Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Iza Calzado in my universe

Last Tuesday, October 2, I brought some of my students to a press lunch at Kenny Rogers Roasters in Diliman (Matalino Street near Sulu Hotel and Quezon City Hall) where their endorsers James and Phil Younghusband and Iza Calzado graced the event. My journalism students take pictures of the endorsers as well as interview Iza. Their task is to write about the event and their choices when it comes to sports and living a healthy lifestyle.

We were the last to interview the model/actress and even if she was at this for more than an hour and so, Iza remained effervescent, funny, and very engaging as they talked about trying to live a healthy lifestyle, eating good food, exercise, and sports. My students were very much impressed with Iza and she likewise thought it was cool that they got first hand experience in interviewing her and attending an event like this. And I took the opportunity to complement her on her fine looks. Yes, that's an understatement. 

Some of my students from my Journalism class in Ateneo.

Iza Calzado in my universe

by rick olivares pics by brosi gonzales

When you look at a supermodel/actress, you look at everything from her face to her eyes to her perfect teeth to her body to her hair that you want to smell and touch (because you wonder if all those shampoo commercials that show long silky hair are telling the truth). There may or may not be any truth to advertising but you can determine certain truths when you come face to face with a supermodel/actress.

It’s a novel way of promoting Kenny Rogers Roasters’ endorsers – James and Phil Younghusband and Iza Calzado – their friends roasting them on video. I cannot say it’s revealing because no doubt there are many things that the public doesn’t need to know but it sure is insightful. What this does is it humanizes people that behind the photo-shopped advertising they have warts and all. Beyond the perfect teeth are real people with concerns ordinary and mundane.

And that brings me to Iza Calzado. She’s wearing a fire engine red dress that seems she was poured into rather than she putting it on? Insert your wolf whistle right here. Who doesn’t love what she is wearing as it exudes très cool sexiness? And she carries it well. But for my money, my all-time favorite picture of Iza is what she uses for her Twitter wall where she wears a simple white polo and jeans while standing next to a bicycle. I’d say I wish I was the bicycle but who wants to be a bicycle when you can actually meet and talk to her?

Beyond the drop dead gorgeous looks I wonder what makes her tick and boy what I’d give for an afternoon with someone like her. There’s that quote by Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory that humanizes and makes geeks like me try to be cool where he says to Penny: “Call me a romantic but I think your Mark Ruffalo is still out there.”

Iza Calzado is before me, us (I took some of my students along to interview her) if only for a few minutes of interviews. Will Hsu of Monsters Centaur Production Inc., the public relations and marketing group behind the launch, says, “You have all the time you’re the last ones anyway.”

The afternoon. The afternoon. Only we can’t keep a lady forever. We have a few minutes and I leave my students to do most of the asking.

She eats healthy or at least tries to. She admits to going on occasional binges. Anything – cakes, sweets, and everything that is an anathema to a supermodel. “But not everyday. I eat cakes but not bread with all the palaman.” She confessed to once starving herself because she claims that she was “too fat”.

What drives her to keep her whistle bait figure?

“Vanity. Vaaaniity!” she laughs. “I’m a proud person. When I think of how thin I was back then I want to go back to that.” More giggles. She runs, works out.

In the 20 minutes we have with Iza, it is clear she made a very good impression on my students. She would hold their hands. Look them in the eye. Pat them on the arm like an old friend. She was funny, effervescent, and very engaging. She hinted at making poor choices every now and then but  she made sure that she rebounded from them.

“It all boils down to choices. There’s no great secret to many things. Like being fit. You just have to make a choice – is it bread or rice? What I like to eat in Kenny Rogers? (laughs) Is it working out or going on an eating binge? Is it working yourself to death or giving your body time to recover and rest? In my line of work it is not going to help if I make the wrong choices. So when you make that choice you stick to it. Make a contract with yourself. Put reminders so you’ll be faithful to it. When you accomplish it then you’ll be glad that you did.”

The afternoon ended with a group shot and a photo of me and her. Twice she said that it was cool for the students to be here and to learn first hand about journalism. But it’s a two-way street. I came in and thought about her dazzle, the perfect teeth, the coiffed hair, and gorgeous looks. I came away with a little more knowledge about someone I only see on magazine covers or ads.

To paraphrase Leonard in Season One of The Big Bang Theory, “Maybe in some other universe I’ll get to know Iza really well.”


Here's one of the blog posts written by my students: 

Li Ann Santos 

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