On the tube: A not-so-big Big Brother finale

PBB Double Up former housemates practice for the Big Night's opening number.

PBB Double Up former housemates practice for the Big Night's opening number.

For a season dubbed “double up,” the venue of Pinoy Big Brother 3’s Big Night was not as double as previous ones. Neither were its production look and numbers.

Why the choices, I leave to the production team.

It was the timing of the finale, instead, that lived up to the show’s name–a rare red meeting of Valentine’s and Chinese New Year.

The outcome, too. For not only did GenSan girl Melisa Cantiveros win, but her partner, Jason Francisco. While he placed third, their odd quirky tandem practically captured the season story line and made them its stars.

A perfect “double up” to cap a series of twists that included two houses, two sets of twins, two foreign swaps, two “storms”, a couple of switches, and two Big Brothers.

I’ll remember this PBB installment just for Melason. And because it was the closest I got to peek–granted, of course, by my de facto back stage pass as a Kapamilya.

No, I haven’t set foot inside the famed PBB house. The Big Night was news that Saturday, I was on duty, and I volunteered to cover it.

But I was not PBB’s biggest fan either. We met one such guy, a nursing student who absolutely adored the show and monitored its 24/7 cable feed.

He was there for a sports event, not this. He envied us, he said, and asked if we could sneak him in. We couldn’t.

I chose this just to atone for mistakes in a recent coverage of another TV ending.

Through not a little coordination hours before, we parked at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium and set up lights and camera facing the stage.

Valentines meets Chinese New Year at the PBB Double Up Big NightVintage Volkswagen Beetles carry the housemates to Ninoy Aquino Stadium in the PBB Double Up's Big Night

PBB taped as live the festive entry of the housemates to the stadium in vintage cars hours before the actual program.

Our requirement was simple: a live silent report by Ginger Conejero at the end of TV Patrol on the preparations, with an English update for ANC.

Half her video would be rolled from the studio. The other half was taken by our cameraman’s assistant.

Ginger was also my reporter the last time, and I think I fairly made up for the earlier blunder. The report went quick and smoothly, but my editing lagged behind her script.

We packed up and left just before the show started, already near 10. I rode a nearby bus home, and reached it in time to see Melai come out to fame and new-found fortune.


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