion of hip hop and R&B. “Ever Af­ter” and “Self­ish” were my power songs in the morn­ing. So when I got to talk with singer Bon­nie Bai­ley dur­ing her visit to Cebu, I was starstruck. The in­ter­view turned into a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween friends as we talked about the sim­i­lar­i­ties of Latin and Filipino cul­ture. I re­mem­ber singing on my way home af­ter that as­sign­ment.”

“Be­ing prej­u­diced is some­thing that can bite you back. An ex­am­ple was when I met Coco Martin for the first time at an in­for­mal press con­fer­ence to pro­mote his film, “Masahista” in 2005. He was quiet, and spoke with a heavy

TOP, from left: Doyz, Xave, Rob, Jet, Regz, Neil, Neris, Niza, Hayde, Mimi and Edd

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