Heads turned as Melisa "Melai" Cantiveros entered the main ballroom of the New World Hotel in Makati City last night, May 6. The big winner of Pinoy Big Brother Double Up wore a metallic gray and pink cocktail dress designed by Bing Cristobal as she accepted her trophy for being one of the 10 Fun Fearless Females of Cosmopolitan magazine.
Bea Alonzo is also one of the recipients of the FFF Award, being hailed as the fave leading lady and movie drama princess. International singer Charice is recognized for bringing honor to Filipinos with her immense talent. The other recipients are: fashion designer Kate Torralba; pilot Jessica Cox who was born without arms; activist-artist Kiri Dalena whose films often tackle injustice and human rights violations in the country; Habitat for Humanity's Youth Ambassador Alex Eduque; VP for sales and marketing for Globe Asiatique Divine Lee; Maritess Mendoza who teaches the poor and the elderly in Nueva Ecija; and Joy Rojas, the first Southeast Asian and Filipina to run across the United States in a span of 120 days.
This marks the first time that Cosmopolitan-Philippines organized an awarding ceremony in honor of the women who have made a difference in their respective fields. All of the recipients are featured in the May 2010 issue of Cosmo, which is also the 13th anniversary issue of the magazine.
FEARLESSS...PERO TAKOT SA ASO. How does Melai feel to be chosen as one of the 10 fun fearless women?
"Over naman! Nasuwertihan lang, napadaan lang sa akin," says Melai jokingly. "Hindi ko nga alam, e, pang-mayaman pala itong Cosmo! Kaya sobrang pinaghandaan ko, nagsuot pa ko ng gown."
She quipped, "Sobrang happy ako kasi part ako ng Cosmopolitan...fearless talaga ako pero takot ako sa aso!"
Since Bea Alonzo is one of the women honored this year, how does Melai feel to be in the same league as the former Box-Office Queen?
"Sobrang happy rin...hindi ko akalain na kahanay ko si Ms. Bea Alonzo. Amazing ang feeling!" she replied.
In her opinion, why did Cosmo choose her to accept this award?
"Dahil sa PBB [Pinoy Big Brother Double Up] at si Direk Lauren [Dyogi, the business unit head of PBB]. Kung hindi dahil sa kanila, hindi ako makikilala sa buong mundo," said Melai.
ON HER RELATIONSHIP WITH SWEETYPIE. According to Melai, her boyfriend Jason Francisco even teased her about her award. "Noong una, parang hindi siya naniniwala pero ngayon naniniwala na siya. At sobrang proud siya sa akin."
The couple have been together for three months already. How do they show their jealousy for each other?
"Tahimik lang yun. Pag ako nagselos, sinasabi ko talaga. Pero pag siya, tahimik lang. Parang pinaparinggan lang ako, kaya natatakot ako."
Members of the press asked what gifts they have given each other and Melai candidly replied, "Seryoso naman kami [sa isa't isa]. Nagmamahalan naman kami... Ako ang ibinigay ko sa kanya, kuwintas na anti-sakit. Pinakamahal na binigay niya sa akin, isang kuwintas."
Melai and Jason are very open to the media about their relationship but they have learned to cope with the frenzy surrounding them. What if she suddenly becomes pregnant at this time?
"Hindi naman ganun si Sweetypie [her term of endearment for Jason]. Iniisip nga namin na hindi kami artista. Iniisip namin na normal na tao lang kami."
ON KISSING SCENE WITH SAM. The native of General Santos City is slated to star with Sam Milby, Maja Salvador, and Jason Francisco in an upcoming teleserye titled Impostor. It will air its pilot episode on May 17.
How was it like shooting a kissing scene with Sam Milby?
"Kinabahan ako pero nahiya nga ako kasi napaka-guwapo naman ni Sam Milby. Nailang ako at hindi ako talaga nakagalaw," said Melai.
What is the difference of Sam's lips with that of Jason's?
"Ang labi ni Sweetypie may buhok [referring to his facial hair]. Mas malambot ang labi ni Sam, pero si Sweetypie ang mas masarap ang labi. Kasi siyempre boyfriend mo kaya mai-inspire ka talaga."
FATHER'S HEALTH. It was previously reported that Melai's father was hospitalized recently. She narrated, "Okay naman siya ngayon. Ang finding kasi sa GenSan, operahan siya pero dito sa Manila, tableta lang daw ang katapat. Makipot kasi ang daanan ng pagkain so pinasukan ng parang camera."
The Big Winner of PBB Double Up is scheduled to move to her one-bedroom house in Binangonan next month. Aside from taping for Impostor, Melai is also busy taping for the TV show Kokey@Ako where she will act opposite Vhong Navarro and Toni Gonzaga.