Friday, July 6, 2012

True love and coming alive

*This is a writing assignment for my Corporate Communications class from last semester

The only time that I saw our professor turn pinkish with excitement was when she, albeit briefly, talked about how she found Hyun Bin to be both a handsome and talented actor. As she was preparing to introduce the mystery speaker for that day, I cannot help but notice how she was giving off that Hyun Bin glow. What is it about this mystery speaker that pleased her so much?
Hearing about the speaker’s credentials had me feeling for my jaw for fear of it falling on the floor!

There clearly was a discord about what I imagined an accomplished writer should look like and what I saw when Marivi Soliven Blanco was called to take the floor. On the outside, she resembled those elegant ladies who hosted tea parties and spent vacations in chichi resorts somewhere in the Maldives. To my chagrin, Mrs. Blanco is not only a prolific writer with several Palancas and a novel to be published by Penguin, but also a very supportive wife who readily came with her husband wherever he went, thereby putting her career on the line. Is this even humanly possible?

Her talk was riveting for she is one of the few living proofs that challenging what is conventional can prove to be fruitful in the long run given the right attitude. She took us to different points of her life and showed us how everything has come together in the end to make her the writer that she is today. While she admitted to have “sold out” in her first few years after college, she has nothing but praises for the advertising world that trained her to “think in scenes” which would later help in her creative outputs. Shortly after quitting her lucrative job to pursue her passion for creative writing and just when she was getting noticed for it, she left the Philippines to be with her husband who happened to be based in the United States. To have taken the risk of losing her momentum to follow a loved one was alien to me. I have read it in books but I never really expected for it to be a valid choice in real life.

Whenever I am home for the holidays, my grandfather who I call Papu, is tireless in reminding me that although a career can give me a sense of accomplishment, it is not the only thing that would make me “come alive”. I never understood it until I came face to face with the epitome of what Papu was talking about. How Mrs. Blanco chose to live her life is not something that a lot of people can do.

In a field with roughly a thousand hopefuls, she stood out and even managed to make a lifelong career out of it while being a mother and a wife all rolled into one. Her consistency and discipline, the same winning combination that made Sir Sandy defy the law of gravity and succeed in the financial world, made her shine in her chosen field. “Being nice and hardworking apart from the talent”, shared Mrs. Blanco is the way she did it. Humility by “understanding that not everything you write is wonderful” is how she improved her craft eventually gaining critical acclaim in the Philippines and now set to rub book spines with the likes of Nietzsche.

But what I really gleaned from her talk is that an accolade is just the cherry on top of the cake that is “finding the thing that works for you”.