Thursday, May 28, 2009

REDISCOVERING WHAT I DO BEST

When I was in highschool, I auditioned for a theatre play staged by our literature teacher. I auditioned because I knew I have what it takes to be the brightest persona on stage. I believed it was my moment to be discovered. Sadly, after weeks of anticipation, the results were released and I walked the building aisle with a super sad face. Yes. The insane thespian in me was wrapped in darkness and my dream of becoming a star was cut short. I told myself, maybe, acting was not meant for me. Or, perhaps, acting disliked me.

I tell you, it was my first and last attempt to audition. Upon graduating high school, I shelved that dream of performing on stage, NOT.

Singing has always been my passion. When I was a kid, my parents would always tag me along to office parties to perform and entertain the crowd. While I painted the venue with laughter and applause, my parents would be surrounded with compliments and pats on their backs. And seeing the big and proud smiles on their face, I realized, maybe I was destined to be the ultimate performer the Philippines could ever have. Yeah, I thought of that (kapal di ba?).

I was not only a performer in family gatherings and office parties, I even became the center of attention in Fiesta Celebrations. I was the stage designer (yes), the host (yes) and the performer to serenade the affair. I was always a part of any intermission number. My talent was everywhere. My voice was heard on church activities as I was part of the choir, and again, my melodies were like delightful anthems embracing our town.

In school, I was one of the active “singers.” From grade school to high school, I was part of the glee club and soon the school choir. Although I attempted to join singing competitions, luck was afar. Either I was absent or I took a half day when the organizers held an audition. Despite the petty misfortune of reaching the pedestal where the brightest singing stars are pampered, I found my way on showcasing my talent - go to the bushes and sing!

Soon, I became a local icon in singing (imagination gone wild). With the left and right praises that I possess a beautiful voice, I accepted the fact, I am meant to sing and maybe not to act on stage. But I denied that reality. I believed I was capable of acting. Maybe I was unripe. I needed more polishing. I just needed a break.

Serious breaks ushered into my life, again, not in acting but in singing. I joined singing competitions and I won. That paved my way for more confidence which led to the breaking of my shattering of the “shyness.” I soon boxed my acting career (as if there was in the first place) and pumped my singing prowess.

I became serious in singing but I never let it interfere with my studies. Since I prioritized my studies more than my singing, after passing the auditions for UP Concert Chorus, I declined. I just continued my passion through participating in our parish choir, joined some singing competitions and graced some events.

After graduating college, with a degree in creative writing and broadcast communication, it was time to hunt for a job. Having an impressive college record, I knew I will land in my dream job. Surprisingly, while you may conclude I dreamed of singing as a profession, you are wrong. I dreamed of being a STAR in a television network. I wanted to be part of the Philippines Largest Network, ON CAM! I was ambitious.

As the nation was being bombarded with reality talent searches, I knew the only ticket to being ON CAM (ring the stardom bell) was through joining such shows. And so, I auditioned for Star in a Million. I want my name to be aligned with Martin Nievera, Gary V., and many more.

My hopes were again set on a high bar. I was a bit confident with my singing capabilities yet I was afraid of the reality I was not good looking – I was chubby, wearing specs, pimply, or should I say, the male version of Ugly Betty. It was the thick face and a fraction of confidence that made me finish my piece on the auditions, wholeheartedly. I sang Michael Bolton's "Go the Distance."

After an hour of waiting, the weeding out started and dream-shattering was like a bomb dropped from above. Then, my verdict landed on my face. I didn’t make it.

Truth be told, my dream of becoming a star, again, was short lived. Yeah. I got frustrated. I suppose it was all normal. Thank goodness, it was a "secret" audition. 

It was the end of the line. That's what I thought not until a life-altering event changed everything. I was hired as a production assistant under Star in a Million. And from there, I learned the real story behind ways and means in making and diminishing the value of a STAR.
 
And years passed, I realized, I'm more than being a singer or an actor. I am talented and I can share it with others. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

THE TOP 10 BEST EXPERIENCES IN WORKING OVERSEAS

Previously, I wrote an entry on what are the TOP 10 WORSE TRUTHS OFW/Expat might experience. As an OFW myself, I had a share of the “challenging” and life-altering moments overseas. Truth is, living a life outside your comfort zone could be described as messy yet fun, outrageous and rewarding. On my quest to the unknown, I realize that enjoying life could be articulated the yin yang, as there will always be some negative and positive points to face.

Believing so, now, I’m turning the table to share to everyone what are the POSITIVE and BENEFICIAL returns on working overseas. Although the title itself maybe be an eye candy especially for aspiring OFWs/Expats or those Filipinos thinking our country is hopeless, bear in mind, our path does not work on luck alone, but perseverance and hardwork are essential in concocting healthy and flourishing life abroad. Plus, may this entry ignite a fire of inspiration especially to those OFW/Expats who are at a lost and feeling hopeless on their battles. 

THE TOP 10 WORSE TRUTHS OF WORKING OVERSEAS

Even before the extreme boom of migration, working abroad has been a symbol of golden opportunity to escape our poverty-stricken and highly-corrupted nation. It has become the highly-coveted fast lane to live a comfortable life. And nowadays, I guess, if you’ll ask 10 Filipinos, nine would confidently admit they would want to work abroad as this is rooted on the absence of hope and lack of trust on the country. In addition, some of them would not dare to go back to the Philippines or perhaps forget their identity as a Filipino forever.

I was one of those who out of luck got the ticket to that golden opportunity. Mind you, I never dreamed of working abroad. To me, overseas could only be a source of further studies as I wanted to get a graduate and doctorate degree in a foreign country. However, everything changed when I received an offer to work in Brunei. I considered it as a blessing. 

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