Success stories

Clarence started working at this production house at the beginning of this year. Conveniently, it's on the same street at my building. It means that, after eighteen months at work - barring the few times with Valerie and my pointless fantasies of asking a cartoon character out for lunch - I finally got myself a lunch buddy. Well, provided she's not busy with editing videos while eating food delivered from somewhere.

On our second time out, I ended up giving her a tour of Pearl Drive. A bit surprisingly, she hasn't been exposed to the wonders of pretty cheap meals on that little street, not to mention the bigger food chains. Then again, she's probably too busy with those videos. "Dati, two weeks, one screen, editing lang. Ngayon, one week, tatlong screen, may shooting pa." I didn't fully understand what she was trying to say, but I can imagine the hell that was video production class was more like earth. It's one of the things we were supposed to be prepared for: all this pressure, which was why I was a bit giddy to go back to the office. Those slideshows are killing me, not to mention ruining my nightly commute schedule.

"Si Kevin pala, nagtuturo na sa La Salle," she said.

I already knew this. My sister's president of the Literature Circle, and she succeeded Kevin. Now, he was in our block, but a term into the major subjects, he shifted to literature. He's a pretty smart guy, monopolizing all discussions in our philosophy classes, and he writes good poetry, if I ever knew what good poetry is. And then there was the day we chatted online, when he asked me about graduate school admissions. He was also working in Ortigas at the time, but he was writing - we had the same jobs, more or less - were "trash", and he quit. Now, he's taking a post-graduate degree, and is also teaching.

That, of course, got me thinking. There's been a running joke within the family, that my sister will end up becoming a teacher - not really a bad thing, although it seems whoever studies literature ends up teaching literature. For us communication students, it's working in the media, or something close to it. The batch above us sent a deep voice to radio and a pretty face to television, among others. I know I shouldn't be comparing, but we pretty much failed.

Okay. Not really. It's just me being frustrated with myself.

I can count with my fingers my batchmates who are working within the industry we've long planned to infiltrate. Biggest success story, perhaps: Carlo, who I last spotted on ANC, doing a sports show. Well, I didn't really spot him do his on-air segment, because I only caught the end credits. Segment host/producer: Carlo Cruz. Not really a surprise, since he had the chance to take up OJT unlike us. That, and his resume screams "hire me!"

Jose, last I gathered, is doing production for 99.5 RT. Either that, or Adfarm. I knew he'd make it there anyway. There was the time he suddenly popped up on YM and asked me to listen to a rush plug he made. Of course, it sounded just fine, for here was the guy who seemed to be too busy to teach me Pro Tools during radio production class. Or, he wanted to do things his way. I sooo saw this coming.

"Si Sars, nasa Q pa rin, I think. Pati rin yata si Piyar. Di ko lang sure kung andun pa siya."

And, of course, Jackie, who worked with Eat Bulaga before flying to Taiwan to study.

"Si Kat," Clarence said, in a she's-so-successful-you-can't-reach-her tone. "Yun, si Kat." Well, she's in a pretty big production company, shooting music videos and television shows and, at one point, what she described as a "thesis" from the government. That is, more or less, how we define a success story. Or, that's how I define a success story. Never mind me sounding absolutely bitter for having placed myself in some office. That's how I define a success story. And, last time I checked, I also had the right to feel frustrated. Still, I might need to throw in an apology here in case you see your name on this essay.

On our first time out, I was wearing my Idol shirt, the one they sold as part of Sir Doy's birthday celebration. "Suot ko rin yan kahapon," Clarence said. On our second time out, she revealed it was during a music video she was shooting for work. "Ako saka yung friend ko, kami yung naging lead," she said, or at least that's what she tried to say. "So kita yung Doy shirt sa video."

"So matagal ka na palang success story," I quipped. "Di ba? Nasa video kayo nun with Sam Milby?"

I realized I was slowly destroying whatever remained of my good mood.

"Well, napu-publish rin ako, internationally, so..."

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