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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

GMA star handler creates confusion in Japan

WE accompanied “Kamandag” stars Richard Gutierrez and Jewel Mische together with popular entertainment writer and host of “The Ricky Lo Exclusives” on QTV, Ricky Lo and POEA Director Nini Lanto to Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan last March 21 for the first IPS Job Fair and Access TV Grand Launch of GMA Life TV (QTV in the Philippines) which were both successfully held at the Design Hall in Nagoya (March 22) and Akahabara UDX in Tokyo (March 23), respectively. The two “Kamandag” stars, who were mobbed in Japan, were both first timers in the land of Cherry Blossoms, making it more exciting for them.

As soon as the PAL flight from Manila reached the Chubu Kokusai Kuko (Nagoya airport), Richard and Jewel could not contain their excitement and Richard kept on chanting the word Japan over and over until we finally left the airport heading for Princess Garden Hotel where the Manila entourage stayed overnight. The group had an early dinner last Saturday and everybody headed for the Nagoya station to catch the 8:40 p.m. trip to Tokyo via Shinkansen (bullet train) which took us one-hour-and-a-half. Since it was a night trip, we missed the sight of Mt. Fuji on our way to Tokyo. In Tokyo, we checked in at Villa Fontaine Shiodome. We promised Richard and Jewel that we will bring them to Roppongi that same evening but everybody was tired so we decided to just stay in the hotel and rest.

Since Richard and Jewel were needed at the venue by 3 p.m. yet, they had a chance to go around Akihabara which is known for electronics and modern gadgets. Ricky, Director Nini and Chuck Silva ( GMA International senior marketing manager) had also their share of shopping at the Akihabara.

On Easter Monday, Richard and Jewel left for Tokyo Disneyland while Ricky, Director Nini and me were fetched at the hotel by one of IPS top executives, Masako Uemori for a meeting with Mr. Mitsuru Murai and Ms. Michiyo Maehara, president/CEO and corporate officer of Recruit Agent Co., Ltd., the biggest recruitment agency in Japan with 16 branches there. After the meeting, Mr. Murai treated us to a sumptuous lunch (shabu-shabu). We also dropped by at the office of IPS in Tsukiji before heading for the Philippine Embassy office in Roppongi to visit the office of the new labor attache, Labor Undersecretary Danilo Cruz and Welfare Officer Saul de Vries.

Since the Philippine Embassy office is just walking distance to Don Quijote, the 24-hour duty free shop, Ricky, Director Nini and myself took our side shopping before proceeding to Shabu Zen (also in Roppongi) for a dinner with IPS chairman/CEO, Mr. Koji Miyashita which was also attended by the labor attache, Welfare Oficer, former Bacolod congressman John Orola, Jr., two IPS executives Masako Uemori and Alex Aquino, KCP International Japanese Language School president Takusuke Kinoshita and two two officials of the school, Kyung Ja Kang (vice president) and Tomohisa Tanak (on-site program director) also joined the dinner with Richard Jewel, Ricky and Director Nini as the honorees.

But Richard and Jewel failed to attend the dinner (intended for them by their host) because their handler/companion Carol Reyes of GMA favored another person to treat them to dinner. Mr. Miyashita wondered why Richard and Jewel did not make it to the dinner which he hosted last Monday (March 24) night. We simply made an alibi that they (Richard, Jewel plus two companions) got stuck in Tokyo Disneyland.

We don’t know if Carol was aware that IPS is the business partner of GMA International in Japan. IPS being the broadcast carrier in Japan of GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, Fox Channel plus two GMA radio stations, DZBB and Barangay LS-FM.

From day one, we were personally coordinating with Chuck Silva (of GMA International) and we did not encounter any problem. Since Chuck returned to Manila a day earlier (March 24), we decided to coordinate directly with Carol. In the morning, we rang her up to inform her that an IPS staff (George) will be accompanying them to Disneyland using Mr. Miyashita’s car.

“May magdadala na sa amin sa Disneyland,” she curtly said.

Although we got surprised, we kept our cool and told her that they should be back in the hotel by 7 p.m. in time for the dinner hosted by Mr. Miyashita.

“May dinner si Chard (Richard),” she cut me. “Di ba, free day naman namin ngayon?”

All the more that we got disappointed. Not much for me but for Mr. Miyashita who flew back to Tokyo from Osaka at 5 p.m. that day just to join us for dinner.

We were about to blow our top but we managed to remain calm. “Paano bukas? May magdadala ba sa inyo sa airport?” we asked her.

“Yan ang wala. Sabi ni Chuck, ikaw na ang bahala dahil kasama ka naman namin,” she told me and we hang up with anger.

Since Chuck Silva was back in Manila that day, we decided to call him and told him the incident.

“Tita, I’ll get in touch with them and get back to you ASAP,” Chuck assured us.

When Chuck finally got hold of Carol, the latter insisted that they already had a commitment for dinner.

On our way to Narita Airport last Tuesday morning, Richard, Jewel, Ricky and I were in the same car. We found out from Richard that it was not him who committed the dinner a night earlier but Carol who acted as though she was the star and not Richard or Jewel.

Since we represented the host company (IPS) and we headed the entourage, we were expecting a little courtesy from Carol which, sad to say, did not happen.

Ricky and Director Nini knew what was happening from day one but it was Ricky who took up the cudgels for me and confronted Carol (on the phone).

We wrote this not only to teach Carol a lesson but for GMA management to look into this matter. If she was able to pull this through in Japan, she can repeat the same offense elsewhere. She should realize that good PR is very important anywhere she goes. Her rudeness with people will only backfire at her and the image of the company (GMA) and the artist (Richard) that she represents.

Whatever position you have, keep your feet planted on the ground and be humble. [source of news]



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