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I was practically at sixes and sevens along the way to arriving at eight in the evening on March 30 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum: to witness the Binibining Pilipinas 2014 Coronation Night. I was in Antipolo, Rizal, visiting Our
Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Shrine, dashing off a write-up with my predictions, printing out and laminating a published blog post or two, and trying to catch a Cubao-bound van—when my friend Ryan Quimpo, who works at ABS-CBN, called inviting me to the studio where he promised to help me with a photo opportunity at Buzz Ng Bayan with Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler as well as with the Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart, before everyone else at the pageant later could.

Unbeknownst to us and you, Gabriela’s segment was already pretaped. But despite that, I couldn’t complain, because aside from the fact that I was bound for a more glorious photo op at the Big Dome anyway, Ryan gave me a tour of his workplace, the country’s largest media and entertainment company. I admit that I’m not really fond of television—unless I’m watching pageants or Regine Velasquez (who’s from a different network)—but I considered it a treat that I got to peep through Buzz Ng Bayan live inside the studio and also the empty It’s Showtime studio. I was hoping to bump into my crush, news reporter Atom Araullo, but I was told that he’s usually in the field. My favorite part of the tour was my moment of silence in the chapel: I thanked God for another Binibining Pilipinas experience later, and also for true friends like Ryan Quimpo who walked the extra mile from his usual Sunday afternoon activity just to entertain this naive friend of his from Cebu.

Our friendship started when an administrator of a pageant group on Facebook plagiarized my blog post on Binibining Pilipinas Tourism 2013 Cindy Miranda, who was competing at Miss Tourism Queen International 2013 in China. Ryan called it up in his comment, shedding light on my right as the author. I was very touched by his concern, considering that he hardly knew me at all. He just chanced upon my post, I befriended him on Facebook, and now we’re good friends.

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