Meet the Melai of Big Brother’s House

Is Melai for real? Or is she a big put-on?

Melai is the endearing monicker of Melisa (with a single ‘s’) Cantiveros who emerged the Big Winner after more than 131 days inside the PBB (Pinoy Big Brother) House with no phones (“cel” or landline) and no radio or TV, no contact at all with the outside world, together with initially more than a dozen housemates (winnowed down from more than a thousand aspirants from around the country).

The kinky-haired kababayan of Manny Pacquiao from GenSan will turn 22 on April 6 (Aries). She’s P1-M richer, the prize she won along with a house and lot in Cainta, Rizal, and a new boyfriend, housemate Jason Francisco (together they are called Melason), who wooed and won her inside the Big House. He calls her Isay (“As in kumikisay-kisay,” said Melai) and she calls him Sweetie Pie.

Some people find her “annoying” because of her rapid-fire way of talking and her unrestrained attitude and brutal frankness and honesty, oftentimes unmindful and uncaring about what she said or did even if she and the other housemates were constantly reminded that there were cameras around, watching them 24/7.

Yes, Melai’s loquaciousness is natural and, no, her “rapid-fire-ness” is not a put-on. She does speak that way, so fast as if she’s forever being chased by an invisible zombie that you have to catch up with her to digest every word in every phrase in every sentence that tumbles out of her mouth, punctuated with her favorite expressions, “over-over!” and “everything-everything!”

The events these past four months leading to the grand finals at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium last Feb. 13 have been, that’s it, “over-over” and “everything-everything” for the Mindanao State University (MSU) B.S. Education senior whose ambition to be an English teacher might have to give way to a career in showbiz.

ABS-CBN, producer of PBB, let Melai visit her folks in GenSan after her big win, but only for a day.

Upon the invitation of ABS-CBN PR man Kane Choa, Funfare was able to enter the Big House (usually off-limits to outsiders) for exclusive one-on-ones with Melai and the second placer, Cebu’s Paul Jake Castillo (watch for a “body talk” with him soon).

What happened during your homecoming?

“I was sad and happy. Sad because I was able to talk to my family for only 30 minutes and happy because nakauwi ako after more than four months. I missed my friends, ang bonding-bonding namin sa mall at sa oval. Many things have changed. Ang dami nang tindahan sa harap ng house namin! Mga tiangge-tiangge. Everything-everything! Na-miss ko ang bonding-bonding namin ng mga uncle ko, ang inuman namin.”

Malakas ka ba uminom?

“Not really. Beer lang.”

Siguro your townmates were very happy. You left GenSan an unknown and you went back na sikat ka na.

“Dati-dati, nobody bothered with me when I strolled at the mall. Now, nagpuntahan sila lahat doon to see me. I told them, ‘Uy, sure ba kayo? Baka next week, matauhan kayo ha!’ Hindi ako makapaniwala na ganoon sila ka-everything-everything sa akin, sa amin ni Sweetie Pie.”

Is it your first time here in Manila?

“Yeah, first time. Maliligaw ako paglabas ko dito sa PBB. Over-over talaga!”

During the presscon, you admitted na naka-pito ka ng boyfriend. How old were you when you started having a boyfriend?

“Four years ago when I was 17.”

You said pa that you lost “it” when you were 18. Bakit mo sinabi ‘yon?

“Because they told me to be honest; huwag daw ako magsinungaling.”

Nabigla ka ba n’ung ibinigay mo “’yon”?

“’Yung everything and everything? No naman. I planned it. Pabagsak na ‘yung relationship namin, so ibinigay ko ‘yon to save the relationship. Siya ‘yung pang-seventh. We went steady for two years. It happened nang second year na kami. I’m one year older than him. May work na siya.”

Didn’t he like you to join PBB?

“Gusto naman niya. We broke up inside PBB. Big Brother spent for everything-everything so he could come to Manila and enter the big house. Doon kami nag-break. It was only on PBB that my parents learned na may boyfriend na pala ako for three years.”

He might reconcile with you now that you came out the winner.

“Our friends nga in GenSan were telling him, ‘Ang tanga-tanga mo naman. Bakit mo pinakawalan si Melai?’ Kaya ngayon, hindi siya matahimik sa buhay niya. My taste has changed. Dati gusto ko ng biko; ngayon ang gusto ko mango float na. Parang ganoon.”

So now you don’t have a boyfriend?

“I have. Si Jason.”

Ganoon? Di ba gimmick ‘yon?

“Boyfriend ko talaga siya! He courted me inside PBB. At first, we didn’t want to tell Big Brother about it.”

What do you like about Jason?

“Ang kanyang ilong and his shoulders. And also his attitude and everything! Maalaga siya. When I had a fever, siya ang nurse ko. He would tell me, ‘Kain tayo sa labas.’ Sa labas ng bahay. At kain-kain kami doon.”

You and Jason come from families with a different background. Mukhang may kaya sina Jason. What about you?

“Apat kaming magkakapatid. The oldest is a seaman, the second is a waiter, the third is a housemate…ako ‘yon!…and the fourth is a high-school student. Our parents are okay; hindi sila hiwalay. Kumakain naman kami ng tatlong beses sa isang araw, sabay-sabay. On Sundays, we go to church together.”

How was your childhood, malungkot nga ba?

“Our parents were strict and in spite of that, layas pa rin ako nang layas ng bahay kaya madalas ako mabugbog ng father ko. Ay, minsan lang pala ako nabugbog. That’s the way our father would discipline us. Kami ni Ondo ang rebelde — siya black sheep, ako brown sheep lang.”

Since you are layas (lakwatsera), paano ka naka-survive ng four months sa loob ng PBB?

“First three months po, wala talaga akong pakialam. Sobrang enjoy. Paano naman, there’s a swimming pool at may foam ang higaan ko at may aircon. Sa bahay namin, maliit ang bed ko at medyo matigas. After three months, I started missing my family. Mabuti na lang kinakausap kami ni Big Brother every now and then kaya medyo nalilibang kami.”

Didn’t you miss your (ex-)boyfriend?

“Hindi! I realized that I didn’t have any more feelings for him.”

What was your ambition in life?

“I wanted to be a teacher, English teacher. Hindi ako magaling mag-English kaya I wanted to learn English and teach English.”

You never dreamed to be in showbiz?

“Never po talaga!”

But you are a natural comedian. Who is your favorite, Ai-Ai delas Alas or Pokwang?

“I like them both but my favorite is Pokwang kasi nakakatawa po talaga siya. We met in Wowowee.”

What did Pokwang tell you?

“Sabi niya, ‘Congratulations! You did a good job!’ She’s so nice, napaka-welcoming, over-over!”

What are your plans when you go out of PBB?

“I will miss the foam bed. But when I move to our house (her prize), bibili ako ng foam bed. I will miss Big Brother, my housemates and the (hidden) cameras.”

What will you do with your P1-M cash prize?

“Paayos ko ang mga peklat ko, everything-everything. Okey lang ba magpa-puti ako? Over-over!”
Our Source: Yahoo News

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~ by Frankie on 02/27/2010.

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