If you’re following me on Twitter, you’re either sick of my back-to-back fangirling tweets or confused as to why I’m too attracted to Master Chef finalist Ivory Yat instead of, say, the yummy judge Chef Jayps Anglo. Well, I’m crushing on the latter, too, but I just can’t explain why I’m so drawn to the former. In my recollection of our quick meet-and-greet here, I blamed it on her passion for pasta and plating and playful energies. After I’ve met her, I was more convinced that she’s the ultimate role model for us Pinay curvies – she’s confident, determined, beautiful, passionate, comical, healthy and…and I can go on all day!
When our communication team announced that they’re giving away tickets for the live cook-off, I made sure to send a carefully-composed reason for rooting for Ivory even if it were not required. And urge my teammates to send their entries, too! I was praying hard that one of us would win so we can all watch this much-awaited event. So imagine my delight when I found out that three of us won! That’s 15 tickets all in all!
When we arrived in Sky Dome, I was amazed with the great number of supportive souls who showed up. Pink t-shirts, pink balloons, pink tarps, pink flowers, everything! And the festive sight didn’t end there; everybody exuded positive energies as if they were there to attend a victory party. I exchanged hellos with Ivory’s college friends and gym buddies in the queue and I find them very welcoming and fun to be with. In fact, I made a new friend out of Grace, Ivory’s patient’s daughter, and she confirmed that what we see onscreen is who Ivory is in real life. Makes me wanna see her in flowers and nursing scrubs!
Before the show started, I caught a glimpse of her outside the main door and I took photos of her and the rest of the finalists from afar. So did my friends. To my surprise, she called me amidst the noise to remind me of my promise on Twitter to show up in pink two-piece. My friend Fao was astounded that she knows me by name already. I’d say it’s one of Ivory’s best qualities as a celebrity, she makes it a point to know her fans.
The finale began with a touching recollection of the finalists’ journey in the kitchen, succeeded with the results revelation of the challenge held in Caliraya, Laguna. It’s the last battle among the Final 4, namely, Carla, Myra, Ivory and JR. Ivory had me (again!) at “Number one po ako!” to Chef Jayps. I recall crossing my fingers so tight moments before the judges announced the third runner up. Thankfully, Ivory made it! I even overheard one of Ivory’s fans say, “Hindi naman ako ganito ka-tense noong nag-board exams ako! Bakit ngayon, ganito ako?” while dabbing the corner of her made-up eyes. Truly, I felt my heart race as if I were the contestant myself!
For the live cook-off, Carla, JR and Ivory were supposed to prepare a Pinoy dish within 30 minutes. Carla opted to cook adobong tuna at kaning dilaw, JR intrigued us with his Bigorot dish and Ivory offered palabok finale. Those 30 minutes proved to be a torture as Carl and I unwittingly attended this cook-off with empty stomachs.
I remember how celebrity judge Kris Aquino complimented how oil-free this lumpia was. I was so intrigued how she managed to accomplish it. It looks super yummy, right?
Based on the celebrity and chef judges comments, I deduced Ivory will be the second runner-up. But I was still hoping she’d bag home the title. At this time, her thoughtful friends asked the others to pen down our messages for Ivory. When it was turn, I felt my heart melt with the sweet messages like “Manalo, matalo, ikaw pa rin ang the best!” I completely resonate with it! For me, she is already a winner!
And I was right, she was declared to be the second runner-up. But we can tell in Ivory’s smiles that she was very happy and assured that it’s the beginning of a new adventure. I’m convinced she’ll go far, too.
But the fangirling episode didn’t cease that day! I found her official fanpage AFTER the live cook-off. (Unbelievable, right?) So I grabbed some of the photos during her thanksgiving that day. And I’m beaming with great pride here.
As a plus size woman hungry for role models on the boob tube, I am grateful to have found someone like Ivory. She’s a refreshing example of beauty, confidence and determination. Her bottomless energy inspires me to reach out to more people and makes me want to be a better woman to the people surrounding me.
And I shall leave you with this cool fansign from Ivory. Now say “awww…”
* – photos from Carl
** – photos from Ivory’s fanpage
*** – photo from Jo
This entry is cross-posted on Extra Seksi!