Cez and I at her place last January, the night before I went back to Bacolod

I got the e-mail. I was at Cez’s place and we were just catching up as I hadn’t seen her in more than a week and she has just gotten back from a ten-day trip with her family island hopping in the Visayas. Quite a bit has happened in those ten days and we were just filling each other in on our going ons. While we were talking, I saw my phone light up and an e-mail had come in and despite my bad eyesight, I could see the name on the register.

It was from the admissions program that I had applied for. I finally got the news that I’ve been waiting for.

I didn’t get in. They had a huge number of applicants, so many they had to delay the first announcement who made it through the first screening. They said that it was a particularly large amount of applications to sort and that it was all of high quality. I don’t know if that’s standard talk or not, but they didn’t have to say so, right?

What they did tell me, which was something I was quite happy to hear, was that I was on the reserve list at number seven. If any slots became available, they would tap into the reserve list and while there are six people ahead of me on the list, it’s nice to know that I was number seven. They only accepted thirty six people for my program and only six people for my specialization. So out of all the applicants, I was number thirteen on that list. I was the thirteen best applicant on a long list. They only had space for six, so I highly doubt that seven people would not take this opportunity.

I think it’s safe to say I’m not in the program this year.

And that’s okay, actually. I had made plans for my life for if I got in and for what I would do if I didn’t. Both plans are ideal. I’m happy about either way. I would have loved to have gotten in, studied, learned from all the other artists around me from different countries, build my networks, lived abroad, make short films, and come out with a post-graduate degree.

Since I didn’t make it, I get to stay. I restart my life here and chase after the four movie projects that are ahead of me right now. I chase after the three web series that I’m currently working on and I get teach again this year. Even without a Masters Degree, I am still a practitioner and I’m a good teacher so there are schools waiting for me to come in and start teaching. Hanging Out has shown that I could do work that is popular and trendy and young and vibrant. The industry is looking at me in a very different way now.

It’s also a good time for me to be back.

So I’m back. I’m here to stay.


photo by Paolo Ruiz

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