Sleepless in showbiz

I am, perhaps, one of the most low-tech persons I know inside showbiz. By that, I mean I can survive on the same phone for years on end, I will use it even if it is chipped, the numbers on the keypad are faded, until it has all but literally fallen apart on me. Until I really have to change it, I won’t. If and when I do change it, it is an act of will to  not get the same model even if there are newer and supposedly better ones available out there.

That’s me: a creature of habit. I just know I want a Nokia because it is always easy to use, whether it is an “N” something or an “E” something, I really will not be able to remember, much less tell the difference. As long as I can make and take calls, text, receive and store messages, I’m good. The added features don’t really matter much to me. Oh, a provision for a lanyard is a must — I wear it around my neck as much as I should because I do not want to keep on searching the black hole that is my bag. It is just so much easier when it dangles on my neck.

Anyway, when people ask what my phone model is, I always have to check my unit; I know I will find the answer on the upper left hand corner. But after that I promptly forget again, I have to check all the time. I just checked my unit now, after typing the previous sentence.  I have an N82, a phone I am very happy with, given to me by Kris earlier this year. I suspect she could no longer stand how my old unit looked. It was used, overused and abused for two years running. Maybe God decided I really needed a new phone. Thank you, Kris! I really am very happy with this one.

I remember once when Juliana was barely two years old; she got my mobile phone and used it to stir a glass of strawberry milk she was drinking. I don’t know how long it was swimming in pink, but as soon as I discovered the comedy I took the poor thing apart, dried it as best as I could and went on using it. It survived another six to eight months but every time I would text, swirly traces of strawberry milk would wiggle from the sides of the screen. It was wretched, but I loved that phone, whatever N-something it was.

The mobile phone is, I think, the single most-beloved gadget of modern times, and for very functional reasons at that. Most of us (this low-tech writer included!) are quick to acknowledge how much easier life has gotten because of it (generally speaking, because there are cons, too, but that is another story altogether) and we cannot even comprehend how we were able to keep our heads above the water without it. Well, put it this way: you never crave for ice cream if you’ve never tasted it. Back then, we did not have a choice (we at least had the ancient joy of telebabad on the landline!), but now we do.

A random roundup of showbiz celebrities and their favorite gadgets affirmed that. They all said their phones were a given, absolutely necessary in the line of both duty and pleasure. Equally necessary and popular among them is a Mac, whether it is a PowerBook, a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air. IPods and I-everythings followed almost in the next breath. Apple fever is here to stay.

I asked the stars what their favorite gadgets were (to bring to shoots and tapings) and/or what they tinker with when they cannot sleep at night. Here are their answers (via SMS, of course, and in order of when they came in):

Ogie Alcasid: The best gadget to tinker with is a MacBook Pro. I play poker online and I answer e-mails with a Nokia E90.

Kris Aquino: I play Gem Shop on my MacBook Pro or watch Sling Box, Food Network or Fine Living to relax while waiting for setups.  To sleep I play spa music (“Banyan Tree” or “Sounds of Spa”) on the Apple hi-fi dock for the iPod. I am not a techie but I am enjoying my Nokia E90.  I can check e-mail and I really like big phones.

Carmina Villaroel: I always bring my laptop with me, so I either watch movies or TV series that have been downloaded already, like Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers and Sisters, Desperate Housewives. I also play games, fix pictures in my iPhoto or listen to music. I organize them every now and then. I also surf the Net, check my mail and Facebook account. That is my pampatulog. Zoren is a super techie person. He has a MacBook Pro 17 and a Mac Pro with two screens. He edits and does special effects. His mobile phone is HTC Titan 2. For work he brings his laptop plus a charger so that even if he is stuck in traffic he will not get bored.

Nadia Montenegro: Definitely my cellphone because I get messages 24/7. And I am addicted to computer games. It helps keep me busy during long waits.

Janice de Belen: My Mac computer. I watch DVDs and play games and do lots of stuff on it.

Dominic Ochoa: During shoots, I hardly bring gadgets. I do bring my iPod, though, just in case, and I surf the Net with my Nokia E90. Now let’s go to the literally sleepless nights: my PSP and MacBook are beside my bed; they don’t always help, though!

Iya Villania: I get on my laptop and/or listen to my iPod till I fall asleep. Drew (Arellano) tinkers with his PowerBook.

Wilma Doesnt: Konting chika pikit mata tulog! But because I’m sosyal, yes, I use my iPod!

Claudine Barrettto: I just learned to use the computer two months ago and I am not much of a techie person but I love to read books. I read the Bible in the car on the way to my location. During breaktime, I have at least three books to choose from or I also have my iTouch so I can watch some videos and listen to music to prepare me for my heavy scenes.

Benjie Paras: My cellphone, iPod Touch, and my wife got me into reading books like those by Paulo Coelho and Mitch Albom.

Ruffa Mae Quinto: My iPod, laptop, cellphone, DVD player.

Jomari Yllana: I always bring my iPod DVD player. It’s very handy and is the perfect gadget for me between breaks. We actors are paid to wait long hours. It helps me go to sleep, too.

Raymart  Santiago: I always check my e-mail at night, watch DVDs, then read my Bible before I go to sleep. I use a Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS watch with heart rate monitor when I train for races and the triathlon.

Ruffa Gutierrez: I tinker with my iPhone, iPod video and MacBook Air!

Giselle Sanchez: I bring my small Mac and write my blogs that are published in www.pep.com.ph where I have a celebrity blog entitled G-Spot. Writing, for me, is a better use of my time compared to playing with PSPs and Wii. In writing I can entertain and inspire.

Miriam Quiambao: I bring along my computer almost every day in case I need to check ea-mail or write documents. My cellphone and iPod are not far behind.

Pops Fernandez: That would have to be my laptop. It is my security blanket. I get to watch DVDs with it, organize my photos, edit my home videos, Photoshop pictures, check my mail, chat with friends. After doing all that, wouldn’t you want to sleep?

Martin Nievera: I am not much of a gadget guy, so low-tech I am. But if I am not on my MacBook, I am most definitely texting. I am a textaholic.

Karylle: I have my iPhone, of course, laptop, iPod. Before I sleep I used to always go online but now I try not to so I can sleep faster.

Gelli de Belen-Rivera: I watch DVDs (C.S.I., Chuck, Koreanovelas, Grey’s Anatomy). I surf on the Net, play computer search games, read a book or watch TV.

Carmi Martin: I always bring interesting books to read during a shoot or before I sleep at night. I also have a mini DVD/TV player that I always bring.

Dingdong Dantes: There is only one gadget I have with me wherever I go: a cellular phone. I am not much of a techie so I like the basics all combined in one unit. It has to be dual SIM, with an organizer, and able to hold a thousand contacts. I carry this to bed even when I am about to sleep, but by then it already has its competitor — the remote control of the TV. That is the last thing I get to hold before I close my eyes. Most of the time I even forget it has a sleep mode feature.

Zsa Zsa Padilla: My favorite gadget is my MacBook Pro. When I can’t sleep at night I stay online and surf. I also stumble, which is one of the features of Firefox. I also update my account and keep in touch with friends at Multiply. During tapings, I watch DVDs. I also like Photoshop and I write my articles for PEP on my Microsoft Word program. I also read books and magazines between takes. And I can’t live without my Nokia phones. I also love taking pictures with my Canon cameras. I have two — an Ixus and an EO5.

Richard Gomez: Suunto Core Watch. It has a timer, a compass, a barometer to inform you about the weather condition, an altimeter to tell you the height of your elevation, and it also has a depth meter. In short, it is an adventure watch. I use a Polar Heart Rate Monitor to measure my heart rate when doing physical activities. Athletes use it for strength training and conditioning and it makes you aware of the limits of your cardiovascular system. I always carry a Canon G4 Point and Shoot Camera with professional features; you can shoot pictures using Raw Files or even shoot at up to 12 megapixels. For printing I use a Canon Pixma 9500 Pro — I have tried a lot of ink jet printers but this one makes everything else pale in comparison. It prints superior exhibition-quality black and white photographs. I also have my reliable MacBook Pro: I can do everything there — store pictures, manipulate them, write and file important documents. When I go fishing I bring a Fishfinder. It locates fish underwater by providing you with electronic imaging of where the fish are, how deep they are, and even how many they are. An ultrasound massager comes in very handy after strenuous physical activities when muscles are especially hard and tight. A GPS is necessary for tracking and marking locations.

Cristine Reyes: My favorite gadget would be my iPod, I love music. When I am waiting during shoots I either read scripts or I sleep. And then when I am home I love to watch movies while munching on spicy food with milk!

Regine Tolentino: When it comes to techie stuff, I love fixing Fotobooks on my Mac laptop, watching movies on my iPod classic, and practicing photography with my Nikon D80 camera. Oh yeah, I still love to play Tetris on my old Gameboy when I am bored. But I am more of a write-it-down kind of person so I always write in my organizer.

Sherilyn Reyes: My laptop. I surf the Internet or play games such as Tumblebugs, Diner Dash. I also play Lines in my Treo when at work and waiting.

Sunshine Cruz: I usually tinker with my MacBook Pro and my iPod touch before I go to sleep.

Angel Locsin: Kapag nasa taping ako ang mga gadgets na usually dala ko is my laptop (pang DVDs pag medyo matagal ang tangga, games para pag bored or para buong grupo, or pag may WiFi, shopping. Syempre my cell phone for obvious reasons. My iPod tulong rin sa pag motivate or paggising sa akin.

Maricel Laxa: My favorite gadget is my PowerBook, which Anthony gave me for Christmas. I tinker with that and my Palm Treo when on shoots or waiting in line. I hardly have sleepless nights as my body naturally dozes off when it lands on any comfortable surface. Nevertheless, during the rare occasions when I can’t sleep I either make lambing to my husband or kids for a massage, de-clutter my things, read a book, pray, listen to classical or inspirational CDs or do my deep-breathing exercises and soon I find myself in dreamland.

Dawn Zulueta: During my waiting time I’m on my Mac arranging and organizing my files and documents. I work on updating my iTunes, Christmas lists or photo gallery. When I can’t sleep I google different sites on topics of interest.

Whew! My husband is definitely a gadget guy, he has enough for both of us. Because of him I was converted from PC to Mac. And I am really in love with my MacBook Pro, one of the three gifts he gave me for my birthday last year. He got me my own because I was forever squatting on his and his desktop was messy with all my files.

I have a forever love affair with books but for some reason I prefer audio books when it comes to devotionals. It picks me up when I am going through some kink in any given day; that’s why I always carry it in my bag. Kris gave me an iPod last year already loaded with spiritually nourishing fare — Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Dodi Osteen and a host of others. When I walk, I also wear my Suunto, with the cute hot-pink rubber strap, because it has a heart rate monitor. Occasionally I play Juliana’s DS — I am very entertained by the game Cooking Mama — but the one unassuming gadget I am also very thankful for is a Waterpik, given by Ben Chan. Richard and I love it because it really makes the teeth squeaky-clean! We use it every day; it is like flossing but 10 times more effective.

For that part of me that thrives on arts and crafts and the handmade gifts, the Canon Selphy is invaluable: with it, I get to print pictures and turn them into bookmarks, artwork, mini books, highly personal scrapbooks. They make such nice gifts. When I’m not sleepy yet I sit on my desk and set out to do all these little projects but the problem is I get so absorbed in the activity I almost never get sleepy anymore! I just panic when I see the sun come up. I also carry a point-and-shoot camera, the Canon G9, in my bag.

Other stars threw more gadgets into the mix, ranging from the Sony Wii, electric toothbrushes, booklights, portable massagers, portable coffee grinders, coffee makers and timers for good coffee on the go… the list goes on. The stars, no matter where they are, can always choose to be comfortable and make productive use of the time they have in their hands.

With all the gadgets available out there, it is no wonder that being sleepless in showbiz is not such a bad thing anymore, really. Not at all.

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