Win­ning looks easy with Pi­noy Big Brother win­ners May­may En­trata and Ed­ward Bar­ber, who are wear­ing the cre­ations of the 2017 Bench De­sign Com­pe­ti­tion win­ners.


Revel in the youth­ful spirit of May­may En­trata and Ed­ward Bar­ber.

ev­ery fairy tale should have a cas­tle. For this story, it’s a gi­ant in­flat­able one, in Mon­drian col­ors, kept afloat with a gi­ant blower that makes any kind of com­mu­ni­ca­tion a test of will and lung power. Af­ter the first out­fit change, even young and ever en­er­getic BJ Pas­cual ad­mit­ted that shoot­ing while bal­anc­ing on the bounc­ing cas­tle has made him woozy and slightly out of breath. Ed­ward Bar­ber, the “Ward” in “May­ward,” has al­ready ad­mit­ted to be­ing un­der the weather, but gamely jumps away. May­may, who not only has to pose and bounce at the same time while wear­ing what Fash­ion Di­rec­tor Daryl Chang de­scribed as a very heavy out­fit, seems un­scathed. When I ask her if she’s fine, she an­swers with a wide, ra­di­ant smile. She then adds, “It’s my first time!” See­ing the quizzi­cal look on my face, with­out any hes­i­ta­tion she ex­plains, “Mahi­rap lang kami noong bata ako, at malayo ang mall sa amin. Kaya ngayon ko lang na-try ’yan!” In that one in­stance, the long jour­ney she has taken to make it from wannabe re­al­ity-show con­tes­tant to bona fide star be­comes crys­tal­lized. From her bare-bones child­hood in the is­land of Camiguin to her lonely col­lege life in Ca­gayan de Oro, to fi­nally win­ning as the grand cham­pion of the lat­est edi­tion of Pi­noy Big Brother and now be­ing part of one of the coun­try’s most pop­u­lar love teams, her life is po­ten­tially a melo­drama. And yet, it’s also as ro­man­tic and comedic as a rom­com could and should be.


At the an­nual Star Magic Ball, lo­cal Tin­sel­town goes all out. Young men don tuxe­dos and patent lace-ups, and the young girls get to have their princess mo­ments. And so it does take a par­tic­u­lar kind of magic to stand out and be no­ticed in a sky full of stars. Young designer Mark Bum­gar­ner, him­self hav­ing a bit of a fairy tale, fash­ion-world style, has be­come a fa­vorite for red-car­pet mo­ments. When he was in­ter­viewed dur­ing the red-car­pet pre-show spe­cial, Mark was asked about the star he most wanted to see. He said, “It’s May­may’s first ball, so I re­ally want it to be spe­cial for her. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to see­ing her on the red-car­pet.” On his IG feed, he had posted their fi­nal fit­ting, and May­may is twirling just like a bal­le­rina in a mu­sic box. In­deed, she is named among the best dressed at the ball and un­der the hash­tag #Star­mag­icball, her im­age is the first to pop up. And to think she used to have a fear of for­mal events and even skipped her se­nior prom be­cause of a dis­as­trous ju­nior prom.

She very an­i­mat­edly tells us that for her ju­nior prom, her mother had given her P1500 to buy a dress, cover her hair and makeup ap­point­ment and her trans­porta­tion needs. In or­der to make ev­ery­thing fit her bud­get, she chose a dress from the clear­ance rack that didn’t fit very well. When danc­ing was about to com­mence, she stepped on her dress and it dropped to her waist. Ever the op­ti­mist, she still finds a sil­ver lin­ing in her fash­ion emer­gency and quips, “Buti nalang madilim!” Her very chival­rous school­mates all turned away so that she could ad­just her dress.

Of that post that Mark Bum­gar­ner up­loaded, she ad­mits that she was chan­nel­ing Dis­ney’s Cinderella as she waltzed around Mark’s ate­lier. She grew up lov­ing princesses as much as any girl, but still can’t be­lieve she is hav­ing her own fairy-tale mo­ment. “Hindi ako maka­pani­wala na may gown na para sa akin isinukat!” She also jokes when she sees her shriek­ing fans, “Am I a zom­bie, that’s why they scream that way?” Her moniker in­side the house, “The Wacky Go Lucky of Ca­gayan,” her rub­bery face that she of­ten con­torts, and her gift for a quick one-liner all cer­tainly en­deared her to tele­view­ers and house­mates alike.

There’s an old say­ing that goes, “It takes three years to make an overnight sen­sa­tion.” Make that seven years for May­may, who first au­di­tioned in 2010. What gave her per­sis­tence? In a voice and pos­ture rem­i­nis­cent of el­e­men­tary decla­ma­tion con­tests, she an­swers, “I have mo­ti­va­tion and in­spi­ra­tion!” The whole dress­ing room, from her road man­ager, to Ed­ward’s mom and the shoot as­sis­tants, de­scend into laugh­ter. It’s hard to stay se­ri­ous be­cause May­may loves to turn ev­ery con­ver­sa­tion into a punch­line. When asked what gen­res she would like to ex­plore, she re­torts, “Heavy me­tal!” She then pro­ceeds to do some air gui­tar, with rock ‘n’ roll hand ges­tures. Then she ends her im­promptu per­for­mance with the line, “Good­bye, fans!”

It’s only when we are alone that she goes back to her strug­gle. There’s no self-con­scious­ness at all when she re­calls her pre-fame days. “I re­ally came to a point when I had to ask God, ‘When, when, when will I win?’ Ev­ery time I joined a contest, kung mod­el­ing or the first PBB Teens au­di­tion, wala. I thought maybe it would be in mod­el­ing, so I watched all the Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret shows. That was my mod­el­ing school be­cause walang pang-tu­ition sa mod­el­ing school. Ang fa­vorite ko ’yung wife ni Adam Levine. Si Be­hati [Prinsloo]! May some­thing siya, gus­tong-gusto ko.” And as she con­quered each chal­lenge in the Big Brother house and emerged the win­ner, she has just gone from strength to strength. Her de­but al­bum went gold in one day and plat­inum in six months. She and Ed­ward just starred in Lov­ing in Tan­dem, a rom­com with Kiss­marc, aka Kisses Delavin and Marco Gullo, who shared the house with them. She has big dreams, of course. “In two or three years, I want my mom to come home and by then, I want to have a house and car for my fam­ily.” Her first treat for her fam­ily were Bench gift cer­tifi­cates. She shares, “Tuwang­tuwa sila! They were so happy that they could shop in Bench!”

ON MAY­MAY: Asym­met­ri­cal striped dress, P10,000, JAGGY GLARINO, @jag­gy_glar­ino on In­sta­gram. ON ED­WARD: Striped jacket, P12,500; over­sized white shirt, P8500; both JAGGY GLARINO. White shorts, P700, BENCH, SM Mega­mall

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