OF the countless risks which can cause heart attacks—alcohol, tobacco,cheeseburgers, and relatives—none can prove more potent, and perhaps even more devastating, than entertainment news.
You got that right: celebrity gossip can kill you, especially if taken in large, unregulated amounts.
Compared to arteries clogged by bad cholesterol, liver damage wrought by beer, and lung cancer brought about by smoking, none can make your ticker go into cardiac arrest faster than a juicy sex scandal involving a starlet.
And if the piece of information includes graphic evidence accessible online, the news—and the vicarious thrills it brings to males such as myself—is likely to cause anyone to kick the bucket.
This explains why like all pleasures in life, I take Chika Minute in moderation. And thrice or so a day at GMA’s 24 Oras seems the perfect dosage.
Unlike regular males of my age (old), income (low), and temperament (grumpy), I remain genetically predisposed to having a heart attack.
Various doctors have warned me that I am at risk for a seizure because my paternal grandfather died of it before he turned forty (which, in hindsight, was good because Delfin Sr. never had to endure an intransigent grandson, let alone contend with a stubborn son).
Despite going to the gym twice weekly and cutting down on my food consumption, I always try to keep excitement at bay.
For instance, before logging onto Philippine Entertainment Portal (http://www.pep.ph) or tuning into GMA Network, I take a deep breath, preparing myself for the best—and the worst—the colorful world of showbusiness has to offer.
If the day’s events are unusually rife with controversy, with accusations and counter-accusations filling the airwaves, I make an effort to hang out at the water dispenser to drink my fill of the soothing liquid.
But sometimes, in the face of great adversity, cold water and deep breaths remain ineffective to combat tension.
Take the showbiz highlight of last Friday.
During the early evening of that day, the Philippines’ leading broadcast network said that it already had signed up Heart Evangelista, allowing her to join the company’s stable of artists.
There I was, beating a deadline for the Philippines’ leading news website—GMANews.TV, what else?—when a picture of Heart Evangelista
flashed on the office’s TV screen and a voice-over announced to one and all that she was a newly-minted member of the Kapuso network.
When I heard this news, I nearly fell off my chair and almost suffered a minor stroke.
Fortunately, the water dispenser was just a few meters away from my desk, enabling me to get a refill of cold water—the calming effects of which I so desperately needed.
For more than five years, I had kept track of Heart’s career, ever since I saw her face in an ad for a cellphone company. And years later, when she did that soap commercial in which she bared more skin than usual, I was smitten. I still am.
Since Ms. Evangelista is a Kapuso like myself, I am now looking forward to seeing her around in the GMA Network Center. And by that time, I hope that I would no longer need a cold glass of water.
Photo taken from Heart Evangelista’s friendster account, discovered through the wonders of Google.