Live na nagpa-interview ang young actress na si Maxine Eigenmann sa Showbiz Central kahapon, September 13, kaugnay ng trahedyang kinasangkutan nila ni Dennis Trillo sa Boracay noong September 9. Namatay sa naturang trahedya ang isa nilang kasama na si Jollybee "JB" Borbajo, malapit na kaibigan ni Dennis at road manager ng singer na si Gian Magdangal. (Click here to read related story).
Halatang emosyunal at apektado pa rin si Max (palayaw ni Maxine) habang ini-interview siya ni Pia Guanio dahil sa naganap na trahedya, kung saan nasaksihan niya ang buong pangyayari na ikinasawi ni JB.
"I can't really explain how I feel because at that time, I was in state of panic. And before the wave carried him to the other side of the shore, you know, alam na namin, e. Pero ako, parang tinatanong ko pa rin, isinisigaw ko pa rin, 'Okey pa ba siya? Okey pa ba siya?' Pero hindi na pala, e. I was completely shocked.
HAPPY TRIO SURFING THE WAVES. "I only met JB in this particular trip. And I only had two days to get to know him and he was wonderful. Ang saya-saya niyang kasama. Palagi siyang masaya. As in, sobrang palagi siyang masaya.
"Naalala ko pa, meron siyang binaong binake na parang brownies. Kasi, he bakes, e. Binigyan pa niya 'ko. Naalala ko, naglalakad kami sa beach, tapos nadala pa niya yung plato. Tapos sabi ko, 'Ayaw mo bang iwan yung plato sa resort?' Tapos, tumatawa lang kaming tatlo. Tapos the next day, we started to go swimming. So, noong nagsu-swimming kami, pumunta kami dun sa medyo malalim na area, sa harap ng resort kung saan kami nag-i-stay," lahad ni Max.
Tinanong ni Pia si Max kung ano ang ginagawa nila sa may rock formation na yun, kung saan napaka-wild ng waves sa Boracay that day.
"Actually, hindi naman namin plinano to go there," sabi niya. "It's more like nagpapakasaya kami sa waves. Kasi ang sarap-sarap, ang ganda-ganda talaga ng araw na yun. Overcast siya, hindi siya masyadong mainit. Sobrang windy! Ang ganda-ganda ng... it was a beautiful day. So, we just decided to go swimming.
"Parang nagba-body surf kami sa waves. So, parang kapag may dumaang malakas na alon, sumasama kami. Hindi namin na-realize na ang alon pala, hindi pala siya paharap ng beach front, it was going diagonal pala... Pero malayo talaga siya. Malayo pa kami, e. Tapos na-realize namin, 'Di ba, dun tayo galing?' And then, 'Okay lang 'yan. Ang sarap sa tubig. Sige, lakarin na lang natin pabalik mamaya.'"
Patuloy ni Max, "Tapos, noong napansin namin na papalapit na kami dun sa isang napakalaking rock formation, it looks like parang cliff or something, sabi ko, 'Tara, punta tayo dun.' Ako pa yung nagyaya. 'Tara, punta tayo dun, check natin kung puwede nating talunin, kasi ang sarap ng tubig.' Tara, tara, sige...'
"After a while, after swimming, medyo na-realize namin na nagsa-shallow na siya. Pero wala kami sa shore. We're maybe like 200 yards away from the shore. Pero nagsa-shallow na siya, kasi yung rock formations, naabutan na pala namin. And there was a cement road. So, I guess, apparently, it's not..."
It didn't look treacherous?
"Yes, I guess not, kasi there was a road and there was a staircase. So, hindi namin inisip na bawal pala dun," sabi ni Max.
So, anong nangyari, tumalon ba si JB? Nadulas, nahulog?
"Ang nangyari, naglakad kaming tatlo papunta dun sa staircase. Five feet down are all rocks, tapos tubig na. Siguro si JB, he climbed down the five feet and there was a flat surface na hindi siya masyadong mabato. Parang flat lang siya, na parang malaking bato na flat. Tapos, naupo lang siya dun. Tapos, kami ni Dennis, nakatayo kami dun sa may edge, sa may stairs. Tumitingin kami over kung saan kami puwedeng tumalon. Kasi, mukha talagang masarap talunin. Tapos, may dalawang fishermen na parang, 'Hindi, mabato diyan, mabato diyan!'" lahad ng dating Lipgloss cast member.
So, what happened? Was he brought to the waves?
"May humampas na wave, tapos nadala si JB kung 'asan siya. Nadala siya, very, very far. Siguro a hundred yards away from us. Tapos, sinasabi niya sa amin, 'Sunod kayo, ang sarap ng tubig!' Masaya pa. He was fine pa. And he used to be a swimmer, apparently, I only found out yesterday."
THE STRUGGLE OF JB AND DENNIS. Kailan nila nalaman ni Dennis that things were going bad?
"Because he [JB] was already shouting something na hindi na namin maintindihan," sagot ni Max. "Tapos yun pala, he was shouting, 'Tulong, tulong, help, help!' Tapos yung dalawang fishermen nga na medyo nakakita sa beginning of what was happening, may isang bumaba. Tapos, natulungan pa niya si JB towards us, e.
"Tapos bumaba pa si Dennis to that flat surface where JB was sitting. He stood there. Reached out his hand and then JB... I saw JB grab hold of Dennis's hands, and then, another wave crashed, and then pareho silang nalaglag.
"Tapos, napunta na naman sila dun sa gitna. And there was this small, parang across me, another rock formation, siguro, six feet away from me na patulis din, dun sila kumakapit, kasi hindi talaga sila makarating kung nasaan ako.
"Iniisip ko, 'Tatalon ba 'ko?' Kasi, wala na yung dalawang fishermen at that time. Umalis sila para humingi ng tulong. Tatalon ba 'ko? Kung tatalon ako, hindi ako makakahingi ng tulong. Kung tumalon ako, tatlo kaming kailangan tulungan. So, you know, what was going through my head was... I don't know... I was in the state of panic.
"They both got on the rock. And you know, it gave me a split second of relief and then, another wave crashed and then..."
"He didn't disappear, he floated up," paglilinaw ni Max. "And then, Dennis climbed up. He was bleeding. What feared me the most also because I saw the struggle that JB was going through. Even nung point na nakarating na siya sa amin at bago malaglag si Dennis, hirap na hirap na talaga siyang makahinga. Pero noong malaglag din si Dennis... I was so... Aside from being in a state of panic, I was also afraid that Dennis was going to die."
Dagdag niya, "But you know, at the end of it all, you know, we're still very thankful that we're still here."
Are there any regrets na hindi na lang sana sila pumunta sa rock formation, or what if she jumped in, would she have changed the result?
"Meron, meron din... Pero, iniisip ko lang talaga, ano kaya kung hindi na lang ako nagyaya, di ba?" sa puntong ito ay hindi na napigilang maluha ni Max.
"Pero alam ko naman na walang may kasalanan, e," patuloy niya. "It's an accident. It's just his time and you know that morning, he [JB] caught this bird. Ikinuwento lang sa akin ni Dennis that morning, may nahuli siyang maliit na ibon sa loob ng dagat. Nabuhay niya yung ibon. Tapos, parang sign na... mahirap intindihin, it's so unbelievable. Everything's been done. I'm still thankful, we're both thankful, we're okay."
How does she make sense of what happened?
"I can't. I can't... He [JB] was very young. He's only 25. He had... You know, I found out yesterday, kung kailan nag-uumpisa na mabuo yung mga pangarap niya... Pero, nasa Diyos yun, e. Hindi natin puwedeng i-question, di ba?" sabi ni Max.
JB'S FAMILY WAS ALL HEART. Nagpunta raw si Max sa unang gabi ng burol ni JB the night before, September 12. Tinanong siya ni Pia kung ano ang sinabi niya sa pamilya ni JB?
"'Pasensiya na po, I'm sorry...' Pero his family was very, very supportive. And they said na, 'Huwag kayong malungkot. Alam n'yo namang hindi n'yo kasalanan. Kung makita kayo ni JB na umiiyak ngayon, hindi niya magugustuhan 'yan. Gusto niya maging masaya tayong lahat.'
"You know, it gave me a sense of a better outlook on appreciating what you have. Yung living each day like it's your last. You know, it was Dennis's first time in Boracay. We just wanted to have fun, you know... Dinala lang siya [JB] ni Dennis kasi... We were there for an event, there was a sportsfest ng isang resort. Tapos ginest nila kami ni Dennis. Siya nag-judge, ako nag-host. Isinama lang niya si JB para kapag tapos na ang trabaho namin, may kasama siya.
"Tapos, sinasabi pa ni JB, ang saya-saya niya, sobrang saya niya. Ngayon lang daw siya nakaka-experience ng ganoon. So, at some point, it gives me a sense of relief that he was happy," saad ni Max.
SHARING GRIEF WITH DENNIS. Kinuha na rin ni Pia ang opportunity to ask Max kung ano ang meron sa kanila ni Dennis. Kahit sinasabi kasi nilang they were in Boracay for an event, hindi maiwasang may nagli-link sa kanila.
"Actually, yung Boracay trip lang talaga ang nagbigay sa amin ng opportunity for us to hang out. I met him maybe once or twice, and then through my brothers, my cousins. Di ba, magkakasama sila sa mga shows dati? Marami kaming common friends sa industry. Pero itong trip lang talaga na ito that we really get to know each other. Pero before this trip, all I knew is that his name is Dennis Trillo, ganun lang," paliwanag ni Max.
Si Maxine ay anak ng aktor na si Mark Gil, at kapatid niya sina Gabby Eigenmann at Sid Lucero.
Nilinaw ni Max na nagkataon lang talaga na pareho silang kinuha sa isang event.
"Hindi kami dumating pareho. Nauna pa ako sa kanya. Dumating siya the next day. At hindi ko rin alam na may parating pa palang isang guest na celebrity. Tinawagan lang ako ng manager ko [Ricky Gallardo] the night before, saying that pupunta si ganito, si ganyan. So, I said, at least nakilala ko na siya before. That's just about it," saad ni Max.
After this life-changing incident, how does she feel for Dennis?
"Well, I can't expect anybody to understand. But during the most crucial time or the hours after it happened, we just like to comfort each other. It's like, right now, aminado ako, it helps me kapag kinakausap ko siya. Kasi parang feeling ko, parang siya lang ang nakakaintindi.
"My family is there, everybody's there for me. I'm very appreciative of that. Pero iba pa rin kapag kausap ko yung taong na-experience yun. Pero hanggang dun lang 'yon," sabi ni Max.