I've watched the Oscars since I was a movie-crazy young girl living in the Philippines way back when Hollywood was just a dream destination.
One of my favorite I-can't-believe-I'm living-in-America moments was covering a pre-Oscars show in 2005 and actually walking the red carpet a couple of hours before the ceremony, thanks to my past Philippine News editor Lara Climaco who gave me that assignment.
In 2006, I also did an exclusive interview with Pia Clemente, the first Pinay Oscar nominee, in her limo ride to the event. You can watch that report here.
My favorite Oscar moments this year were seeing Once collect the Best Song honors, and catching a glimpse of Pinoy actor Dante Basco of Hook in a montage (that's him on the left in an old still photo).
If you haven't seen Once, see it now: It's my favorite 2007 movie, such a simple but hopeful movie with an amazing real-life backstory. I know that other Oscar fares such as No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood are excellent movies showing compelling stories about men, but Once has a heart and soul that you'd like to remember long after the credits rolled. Its stars Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard turn in naturalistic performances. At the Oscars, Marketa's acceptance speech about keeping your dream no matter the odds says it all.
Speaking of movies, before the Oscar telecast, I caught one on DVD called Fierce People, which featured Tagalog dialogue. It's an indie movie starring Diane Lane. It starts out charming then makes a dark and disturbing turn towards the end. The Tagalog dialogue came via a native tribe shaman. If you watch it, when you hear the familiar Tagalog words, tell me if you're elated that the language is featured in a Hollywood movie, or disappointed because it portrays Tagalog-speaking people as savages.
[photo: Dante Basco, USCU Colorado]