“Hello older Oliver. It’s me, when you were 30. This is a dream isn’t it? I can actually remember you visiting when I was younger, and some time last year. This is weird. A déjà vu inside a dream? But I’ve heard of stranger things. Anyway, you were right! I’m actually happier and more content now. It’s hard to believe that this time last year, I felt like giving up. Now, everything’s brighter. You know how it is. Or was. I normally wouldn’t look into the future, it scares me and all, but since I’m asking you, in this place, tell me: Does the story have a happy ending? Does life get better? Do you have everything you need?”
Hello younger Oliver. Ooh, questions. Ask me some easy ones. Because those really aren’t. Wait, on second thought, don’t bother, because I’m taking control of this “conversation.”
Well, I’m actually tired tonight. My eyes hurt. So does my back. Busy as the proverbial bee. I like what I’m doing, but there are times when I need to rest my weary head, you know? You know what I’m talking about. I’ve been using my pimping “voice” more than my critiquing and reporting “voices” these past few days, and it does get a little tiring. But, you know, doing press release work, aside from reviews and the occasional feature articles, keeps me on my toes. You like sorting out those words in your head, stringing them together like unraveling a puzzle, and making them make sense.
I miss being the author, though. You’re currently using that side of you, with the comic book. You’re finally finishing the story you started in 2001.
I remember how you’re feeling. I remember being a 30-year-old quite clearly. I remember getting busy. I remember the endless summer nights, the heat of summer sunshine, the summer loving.
I remember being you.
Looking at you, I’d say you’re already getting the hang of covering press conferences at ELJ and other places. Karen Davila wondered how old you were, in one of those events. You hesitantly said, “Um, I just turned 30,” and she replied, “Really? I thought you were in your early 20s.”
And do you remember Baron Geisler shyly asking you, when you were interviewing his soap co-stars, if you’re part of the cast? Of course you do. Well, 30-year-old me, you’re less bulky than I am, so I guess you could pass for one of them back then.
Interacting with celebrities rarely daunts you, but you still gush from time to time. I know I still do, especially when I step back and realize that I’ve asked actors, directors, writers, musicians, animators and illustrators some of my questions. So whether it’s a phoner, a roundtable interview, or some exclusive one-on-one thing, you do pick up new things and learn about new experiences.
Yep, right now, you’ve already talked to some of them, and gotten all those interesting perspectives. I can say that the future list is made up of some really different people (Jojo Alejar, Gil Portes, Robert Alejandro, Roger Pullin, Dolphy, Tessa Valdes, Martin Nievera, Johnny Manahan, Charlene Gonzalez, Tessie Tomas, Serena Dalrymple, Elizabeth Oropesa, Jerry Lopez-Sineneng, DJ Alvaro, Dov Simens, Bituin Escalante, Rica Peralejo, Dimsum, Heart Evangelista, Cris Pablo, Piolo Pascual, King, Lauren Dyogi, Jamie Cullum, Smash!!, Akafellas, Joey Reyes, North, Jay-R, 8th of March, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Kitchie Nadal, Gini Cruz Santos, Diane Warren, George Eads, Nina, Isha, Paolo Santos, Joshua Payne, Andoy Ranay, T-Rio, Carlos Morales, Simple Plan’s Jeff Stinco, Simon Kinberg, Avril Lavigne, The Speaks, Margie Holmes, Rex Navarrete, Emmy Rossum, The Cascades’ John Gummoe, Nelson Bohol, Jeffrey Jeturian, Margaret Nagle, Village People, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Brittany Murphy, Iza Calzado, Paolo Contis, Isabel Oli, Dingdong Dantes, Patrick Ramos, Bharat Nalluri, Callalily, Bimbo Cerrudo, Imago, Timothy Olyphant, Sir Cliff Richard, Zack Snyder, Ziggy Marley, Ian Tracey, David Fincher, Imee Marcos, Raymond Red, Francis Lumen, Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary, Zack Grobler, Steve Starkey, Sam Rockwell, Mozzie, Gerry Alanguilan, Carlo Vergara, Harvey Tolibao, Carlo Pagulayan, Wilson Tortosa, Paolo Bediones, Lorraine Bracco, and Colbie Caillat).
But, just as important are the persons you spoke with and written about during your coverage work for the agencies. You’ve talked to--and will be talking to--different kinds of working people. There will be real estate salespeople, a jeweler, a golf champ, a chef, a badminton player, a party host, different types of homeowners, sports shop owners, architects, school administrators, a yoga instructor, pest control technicians, engineers, and yeah, celebs (like Tina Juan, Jon Santos, Tin-Tin Bersola, Eileen Macapagal, Ruffa Gutierrez, Sam Oh, Rivermaya, Nancy Castiglione, Angel Jacob, Gerald Anderson, Kim Chiu, Marc Abaya, Brad Turvey, Uma Khouny, RJ Ledesma and Chynna Ortaleza).
Anyway, let me answer some of the questions. You won’t remember this anyway.
I don’t know if your story has a happy ending. But you’re happy now, and I suppose that’s what matters. Three years later, you’ll realize again that you’re lucky, that you’re thankful for what you have. But that comes after some unforeseen funks. You’ll think of ways to escape the monotony, to escape feeling burnt out. Still, you’ll recover from them rather quickly.
Don’t take your friends for granted. They’re showing you how to be a better person, and to be better at all the things you do. You’re already learning so much from them. I still am. They’re some of the wisest, most analytical people you’ll ever meet.
Life gets better, yes. I don’t have everything I need, yet, but I do have some of the things I want.
You already know what I mean.