Saturday, September 25, 2010

More than 5 years, But Still Head over Heels

I remember my Photography professor shared an amusing and a bit mushy anecdote about how he realized, "This is it, I'm not only in love, but I deeply, wholly love this girl..she's the one." For my professor, it was all thanks to onions.

He was chopping onions to cook dinner for his girlfriend, admitting he was trying to impress this girl even though he had never cooked all his life. While chopping religiously, his eyes began to water. It didn't take long for his vision to blur as one tear followed after another. My professor began to sniff. While rubbing his eyes, his girlfriend gently removed his hand and dabbed a handkerchief to wipe his tears. The girl whispered, giggling, "Tahan na." It was then, at that moment, he knew this girl was the one he'd love for the rest of his life.

I never forgot that story. More than amused, I was touched. When you realize you are truly in love, it's always not in a grandiose, obvious way. No candle-lit dinners and parading under the stars. No dancing on a rooftop and a room full of roses. Or an orchestra playing your favorite song while you dine in fancy restaurant. I've always believed in those kinds of moments -- small ones that are unexpected, understated and yet, magical. Trust me, I'm not a hopeless romantic, but a realistic, keep-my-feet-on-the-ground kind of girl.

For me, it happened one night in 2009 during the U.P. Fair. Every year, my boyfriend and I made it a point to attend the fair, even just for one day. That week, I was suffering a recurring back ache due to so much stress at work. But to hell with my back ache, nothing could stop me from going! There's the sunken garden grass to lie on anyway. But two bands into the fair, my back ached so much I could even feel the throb when I'm lying down or leaning on Sam's back. Sam wanted to go to the hospital, but I insisted just a bed rest will do.

That night, I slept over at his house that was near UP. My back ache was far from leaving me alone. It was too painful I had to stifle my cries -- "Hindi ko to kaya." Sam lied down beside me and massaged my back, using cantor oil to relieve the pain. His mouth on my ear, he shushed me, whispering over and over, "I'm just here, baby." He massaged and soothed me for hours until finally, the pain was gone and I fell asleep.

I was blinded and numbed by so much pain that night. But there was that short moment, a fraction of a minute, that I saw myself with him for the rest of my life.

Earlier today, Sam and I went to the mall to watch a movie, shop, and eat. I'm not as conscious as before of how I acted when I'm with him. But mostly, I remember feeling happy. And the details I often forget. Today, Sam said something amusing:

Sam: "Bakit ganito tayo no?"
Alina: "Paanong ganito? Pano ba tayo?"
Sam: "Wala, ang sweet pa rin natin, para tayong bagong magsyota."

I don't know for others who are in a five-year relationship, but Sam actually has a point. A good, happy point. Again, at that moment, I felt the hair at the nape of my neck tingle, and my chest filled with....I don't know, something like air, with a hundred butterfly wings flapping.

It's amazing how we've been together for more than five years, but we're still head over heels.

To the love of my life Sam (you might never read this as you never read my blog (I know how much you dislike blogs), but I just want to put on record...that I love you so much. Never doubt that.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Watch Behind the Bylines on Star World

Know what goes on behind the scenes in the number one fashion magazine in the Philippines! A reality show, BTBL features a day in a life of a Preview magazine editor to give you a taste of what working on the monthly gloss is really like.

Behind the Bylines Opening Credits/OBB (this will be revised soon to include Daryl Chang, Liz Uy and Raymond Gutierrez)

Behind the Bylines is the first ever local show based in the Philippines, produced by Fox International. Catch Behind the Bylines only on Star World, Tuesdays, at 8: 50 PM, every 2nd and 4th week of the month.

Don't miss the quirky episodes airing this October featuring Manila's finest stylista Daryl Chang!

Behind the Bylines Credits:

Head of Programming:

Channel Head (Star World):
Eddy Tan

Territory Director:

Marketing Manager for Entertainment:


Director of Photography:


Post- Production Editor:



Editor-in Chief:

Creative Director:

Editorial Assistant, Special Projects:

Deputy Art Director, Special Projects:

Sunday, September 5, 2010


When I started imitating commercials (especially taglines) when I was seven or maybe eight years old, my mom eagerly predicted: my daughter's going to be a news reporter or broadcaster some day.

But then, several years of acting in plays and joining declamations later, I found that speaking in public made me nervous! Never mind the plays, I was never a nervous performer (I had the knack of blocking the audience out when I performed. I also had a band in college), but addressing an audience was altogether a different thing,

So yeah, several years later, my mom found that her oracle was not the best one.

Instead of taking up Broadcasting, I got lost into and fell in love with Film and Audio-Visual Production, which is more of behind-the-scenes.

After graduation and years of working, I never knew my hobby as a child of faking accents and repeating commercial taglines would resurface. Until I found I can do voice-overs.

I guess I owe it to making plugs and observing professional VO talents during my first job. I liked imitating them for fun. Eventually, when our talent could not make it, while I did have to beat a deadline, I had no choice but to do a dummy. Kind of like a voice guide.

Until a client (a sponsor) asked our team to do a TVC. But they can't afford to pay for a VO talent. The client was a well-known motel. My co-Producer asked our superior if my voice will do. He said, well, let's see.

Fortunately, my voice-over passed. Credit it to a "bedroom voice". Hehe!

I eventually forgot about that. But my interest came back when an office mate told me of a VOICE ACTING WORKSHOP, called VoiceWorx in Creativoices Productions.

I enrolled. Though the tuition caused me almost all of my savings, I can say that it was all worth it.

I have since earned back the tuition...and more.

Today, I have gained the confidence that I need to be a good voice over for commercials. I enjoy doing voice overs so much! I feel challenged by every word, pause, every intonation, breath and every syllable.

When I voice, I'm just playing. I like expressing myself through my voice and hearing it on TV or the radio.

Without my hobby as a child, encouragement from former officemates and Creativoices, I wouldn't have done it.

But it can never be my full-time job. Voice over always has to be a part-time job, that I learned in VoiceWorx.

And yes, I guess it helps a lot that whenever I voice, I get to be an eight-year old all over again.

Maria Alina Co is currently a voice-over talent of Knowledge Channel and Star World Philippines. She also does freelance voice work for other companies.