When in Roam…

By Ma. Isabel Lopez

Cannes is lovelier the second time around!

Pre- Cannes. Seven (7) days of juice detox, thanks to Sexy Detox.

Albert Andrada took my measurements and I gave him specific instructions…

1.Make the measurements 1/4 to 1/2 inch smaller.I am still going to lose weight…
2.Make it simple! remember you’re designing a gown for a junior citizen…
3. Don’t make the train so long because I don’t want to have a hard time walking…
4.I’m not wearing any of those platform shoes, and focus on being careful while going up and down the stairs…and
5.Make it simple because unlike in Kinatay, I’m not the lead actress here. I’m just doing a cameo role in the film Ma’Rosa.

When I fitted the gown, I was worried I thought it was too much!  The train was three times longer than Miss Universe (2015) Pia Wurzbach’s winning blue gown. The plunging neckline was three (3) times lower than hers. OMG! Didn’t Albert Andrada consider my breast was not the same when (for the benefit of the Andy Eigenmann generation), I was the reigning ECP Queen and the hottest female bold star of the 80s!

Albert Andrada googled the 62nd Cannes Film festival and saw me on the red carpet. FYI, that time I was on the worst dressed list! My only consolation was that I was next to Paris Hilton… ha!ha!ha! And the paparazzis noticed it. In fairness to the Chicago based Filam designer who created my red gown, Victor Miller, the bloody red gown was inspired by the theme of the movie Kinatay where I was chopped to pieces.

In another online article entitled “Maria Isabel Lopez wore only one pair of shoes at the Cannes,” it showed me wearing different outfits for the photo call, for the press conference, for the red carpet, for the French television guesting, etc. (for Kinatay), but I only used one pair of shoes that I bought on sale at Celine for P500.00. The world-class fashion designer assured me that I will not be on the worst dressed list anymore.

At the photo call, my director, Brilliante, advised us that we have to either wear black or white. I wish they told me that before I left Manila! No choice but  the only black I have is a $25 Forever 21. Oh welI…I have to put it in mind that I’m not the lead actress here. I’m just doing a cameo role. The spotlight is not on me. It’s the director Brillante Mendoza and Jaclyn Jose in the title role of Ma’Rosa.

On board the official Cannes festival car, there was protocol.  I am supposed to ride with Ruby in car number 5. I got an upgrade to ride with actress Andi Eigenmann in car number 3. The usual selfies.

When we got off the car, yells and screams from international fans, media, onlookers and guests. I positioned myself on the right side as I don’t want to steal the limelight from Brillante and Jaclyn,  as  they were being interviewed by the French tv. (Been there, done that in 2009).

In the choreography, I didn’t take center stage. I was positioned on the extreme right with new actor John Paul Duray.

Prior to heading up the stairs, my very expensive Albert Andrada creation is being stepped upon. You can see in the photo that went viral that I was not pleased, so I need to keep pushing my tail near me.

That’s the reason for the “space” that I created between me and the rest of the actors. As they say inside the Paris metro “please mind the gap.” My gown  was being stepped upon and if you can only see how dirty it is on the tail.

I was not trying to make a scene. I was simply protecting myself from falling down and from making the gown dirty.

The walk, the smile, the projection, the wave, was exactly the same moves in the 2009 red carpet of the 62nd Cannes film Festival. The same make up done by me, the same hairstyle. The same old me…only in a different gown, in a different time when the Philippines is now the social media capital of the world.

Ma’Rosa screening had a standing ovation. And my two minute exposure in the film made its mark and created the laughs inside the biggest cinema in Europe, The Lumiere, with the capacity of 2000 people! My congratulations to Brillante Mendoza and to the lead actress Jaclyn Jose. I told her, “get a grand slam for Best Actress in all award  giving bodies for 2017! ”

After the red carpet exit, I saw my boyfriend who accompanied me to this festival, pulled away and not allowed to join the entourage  and was brought outside the red carpet behind the gates. In my green flowing down with all its elegance and my queenly aura, I argued and yelled with the French security guard in my typical palengkera way. ” Hey, you! he’s my boyfriend and he is coming with us ! Let him in and let him go through the gates.” And he’s riding the official Cannes car with us!

Actress Evelyn Vargas commented, “Isabel, I cannot do what you just did. If this happened to me I will just bow down my head and keep quiet!”

I told her, “At this point in my life and with what I have been through, I will speak my mind and act what I feel. I don’t need anyone’s approval because I already love and approved of myself. He’s my significant other.  He’s very supportive and the one who made it possible for me to come here to Cannes. Events, they come and go! But at the end of the day, it’s still me with him and my God. ”

Then, Jaclyn Jose with Ruby Ruiz and I went to Brillante’s room at Hotel Gray D’Albion. Actor Jomari Angeles said, “You’re on Instagram in @redcarpet_fashion award and I was pleased because at least we were noticed. Then the text messages kept coming in. Then the private messages on Facebook. The links on my wall, and the memes and hashtags #BeLikeMaria. For the first time in the history of my Instagram, I created huge following…by the tens and hundreds and more. I was viral and trending. This is overwhelming! And i’m humbled by this experience.

I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to my director Brillante Mendoza and the lead actress Jaclyn Jose that there was no intention on my part to be a scene stealer and take the spotlight away from them. It was just being me.

And once again, to all the netizens out there who posted, retweeted, followed, and even criticized me, I say “I love you all!”

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