Sunday, August 02, 2009

Oh, Nora!

I spent part of Saturday at the Historic Filipinotown Street Festival. With Cory's death, I wanted to see what the mood was. I ate halo-halo, an icy dessert, in a restaurant there. They had the TV on and the news was all about Cory's contributions to the country. (This included an interview with Hilary Clinton who seemed genuinely moved and shocked to hear of Cory's death.)

I must confess my mood lifted considerably when I saw who was going to be at the festival: Nora Aunor! For those of you who aren't familiar with her, she's a huge star in the Philippines. Read here.

Though I'd never witnessed any of her work, except maybe a CD here and there, I was familiar with her reputation as an icon in the Philippines. It's almost lore. She's almost someone you HAVE to have heard of if you want to lay claim to being Filipino.

Once she stepped out into the festival grounds, fans began to gather around her snapping photos.

She's a tiny woman, no taller than 5 feet. I joined in the photo taking. Fans were huddling around her and pushing me aside. I almost wanted to push back, then I realised the ones doing the pushing were other tiny Filipinas trying to get a glimpse of her.

She was not phased by all of the attention. She's a star afterall. I left feeling giddy, like I did one of the most Filipino things you could ever do: fawn over Nora.

Later that evening, I ran into some Filipino guys and told them that I saw Nora Aunor. They reminded me that poor Nora got in trouble with the law in Los Angeles a few years ago. She was alledgedly packing meth in her purse. Dirty details here. This only confirmed her superstar status. A star turns to drugs and tries to turn her life around? You only hear about that in the movies.

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