“Basta Hello Kitty! Mas mahilig ako doon sa bahay. ‘Yung pag nakikita ko ‘yung upuan, ‘yung kitchen, kaysa ‘yung mga [small] Hello Kitty items. Mas gusto ko ‘yung ‘pag nakita ko ‘yung bahay, ‘Ay! Hello Kitty ‘yung sofa niya, Hello Kitty ‘yung dining [set] niya, mas ganun!,” Comedy Concert Queen Ai Ai Delas Alas gushed over the phenomenal Japanese cartoon character and could not single out a particular favorite item. This took place at the virtual mini pocket interview we had last month when the Kapuso actress formally launched her vlogging channel on Youtube. The cooking channel is called C.H.I.N. – Cooking in the House ng Ina Niyo.
While her vlogging efforts started in 2019, she was not able to find time to focus on it until a few months ago. Showbiz commitments and even her businesses on the side got in the way of her becoming a vlogger.
This time, with the nationwide lockdown in place, the new vlogging entrant was able to rediscover the potential of vlogging with the help of her daughter Sophia and a video editor, C.H.I.N. is now growing its list of episodes. Support from brands like Ai Ai’s long-time brand partner HOBE also started to pour in. In her recent episodes (Episodes 4 and 5), the trusted producer of noodle products teamed up with Ai Ai for some how-to-cook stir-fried chicken with bihon and palabok tutorials.
Stir-fried Chicken with Bihon
Standing out in our newbie cooking vlogger’s videos is her all-pink kitchen background with eye-catching Hello Kitty products around her.
Hindered love for Hello Kitty
During the interview, Ai Ai revealed the reason she is so fond of the cat character. “Noong college ako, uso na kasi noon ‘yung Sanrio ‘di ba? Meron kasi kaming neck tie, doon nababase ang aming kayamanan o ‘yung aming kahirapan,” Ai Ai fondly recalled the origins of her Hello Kitty obsession. “Uso noon bibili kami sa Divisoria ng maraming mga pins, tapos paramihan kami. ‘Yung best friend ko, mayaman ‘yun eh, so marami ‘yun pins. Ako, dalawa lang o tatlo. Hello Kitty [fan] na talaga ako.“
Ai Ai beamingly continued, “Noong nag-artista na ako, siyempre kahit papaano may pera na ako. Hetong Ate ko, ano ko siya ‘di ba, personal assistant? Eh noong bata siya, wala naman siyang laruan. Ako kasi ‘yung adopted eh, so kahit papaano nakakaangat-angat ako nang konti sa buhay. May laruan ako kahit isa, siya wala.“
“So, sabi niya, ‘Mag-iipon ako ng Hello Kitty!.’ Pinayagan ko siyang Hello Kitty kahit gusto ko Hello Kitty para hindi kami pareho. So,nag-convert ako sa Minnie Mouse para hindi kami pareho. Para hindi niya makuha ‘yung Minnie Mouse ko. Ganun ‘yung [kuwento], kadamutan ko lang ‘yung reason,” Ai Ai laughed.
“Ang paborito ko talaga baby pink. Eh ang Minnie Mouse hindi naman siya baby pink, red siya eh. Red and black ‘di ba? Eh hindi ko siya paboritong kulay kahit anong gawin natin. Wala talaga ‘yung heart ko doon,” Ai Ai shared. She slowly led us to how her love for the character was rekindled recently.
The Kitty comeback
“Ngayong hindi ko na siya P.A., nagbakasyon na si Ate, nagpahinga na siya, sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Ate, mag-he-Hello Kitty na ako ha,” Ai Ai said smiling, recounting how Hello Kitty crawled back into her life. Her love for the character was reborn when her husband Gerald Sibayan surprised her with a Hello Kitty house while she was confined in a lock-in taping.
“Isa rin ‘yun sa dahilan. ‘Yung sobrang kalungkutan dahil sa pandemya. Tapos ‘yung mga naging problema ko. So, kapag nakikita ako ni Gerald na naluluha-luha ako parati, naiiyak ako, nalagas ‘yung buhok ko, ginawan niya ng paraan na sumaya ako. Alam niyang sasaya ako sa Hello Kitty,” Ai Ai turned serious as she recalled the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on her mental and physical health.
Love, life, and luck
Aside from the loving gesture of her husband, Ai Ai also spoke about realizing how short life is and she wants to enjoy things while she can. “Gusto ko man lang, baka mamaya, ma-tegibels na ako, hindi ko man lang naramdaman magkaroon ng Hello Kitty sofa!,” Ai Ai laughed in between her funny statements. “Nakakatawa naman ‘yung dahilan!”
Ai Ai later added that Hello Kitty’s color is something she also considers auspicious. “Sa totoo lang, ‘di ba sabi nila ‘yung green is suwerte, sinuwerte ako sa pink. Martina’s [ube pan de sal business] kasi pink din ‘yun eh. Kaya tinuluy-tuloy ko na ‘yung pink ang favorite color ko!“
Get a glimpse of Ai Ai’s Hello Kitty house (particularly her kitchen) on her Youtube channel Ai Ai Delas Alas.