Lagi ko sinasabi, if it weren't for Direk Joey Reyes, I wouldn't be here, fulfilling my life-long dream to write for TV. Kaya as he turns 54 on October 21, I want to write something about him...to thank him for opening the door for me, and to let him know how significant he is in my life.
Right after I watched his movie “May Minamahal,” in 1993, I had an epiphany – I wanted to be a scriptwriter. I wanted to write scenes and dialogues that would move other people. Gusto ko iyong kino-quote ng mga tao iyong sinusulat ko, yung inuulit ang mga eksenang ginawa ko. After “Pare Ko” and “Radio Romance,” (still Direk Joey's obras), I started to love Direk Joey. Kahit hindi ko siya kilala, kahit hindi niya ako kilala, he was becoming influential in my life.
And then we met in ABS-CBN’s Comedy Writing Workshop in 2004. I was one of the lucky 26 students who made it sa workshop. Nakilala ko siya ng husto... not just as a director but as a person. And after the workshop -- my life took a different course.
Direk Joey handpicked me to be part of his show. He became my first headwriter in the sitcom, “My Juan and Only,” directed by the late Gilbert Perez.
Iyong unang script na sinulat ko, ang dami niyang comments. Kesyo mahaba ang dialogues. Kesyo hindi nakakatawa. Kesyo kulang sa crisp ang mga lines.
Madugo ang revisions noong script na iyon. Na-insecure ako. Baka nagsisi siya na kinuha ako. Baka bigla niya akong alisin sa show. Kinabahan talaga ako.
When I submitted my second script, minura niya ako... "Putangina... ang galing mo magsulat!"
Hindi ako nakahirit. Ngiti lang ako. Pero deep down inside, gusto kong umiyak. Coming from an award-winning writer and director, parang gusto ko i-freeze iyong moment na iyon para forever ko ma-treasure. First time niya ako minura pero kung laging ganoon ang mura niya, keri lang. Tatanggapin ko.
Sayang nga lang at eight months lang ang tinagal ng MJAO. Ang dami ko pa sana matutunan from him. Pero kahit na hindi na kami magkatrabaho ni Direk Joey, walang nagbago – he remains to be my mentor.
Sabi niya noon, "Media can show you what is real, but not what is true..." and he is one of the few people in the industry who remain real and true.
People might see Direk Joey as someone with an acerbic tongue who is not afraid to speak what he feels. What others don't see is he has the kindest and most generous heart in the industry. He is just misunderstood sometimes. Akala ng mga tao, dahil lagi siyang nagtataray, masungit siya. He may be a bitch, but he actually has a soft heart.
Naiiyak sya sa problema ng mga tao. He gets affected when his friends have problems, and he truly fights for his friends. He is one of the kindest persons I’ve met, hindi mo iisipin na sa layo ng narating niya, and sa dami ng tagumpay niya, he remains humble and approachable.
Sabi ng mga kaibigan ko, masuwerte daw ako to have him in my life. Tama sila. He was the reason why I’m here today, doing what I dreamed to be doing.... and he is one of the reasons why I’m surviving in this industry.
Kung wala siya, matagal na siguro ako sumuko at bumalik na lang sa corporate world.
Somebody asked me kung kumusta si Direk Joey as a person, kung ano daw siya kapag wala siya sa shooting or taping or sa harap ng camera sa PDA. Sabi ko, he is just like us.
Kinikilig na parang 16-years old kapag nai-in love. He derives pleasures from simple things in life like reading a good book on a Sunday afternoon or eating brownies from Chocolat. Kapag depressed, he either goes shopping or rushes to the nearest Spa. And he wishes to write an international bestselling novel and spend six months a year in a loft in New York.
Kahit hindi siya si Joey Reyes na sikat at award-winning na director/scriptwriter at isa lang siyang ordinaryong tao, ipinagmamalaki ko pa rin na nakilala ko siya..
Direk becomes more than a mentor and a friend to me – he is my Nanay. And like any Nanay, madalas niya akong talakan. Ayaw niya kapag naka-red nail polish ako dahil mukha daw akong “burikak.” Pinilit niya ako mag gym kasi kung hindi, tatanda daw ako dalaga or baka magka-boyfriend na peperahan lang ako. At kinu-kwestyon niya ang taste ko sa lalake.
He once asked, “Anak, bakit ka naman nahuhunghang sa isang lalake na ang boses ay parang kay Bert sa legendary characters ng Sesame Street?”
Pero bilang isang Nanay, he remains supportive. He watches my show and gives comments like “You can do better than that” and “You're starting to become a typical TV writer... and I don't wanna lose the Noreen I know."
Lagi din siyang andiyan para payuhan ako, para alagaan, para i-lift up at i-encourage kapag nadedemoralize na ako sa trabaho or gusto ko na gumive up.
The best advice he gave me: “Sabihin mo sa kanilang nagpaparatang na mayabang ka ...na totoo... MAYABANG KA DAHIL MAY IPAGYAYABANG KA ... at oo... MALAKI ANG ULO MO... DAHIL MARAMI KANG UTAK... EH, SILA ... FUCKING HYPOCRITES... SABIHIN MO MABUTI NA ANG MALAKI ANG ULO... KAYSA SA PINHEADS."
Direk, kung nababasa mo ito...happy birthday. Thanks for everything… sa mga binibigay mong opportunity, sa mga tinuturo mo, sa mga kinukuwento mo, sa mga sinasabi mo na akala mo wala lang, pero life-defining na pala sa ibang tao.
You once told us na to succeed in showbiz, kailangan ng 30 percent na talent at 70 percent na attitude. I will always keep that in mind, Direk,.. pipilitin ko maging mabuting writer at mabuting tao… Para you will always be proud of me…
And as my tribute to Direk, here are some of his quotable quotes.
"Some people make a career out of greed ... while others make greed a career."
"Assumptions and presumptions are the biggest mistakes in life."
“The hardest to achieve is to make the complicated look all too simple.”
"Some people are born dumb. Others make a career out of it."
“Mediocrity is forgivable. It is genetic. But hypocrisy is definitely acquired.”
"Merong Kapuso. Merong Kapamilya. Ako ay katrabo. Ako ay Director. Labas na ako sa usapang iyan.”
“Loyalty is a privilege granted to the deserving. Exclusivity is simply paid for.”
“But remember ... regardless of whatever you come across in life, NEVER SURRENDER THE PASSION. A life without PASSION is mere existence. Endeavors without convictions are mere obligations and not necessities leading to fulfillment.”
"You do not make your work the reason for existence. You work hard to have a good life not merely to make a living."
Pero heto ang pinaka-favorite ko:
Direk Joey: masama na ba image ko sa tao?”
Me: hindi naman direk, para ka lang si Ninoy sa panahon ni Marcos.
Direk Joey: so that makes you my Kris.
Happy Birthday uli, Direk…