When a local television celebrity calls to ask if they can film a segment of their show in your new restaurant (even though it is your opening day and there are two eyeballs already planned), do you say no?
Of course not. You find a way to somehow squeeze them in… So when GMA Network folks called on Friday afternoon, the day before the two Saturday eyeballs at lunch and dinner, we graciously agreed to a mid-afternoon appointment. I figured if we were going to be crazy and do two events, we might as well be insane and do three events in one 12 hour span of time. INSANE is right.
But oddly, I really liked the premise. The show is “Day Off” and the idea is that they give a worker a day off from work while one of the show’s hosts does his or her job. Then the worker who has the day off gets to do whatever he pleases (within reason, of course) and in this case, I think he asked to eat lechon. So GMA flew the guy to Cebu, toured him around the sites and as one of the stops on his day off, they treated him to a meal at Zubuchon. Cool, huh? I don’t watch much television so I honestly hadn’t heard of this program before, but the crew were giddy with excitement and wanted to know which of the two famous co-hosts would show up. Imagine their delight when both co-hosts showed up! :)
So in walks in Carmina Villaroel and sidekick Pekto and the cameras are rolling (three hours late as the flights that morning were affected by bad weather in Manila). I won’t pre-empt the show, so you’ll have to watch it if you want more details…
But I will tell you one of the off-camera moments that had everyone is shock, awe and pleasant amazement. Ms. Villaroel is apparently a vegetarian, or at least avoids pork, beef, etc. and has done so for many years now. We had adjusted for this by sending out vegetarian or near vegetarian dishes to complement the lechon roasted specially for the occasion. But once the filming was done and crew were tucking into the food, Pekto and others kept goading Carmina to taste the lechon, a thing they apparently subject her too whenever there is meat around. With taunts that if she was going to ever break her resolve, now was the time, with this crispy skin, Carmina surprised everyone and had two tastes or bites of skin, with vinegar!
The GMA crew couldn’t believe it, we couldn’t believe it, and this snapshot of Pekto brandishing a wicked grin of “victory” says it all. After all those years, we are honored Ms. Villaroel chose our lechon to taste… and she said it tasted great, and after all those years, she still can recall the taste of meat done well… But let me make this clear, she had just two teeny tiny bites of the skin. :) And a huge thank you to the GMA crew for such a professional and rapid as possible shoot and visit. And for gamely posing for snapshots with many of the crew for whom this was a real “kilig” moment, I am told. Imagine, it was the first official day at work and Carmina and Pekto came to visit?! :)
The segment shot at Zubuchon is apparently coming out this Saturday, 9 July 2011 at 6:10pm: (NOTE: REVISED AIR DATE, program was split into two episodes, so ZUBUCHON BIT AIRS ON SATURDAY, 16 July 2011 at 6:10pm — THANKS!)
GMA News TV
(different channels depending on your cable carrier or location abroad)
Please DO NOT laugh if they air any of the seconds long interview they did with Marketman, it was atrocious and I won’t mind it if they cut it out completely. :)
P.S. My camera officially died during this visit. So several of these photos were taken by AT, on his camera. Last photo by EE. Thanks.