TAB 191002 Ashley1-1570024613645
Image Credit:

When the call came to ‘star’ as an extra in a Filipino series to be set in Dubai, I must admit I had visions of acceptance speeches and walk of fame unveilings all mapped out.

The reality — a less than five-second, back to camera, handshake with Geoff Eigermann before walking towards a building site — was far from what I had in mind.

In fact, it took longer for me and my esteemed colleague, Gulf News Deputy Sports Editor Matt Smith, to sign a waiver — presumably to surrender our image rights (we don’t know... we didn’t read, we were too excited) — than it did for the clapperboard to signal ‘action’ and ‘cut’ in our one and only scene.

We’d both waited the best part of the morning for this moment and were devastated to have our dreams of stardom ended so abruptly.

By way of thanks, director Dado Lumibao insisted on a head-bowed, warm, two-handed handshake to soften the blow of this unenviable acting debut, while Geoff had to kindness to say, “wow, so are you guys real actors then? You’re really good!”

“No Geoff, we’re just journalists,” we explained “And now we have to go back to work.”

Back then, we only knew the production by its working title of ‘Shukran Kabayan’ but now the irony of it being called ‘Hinahanap Hanap Kita’ (‘Always Looking For You’) is not lost on us because our families will spend the best part of the series always looking for us in roles that we had each sold to them as the start of something big in our careers. In fact, if our names even make the credit roll as ‘building site manager one and building site manager two’ it might last longer on screen than our actual appearance.

Don’t miss it!

‘Hinahanap-hanap Kita’ will stream on TFC TV from October 5.