When Emelda first arrived here, we lived in an apartment on Normandie Avenue in East Hollywood right next to Koreatown. (I had moved to this part of town because it was close to several Filipino businesses.) Before she arrived, I was able to save my money and purchase a satellite dish that would receive The Filipino Channel. The manager of the building allowed me to install the dish and I passed the time waiting for Emelda’s arrival by watching programs like "Battle of The Brains," "Esperanza" and "Sang Linggo Napo Sila."
After Emelda’s arrival, the owner of the building saw the dish and told the manager that I would have to remove it. Apparently, the manager had authorized the dish installation without getting the owner’s approval. As angry as it made me, I had no choice. I would have to take the dish down. Well, by then, Emelda had thoroughly been enjoying the programs that were available as a result of the dish, so I immediately gave notice to the landlord that Emelda and I would be moving out at the end of the month. I decided to make it my mission to find a new apartment building where we would be allowed to enjoy the benefits of the expensive dish.
Emelda balked at first. She didn’t want me to be forced to move just so that she could watch Filipino television programs, but I felt that the hassle of relocating was a small price to pay to give my wife a strong connection to her homeland. We started looking for apartments in the area and we found a great one quickly. The dish is now up on the roof of our building and there are now three Filipino channels for her to watch.
Just before the satellite dish debacle, we had another negative experience with television. Emelda and I were invited to appear on "The Maury Povich Show." I have written about this experience elsewhere on this Website and you can read all about it. Some people ask me why I would consent to appear on a talk show with Emelda. I will admit that it was not the greatest idea in the world, but I thought that Maury Povich had some class. I was sorely mistaken and the experience was almost surreal. Despite how we were treated by Maury and his staff, we were able to cull many positive things from the experience. On the show, we defended our relationship and the feedback we have received from the appearance has been 99% positive. I have received dozens of e-mails from strangers who hold the opinion that the show stank, but we came out smelling like a rose. Sure, a handful of Internet jerks have attacked me for the appearance, but I can’t please all of the people all of the time.
There was a weird byproduct of our national television appearance. It really surprised both of us. We started getting recognized by strangers in public. People would ask, "Were you on some talk show or something?" or "Did I see you and your wife on Maury Povich?" Usually, they remembered the appearance, but did not remember which talk show we had been on. I got a kick out of that. Emelda got a kick out of being quasi-famous. We were in Ralph’s Supermarket one day when a group of large mid-twenties black guys kept waving to Emelda. They even followed us around a bit. Emelda hadn’t interacted with too many black people in her life, so she got a little bit nervous when one of them yelled (across the crowded supermarket), "Hey! It’s them from the show!"
Needless to say, we have both shared many laughs about the whole affair. Also, as a result of the trip to be ambushed by Maury, Emelda increased the number of U.S. states she had visited to three (California, New Jersey and New York). Only 47 more to go!