Friday, April 22, 2005

Food For My Soul

The following Friendster testimonials are from my friends BJ and Ara respectively. He’s only 23 yrs old, she’s 24. They are just two from several batches in TA whom I had the honor and pleasure to work with through the years.

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tatango ka na lamang pag nagsalita si joel. oo ka na lang. mapapasabi ng true, korek at exactly. ganun siya katalino. hahalakhak ka na lamang pag nagbiro si joel. susubukang himirit ngunit tataubin pa ng mas mabenta pa niyang hirit. ganun siya kagaling. magpapasalamat ka na lamang pag nilibre ka ni joel. ngingiti muli sa dala niyang CD's at libreng hatid sa bahay. ganun siya kabait. mapalad ako't kasundo niya ako. ganun siya katinik.

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joel. cool DJ. great listener. mega-advice sa mga may prublema. super generous. OA sa talino. Sobrang nakakatawa. kaloka ang muscle shirts. sarap kasama. galing sumayaw. ayos sa style. sipag magdrive. mabuting kaibigan. hay, sobrang daming magagandang bagay tungkol sa kanya, isa siyang taong hinding-hindi malilimutan ng lahat. :D

* * * * *

Back in the mid-90s, I was in my fifth year in advertising when I felt the need to leave the corporate rat race and do something I really liked, like theater and directing behind a camera. So I resigned, went back to TA, toured Iloilo with them, did two more plays, and generally whiled away my time hanging out with the kids in the TA tambayan in college. After almost a year of no income, I fully depleted my separation pay; I had less than a hundred pesos in my bank account. I went back to advertising with my tail between my legs.

But that experience taught and affected me a lot. I made a deal with my boss that she would allow me time off to do a play once in a while; it was my therapy and it helped me become a well-rounded creative person. And so I continued to be involved in several TA plays and tours even when I was back thinking up of how to sell hamburgers and instant noodles. Hobnobbing with younger people also made me feel and look younger. Whenever people tell me I look young for my age, I silently give thanks to my much-younger friends for that.

What I didn’t realize was that experience affected not just me but also the young people in TA. Without knowing it, I was a role model to them. I was an example they could emulate. I was a source of knowledge and experience. I was also a source of funds. Many times I’d pay for their dinner because they didn’t have enough baon with them. Or we’d go on a gimik that I’d partly funded. I know where most of them live because I’d bring them home when they had no ride.

Nowadays because I am in broadcasting, getting involved in something as time-consuming as a play is almost out of the question. Now I’m just reduced to meeting up with them after their rehearsals, if I’m lucky to catch them eating somewhere in Katipunan. And when I do, I notice another legacy of mine with my former “wards”—some of them have opted, upon graduation, to not jump into the rat race immediately. Instead they’ve devoted their time to give something back to TA. So now I just step aside and let them hog the “alumni limelight”. My time has come and gone; now it’s their turn to help teach the kids, spend for their dinner, and drive them home when they don’t have a ride.

Years later when they read their testimonials given to them by the kids, they’ll marvel at how much they affected these kids without them knowing it. And they’ll treasure these testimonials. And they’ll come back to them time and again, especially when they’re feeling a bit low and unpretty about themselves.

I fed them dinner; in turn they feed my soul.


Blogger Somnambulist Nocturnal said...

Wow! this is very moving... =)

1:25 PM  

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